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Best Cell Phone Deals May 2023
Here are the very best cell phone deals of the month, all in one place.
Spring is officially here, which means it's the perfect time to upgrade that old phone or save some major cash on a new cell phone plan. We've saved you the hassle and rounded up this month's best cheap phones and cell phone plans so you can score an incredible deal.
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile currently offer great deals on the newest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy with some sweet add-ons for new customers. Smaller carriers like Xfinity Mobile, Mint Mobile, and Visible Wireless are offering deals on new devices as well as discounted or free months of wireless service.
Read on to learn more about the latest cell phone deals.
- : Get up to $500 off a new Samsung Galaxy when you switch to Xfinity Mobile
- : Get six months of free service when you purchase a 12-month plan
- : Save up to $10/mo. on any plan when you switch to Visible Wireless
- : Get up to $1,000 of a new iPhone 14 Pro Max or up to $800 off an iPhone 14 Pro with an eligible trade-in
- : Get up to $800 via virtual prepaid MasterCard with an eligible trade-in when you switch
- : Get a new iPhone 14 with eligible trade-in
- : Get your first month of Unlimited Talk & Text for only $5
The best baller, mid-range, and budget smartphones on major carriers
Looking for a little one-on-one guidance for choosing a smartphone? Check out this video from our smartphone guru Tshaka for some pro shopping tips.
- Best Samsung Galaxy deal: Get a free Galaxy S23+ or $800 off a Galaxy S23 Ultra (no trade-in required for either deal) when you activate a new line on a new Magenta MAX plan through T-Mobile.
- Best Google Pixel deal: Get a Google Pixel 7 for free when you order online through Verizon.
- Best iPhone deal: Get up to $800 off a new iPhone 14 Pro or up to $1,000 off an iPhone 14 Pro Max when you trade in an eligible device through AT&T.
- Best free phone deal: Get a free iPhone 13 with an eligible trade-in through Verizon.
Best Xfinity Mobile cell phone deal: Get up to $500 off a new Samsung Galaxy phone when you switch
- Get $500 off a new Samsung Galaxy
- Uses Verizon's great network
- No trade-in required
- Credits applied over 24 months
Xfinity Mobile has a few great deals going on right now for new customers. (Remember, Xfinity Mobile is available only to existing Xfinity home internet subscribers.)
The deal we're highlighting is $500 off a new Samsung Galaxy device when you activate a new line and switch to Xfinity Mobile.
If you're looking to save some money on a cell phone plan, Xfinity is currently offering two lines of Unlimited for only $30/line per month. For reference, that will save you around $15 per month on each line from the original Unlimited plan monthly pricing.
Best Mint Mobile deal: Get six months of free service
- Get six months of free service
- Enjoy cheap unlimited data
- Must sign up for a 12-month plan
- Must purchase an eligible phone
Mint Mobile is already known for offering incredibly cheap cell phone plans. But you know what’s even cheaper than cheap? Free.
When you purchase a 12-month plan with Mint Mobile, Mint Mobile will give you six more months for free. Nothing like the peace of mind that comes with taking care of your cell phone bill for over a full year for half the price!
Curious about the different plans and how to sign up for Mint Mobile? We've put together an easy guide that will walk you through selecting the right plan for you. Check it out here.
Best Visible Wireless deal: Save up to $10/mo. on any plan when you switch
- Save up to $10/mo. on a new cell phone plan
- Swap your old device for a brand new one
- Must be a new customer
Visible Wireless uses Verizons 4G and 5G networks and offers some pretty affordable cell phone plans. The company is offering new customers up to $10 off per month on a new cell phone plan when you transfer your number from an eligible carrier within 30 days.
Plus, if your old device is showing its age and you're ready to upgrade, Visible Wireless will trade out your old device for a brand new one!
Simply check if your old phone is eligible on the Visible Wireless site, activate your service, and Visible Wireless will overnight you a SIM card with a new phone, along with a prepaid label to send in your old phone. That's a pretty great deal if you ask us.
