In the market for a new mobile carrier? For the past couple weeks, Mint Mobile, which uses T-Mobile's network, has been offering a pretty compelling trial deal: Three months of service for $20. After that, you pay the regular rates, which I'll come back to in a moment.
How could this deal possibly get any better? By becoming free after rebate -- or, more accurately, free after Ebates: Ending tomorrow, cash-back service Ebates will give you $20 when you sign up for Mint Mobile's three-months-for-$20 offer. Update: This deal has expired, but according to a Mint Mobile representative, it will return next Monday, Dec. 17!See it at Ebates
If you don't already have an Ebates account, you'll need one. It's free and easy to sign up, and you actually get a $10 bonus just for doing so. All that's required is your name, mailing address and email.
From there, head to the Ebates Mint Mobile page (which is the same link I've included above), then click Shop Now to head to Mint Mobile. (Important! If you have an ad blocker running in your desktop browser, be sure to disable it temporarily so Ebates can perform its necessary tracking of your Mint purchase.)
Once you get there, follow the instructions to sign up for the three-month/5GB/$20 offer. Make sure to also apply promo code IRFREESHIP to save $5 on shipping for the SIM-card starter kit.
If you're new to cash-back services, take note that although the $20 rebate should appear in your Ebates account the day after your purchase, Ebates issues pay-outs on a quarterly basis. So you won't be able to get your cash until Feb. 15, at which time you can take the dough via check or PayPal.
Like many carriers, Mint Mobile does charge taxes and fees, so you may end up paying a few dollars per month. After your "free" three months are up, you can continue with one of their standard plans or, of course, shop elsewhere. Mint's claim to fame is super low rates paid in advance: You pay a lump sum for three, six or 12 months.
So, for example, to continue on with this 5GB plan for another three months, you'd pay a total of $60. For six months: $144. And for 12 months: $240. (Don't ask me to explain why, but Mint's best rates are on the three- and 12-month plans.)
To use Mint, you need an unlocked phone that supports GSM carriers. Although I haven't tried the service myself, I've written about it many times, and I'd say the vast majority of readers have been extremely happy with it. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)
The three-months-for-$20 trial deal is already pretty excellent. If you don't mind jumping through a couple small hoops, you can now get that $20 back -- icing on the cake, to be sure.
Bonus deal: Sitting at a computer all day can be a real pain in the neck. Thankfully, there's relief to be had in the form of an adjustable-pressure neck and shoulder massager.
Like this one: For a limited time, the Mynt (no relation to above) Shiatsu Massager with heat is $39.99 when you apply promo code USM22513 at checkout. Regular price: $49.99.See it at Amazon
There are loads and loads of virtually identical products on Amazon, many of them priced about the same. The Mynt version has two big points in its favor, I think: a car adapter for on-the-go use (by passengers, natch) and a two-year warranty.
Meanwhile, some 60 reviews average out to 4.2 stars, and they're nearly all legit, according to Fakespot and ReviewMeta. The same is definitely not true of many of the other massagers I've seen.
What I like about these products is that you can adjust the pressure of the massage just by adjusting how hard you push on the hand straps. And it takes only a small amount of pressure to begin with to get a really deep massage. But if it's too hard, just lighten up a bit.
This can work on other muscles as well, like calves and thighs. As gift items go, it's pretty great. As personal items go: also pretty great.
Read more: The best gifts for 2018
Read more: The best gifts under $50
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