Buying a new mobile phone? Best Buy will give you a $50 gift card

Even if you're not planning to get your phone right away, just reserve your card now and you've got until the end of 2013 to make your purchase.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Buy a new cell phone from Best Buy anytime between now and the end of the year, and you'll score a $50 gift card.
Buy a new cell phone from Best Buy anytime between now and the end of the year, and you'll score a $50 gift card. Best Buy

Thinking of buying a new cell phone sometime in the next few weeks? How about the next few months? Before the calendar strikes 2014? If you're willing to part with a few bits of information, Best Buy will give you a $50 gift card when you buy a new phone -- even if it's not for another 11 months.

Interesting, no? I've seen retailers offer gift cards for purchases made within a small window, but never anything quite like this. All you do is give Best Buy your existing and active mobile or landline number and your e-mail address, anytime between now and 10 p.m. PT on February 9. (Curiously, voice-over-IP numbers are not permitted.) That effectively registers you for the promotion.

Then, when you buy a new phone from Best Buy (with a two-year contract, natch) and activate it for that existing number, Best Buy will send you a gift card good for $50.

This offer is good for any phone on any carrier with any service plan. The only catch is that you have to bring over that active mobile or landline number; this won't work if you're buying a new phone and getting a new number.

Thankfully, there's no real commitment here, no obligation to actually follow through. You can register for the program and then not use it; no harm done. As Best Buy's FAQ notes: "If you don't activate a new mobile phone, the offer simply goes away at the end of the year."

In other words, if you get a better deal elsewhere or don't end up buying a new phone, you're not on the hook for anything.

Given that this year will almost certainly bring lust-worthy new phones from the likes of LG, Nokia, Samsung, and perhaps even Apple, it almost seems crazy not to sign up for the promotion. After all, if you're going to upgrade anyway, why not get 50 bucks' worth of Best Buy mad money to go with it?