Best AT&T cell phone deal: Get up to $1000 off an iPhone 14 Pro Max
- Get a free iPhone 14
- Save up to $1,000 on a new iPhone 14 Pro Max
- Offer is valid for new and existing customers
- Discount applied over term of installment agreement
- Must add or upgrade to a new line
- Eligible trade-in required
You can get a free iPhone 14 or save up to $1,000 on an iPhone 14 Pro Max when you trade-in an eligible smartphone and add a new line or upgrade an existing line through AT&T .
AT&T also offers a free Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 when you trade-in an eligible phone. (AT&T specifies this deal's trade-in can be "any year" and "any condition".
Best T-Mobile cell phone deal: Get a $800 prepaid MasterCard when you bring an eligible device and switch to T-Mobile
- Get $800 back via virtual prepaid MasterCard
- Get great service
- Must trade-in an eligible device
Bring an eligible phone to T-Mobile line and get $800 back in your pocket via a prepaid MasterCard. Then go ahead and enjoy T-Mobile's super-fast data speeds in style.
Plus, Apple TV+ is now included with T-Mobile's Magneta MAX plan. When you switch, T-Mobile is offering customers 6 months of free service.
T-Mobile offers a "Forever Upgrade," meaning that your new phone's value will be locked in at $800. You can upgrade to the latest phone every two years from here on out, maintaining that $800 value.
Best Verizon cell phone deal: Get $1,000 off the new iPhone 14 with eligible trade-in
- Enjoy Verizon's amazing coverage
- Save up to $1,000 on a new device
- Must trade-in eligible device
- Promo credits applied over 36 months
Save over $1,000 when you open a new line and trade-in an eligible device to Verizon Wireless.
Interested in an iPad or Apple Watch? If you're a new customer and you switch to Verizon, get an additional $200 gift card just for switching.
For a limited time, Verizon is also offering up to $120 off the new Apple Watch with a 5G iPhone purchase.
Best Boost Mobile phone deal: Get your first month of Unlimited Talk & Text for only $5
- Get Boost’s Unlimited Talk & Text plan for only $5 for the first month
- Offer only valid for new customers
Boost Mobile offers powerful and affordable data plans on T-Mobile’s super-fast network. Currently the company is offering new customers a steal for the first month. Get Unlimited Talk & Text for only $5 for the first month! That's a whole month of unlimited service for less than a Starbucks latte.
If you're looking for a discounted device, Boost Mobile also offers up to $350 off an iPhone Xs or iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Tips and tricks for finding the best cell phone deals
Here’s the golden rule of buying a new phone: never pay full price. There’s almost always a way to get the device you want with a discount, a BOGO deal, or some other promotional offer. Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping.
See if your carrier offers the latest phones for existing customers
Last year AT&T announced that it would start giving its existing customers some of the very same phone deals that it offers to new customers. Since then the other two major carriers—T-Mobile and Verizon—have followed suit.
Be sure to check your current carrier’s deals before running to a new company. It can help to actually call (so old fashioned) and tell a representative what you’re looking for (especially if you say you’re thinking of changing carriers!).
Look for refer-a-friend programs
You like your friends (most of the time) and you like saving money (all of the time), so why not put the two together? Many carriers—like Mint, Visible, and AT&T—will give you an account credit when you refer a friend.
While these account credits aren’t exactly phone deals, they do cut your monthly bill. Since many phones are bought on installments that you pay with your monthly bill, it’s basically the same thing.
Look for trade-in programs
Verizon is usually running some kind of incredible trade-in deal that will give you $700+ off your new device when you give up your old one. While not every carrier offers that kind of cash, most do have some sort of trade-in policy.
Remember, if you’re trading in an old iPhone with a busted screen, it’s going to be worth a lot less than a Samsung Galaxy S20+ that’s just a few years old.
Consider switching carriers to get the new customer treatment
We talked about how some carriers are beginning to offer deals to existing customers. But this is the exception to the rule. In most cases, switching to a new carrier opens up a whole new world of phone deals.
Companies often save their best deals—like iPhone BOGO offers—for those who sign up for an unlimited data plan. Besides, switching to the right company can save you money and give you more data (depending on what plan you’re on now).
