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How to score the best deals at Best Buy for Apple products

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How to Save Money at Best Buy

Best Buy has stood the test of time in the world of electronics and has outlasted many competitors, including Circuit City and Radio Shack. Today, Best Buy is known for having a huge selection of all kinds of electronics and gadgets. Although the prices tend to be reasonable, they are often not as low as they could be, which makes it even more important to know how to shop smartly and save money. Use the following techniques to get great electronics for great prices at Best Buy.

Join My Best Buy

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Best Buy recently revamped and renamed its rewards program to attract more customers. The “My Best Buy” program is free to join at the basic level and provides a number of money-saving benefits.

You can join My Best Buy in store or by registering online at BestBuy.com. All you need to create an account is your full name, email address, and phone number. If you join in store, you can easily enter your member ID when you create an online account. My Best Buy comes with a number of benefits, including these three:

  • Rewards certificates: As a My Best Buy member, you’ll earn one point for every dollar you spend at Best Buy or BestBuy.com (excluding taxes and fees). Once you hit 250 points, you’ll receive a $5 rewards certificate. Rewards certificates work similarly to coupons and can be used for nearly any purchase that is over the certificate amount, like an iPhone case or Apple TV. You can also choose to save your points until you hit 1,000 points and redeem them for a $20 rewards certificate. Although this is a better deal, it can take longer to reach and is the maximum amount you can reach before the points reset. Note that it can take 15 days after a purchase for the points to be applied to your account and the points expire after one year.
  • Member-only exclusives: My Best Buy customers are often the first to know about upcoming sales and are given early access to many promotions and store events. You will also sporadically receive exclusive special offers, which can vary from a coupon for 15% off a certain type of product or extra rewards points when you buy certain brands.
  • Free shipping on $35+: Many expensive items, like the iPad Air or MacBook Pro, come with expensive shipping costs, which makes this offer of free shipping on all order of $35 or more even more appealing. This offer excludes items with scheduled delivery, like refrigerators.

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Elite and Elite Plus Memberships

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Although the basic free membership has its share of perks, you can also opt for the Elite and Elite Plus versions of My Best Buy if you are a very loyal customer. You must spend at least $1,500 at Best Buy in one calendar year to become an Elite member, and you must spend $3,500 in a single calendar year to become an Elite Plus member. The elevated reward status comes with bonuses, including:

  • Extended exchanges and returns: Instead of the typical 15 days to return an item, Elite members have 30 days after making a purchase and Elite Plus members have 45 days to return or exchange.
  • Point banking: While basic My Best Buy members have a cap of $1,000 points for a $20 reward certificate, Elite and Elite Plus members can accrue points with no limits. Unlike basic membership, the points never expire so you can save for a huge reward. Note that you have to maintain the Elite or Elite Plus annual spending levels to keep your points active—if you fail to spend the right amount of money in a year, you will be demoted to basic status and lose your points.
  • Bonus points: Instead of the basic one point per dollar spent, Elite members get 1.1 points for every dollar spent and Elite Plus members get 1.25 points for every dollar spent. That means basic members get $5 back for every $250 they spend, Elite members get $5 for ever $227.27 they spend, and Elite Plus members get $5 back for every $200 they spend.

If you are a frequent Best Buy customer and take great advantage of the My Best Buy program, a My Best Buy credit card could be a good option. Cardholders get 5% back in points on every purchase compared to 2% for basic members or they can choose interest-free 12-month financing on purchases of $399 or more. You can also use the My Best Buy credit card to get to Elite or Elite Plus status more quickly, as the $1,500 and $3,500 spending requirements can be met with any purchases made on the credit card, not just those at Best Buy and BestBuy.com

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Shop Deal of the Day

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Aside from its regular clearance sales online and in store, Best Buy also runs a Deal of the Day section that is similar to Amazon’s Lightning Deals. The Deal of the Day section is easy to use. Best Buy releases a new deep discount on a specific item every day, but the deal only lasts for one day before it is replaced by a new product with a deep discount. Daily Deal discounts are almost always at least 25% off and frequently more than 50% off. There are also sporadically Bonus Deals of the Day with extra items with low prices for a single day.

Because Deal of the Day products come with such great discounts, many items sell out quickly. Stay on top of the best discounts by signing up for the Deal of the Day email newsletter so you can score a product as soon as it is released.

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Shop Best Buy Outlet

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Best Buy was one of the first stores to create an online outlet shop, which is a great place for bargain hunters to get a great deal.

