Sprint and Best Buy Offer Students Free Year of Mobile Service
Despite the fact that they’ve become pretty ubiquitous in all parts of modern society, cell phones ain’t cheap. The handsets themselves are often high-ticket items even after they’re subsidized by expensive monthly service bills, which are bundled into two-year long contracts. Needless to say, actually affording a phone and contract is a pricey proposition. That’s what makes today’s announcement of a partnership between Sprint and Best Buy to offer a year of free mobile service to students to worthwhile.
From now through January 4, 2014, the “My Way Student Promotion” will give students “enrolled in a U.S.-based elementary, middle school, high school, college, university or accredited institute” a year of free unlimited talk and text service with 1 GB of data per month (with the option to add unlimited data for $10 a month). To take advantage of the offer, you just have to offer proof of your enrollment—and then buy one of the qualifying phones at the unsubsidized price.
That’s one of the less-than-ideal aspects of this deal: the price of each phone is pretty high. The list of phones is right here, and not a single one is offered for under $200. Some are in the $250 or $300 range, but many of their prices are daunting to people eyeing this deal. That said, even buying a $900 iPhone 5S with 64GB of storage is going to cost less over the course of a year compared with a year of service at $70 per month (the cost of a smartphone data plan from Sprint) combined with the subsidized iPhone price. And that’s the priciest phone on the list—grabbing a $650 Samsung Galaxy S 4 is practically a bargain, and going further down the list it gets even better.
It’s a decent enough deal, especially if you’re in the market for a new phone. The biggest issue, of course, is that, well, you’re getting Sprint. I have Sprint, and compared to my friends who have Verizon or AT&T, well, it’s not the greatest. But free is free, right?