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Galaxy S9 deal: Bring the phone to US Mobile and save $200

The carrier will take $200 off 12 months' worth of whatever service plan you choose! Plus: a cheap fix for spotty streaming-stick performance, another arc-lighter deal and your chance to win an LG V30.

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
4 min read

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones , gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

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The Galaxy S9 has arrived -- or, at least, been announced -- and although it's not insanely overpriced like the iPhone X , it's still pretty pricey.

Here's your chance to defray the cost in a rather unique way. For a limited time, Cheapskate readers who bring a Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus to US Mobile will save a total of $200 over the course of 12 months.

It works like this: You buy a US Mobile SIM card, then sign up for the service plan of your choice. (More on those in a second.) Every month you stay with US Mobile, you'll receive a $16.67 discount on that plan. Total savings after 12 months: $200.

This isn't a contract, though, and there's no penalty if you decide to walk away after, say, six months. After that first year is up, your plan will automatically revert to the standard rate.

US Mobile offers both customizable and unlimited plans for its GSM LTE and Super LTE networks ( T-Mobile and Verizon , respectively). My advice: Go Super LTE, because you get extra perks like voice-over-LTE and visual voicemail -- to say nothing of better coverage.

Here's an example of a custom plan that would suit The Cheapskate just fine: 300 voice minutes per month, 1,000 text messages and 5GB of data (at "ludicrous" speed, which I find hilarious). Price per month (not including taxes): $40. Price with the Cheapskate-exclusive discount: $23.34.

Or, splurge on an unlimited plan, something like unlimited talk, texts and data (at 5Mbps -- ample for most users, in my humble opinion) for $52 a month. Price with discount: $35.34 a month, a seriously unbeatable deal.

Obviously the S9 isn't even available for preorder just yet, though it will be soon. (My advice: Get it from Samsung.) In the meantime, you can order your US Mobile Starter Kit ($3.99 shipped), which comes with both GSM and Super LTE SIM cards. Make sure to use promo code SG9 at checkout.

Once you get your phone, proceed to activate your US Mobile account (using the additional promo code provided via email), pop in the SIM card and, bam, you're good to go. There's simply no better deal to be had on Verizon-powered service.

Your thoughts?


Stream at optimum speed with an Ethernet adapter for your Chromecast or Fire TV.


Bonus deal: Spotty Wi-Fi can ruin your streaming experience. Alas, not many streaming sticks these days support speedy Ethernet connections. Good news: There's an adapter for that.

For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the Ugreen Ethernet Adapter for streaming sticks for $11.89 with promo code 303C6HVX. Regular price: $17. It's compatible with all Google Chromecast products, the Google Home Mini , the current-gen Amazon Fire TV and first- and second-gen Fire TV Sticks . (Update: According to the vendor, first-gen Fire TV Sticks are not supported.)

I recommend perusing the reviews, most of which are very positive. A few folks encountered issues using the adapter with Fire TV Sticks, while others had no trouble at all.

Note that this relies on USB power, so you may need to provide your own AC adapter if your TV doesn't supply sufficient (or any) ports. My guess is that insufficient power was to blame for some of the aforementioned Fire TV Stick issues -- but that's just a guess.

Bonus deal No. 2: Sorry for all the confusion yesterday with the arc lighter. It was $11.99 when I posted it, then it went to $12.99 and later $13.99. This was simply an organic deal I spotted "in the wild" -- I didn't have any prior arrangement with the vendor.

Today, I do: Tacklife is offering Cheapskate readers its ELY01 rechargeable electric arc lighter for $12.43 with promo code Y8QPB32E. Not sure how much inventory is available, but I do know that code is good through March 1.

This lighter is virtually identical to the one I shared yesterday, and in fact is the exact one I own. It's a little slice of Tesla-inspired awesome. (Interestingly, my kids hear a high-pitched whine when we fire it up; older folks don't hear it. YMMV.)

LG V30

Enter for your chance to win this!

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bonus deal No. 3: While we're on the subject of really cool things, check out Outlaw, a new service that takes all the hassles out of creating, sharing, negotiating and signing contracts.

It's free for some contracts, but there's also a deal to be had on Outlaw premium subscriptions. I really dig this tool; it reminds me of the awesomeness that is Dittach for Gmail. (They're in no way related, they're just vastly superior ways of overcoming a hassle.)

Giveaway! Lest we forget, there are phones other than iPhones and Galaxies. The LG V30 , for example, which is widely regarded as one of the best phones you can buy.

Want one? Five lucky CNET readers will take home an unlocked LG V30, courtesy of LG . All you have to do is fill out a short form and, presto, you're entered in the giveaway. You've got until March 4 to make that happen.