Though some units shipped early, formal availability for Samsung's new Galaxy S21 series starts today. That means "pre-order" is now "buy" at most retailers, and many of the early pre-order credit promotions are gone. However, trade-in values at Samsung's store remain pretty great, and you can still get $50-100 (or more) in store credit, plus a SmartTag.
During the pre-order period, folks could enjoy $100-200 in store credit depending on the model they get. That drops today to $50-100, though you can still get the free Galaxy SmartTag. And if you placed an earlier reservation at Samsung's storefront, you can snag an extra $50 in credit on top of that for $100-150 depending on the model. There's also an extra 5% off if you pick up an S21 or S21+ with a Samsung Money by SoFi account through the Samsung Store. Samsung also has financing options available if you prefer to pay over time.
A photo gallery of the journey from the Samsung factory to the company's storefronts.
With how good the trade-in values were this year for last year's S20, I honestly expected Samsung might nerf the numbers, but we're told they're sticking around for a limited time — don't dawdle too long if you were on the pre-order fence.
If you'd prefer to pick up a phone through a carrier, they're all still running their own promotions as well. T-Mobile has an offer that nets you a base S21 for free via 24 months of bill credits (or up to $800 off) for certain trade-in models, plus a buy-one-get-one promotion. Verizon has a similar $750-600 for trade-in depending on whether you're signing a new line or an upgrade, as well as a BOGO offer. AT&T is also doing up to $800 off on trade-ins via 30 months of bill credits.
Best Buy also has up to $800 off after activation and trade-in, plus a handful of other slightly different carrier options.
The "wait for reviews" penalty for the S21 series this year isn't too bad, so you've still got time to snag a decent deal picking one up.