The outlet section of BestBuy.com features clearance, open-box, refurbishes, and pre-owned items. This is a great place to pick up Apple products for less. Search by category, brand, or savings level to find the perfect item. Outlet items can be picked up for free at Best Buy stores and can even be returned or exchanged, which is rare for online outlets. Products fall into the following categories:

  • Clearance: Items that are discounted by the manufacturer or that are no longer in stock
  • Open box: Practically new items that have been returned
  • Refurbished: Items that have been repaired so they are as good as new
  • Pre-owned: Restored used items that have passed tests to make sure they are in like-new condition

Clearance and open-box items from the outlet still qualify for manufacturer warranties, but pre-owned and refurbished items may not have an applicable warranty, so be sure to ask customer service before making your purchase.

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Use the Best Buy Price Match Guarantee

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Best Buy rewards loyal customers with an extensive price match guarantee that allows them to shop for everything at Best Buy while knowing they are getting the best possible price. Best Buy will match any local competitor’s in-store or online price and the price of identical items sold at online-exclusive stores like Amazon.com, bhphotovideo.com, crutchfield.com, HP.com, newegg.om, and tigerdirect.com, as well as BestBuy.com

The price match guarantee applies to identical products from other retailers, but it doesn’t apply to third-party marketplace sellers on BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, or other similar sites. Clearance items, coupon offers, flash sales, mail-in rebates, open-box items, and refurbished and pre-owned outlet items are also disqualified from the price match guarantee. Best Buy doesn’t match any sale prices from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, so don’t plan on price matching during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards at CardPool.com

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Save even more money at Best Buy by purchasing a discounted gift card from CardPool.com, a site that also sells discounted gift cards for many other stores. CardPool.com sells Best Buy gift cards at a great 5.5% discount, which can add up to great savings online or in store. Best Buy allows up to 10 gift cards to be used in a single transaction, which means you can buy two Best Buy gift cards from CardPool for $181.50 and save $11.59 instantly on a $200 purchase. In addition to selling the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and Apple TV, Best Buy now sells the Apple Watch (*hint* *hint*). When used with sale or clearance items, the savings can be even greater. The smallest amount for an electronic gift card is $20, but physical gift cards can be mailed with free shipping and come in amounts as small as $10.

This great Best Buy Store Guide was brought to you by ZipfWorks, which seeks to revolutionize the way you shop by making you a smarter and more empowered shopper. Check out their other great services, like StyleSpotter, which helps you find the lowest price on more than 12,000 clothing brands, and DealSpotr, which shows great deals with coupon codes for national companies.

WWDC 2015 Keynote: Apple announces iOS 9, Apple Music and watchOS 2

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The annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference started a few hours ago with a keynote from Apple CEO Tim Cook. He, along with several members of the Apple team, announced many new software products like Mac OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS 2 and more.

Mac OS X El Capitan

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The next-generation operating system for Mac has arrived. This update has two major focuses: experience and performance. For changes in experience, Apple added many new features that enhance the way the Mac is used. For example, Split View allows you to work on two apps simultaneously together. Like Windows, the computer will automatically size two apps to fix next to each other in your fullscreen window space. Apple also expanded the Notes app, Mail, Safari, Photos, Maps and made Spotlight Search more like Facebook’s Graph Search. For performance, they added the Metal graphics core technology which increases the performance and graphics of apps.

Comes out to developers today, to public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall.

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iOS 9

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Apple announced several new updates with the next-generation operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Like El Capitan, the team focused on key areas when talking about the updates. In terms of Intelligence, Siri has been updated with a new colorful user interface and more capabilities. Siri can search through your photos and videos in the Photos app to provide specific answers to requests, like searching for those pictures you took last year at WWDC. There’s a new page to the left of the Home screen (where the search bar used to be pre-iOS 7) that displays suggestions for people to talk to, apps to use, what’s nearby in terms of food, drinks, shopping and fun and what’s currently in the news. This section is also for Spotlight Search and it has expanded capabilities to return search results with videos on YouTube and Vimeo, third-party apps, measurement conversions and more.

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The second key area is Enhancements and this, simply put, means that Apple has updated several of their apps with more functions. For example, the Notes app has a new toolbar that has shortcuts for formatting options, the App Switcher has a completely new user interface, the Health app can track more data points, the Maps app can provide transit directions and Apple added a new app called News, which provides magazines and news articles from several sources in an easy-to-read format.

Apple also focused on increasing performance with the iPhone. They reduced the total available space to 1.3GB in order to install iOS 9 instead of the 4.6GB needed for iOS 8. The team also increased the energy efficiency by adding an additional hour of battery time for devices running iOS 9 and a new function called Low Power Mode that will switch off many functions to add up to three additional hours of battery life (on top of the hour).

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Split View on the iPad Air 2

For the final area of focus, Apple designed specific features of iOS 9 to solely work on the iPad. After nearly two years of rumors, Multitasking is finally here on the iPad. Like the iPhone, there’s a new App Switcher user interface. The iPad can use two apps simultaneously next to each other with features called Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture.

