The cost-of-living crisis has made buying expensive technology even more difficult. But Best Buy is offering a new program that it hopes will help those struggling to buy a new computer.
The retail giant announced the Upgrade+ program (opens in new tab), which will allow potential buyers to fund an upgrade to Apple’s silicon, including the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Participants can buy a new Apple laptop and pay in 36 monthly payments, before deciding whether to upgrade to a newer model in 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 exit the program or decide to upgrade to a newer model or qualifying MacBook, Best Buy will make the final payment on behalf of the participant.
The list of laptops eligible for the program includes the MacBook Air M1 and M2 versions, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2), the 14-inch MacBook Pro (M1), and the 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1). AppleCare+ and some accessories can also be financed through the Upgrade+ program.
How useful is this really?
Financing otherwise expensive products through monthly payment is not a new concept, with phone companies taking advantage of this business model for years so customers can have the latest phone in their hands.
However, the concept of extending this to laptops is new and it will be interesting to see how the program performs.
This can be beneficial to attendees in a number of ways, including a much more affordable method of buying expensive laptops, essentially renting a laptop for a few years for a pretty decent price before handing it over after the term ends, or making sure you always have it. the latest machine without dealing with all the waste and extra expense of buying them normally.
Of course, the Upgrade+ program is not a charity and there are points (opens in new tab) you need to consider, so you have to open a line of credit with Citizen’s Pay, or if you choose to terminate the program early you are on the hook for the remaining cost of the laptop (this also includes if you can no longer afford those payments).
But if you know what you’re getting yourself into, this is possibly a great way to buy a high-quality laptop at an affordable price during the cost-of-living crisis.
If you want to see how these silicon-based Macs from Apple stack up against other laptops, read our Best Laptops buying guide.