Best Deals on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Phones

Bree Fowler
·5 min read

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Samsung's new Galaxy S21 phones are officially available for preorder. While they certainly aren’t cheap, there are deals to be had if you’re willing to shop around.

A basic version of the Galaxy S21 and S21+, which includes 128 gigabytes of storage, costs $800 and $1,100, respectively. The super-premium and super-sized S21 Ultra starts at $1,200.

Though still on the high end, those sums represent a $200 drop in price compared with last year’s models.

As far as features go, they include a handful of new camera tricks, Qualcomm’s latest premium processor, and a promise of longer battery life. You also get OLED displays, 5G connectivity, and the multicamera setups we’ve come to expect on a flagship phone.

Whether you preorder through the manufacturer or one of the wireless carriers, Samsung will throw in up to $250 in credit—$150 for a S21, $200 for a S21+, and $250 for a S21 Ultra—that you can spend on accessories in the company's online store.

That could include the new noise-canceling Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds, which will retail for $200 when they go on sale later this month, or a wall adapter for charging your phone. In a break with tradition, Samsung will not be including a set of wired headphones or a wall adapter with its new models this time around.

The move mirrors one made last fall by Apple, which didn’t include either accessory with iPhone 12 models.

In addition to the Samsung Credit, the manufacturer will also throw in one of its new SmartTags. The $30 device is basically Samsung’s version of a Tile. You can attach it to any personal item you might misplace—your purse, car keys, or dog—then track the item with your phone.

To get you to preorder, Samsung and the wireless carriers have sweetened those offers with discounts, trade-in deals, and other incentives. Be prepared to move fast because these options tend to be short-lived.

But before you pounce, be sure to read the fine print. Many offers come with a catch or two.

To start, you typically need a good credit history and a trade-in phone in good working order.

Samsung

Order a Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra directly from Samsung and you can get up to $700 off the regular price with a qualifying trade-in.

The deal requires that you finance the purchase through Samsung for 24 or 36 months. Acceptable trade-ins include all S20 and Note20 models, along with any of the iPhone 12 models. Other phones are worth lesser amounts.

Got a phone with a broken screen? You can still get up to $550 for it, Samsung says.

AT&T

This carrier is offering up to $800 off each of the three new phones to any customer who adds or upgrades a line.

In theory, this makes one S21 free, but there's a catch. You have to trade in an eligible phone, sign up for one of the company’s unlimited plans, and finance the device through AT&T over 30 months.

Eligible trade-ins include Samsung models dating back to the S9 and iPhones as old as the iPhone 8. Earlier models can get you a $350 credit.

The discount comes in the form of monthly credits. Cancel early and you lose all remaining credits, which means you have to pay off the phone immediately.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile, which has merged with rival carrier Sprint, is offering $800 off the price of any of the S21 models with a qualifying trade-in.

Phones qualifying for the full amount include Galaxy models dating back to the S10 and iPhones as old as the XR. Earlier phones, including the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8, can earn you up to $400 off. And a Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7 can get you up to $200 off.

You’ll receive a one-time bill credit for the value of your old phone. The balance of your new phone purchase will be spread over the next 24 months.

If you need two phones and don’t have a trade-in, T-Mobile also has a buy-one-get-one offer reserved for new customers who sign up for at least two lines of qualifying service and existing customers who add a line.

When you buy the new phones, you get $800 in bill credits, essentially making one S21 free. The credits are spread over 24 months. Cancel your T-Mobile service early and you’re on the hook for the remaining balance.

If you’re okay with buying an older model, this deal also applies to financed purchases of Galaxy S10, S20, and Note20 series phones, as well as the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Fold2 5G.

Verizon

This carrier has a pair of offers. The best, of course, is reserved for new customers switching to Verizon from another carrier.

Those shoppers can get up to $1,000 off any of the phones with a qualifying trade-in, essentially canceling out the cost of a S21+.

Existing customers can save up to $600 on an S21 series phone with an eligible trade-in.

In both cases, you have to finance your purchase through Verizon and sign up for one of the company's unlimited service plans. The discounts come in the form of monthly credits spread over 24 months.

Cancel your Verizon service early and you lose any remaining discounts and are on the hook for your remaining balance.