Comes out to developers today, public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall. All the devices that could upgrade to iOS 8 will be able to update to iOS 9 as well.

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Apple Watch (watchOS 2)

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Even though the Apple Watch is only a few weeks old, Apple has announced the second-generation operating system. On a side note, this means we can expect a new operating system every WWDC (so watchOS 3 in June 2016). Anyway, watchOS 2 adds a lot of new functions, like photos for the watch’s face, third-party complications, new apps can run without the need for the iPhone, support for transit directions, Siri can control HomeKit-enabled devices and more.

Comes out to developers today, the public in the Fall.

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Apple Pay

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To start off talking about Apple Pay, the team went into detail about the success the payment service has seen. Apple Pay has been out since October 2014 and is now accepted in over one million locations. Several major retailers have announced they will soon be accepting the service in their stores too, like JCPenney, Forever21, Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy and many others. With iOS 9, the Passbook app has been renamed to Wallet and there’s a new icon. Store credit and debits cards and loyalty and rewards cards will also be stored in the app. Finally, Apple announced that Apple Pay will begin its international expansion by entering the United Kingdom in July.

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One More Thing…

Apple Music

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As rumored, Apple announced their new music streaming service that will directly compete with Spotify and Rdio. This music service will allow for unlimited streaming for every song found in the iTunes Store (some of which are not found on Spotify). It will recommend playlists and albums based on the music you listen to, show you top charts, new music and more, allow you to connect to your favorite artists and view the content they share, like photos, videos and sound bites, and there’s a 24/7 global radio that is live from New York City, Los Angeles and London. The music streaming service, which is found in the all-new Music app, will be available for $9.99/month per person or $14.99/month for families of up to six people. Apple is offering a three-month free trial for those who want to test out the service.

The new Music app with streaming service comes with iOS 8.4 and is available to download on June 30th. Apple will also be releasing an app on Android in the Fall.

Apple adds 12 new banks and credit unions, another major retailer shows interest

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On Tuesday, Apple refreshed their support institutions list for Apple Pay with twelve new banks and credit unions. This list is full of three-hundred institutions around the United States that allow their members to store their cards on their iPhones to purchase content.

The following banks and credit unions were added.

  • Banner Bank
  • BayPort Credit Union
  • California Coast Credit Union
  • Centier Bank
  • Community First Credit Union (CA)
  • Glenview State Bank
  • HAPO Community Credit Union
  • Prestige Community Credit Union
  • Provident Credit Union
  • Staley Credit Union
  • Synovus
  • Wood & Huston Bank

In addition, the CEO of Target is very interested in supporting Apple Pay in its stores once the company converts to chip-and-pin. Target currently allow customers to use Apple Pay with its app, but this is limited to products bought online and not in store. The CEO’s goal is to convert to chip-and-pin by the holidays and then look into supporting other payment services, like Apple Pay afterwards. We may see Apple Pay support starting early next year.

SourcesRecode9to5Mac

Apple Watch coming to retail stores next month

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During Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent visit to China, he held a meeting with several employees at the headquarters in China to discuss news about Apple Watch and Apple Pay.

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Citing sources who were involved in the meeting, 9to5Mac reports that the retail launch of the Apple Watch is coming next month. At the meeting, Cook said that the Apple Watch is seeing great success and their suppliers are working hard to make more watches. Since the supply is starting to catch up with the high demand, Cook expects that stores will begin stocking the watch by the end of this month and it will be available for purchase in stores starting in June.

During the meeting with employees, Cook also revealed a few details about Apple Pay expanding to China soon. The payment service, which is only available in the United States, is expected to see international expansion in the coming months. It has been rumored for a while that Apple is working with a banks and retailers to support the payment service in a few different countries. Cook mentioned that one of the main reasons for this recent trip to China is because Apple is in talks with a few potential Apple Pay partners and different banks have already signed on to support the service.

Source: 9to5Mac

Thirty-four new banks and credit unions support Apple Pay

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On Tuesday, Apple updated their Apple Pay supported institution list to include more than thirty new banks and credit unions and at the same time, another retailer announced they would accept the virtual payment service. There are now more than two-hundred institutions that allow customers to virtually store their credit and debit cards on their iOS devices.

