Like clockwork each year, the biggest tech companies unveil their newest smartphones. With surprising and exciting updates arriving year after year, it’s no surprise that we all want to upgrade our phones immediately after the newest Galaxy or iPhone is announced.

But upgrading every year comes with one huge downside: it’s incredibly expensive. The newest smartphones are priced at over $1,000, making an upgrade a serious financial investment. If you’re looking to get a brand-new smartphone without paying such a sky-high price, here are your options.

Trade In Your Current Phone

Trade-ins have long been a popular option for buying a new cell phone. Cell phone carriers offer customers a discount on a newer model if they’re willing to trade in their older one, cutting costs and making a sale simultaneously.

Yet you could get a brand new smartphone for free if you opt for a wireless carrier’s trade in offer. Many wireless carriers will let customers trade in an older phone for absolutely any new model – including those just released – and upgrade free of charge if you’ve used your old phone for at least one year.

So, check with your current wireless carrier to see if you’re eligible to trade in your old phone for a newer, more advanced model at zero cost. You can also consider switching wireless carriers if they’re offering a deal or discount for trade-ins if you’re looking for the best possible deal on any carrier.

Of course, as smartphone prices have risen trade-ins have become more difficult. Carriers don’t always offer a fair trade-in value, and some will only let customers trade in their phones every few years for a discount. Yet trading your old model in for a newer one can still come with a huge price cut, even if you can’t get one of the top smartphones for free.

Sell Your Phone Back to a Retailer

Sometimes cold hard cash is the best way to save when you’re looking for an upgrade. Fortunately, because today’s smartphones are designed to last for many years, there’s a huge market for used phones – and you can sell your old model, making enough money to score a deep discount on a new one.

Big-name retailers and wireless companies will let you trade in your smartphone for cash or credit. Just share the model and the condition your phone’s in – the fewer flaws, the more money you’ll get – and they’ll offer you a price. Accept that price and you can then turn around and use that cash or credit for an upgrade.

Here’s a small sample of some of the resale programs you can take advantage of:

  1. Hand over your smartphone to Apple either in person or through the mail and you can get a discount on a new iPhone.
  2. Visit your cell phone carrier’s local store and swap your old phone for credit. That credit can then be used just like cash to buy a new phone.
  3. Visit Best Buy, which offers store credit for any old smartphones – and the retailer accepts phones of all makes and models. The store credit can be used just like cash to buy a new device.

You can also skip the middleman and sell your phone yourself. Retailers will often offer you less cash or credit because they’re going to turn around, mark up the value of your old phone, and sell it to make a profit. You can do the same; just head online to sites that allow users to sell used smartphones, and you’ll be able to sell your phone for a price you think is fair.

Consider a New Wireless Plan

Comparison shopping, or looking at what deals different wireless carriers are offering, is one of the best ways to get an upgraded smartphone for less. If you aren’t tied to your current carrier, feel free to shop around for the very best discounts or offers.

In an effort to attract new customers seeking the latest smartphones, wireless companies will offer deals and discounts as soon as new model is released. That’s why it pays to check into what your local wireless carriers are offering. Could you get a few hundred dollars off the new iPhone? Is there a super rare deal on Galaxy smartphones if you sign a two-year contract? Look into what different competitors are offering and see how big of a deal you can score.

And sometimes, big box retailers offer great deals too. Check out stores like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy – these retailers often offer big discounts or bonuses on just-released phones. You can find deals specific to certain wireless carriers or you can buy a phone and have it activated on your carrier once you’ve saved significantly.

Upgrade Your Smartphone Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re ready to swap your outdated smartphone for the latest, greatest models unveiled by the biggest names in the industry, you don’t have to pay full price. With trade-ins, payment plans, and a host of options offered by cell phone companies, it is possible to score an upgraded, brand-new device for far less than the list price.

Of course, smartphone prices change rapidly over the course of the year. When a new phone is released, it’s at its most expensive price – yet just a few months later, the price could drop or enticing and affordable offers could appear. The best deals could appear when you least expect them to, which is why it’s important to stay updated and continue comparing prices and trade-in offers.

Before you decide to upgrade your smartphone, make sure you take the time to do a little research, searching online for the best deals to lower your overall cost. And check out different wireless carriers and retailers, as the best price may not be available through your own cell phone company.