How to Buy a Phone in Instalments in the USA?


How to Buy a Phone and Pay in Installments

You’ve lately settled in the USA, want to purchase a smartphone on EMI, and don’t know how to initiate, from where to initiate to buy a cell phone for yourself or your loving ones?

Well, I must say you don’t need to worry anymore because I’m here to your rescue!

Nowadays it’s not a hidden truth anymore how essential the existence of smartphones is in everyone’s life but buying one outright can be expensive. As of 2021, the average price for premium smartphone models topped $1,000, though the global average smartphone selling price in 2022 is only $374.

Buy a phone and pay in installments
Buy a phone and pay in installments

Financing the buy of a cell phone may seem like the better option when the budget is tight, and it is available through retailers, cell phone companies, cell phone manufacturers, and buy now pay later (BNPL) platforms. Understanding how the several financing options work for buying a smartphone can favor deciding whether it’s worth it.

Things to remember while planning for financing the buy of a cell phone:

  • Smartphone financing makes it comfortable to pay for smartphone purchases over time instead of paying cash upfront.
  • Options for financing an android or iPhone include promotional offers at retail stores which sell cell phones, financing through cell phone providers, and point-of-sale instalment loans.
  • Smartphone financing can prove to be convenient for people who don’t have cash on hand to buy an expensive phone.
  • Financing a smartphone may be found costly if it needs you to pay a steep annual percentage rate (APR) or fees.

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Personal Loan?

What Is Smartphone Financing?

Generally speaking, smartphone financing permits you to make payments over time. You select the phone as per your likes or dislikes and apply for financing. If you’re approved, you may have to pay a small initial down payment, then pay off the remaining balance in instalments to buy a phone in instalments. With some types of smartphone financing, no down payment is needed while with others, you may have a revolving line of credit.

Financing terms may vary based on where you’re purchasing the phone and how much you’re paying for it. For instance, you may have to repay the balance over 24 or 48 months. Smartphone financing can be presented as 0% interest when paid in full within a specified number of months.

However, it doesn’t mean that financing a cell phone is interest-free. If you’re availing the advantage of a 0% financing offer, then it may be a deferred-interest promotion in disguise. For that matter, if you fail to pay the balance in full before the end of the promotional period, then interest charges may be applied to the initial purchase amount.

Moreover, a credit check may be required to qualify for smartphone financing, and there may be other qualifications that you require to meet to be eligible for a smartphone payment installment plan.

Types of Smartphone Financing

Smartphone financing can be of different types, depending on the provider and it’s important to know for comparing financing terms. Here’s an overview of the different ways in which you can finance the purchase of a smartphone.

1. Retail smartphone financing

The first option to finance a smartphone is through a retail store. Best Buy, For instance, Best Buy offers 24-month financing on unlocked iPhones with a payment plan and Geek Squad purchases above a certain amount. To avail of this type of financing, you require to have a Best Buy Credit Card. No interest applies if the amount is paid in full within 24 months of sale. Buys made with a Best Buy credit card can also earn rewards.

2. Cellphone company smartphone financing

Another possibility for financing a smartphone is to go through your cell phone service provider. For example, Verizon permits eligible customers to pay off devices in installments with no interest and no finance charges. You will require a two-year contract to take advantage of this benefit, and an upgrade fee also applies. 

Some phone service providers like Spectrum, facilitate financing without a contract and bundle deals for TV, Internet, and landline service.

3. Cellphone manufacturer financing

Depending on the kind of phone you’re likely to purchase, you may be able to get financing through the manufacturer. Both Samsung and Apple, for instance, provide promotional financing for customers who want to buy new smartphones and pay for them over time. With Samsung, you need to apply for a financing account while with Apple, you need to have an Apple Card. You can buy an iPhone on an Apple card.

The merit of these types of financing is that you can utilize them to buy more than just smartphones. Samsung Financing can be utilized to purchase TVs or appliances, while you can use the Apple Card to buy AirPods, an Apple Watch, iPad, or a Mac. If you’re impressed with either of those brands, you may prefer this type of financing, but you should pay attention to the interest rate and fees.

4. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) financing

BNPL presents a growing trend in short-term financing which is also referred to as point-of-sale installment loans, BNPL platforms let you buy with a small down payment, and then pay them off in four or more instalments. For instance, Affirm lets you finance smartphones with Visible over 24 months.

BNPL financing may become your savior when you are on a tight budget, as some of these services don’t charge any interest or fees at all. However, not every cell phone company collaborates with BNPL platforms, so it may limit where you’re able to use it. But BNPL financing has one criticism it can lead to a cycle of debt if you have multiple payment instalment plans through which you can get a phone and pay in instalments.

While some BNPL platforms don’t need a credit check for short-term instalment plans, others do if you’re planning to invest in 24-month financing or longer.


Cellphone financing could make sense if you don’t have the budget to purchase a new phone out of pocket. When comparing smartphone-financing options, it’s necessary to check the terms and conditions carefully, so you know exactly how much you’re spending and when interest may accrue.

Also, don’t forget to consider the possibility of using a rewards credit card with a 0% promotional APR on purchases to finance a new phone instead. This way, you’re not locked into a set instalment agreement, and you may earn some rewards on your phone purchase in the process. Some rewards cards also put forward built-in cellphone insurance protection as an additional benefit.


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