Factor free streaming subscriptions and other perks into the total savings
Cell phone companies like to throw in perks to get you to sign up for their plans. Some perks are boring, like 500 MB free data when you travel south of the border. But there are other perks that are, to be honest, freakin’ awesome.
AT&T will give you a free Max subscription on certain plans. T-Mobile will hook you up with a Netflix plan. And Verizon plans often give you Disney+, Hulu, and other subscriptions! These may not be directly related to your phone purchase, but they sweeten the deal for sure.
FAQ: cell phone plans and deals
Welcome to the FAQ section, where we answer all of your burning questions about love, life, and cell phones. Well, mostly about cell phones actually.
It depends on what you want. It’s well known in the industry that Apple tends to unveil its new devices in September of each year, while Samsung usually sticks to a January release date. So, if you want a new iPhone or Galaxy phone, then those will be the times you’ll see a flurry of deals on new models.
You’ll also see a good amount of deals landing around Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holidays.
If you’re not interested in waiting for the right deal to land in your lap, then you can take the initiative by switching to a new carrier or adding a new line to your plan (to make it a family plan). Since pretty much every company has done away with restrictive contracts, it doesn’t really matter when you switch.
The short answer is yes, unless you’re really happy with your current carrier.
Not only are the best deals usually saved for new customers, but many companies will also give you other incentives to “break up” with your current provider. We've put the top 3 wireless providers to the test. Check out our reviews to see how Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T stack up against each other. For example, T-Mobile will pay up to $650 for you to pay off your phone or phone bill with your old carrier when you switch over. AT&T and Verizon will also provide steep discounts to switch over.
There is some incentive for folks to stay with their existing carrier. Most companies will offer upgrade deals every year or two. These deals can help you keep up with the latest models from Apple, Samsung, or Google, but they might not be as substantial as the deals for brand new customers.
If you think you should be eligible for an upgrade, give your carrier a call.
Mint Mobile has one of the best referral deals around. You can get up to $240 of credit when you refer up to five friends. That’s enough credit to get you a full year on Mint’s 10 GB plan! Plus, each friend that you refer will get a $15 credit for themselves. Everyone wins.
Most companies have a referral program. So, if you’ve got friends looking for a new phone plan, be sure to ask your current carrier about their referral deals. You may be able to score some credit for a new phone or to help pay your bill.
Most carriers change up the deals they offer year-round. The deals can vary, from heavily discounted devices to completely free devices. Currently, Metro by T-Mobile is offering a list of free 5G phones, including the Samsung A13 5G, moto g 5G, REVVL 6 5G, TCL 30 XE 5G, and the REVVL6 PRO 5G. This offer is while supplies last and only offered in participating stores.
Most major wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile almost always offer the base model of the latest iPhone, Google, and Android devices with a trade-in program, so you can always take advantage of one of these deals year-round if you have an old device to trade.
There are several contenders for the best smartphone and brands on the market in 2023. But after a lot of research and analysis on various devices from Apple to Samsung, here are some of our favorites.
- Best overall performance: The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra quite simply has everything. A good camera, a lightning-fast processor, a beautiful display, 5G capability, and pretty much everything else you could want. Samsung also released the Samsung Galaxy S22+, which has all the same features but with an even better display, performance, battery life, and camera.
- Best overall value: If you want a phone that balances incredible performance with a reasonable price, the iPhone 12 is the way to go. You’ll get Apple's beautiful design and solid reliability for quite cheaper than some of the companies' other models. The iPhone 13 is also a good way to go. For less than $800, you can get all that of the iPhone 12, but just with an even more powerful processor.
- Best for budget: Google has snuck into the cell phone market in recent years with some phones that rival the performance of Apple and Samsung but cost half as much. The Google Pixel 5 is no different. You can get these surprisingly powerful phones for between $400-$700 depending on the model.
There's a lot to look forward to in the smartphone space in 2023. Starting the year off strong in new smartphone releases, Samsung released the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. OnePlus has released the OnePlus 11, and Motorola released the new ThinkPhone.
There are rumors circulating about Apple releasing an iPhone 15 later this year, as well as a new Google Pixel release, but there are no official announcements as of yet.