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MacBook trade-ins now accepted at Apple stores for instant credit

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple now accepts in-store trade-ins so you can return your eligible MacBook and get money toward another device or a gift card without mailing anything in.

As Bloomberg reported, Apple has changed its trade-in policy to make it easier for Mac owners to get credit toward a new model. Before, MacBook owners looking to get some cash for an old model had to complete the trade-in online, a process that could take several weeks. 

Now you can bring your old Mac to a physical store and walk out with cash in hand (or a gift card in your wallet), no shipping required. The new policy could encourage people to upgrade their Macs as they can drop off their old one and pick up a new one in a single visit to the Apple store. 

Of course, this is only possible if the Apple store in your area is open. Apple had closed all of its US stores due to the coronavirus, and only recently reopened some locations. The folks at 9to5Mac put together a handy tracker showing the status of Apple stores around the world. A quick glance at the map reveals that several retail locations are still closed, particularly in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. 

Apple trade-in credit for Macs

Apple's website lists the maximum credit it could apply toward each of its laptop models. Before I run through the numbers, keep in mind that the credit you receive will vary depending on the make, model and condition of your laptop.

A four-year-old MacBook Air won't get you much store credit compared with a brand new MacBook Pro. And the now-discontinued 12-inch MacBook you accidental spilled coffee on can't be exchanged for a new 16-inch MacBook with a Core i9.

That said, Apple will give you up to $1,760 for a MacBook Pro (presumably the 16-inch model), up to $690 for a MacBook Air, and up to $480 for the 12-inch MacBook. These dollar amounts will either be applied toward your next purchase or as an Apple gift card.