The cost of living crisis has made buying expensive technology even more difficult. But Best Buy is offering a new program it hopes will help those struggling to afford a new computer.
The retail giant announced the Upgrade+ program (opens in new tab), which allows prospective buyers to fund an upgrade to Apple silicon, including MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Participants can purchase a new Apple laptop and make 36 monthly payments before deciding whether to upgrade to a newer model on the 37th monthly payment.
For example, for a $999 MacBook Air, each payment for the first 36 months is $19.99, with the final payment being $280.35. However, if you return the product and either exit the program or choose to upgrade to a newer model or 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, MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2), MacBook Pro 14-inch (M1), and MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1) versions. AppleCare+ and certain accessories can also be funded through the Upgrade+ program.
How useful is that really?
Funding otherwise expensive products with monthly payments is hardly a new concept, as phone companies have been using this business model for years to let customers get their hands on the latest phone.
However, the concept of extending this to laptops is new and it will be interesting to see how well the program performs.
This could benefit participants in a number of ways, including a much cheaper way to buy otherwise expensive laptops, essentially renting a laptop for a couple of years at a pretty decent price before giving it up after the deadline, or ensuring you always have the latest machine without having to deal with all the waste and extra costs associated with regular purchasing.
Of course, the Upgrade+ program is not a charity and there are points (opens in new tab) You have to keep in mind that you will have to open a line of credit with Citizen’s Pay, for example, or if you end the program early, you will have to pay the remaining costs for the laptop (this also applies if you are no longer financially able to make these payments).
But if you know what you’re getting yourself into, this is a potentially great way to get a quality laptop at an affordable price during the cost of living.
If you want to see how these Apple Silicon-based Macs compare to other laptops, check out our best laptop buyers guide.
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