Are you planning on taking advantage of holiday deals and picking up a new smartphone this month? Both Sprint and Verizon offer trade-in programs to help you get credit for your old cell phone or – if your device isn’t in working condition – they’ll recycle it for a good cause.
Sprint’s buy-back program accepts unwanted cell phones and aircards from any wireless carrier or manufacturer at Sprint stores or through the mail. Depending on the model and condition of the phone, you may be eligible for an instant credit of $50-$275 that you can use to purchase a new phone at a Sprint store or to add to your existing wireless account. Sprint guarantees a $50 credit for even the oldest iPhone models.
If your phone can’t be repaired and resold, its parts will be used to fix other broken devices or it will be broken down and recycled into new products. All proceeds from the sale of these nonworking cell phones fund Internet safety programs for children through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, National Education Association Health Information Network and Family Online Safety Institute.
Sprint says its buy-back program has kept more than 26 million cell phones out of the landfill so far.
Verizon also collects used phones and tablets, regardless of carrier and manufacturer, through its online trade-in program. After appraising your device’s value online and mailing back the device, you’ll receive a Verizon gift card to spend on new phones and accessories or to pay your Verizon wireless bill.
You can also donate your old phone to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which provides used working cell phones to victims and survivors of domestic violence as they rebuild their lives.
All nonworking phones collected by Verizon that cannot be repaired are recycled, and the company provides grants to domestic violence prevention organizations.
Since launching its trade-in-program in September 2010, Verizon has recycled and reused half a million cell phones and tablets and diverted 70 tons of electronic waste from landfills, the company says.