The cost of living crisis has made it harder to buy expensive technology. But Best Buy is offering a new program that it hopes will help those struggling to afford a new computer.
The retail giant announces the Upgrade+ program (opens in new tab), which would allow potential buyers to fund upgrades to Apple chips, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Participants can purchase a new Apple laptop and pay in 36 monthly installments before deciding whether to upgrade to a newer model at the 37th month payment.
For example, for the $999 MacBook Air, each payment is $19.99 for the first 36 months, and the final payment is $280.35. However, if you return the product and withdraw from the program or decide to upgrade to a newer model or an eligible MacBook, Best Buy will make the final payment on the participant’s behalf.
The list of laptops eligible for the program includes the MacBook Air M1 and M2 versions, MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2), MacBook Pro 14-inch (M1), and MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1). AppleCare+ and certain accessories can also be funded through the Upgrade+ program.
Does this really work?
Financing otherwise expensive products with monthly payments isn’t a new concept, and phone companies have been leveraging this business model for years so customers can have the latest phones.
However, the concept of extending this to laptops is new and it will be interesting to see how the program performs.
This could be beneficial to participants in a number of ways, including being a more affordable way to buy otherwise expensive laptops, basically renting a laptop for a pretty good price for a few years, then handing it over at the end of the term, or making sure you always Own the latest machines without having to deal with all the waste and extra cost of buying them normally.
Of course, the Upgrade+ program is not a charity event, and there are points (opens in new tab) You need to consider, for example, that you must use Citizen’s Pay to open a line of credit, or that if you choose to end the program early, you will be responsible for the remaining costs of the laptop (this also includes if you can no longer financially pay those payments).
But if you know what you’re getting into, it can be a great way to get a quality laptop at an affordable price during a time of crunch in the cost of living.
If you want to see how these Apple Silicon-based Macs stack up against other laptops, read our best laptop buying guide.