How to use the Apple Upgrade Program to get an iPhone XR, and prepare for pre-orders now

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 15
Apple has an easy way for you to get the new iPhone with the Apple Upgrade Program. AppleInsider lays out a potentially money-saving option for Apple customers -- especially those that like to upgrade every year.

The iPhone upgrade program, with the new iPhones


Apple has officially launched the loan pre-approval process for new and existing members looking to purchase an iPhone XR and pay on an installment plan with AppleCare+ included. Those interested, as of Monday afternoon, could start the application process through the Apple Store app before the commencement of pre-orders.

This could save time, and could get you the device you want faster, versus waiting to get it done when orders open. However, AppleInsider has learned that like for the iPhone XR, the bank handling Apple's upgrade program is manually calling a large number of people preparing for the pre-order period to confirm user data -- so if this is what you're counting on for Friday's pre-order, you'd better start now.

Here's how the program works. The customer, once he or she has passed a credit check and is approved, signs up, and pays installments each month for 24 months.

Applicants must have a valid credit card -- not a debit card -- which is charged monthly as part of the program. Wireless service activation is also required, and the customer's credit can't be frozen at the time that they apply.

the new iPhone Upgrade


After 12 payments, customers are eligible to upgrade to a new iPhone, providing they have made all of the payments, their account is in good standing and their phone remains in good condition.

Upgrading requires applying for and enrolling in a new iPhone Upgrade Program, rather than rolling over the previous one. That means initiating the process again, including a new credit check. So, if you've got a credit freeze in place, be sure to lift it before you start.

The 12 payments sometimes don't line up to a year after the original signup, because the first payment is due at signing, so customers should be sure they've made 12 payments and not 11. Once users have made six payments, they can also pay the equivalent of the rest of their 12 payments and upgrade early.

iPhone upgrade image


Those who upgrade after 12 payments must also return their old phones to Apple, although customers who pay the full 24 months own their phones free and clear.

There are other specific rules. AppleCare+ for iPhone or AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss is included, but users can only go to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers for repairs.

The iPhone XR is priced at $37.41 per month under the Upgrade Program.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    ejieji Posts: 38member
    AppleInsider said:

    Wireless service activation is also required...
    ... and that's why the upgrade program is a complete dud for folks like me. To then use the iPhone on a carrier like Cricket, it takes time and money to cancel the wireless service you're forced to sign up for every single time you upgrade to a newer model.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I just made my last payment on my iPhone 7 under this program and applied to upgrade to an iPhone Xs.  Told I needed a new application (understandable because I just ended my last one), so I filled out the forms and was rejected for some unknown reason (exact same credit card, address, etc).   So "IF" i purchase a new phone it will not be using this upgrade program.  

    I signed up for the Upgrade program when Apple first introduced it with their world phones and renewed it once.  It never really worked for me (or anyone else that I know that tried it) because Apple changed from a world phone to models with different supported bands (Qualcom litigation) and Apple wouldn't allow purchase of a phone from a different carrier even though both carriers were in the program.   It was and remains a mess....
  • Reply 4 of 20
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Obviously because the money on a debit card could disappear and then the phone seller would be at greater financial risk, whereas with credit there’s a buffer between the phone seller and the customer who still may be a potential deadbeat.
    bshankanantksundaramGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 20
    eji said:
    AppleInsider said:

    Wireless service activation is also required...
    ... and that's why the upgrade program is a complete dud for folks like me. To then use the iPhone on a carrier like Cricket, it takes time and money to cancel the wireless service you're forced to sign up for every single time you upgrade to a newer model.
    Are you serious?! It takes like 60 seconds to reapply
  • Reply 6 of 20
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Obviously because the money on a debit card could disappear and then the phone seller would be at greater financial risk, whereas with credit there’s a buffer between the phone seller and the customer who still may be a potential deadbeat.
    Exactly! All those wannabe entrepreneurs who drive for Uber could easily have insufficient funds from their bank accounts
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 20
    emoeller said:
    I just made my last payment on my iPhone 7 under this program and applied to upgrade to an iPhone Xs.  Told I needed a new application (understandable because I just ended my last one), so I filled out the forms and was rejected for some unknown reason (exact same credit card, address, etc).   So "IF" i purchase a new phone it will not be using this upgrade program.  

