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Can you trade in your phone? How and where for Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone

Collage of a woman smiling in front of recycle arrows at her traded in phone.

Maybe you have a nice smartphone. You take care of it, everything works, and it’s a decent brand. You’d like to spring for the latest model, but is it worth the money? And besides, you already have one. If it ain’t broke, as they say…

But there’s a surprisingly simple and potentially cost-effective option: trading in your mobile

Let’s break it down.

What is a mobile trade in?

Collage of a woman turning in her old phone and holding up a new one in a shopping bag.

In a nutshell, trading in your phone means you give your provider your old model in exchange for credit towards your bill. This can be a clever way to reduce your environmental impact while boosting your savings. Two-fer!

There are a few common terms and conditions, though. You usually need to have an existing mobile plan with the place you’re trading in, especially the Big Three telcos, and you need to own the phone outright (i.e. you’re not still paying it off). Other T&Cs will depend on the provider.

Provided you meet the eligibility criteria, however, and you’re not overly sentimental about your current phone, this can be a great way to save money on your monthly plan.

FAQs about mobile trade-ins

What is a mobile trade-up?

A trade-up means you exchange your old phone for credit towards a new device, usually as part of a monthly plan. A trade-in, however, just gives you credit towards your bill.

Can you trade in your tablet?

Yes! Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone will all let you trade in your eligible old tablet for credit. Check out data-only plans for your tablet here, or read below for the general how-to with each provider.

What if my phone isn’t eligible to trade in?

Maybe your phone is too old or too damaged: either way, you’re not eligible for a trade-in. You can still recycle your device through MobileMuster, Australia’s official phone recycling service, or with a local recycling centre. You might even fetch some dollarydoos for it through Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree – refurbished phones are a thing.

Can I trade in a phone from an old network with a new network?

Generally yes, you can trade in devices you bought from one mobile provider with another, provided you meet their eligibility criteria (and depending on the provider).

What if my trade-in phone was rejected or sent back?

There are a number of reasons why your trade-in phone might get rejected and sent back to you. It could be the device was in a worse condition than reported, or was a different model than you claimed, or maybe your security protocols like TouchID or FaceID were still active. Check with your carrier for more information and the next steps.

Can you get a new iPhone 14 with a trade up? Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone explained

Yes! Depending on the mobile provider, it's possible you could nab a new iPhone 14 series device by trading up your old one.


Telstra has just announced a special offer lasting until 11:59pm on 15 October 2022. If you pre-order the iPhone 14 and trade up an eligible phone, you could get up to $1,000 of credit towards your bill (conditions apply).


Vodafone has come out with a trade up plan if you're keen on getting a new iPhone 14 series smartphone. If you preorder the iPhone 14 models (normal, Plus, Pro, or Pro Max) on any Vodafone Infinite Plan, trade in an eligible device, and stay connected for over 12, 24, or 36 months, you could save up $1300 (conditions apply).

Offer ends 9 October 2022, and you must trade in by 23 October (T&Cs).


Optus hasn't announced any special offers for iPhone 14 trade ups just yet, but the new smartphone series is available to pre-order through the telco, and Optus's trade in service still stands for eligible customers.

What is Boost Mobile's trade-in app?

Youth-oriented MVNO Boost Mobile has just launched their new mobile trade-in app, which you can download free from the Apple Store or Google Play.

The app lets you perform six key self performance checks and submit your handset for a trade-in quote with Boost Mobile (with conditions).

Eligible phone models include a few generations of Apple iPhones, Google Pixels, and Samsung Galaxies.

Boost Mobile took home a few wins at the Mozo People's Choice Awards for the best mobile phone plans

Things to do before trading in your mobile or tablet

Collage of a blank iPhone on a blue and checkered background.

First, some obvious housekeeping. Before trading in your device, keep everything you want from it. Make a backup or two and remove any SIM cards, cases, or bling. But don’t do a factory reset just yet – your provider will want to assess its condition.

