Mac users in the US can now upgrade their MacBooks thanks to a new program Best Buy offers, called Upgrade+. It’s like a car lease, but for a Mac.
It works like this: You finance a new MacBook for 36 months with Best Buy. When the term is over, you can return the MacBook and finance a new one or pay a one-time balloon payment to close the contract and keep your Mac.
BestBuy gives an example of someone paying $20 for 36 months, and on the 37th month they pay $280.37 or trade in the Mac for a new model and a new 36-month term.
It sounds simple, but there are some caveats. For starters, this program only applies to MacBooks with Apple Silicon. This means an M1 or M2 Mac. You can’t get one of the pre-2020 Intel models with this plan.
The program is also dependent on your credit score. The financing is through Citizens Pay, so you’ll need some type of credit history to qualify.
Upgrade+ has five pricing tiers, depending on which model of MacBook you want to buy.
M1 MacBook Air: $20/month
M2 MacBook Air: $26/month
13” M2 MacBook Pro: $28.17/month
14” M1 MacBook Pro: $43.34/month
16” M1 MacBook Pro: $54.17/month
You’ll get Apple Care+ for free if you subscribe to Best Buy’s TotalTech program, which costs $200 per year. That still comes out cheaper than Apple Care+, which can run over $400. However, Apple does allow you to break that into two annual payments, so it really comes down to your budget.
Upgrade+ is similar to Apple’s iPhone upgrade program which allows you to pay a monthly fee toward a new iPhone. However, that program works on a one-year basis. Best Buy’s Upgrade+ program is over a three-year period.