Apple Mac Users Can Now Purchase a 36-Month Upgrade Plan From Best Buy

MacBook Air M2
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Best Buy has created program for Mac users called Upgrade+ (opens in new tab) that allows customers to upgrade to a new MacBook the way people often switch to new phones: in multi-year increments and paying month-to-month.

With Upgrade+ customers will need to finance a qualifying MacBook with Best Buy for 36 months. Once those 36 months are up, users get the chance to upgrade the MacBook to a newer version via financing, keep the laptop (and make one final payment for the rest of the balance), or return it to Best Buy, where it will likely be sold as used or refurbished.

The plan requires you to finance your original Mac purchase with Best Buy (through Citizens Pay, subject to credit approval), and is only available for Mac laptops with Apple Silicon (ie. M1 or M2 based chips). It's not unlike Apple's iPhone Upgrade program, except that Apple does that over a 1-year period.

After the 36 months are up, you'll be free to swap your MacBook for a newer version, without paying the leftover balance — assuming that you choose to move financing to a new machine. If you return the laptop to Best Buy, the store will handle the final payment. If you keep the device, you'll pay the difference.

Best Buy's example suggests that if you bought a Mac laptop for $999.99, you would pay $19.99 per month for 36 months, and then finish it off in month 37 with the remaining $280.35. This could be a good deal if you already intend to buy a new Mac this often, though those who want to do it sooner or keep it longer may not save money. They can, however, pay over time if they wish.

Upgrade+ can be optioned out with AppleCare+ and select accessories when you order, but the program will not be eligible for discounts of any type that might appear in the Best Buy store.

Currently, Best Buy has five MacBooks that qualify for Upgrade+, including the MacBook Air in both M1 and M2 variants, a MacBook Pro 13 M2, MacBook Pro 14 M1 and MacBook Pro 16 M1.

The MacBook Air M1 will cost $999.99 and start at $19.99 a month, while the M2 version ups that to $1,199.99 and $26 per month. For the MacBook Pro 13 inch M2, the cost goes up to $1,299.99 or $28.17 a month, and the MacBook Pro 14 with the M1 goes up to a significantly more expensive $1,999.99 per month at a rate of $43.34 a month. Finally, the MacBook Pro 16 inch with the M1 chip is priced at $2,499.99 and goes for $54.17 per month. You might be able to find a Best Buy coupon for the scheme, it's not a guarantee but it's worth checking.

Members of Best Buy's TotalTech program will get AppleCare+ at no cost for 24 months, as long as they keep active. Apple already lets you pay over time for laptops for 0% APR for 12 months, but if you're looking to trade in fairly often for the latest and greatest, Apple's fans may start considering the Best Buy route.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • Giroro
    If you need to take out a loan to buy a new MacBook, then you can't afford a new MacBook. BestBuy's new rent-to-own financing scheme is just their basic loan with extra steps.
    Which is fine. New MacBooks do very little that can't be done for half the cost on either an older MacBook, or a new PC. I would call MacBooks a fashion statement, but they've barely even changed the aesthetics in the last decade.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    While these kinds of programs sound like a scam or a very bad deal, given how much tech has been advancing from a 3 year standpoint, and depending on how much the final payment would be as compared to the value of a 3 year old laptop on the resale market after fees, it's not such a bad idea, and goes along with Apple's desire to turn their computing and mobile divisions into a subscription service which this basically is.
    Reply
  • shady28
    "You'll own nothing, and be happy about it."
    -Klaus Schwab
    Reply
  • ezst036
    I see junk like this and I'm so thankful I switched to Linux.

    My monthly bill will be $0. Thanks!
    Reply
  • crostini
    shady28 said:
    "You'll own nothing, and be happy about it."
    -Klaus Schwab
    Exactly.

    Software as a service. Users are the carbon. Reduce emissions. You won’t own your Mac, and you’ll be happy about it.
    Reply
  • toadhammer
    Only scam is the fine print "0% APR - 39.99% APR". Beyond that, as someone who has to work on the full range of apple kit, it sounds pretty useful to be automatically upgrading some of our machines every 3 years.
    Reply