Apple adds gift card compensation to Apple Watch recycling program

Apple first started accepting Apple Watch trade-ins last year, but only in the form of free recycling. Unlike other products, Apple didn’t offer users a gift card in exchange for their device. That changes today, however, as Apple is now offering a gift card to users who recycle an Apple Watch in working condition.

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Apple partners with a company called Brightstar for this exchange program and payouts range from $50 to $175. The process is rather simple and just like trading in a smartphone anywhere else. You first must specify which Apple Watch model you’re trading in.

Currently, Apple supports recycling for the first-generation Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 2, and the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ model.

Once you’ve chosen your model, Apple then asks you to pick which case size you have – 38mm or 42mm. Payouts don’t vary based on size, though.

Last but not least, Apple has five questions about your Apple Watch – including weather it powers on or not, the condition of the enclosure, water damage information, display condition, and whether or not the buttons are in good working order.

For a first-generation Apple Watch Sport in good working order with normal wear and tear, Apple pays out a $50 gift card – the lowest amount offered. For an aluminum Series 2, Apple offers $125 in the form of an Apple Store gift card, while the stainless steel model brings in $175.

If you answer “No” to any of Apple’s five questions, you’ll only be offered free recycling, not any form of compensation.

Based on your assessment, we cannot offer any monetary value for your device. However, we offer free and environmentally friendly disposal.

If you have an Apple Watch you’ve been looking to trade-in, head to Apple’s recycling website now for all of the details. Though we’d also advise you to compare Apple’s offers against other trade-in services, especially if you’re not fond of receiving an Apple Store gift card as your compensation.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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