How to trade in, recycle, or donate your Galaxy Note 10


If you plan to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, learn ways to trade in or recycle your Galaxy Note 10 in person using one of these services.

Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 event featured announcements unveiling the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, and three other devices. With so many new top-tier devices on the way from the leading Android device maker, you might decide it’s time to upgrade from last year’s Samsung flagship, the Galaxy Note 10.

If you are leasing a phone, you can simply turn it in for a new device; but if you own your Galaxy Note 10, you have a lot more options–most of which come with a cash reward. 

Smartphones from leading manufacturers–Apple and Samsung in particular–can be worth quite a bit when given to the right organization. As TechRepublic found when trying to recycle an iPhone, prices can vary a lot between recycling services based on their supply and the demand for certain devices. 

In the iPhone recycling article, a number of the services listed will make you an offer, send you a return envelope, and make you wait for the device to arrive so they can inspect it and offer you the quoted price–or less if they don’t think it’s in as good of condition as you reported online. 

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (TechRepublic Premium)

That wait and uncertainty can mean not getting a new Galaxy Note 20 as quickly, or for as good a deal, as you expected. For this guide, the only services included are ones you can go to in person to immediately hand over your device. The return value given in this article is for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 10 with 256 GB of storage in good condition (meaning little evidence of wear).


Located around the country, EcoATM kiosks take a device, inspect it, and hand over a cash voucher right on the spot–the system is automated. I’ve used it before, and it’s pretty quick and convenient. 

As TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox said in her iPhone recycling article, the prices EcoATM offers are a bit low, but they are instantaneous. My estimate for the aforementioned unlocked Note 10 was a measly $130.

Best Buy trade-in program

Best Buy’s smartphone trade-in program gives a decent amount in return for a device, but there’s a caveat: It’s in the form of a Best Buy gift card. If you plan to use one of its in-store cellular providers to get your new device, you may not be able to use that gift card to buy a device directly from Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T.

Devices can be dropped off at Best Buy or mailed in, and I was given an estimate of $320 for an unlocked Note 10.

Trade in to your carrier

All of the major carriers accept in-store returns for account credit, so whether you intend to stay with your current carrier or jump ship to whomever ends up offering the Galaxy Note 20, you should be able to swap your current Note 10 for account credit for a new device. 

These offers are available in-store or online.

  • Sprint: $301
  • T-Mobile: $301
  • Verizon: $291
  • AT&T: $290

Recycling and donation services that don’t offer cash

If you just want to be rid of your Note 10, or any other device, there are charitable and free ways to hand it over without being paid. 

Cell Phones for Soldiers collects used devices at drop-off locations around the US and sends them to troops stationed overseas so they can contact family stateside. 

SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Retail stores like Lowes, Kroger, Safeway, Batteries Plus, Walmart, and others typically have recycle drop-off stations for smartphones. You won’t be rewarded, but your device will be recycled into new electronics instead of ending up in a landfill.

Local municipalities typically offer electronics recycling, but check with your local government to be sure and find out how to do so. 

Regardless of how you choose to get rid of your old device, be sure to do a factory reset before handing it over—the last thing you want is giving your personal information over to a stranger to pick through.

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Image: Samsung

How to recycle Apple Cards: A greener way to cut the credit line


Many people are unsure exactly how to dispose of the mostly titanium Apple Cards. In this post, we detail how to recycle Apple Cards and more.

Image: Teena Maddox/TechRepublic

In August of 2019, Apple launched the Apple Card across the US. The credit card works with the Apple Wallet app to streamline payments for Apple customers. Cardholders who want the actual card can request it via the Wallet app. Eventually, individuals may eventually want to cancel their Apple Card for any number of reasons. Historically, many have often sliced their old cards when they were finished with them.

Unlike traditional plastic credit cards, the Apple card is made predominantly of titanium. This presents a number of difficulties when it comes to disposing of the card once customers choose to cancel the line of credit. Needless to say, one cannot simply slice a titanium card to smithereens using a standard pair of household scissors or push the product through a shredder.

For this reason, we’ve curated this guide explaining how to dispose of Apple Cards when the time comes. Fortunately, Apple makes the process exceptionally easy and straightforward.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

How to recycle Apple Cards

As part of the Apple Trade In program, individuals are able to trade-in eligible old or unwanted Apple products in exchange for an Apple Store Gift Card. The company will also recycle old Apple products that are not eligible for Apple Store Gift cards. This route gives people the ability to recycle Apple Cards the same way they would go about recycling their other Apple products. Although, it’s important to note that Apple does not offer gift cards for old Apple Cards.

Individuals interested in pursuing this option will need to visit the Apple Trade In website. Once on the page, you’ll need to scroll down and select “other devices” from the row of Apple product options. Next, select “Apple Card” from the drop-down menu. Then, fill out a short form with basic address information. This will allow Apple to ship you a prepaid label for the return shipping process.

SEE: Rural America is in the midst of a mental health crisis. Tech could help some patients see a way forward. (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic)

Individuals uncomfortable with shipping their canceled Apple card back to the company via a prepaid shipping label can always use an industrial pair of scissors to slice the defunct card to shreds. However, if an individual chooses to cut up the card and mail the old shredded Apple card to the company, the company will not be able to recycle the item, per an Apple customer service representative we spoke with.

We reached out to a number of metal recycling companies and none of these organizations were interested in individually recycling an old Apple Card although individuals could have better luck with metal recyclers in their areas. Regardless, simply using the prepaid label and return process may be the easiest ways to recycle Apple Cards.

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