Best Buy recently sent out an email making an astonishing offer on cell service for students:
They are providing a year of free service. That means free unlimited calls, texts, and 1 gig of data ($10 extra for unlimited data). What a deal!
It says however, “with purchase of phone at Student Activated price.” What’s that?
The prices being charged by Best Buy for the phones appear to be full price, the same as what Sprint itself would charge. In some cases, the price appears to be $50 higher than buying from Sprint directly. The benefit for the student, however, is a free year of service, without having to sign a two-year contract.
So is this a good deal? The less expensive of the two Sprint plans that the student is required to sign up for is $70 a month (plus fees and taxes) if he/she had to pay for it. So that is $840 saved for the year, but the student is paying full price or slightly more for the phone. On the other hand, if the student were to get a fancy phone free from Sprint during a promotion, he or she would have to pay that $840 for service. So it appears that the student could save a little by taking advantage of the student offer, but not hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
Presumably in year two, the phone might be able to be added onto a family plan at discounted monthly rates, and then the savings would increase (or maybe just get onto a family plan to start with to save).