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Get a Rayovac Phone Boost mobile charger for $3.98

Normally $11, this little battery rides shotgun on your keychain and gives your Apple 30-pin or Micro-USB device some emergency juice.

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
3 min read
Four bucks for an emergency charger that fits on your keychain? Yes, please.
Four bucks for an emergency charger that fits on your keychain? Yes, please. Rayovac

I love supercheap deals like this one.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Home Depot has the Rayovac Phone Boost mobile charger for $3.98 plus tax. Shipping adds around $6 (d'oh!), but if you have a store near you, you can just stop in. (Alternatively, you can pad your cart to at least $45 and net free shipping, though I daresay that makes this deal a little less practical.)

The Phone Boost is a keychain-friendly charger for Apple 30-pin and Micro-USB devices. It has nesting tips for both at one end and a standard USB plug at the other, the latter being used to recharge the Phone Boost via any standard USB port or charger.

Although the size of the internal battery isn't listed, Rayovac promises 60 minutes of additional talk time per charge. Update: An eagle-eyed reader spotted the battery size in the manufacturer's description: 400mAh. Needless to say, you can also use the charger with non-phone devices, including MP3 players and e-readers (anything with a Micro-USB jack).

There's one review of the Phone Boost at Amazon (five stars), while a handful at Home Depot average out to 3.3 stars. But look closely: one customer lost a part while traveling and was mad he couldn't return the device for a refund. And another failed to recognize that it wouldn't charge newer iPhones (in other words those with Lightning connectors). Seems specious to blame the product for those "problems."

Personally, I'm all in favor of emergency power that goes where you go, even if it's only enough to let you make a few calls or send a few texts. (It's a different take on the wallet-friendly Charged-Card I wrote about yesterday.) And for a mere 4 bucks, how can you pass it up?

Bonus deal: I don't know how long these will last (at this writing, the number sold was just over 10,000), but Manufacturer Certified via eBay again has the refurbished Microsoft Surface RT 10.6-inch tablet for $169 shipped. That's almost a criminally good deal on a tablet with Windows RT, 32GB of storage (only about half of which is available, alas), Office 2013, and a full one-year warranty. I must say I'm pretty tempted to get one of these for Mrs. Cheapskate, who is probably the perfect demographic for such a device.

Bonus deal No. 2: The only thing better than digital magazines? Free digital magazines -- all you can read. DealNews is offering a free three-month subscription to the AnyTime magazine service when you use coupon code DEALNEWS3. (Click the green Purchase button in the top-right corner of the landing page.) The service operates via the Readr iPad app and affords access to plenty of mainstream pubs, including Better Homes and Gardens, Men's Fitness, and Motor Trend. Just be sure you set a cancellation reminder in your calendar (90 days from now) if you don't want to start getting charged $10 a month.

Bonus deal No. 3: Game time! For a limited time, Amazon has Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV (Win) bundled for $7.99. That's an awful lot of simulated mayhem for $8. The games are provided via Steam, so you'll need an account with that service and the Steam client for your PC.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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