Best Buy’s new MacBook upgrade program locks you into three years of monthly payments before giving you the option to upgrade to the latest and greatest machine (via Apple Insider). Called Upgrade Plus, it lets people with approved credit finance either a MacBook or MacBook Air via Citizens Bank.
As an example, Best Buy says you can purchase the $999 M1-powered MacBook Air for as low as $19.99 for 36 months and then pay out the remaining $280.35 in month 37 to keep the device. That is, assuming you qualify for a zero-percent APR offer — the program’s FAQ indicates offers may carry interest of up to 29.99 percent, depending on creditworthiness.
But if you don’t want to pay the higher amount on that last payment, Best Buy says you will have two options: return the device and leave the program completely or return the device and upgrade to the newest model. In other words, Best Buy will foot the remaining balance if you choose to upgrade, but you’ll have to commit to another three years of payments before you can either upgrade again, keep the device, or leave the program.
According to Best Buy’s Upgrade Plus page, more expensive devices, like the $2,499 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro, will run you about $51.17 / month with a final payment of $550. The M2 MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 14-inch MacBook Pro are also available through the program.
Best Buy says you can tack on any accessories or an AppleCare Plus subscription to your monthly bill (but your payments will go up, of course). And if you’re a Best Buy TotalTech member, a two-year AppleCare Plus subscription is already included with your purchase of select Apple products.
Upgrade Plus is similar to Apple’s own iPhone program, which binds you to 24 months of payments, but gives you the option to trade in your device and upgrade once you complete 12 months of payments. Apple’s also rumored to be looking into selling an iPhone subscription service that’s rumored to launch late this year or next year. Unlike Apple’s existing upgrade program, though, it could come with a base monthly cost that wouldn’t depend on the price of the device itself, making it more like an iPhone lending service.