You can do this either at home if the provider has a system set up or in-store. Basically, your provider will run your gadget through some standard tests or ask you questions (checking speeds, hardware, screen integrity, brightness, camera lenses, etc.) so they can determine if your phone is eligible for a trade-in – and if so, how much you can get for it. 

Once you get a quote and you know you’re eligible, you can decide whether to trade in your phone. Below, we’ve outlined the general procedure with the Big Three providers.

Telstra trade in

Collage two people sending messages on their smartphones.

If you’re an existing Telstra customer and you own an eligible phone or tablet, then you may be a good candidate for Telstra’s trade-in service powered by their partner, Kingfisher. 

By trading in your mobile in good condition, you could get up to $1175 in credit applied to your next Telstra bill (applied by the second month, conditions apply).

Eligible brands include:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Google
  • Oppo
  • Huawei.

Keep in mind only specific models are eligible for trade-in, so if your device is more than a few years old or damaged, you might not get as much for it.

To start the process, either visit in-store or sign into the Trade-In portal through My Telstra using your Telstra ID. Once you’ve completed the device assessment and received a quote you’re happy with, Telstra will send you instructions on how to mail in your old phone using Australia Post. 

After Telstra receives and accepts your traded-in phone, they will apply the credit to your bill within two billing cycles or reimburse you via your AutoPay method (debit or credit card) if you’re on an upfront or data-only plan.

Optus trade in

Collage of two people reaching out to each other within their smartphone screens.

If you’re an eligible new or existing Optus customer, you can potentially trade in your device for store credit (or trade up for credit towards a new device). Their trade-in service is powered by their partner Alegre. 

While it doesn’t have standard trade-in values available, a simple search of Optus's trade-in quote tool with your phone's IMEI number can give you an idea of how much bill credit you could receive (conditions apply).

Eligible phone brands include:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Google
  • Oppo
  • Huawei.

Keep in mind if your device is old or damaged, you may not get as much credit for it (if any). 

To start the process, either visit an Optus store or get an online quote using their search tool. Keep in mind online quotes are only valid for online trade-ins: your quote may be different in-store. 

Optus then will ask you a few questions to assess the condition of your device before giving you a quote for how much credit you could receive for it. If you’re happy to proceed, Optus will then send you a prepaid satchel for you to post your old device. You can also trade in your device at the store or over the phone.

Once Optus receives and accepts your device, you’ll receive credit applied to your bill within two billing cycles.

Vodafone trade in

Collage of a young woman swiping on her smartphone.

If you own an eligible phone and your mobile plan is through Vodafone, you may be able to trade in your device for credit to your next bill or to a new device mobile plan, powered by Vodafone’s trade-in partner Asurion. 

According to Vodafone’s trade-in quote tool, by trading in a well-maintained Apple iPhone 13 512GB, you could receive up to $1025 in credit. 

Vodafone will also run special deals from time to time where you can trade up your old phone for $1,000 in credit towards a new one (so long as you stay connected to a Vodafone plan for a certain period, T&Cs apply). 

Eligible phone brands include:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Google
  • Oppo
  • Huawei.

To start the process, either visit a Vodafone store or use the online tool for an estimated quote on eligible devices. If you’re keen to continue, download the free Vodafone Trade-In app via the Apple Store or Google Play to check your eligibility and assess your device’s condition. 

After your device has been appraised, the app will give you a unique Trade-In ID which can be used to complete the exchange either in-store or over the phone (1300 650 410). Keep in mind your final credit might change after the condition is assessed by either Vodafone staff or Asurion.

Once Vodafone has received and accepted your phone, your credit will be processed and applied to future bills until exhausted. You can only trade in once per year or trade up twice per year.

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Evlin DuBose
Evlin DuBose
Senior Money Writer

Evlin, RG146 Generic Knowledge certified and a UTS Communications graduate, is a leading voice in finance news. As Mozo's go-to writer for RBA and interest rates, her work regularly features in Google's Top Stories and major publications like