    I signed up for the Upgrade program when Apple first introduced it with their world phones and renewed it once.  It never really worked for me (or anyone else that I know that tried it) because Apple changed from a world phone to models with different supported bands (Qualcom litigation) and Apple wouldn't allow purchase of a phone from a different carrier even though both carriers were in the program.   It was and remains a mess....
    You must have bad bad credit. Mine isn’t great, but I qualified 
  • Reply 8 of 20
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    eightzero said:
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
    Yes and yes. At least on the plan I’m on now. It’s a pretty sweet deal if you will upgrade on time and could use the AppleCare (and don’t 
    care for selling used iphones on Craigslist). 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Financing is free. AppleCare is not, but is mandatory. I'm looking at my reapply page and see that I can get a Carrier-FREE edition of either XS
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Sigh. October 4th for me. Ah well. Time for my Vaja case to arrive. [smiley face]
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Thanks for the heads up, i just went through the process,  I already have an Iphone X on the plan, so seems silly not to upgrade every year since your paying the same amount. But this year I'm going from a X to Xr save a little money, also going to 128gb from 256 gb , I only used all the space because I could, not because I really needed to. Hoping midnight goes smoothly.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,342member
    bshank said:
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Obviously because the money on a debit card could disappear and then the phone seller would be at greater financial risk, whereas with credit there’s a buffer between the phone seller and the customer who still may be a potential deadbeat.
    Exactly! All those wannabe entrepreneurs who drive for Uber could easily have insufficient funds from their bank accounts
    But that's known instantaneously and the purchase is rejected.   So there's no reason not to accept debit cards other than merchant fees on debit cards are higher than credit cards.   
  • Reply 14 of 20
    That’s crap. Why can’t debit cards be accepted? I mean what’s the difference between actually having the money in the bank and theoretically having the money in the bank that Apple decided the theoretical option is the only way to go?
    Simply because having the money in the bank for the first payment in no way guarantees you'll have it for the second and subsequent payments.   With a credit card they don't need to worry about such nonsense.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    eightzero said:
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
    Generally speaking, financing ANYTHING on a credit card is a fool's game.  They charge interest like a pay-day lender.  
  • Reply 16 of 20
    marklark said:
    Financing is free. AppleCare is not, but is mandatory. I'm looking at my reapply page and see that I can get a Carrier-FREE edition of either XS
    I'm wondering which version of AppleCare?
    Is it the one covering theft and loss or the traditional one only covering damage?   It would really suck to have the traditional one and then have somebody steal your phone as you walked out of the store -- while you continued paying for "their phone" for the next two years.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    gordygordy Posts: 966member
    I used this back when it started for 0% to acquire my 6S.  It appears to cost more now--akin to just buying the phone + AppleCare on my credit card--so I'll cut out the middleman this time.

    If you have to use a CC to purchase, and there's interest on top of your credit card's interest rate, what's the point in this extra step?
  • Reply 18 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,571member
    eightzero said:
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
    Generally speaking, financing ANYTHING on a credit card is a fool's game.  They charge interest like a pay-day lender.  
    Did you miss the important bit? (bold added by me)
  • Reply 19 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,571member
    marklark said:
    Financing is free. AppleCare is not, but is mandatory. I'm looking at my reapply page and see that I can get a Carrier-FREE edition of either XS
    I'm wondering which version of AppleCare?
    Is it the one covering theft and loss or the traditional one only covering damage?   It would really suck to have the traditional one and then have somebody steal your phone as you walked out of the store -- while you continued paying for "their phone" for the next two years.
    AppleCare+ as standard, but you can add Theft & Loss in as an extra, and the additional cost will be split out over the payment.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,136member
    crowley said:
    eightzero said:
    Maybe this is obvious, but is this financing free? Is the AppleCare included free? If not, I'm not sure I see an advantage here at all. Why not just buy the phone outright (add the applecare if you want)? Many credit cards offer 12+ months of financing as a promo. Put it on one of those if you don't have the cash.
    Generally speaking, financing ANYTHING on a credit card is a fool's game.  They charge interest like a pay-day lender.  
    Did you miss the important bit? (bold added by me)
    No
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