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NerdWallet is here to help you win Black Friday, while leaving your budget intact. We spend the time, you save the money. Visit regularly for holiday shopping tips and announcements about your favorite retailers. Black Friday is Nov. 27.
Black Friday sales are ripe with savings on shiny new electronics — and that certainly includes cell phones. Phone carriers and retailers bring their best deals to the competition, usually in the form of steep discounts or bonus gift cards. So whether you’re team Apple, Samsung, Google or something else, it’s a good time to purchase a device.
Here’s the scoop on Black Friday cell phone deals.
What are the best Black Friday cell phone deals in 2020?
There are many notable cell phone deals on the horizon — and several already underway. Check out some of this year’s enticing bargains:
AT&T is offering up to $700 off certain iPhones, including the iPhone 12, 11 Pro and XR. The limited-time deal is valid with eligible plan and trade-in.
Costco is throwing in a $350 Costco Shop Card with purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G on a qualifying AT&T plan.
Best Buy’s sale features the iPhone SE starting at $199.99 with activation and in-store trade-in of an iPhone 7 or newer model.
Best Buy’s generous phone discounts also include up to $750 off the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G or Note20 5g series phones with qualified activation and trade-in on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint (under T-Mobile) networks. The Google Pixel 5 is $200 off with qualified activation on Verizon ($499.99 after savings) or $50 off unlocked, plus shoppers get another $50 in savings with qualified activation.
Target is giving away up to $400 in store gift cards with qualifying purchase of select Samsung phones.
Cell phone carriers and retailers will have plenty of other device deals available.
What were the best Black Friday cell phone deals in 2019?
Some of the best bargains last year came from retailers. Check out the highlights below:
Best Buy offered up to $500 off a new iPhone 11 or 11 Pro with qualified activation and trade-in through AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.
Target shoppers could score a $550 Target gift card with the purchase of a Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL with service through Verizon or AT&T.
T-Mobile had a buy one, get one free deal on Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10 (multiple models) for new and existing customers who added a new voice line.
How to decide if it’s worth it
If you’re in the market for a new cell phone, Black Friday is an optimal time to buy one. Bonus gift cards and buy one, get one free deals can help you save a considerable amount of money.
But in order to be eligible for most Black Friday phone deals, you’ll need to be on a specific plan or network. Don’t qualify? It might be worth switching carriers or plans to capitalize on a major promotion.
Cell phone deals will continue through the holiday season, so if you miss out on a deal now, you might find a comparable promotion later.
How to budget for a cell phone
While a basic cell phone is a necessity for most people, a top-of-the-line model is considered a luxury. Decide what kind of phone ticks your boxes and whether it's going to fit into your budget as a "need" or a "want."
Remember, it’s not just about the device. What you spend on a cell phone plan can take a large chunk out of your budget, too.