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Best refurbished iPhones in September 2022

iPhone 12 Pro deal
(Image credit: Future)

Refurbished iPhones offer a great way to save money on your next iPhone purchase. The Apple Store, Best Buy, and Amazon are typically great starting points if you're looking for deals on refurbished iPhones. Depending on the model you choose, you could save from $50 to $250. 

If you're looking for unlocked refurbished iPhones — the Apple Store is your best bet. All refurbished iPhones sold via Apple are unlocked and Apple usually has a wide selection of models for sale. 

However, one of our favorite refurbished iPhone deals right now comes from Verizon. The carrier has the refurbished Phone 11 on sale for $0 (opens in new tab). Note that this deal is online only and valid on the 64GB and 128GB models. You'll also need to open a new unlimited data plan. 

To help you find the best refurbished iPhones, we're rounding up all the best deals below. If you're looking for deals on Apple's current flagships, make sure to check out our guide to the best iPhone 13 deals and Apple Store coupons

Apple event and refurbished iPhones

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will likely make their debut this week. That means iPhone 14 preorders could start as early as this Friday. If you're shopping for a new iPhone, we recommend waiting until after this week's Apple Event, so that we can get a clear picture of Apple's 2022 iPhone lineup. For example, the new iPhone 14 family could cause a price drop in all current-gen iPhones. Additionally, Apple could cut certain models from its lineup, which would result in new refurbished iPhone deals. Make sure to follow our Apple coverage for the latest news. 

Refurbished iPhones — best deals now

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Refurbished iPhone 11: free w/ new line @ Verizon (opens in new tab)
The iPhone 11 packs a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display (1792 x 828), Apple's A13 Bionic CPU, and dual 12MP ultra wide and wide cameras. (Unlike the "Pro" models it lacks the third rear lens). Open a new line at Verizon and you'll get this phone for free. Verizon lists it as "good" condition, which means it has serious scratches, scuff, or dents. It includes a 90-day limited warranty. 

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Unlocked refurbished iPhone 11: was $389 now $347 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
At $358, this is one of the cheapest refurbished iPhones you can get. Bonus points for being an unlocked model. Amazon lists the phone as "excellent condition" and it backs it with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee. 

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Unlocked refurbished iPhone XS (64GB): was $574 now $319 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
The iPhone XS boasts a 5.8-inch OLED (2436 x 1125 pixels) display, A12 Bionic CPU, dual 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8) and telephoto (ƒ/2.4) lenses, and a 7MP (ƒ/2.2) front camera. Amazon lists the phone as "looks like new" and it backs it with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee. [Editor's Note: I've been using this phone since its launch and it's still running like new. I use it for everything from Mario Kart to Netflix streaming). 

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Unlocked refurbished iPhone 11 Pro (256GB): was $999 now $739 @ Apple (opens in new tab)
Although it's a few years old, the iPhone 11 Pro is still a very capable iPhone for most users. It packs a 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR Display (2436 x 1125), A13 Bionic CPU, and 12MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra wide (f/2.4), and 12MP telephoto (f/2.0) lenses. You also get a 12MP (f/2.2) front camera. This model packs 256GB of storage and includes a one-year Apple warranty. 

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Refurbished iPhone XR: free w/ new line @ Verizon (opens in new tab)
The iPhone XR has officially been cut from Apple's lineup, so just finding this phone in stock is miraculous. You can get the phone for free if you open a new line at Verizon. It features a 6.1-inch LCD (1792 x 828), A12 Bionic CPU, 12MP (f/1.8) rear lens, and 7MP (f/2.2) front lens. Verizon lists it as "good" condition, which means it has serious scratches, scuff, or dents. It includes a 90-day limited warranty.

How to shop for refurbished iPhones

Buying any refurbished device is an easy way to save a few bucks. However, there are a few things you should always keep in mind when buying refurbished: 

  • Cosmetic defects: Many refurbished Apple iPhones are sold in "like new" condition. However, the descriptions may change based on retailer. As a result, we recommend you always read the condition of any iPhone before making any purchases. Some sites like Amazon will list the info on the product page, but you may need to poke around before you find it. 
  • Warranty info: Refurbished iPhones purchased from the Apple Store are all backed by a one-year Apple warranty. In addition, you also get up to 90 days of support and the option to further protect your device with Apple Care. However, that's not always the case with refurbs sold by other retailers. So we recommend you always look for the warranty info and if possible avoid buying refurbished Apple iPhones with no warranty info listed. 
  • Return info: Buyer's remorse is real. For that reason you should know the return window for your your refurbished device. Apple, for instance, has a 14-day returns policy, whereas Amazon has a 90-day policy. 

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.