The following banks and credit unions have been added:

  • 1st Financial Federal Credit Union
  • Affinity Bank
  • Bank of Springfield
  • Berkshire Bank
  • Box Elder Credit Union
  • C&F Bank
  • Capitol Federal Savings
  • Christian Community Credit Union
  • Community First Credit Union of Florida
  • Credit Union of Denver
  • Denver Community Credit Union
  • Education First Credit Union
  • Educators Credit Union
  • Financial Partners Credit Union
  • First City Credit Union
  • First Premier Bank
  • Freedom Credit Union
  • NASA Federal Credit Union
  • Numerica Credit Union
  • PremierOne Credit Union
  • Purdue Federal Credit Union
  • Rivermark Community Credit Union
  • San Francisco Federal Credit Union
  • Simmons First National Bank
  • Summit Credit Union
  • Synchrony Bank
  • The Citizen Bank of Clovis
  • UMe Federal Credit Union
  • University Federal Credit Union
  • Utah Power Credit Union
  • Valor Credit Union
  • Vermont Federal Credit Union
  • WSECU
  • WECU (Whatcom Educational Credit Union)

In addition to the above institutions, the retailer Express will now accept the Apple Pay payment service. They join a few other clothing retailers, like American Eagle and Aeropostale. In the coming months, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie will be accepting the service too.

Twenty-four new banks and two new retailers support Apple Pay

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The past week, Apple updated their Apple Pay supported institution list with twenty-four new banks and credit unions and a few other retailers also announced their support for the service. There are now over two hundred banks and credit unions across the United States that allow their customers’ cards to be stored on iPhone.

The following were just added:

  • Bellwether Community Credit Union
  • Benchmark Federal Credit Union
  • Blackhawk Community Credit Union
  • Community America Credit Union
  • Community First Credit Union
  • Connections Credit Union
  • cPort Credit Union
  • Denver Fire Department FCU
  • Electro Savings Credit Union
  • Elements Financial FCU
  • First Financial Credit Union
  • Greater Nevada Credit Union
  • Harvard Universities Employees Credit Union
  • Interra Credit Union
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Nusenda Credit Union
  • People’s Trust Federal Credit Union
  • Premier America Credit Union
  • Premier Members Federal Credit Union
  • SAFE Credit Union
  • Scient Federal Credit Union
  • The Bancorp Bank
  • Tucson Federal Credit Union
  • Union Bank & Trust Co.

In addition, Home Depot confirmed they will be supporting Apple Pay soon once they upgrade their registers and The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas hotels will be supporting the service starting in June for concierge, front desk, restaurant and bars.

Sources: AppleWorld.TodayMacRumors, iDownloadBlog

Over thirty new banks and credit unions now support Apple Pay

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  Earlier today, Apple updated their supported institution list for Apple Pay with thirty-one new banks and credit unions. This now brings the list to over two hundred supporting institutions. The following were just added.

Credit Unions:

  • AmeriCU Credit Union
  • Central Minnesota Credit Union
  • Chrome Federal Credit Union
  • City Employees Credit Union
  • Consumers Cooperative Credit Union
  • Coulée Dam Federal Credit Union
  • Desert Schools Federal Credit Union
  • DFCU Financial
  • Digital Federal Credit Union
  • DuPont Community Credit Union
  • Fairfax County Federal Credit Union
  • First Entertainment Credit Union
  • Frankenmuth Credit Union
  • Golden Credit Union
  • Municipal Credit Union
  • Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
  • Patelco Credit Union
  • Pima Federal Credit Union
  • Quorum Federal Credit Union
  • San Matero Credit Union
  • SEFCU
  • SkyOne Federal Credit Union
  • Suncoast Credit Union
  • US Federal Credit Union
  • Vermont State Employees CU
  • Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union

Banks:

  • Bankers Trust
  • Guarantry Bank & Trust
  • IBERIABANK
  • South State Bank
  • UMB Bank, n.a.

iOS 8 How-to: Adding a credit card to Apple Pay

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Maybe you just upgraded your iPhone to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus or maybe you just received a notification that your bank supports Apple Pay or maybe you want to test out the service. Whatever your reason, here is the guide you should follow to add your credit and debit cards to Apple Pay.

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Apple announces ten more retailers accept Apple Pay

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On Wednesday, Apple updated their Apple Pay retailer’s list to reflect ten more businesses that have announced support for the payment service. This brings the list of accepting retailers to 68 merchants.

The following were just added:

  • Acme
  • Davis Food and Drug
  • FireHouse Subs
  • GameStop
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Luby’s
  • Orlando Magic
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Rubio’s
  • T-Mobile retail

Apple Pay is currently limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but when the Apple Watch comes out on April 24th, the iPhone 5/5s/5c will be able to use the service in conjunction with the watch.

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Thirty-nine new banks and credit unions support Apple Pay

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The next set of banks and credit unions have been updated on Apple’s website showing their support for Apple Pay. This new list of banks now brings the total up to over 180 supporting institutions. The following were just added.

Credit Unions:

  • 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union
  • American Savings Bank
  • Bellco Federal Credit Union
  • Campus USA Credit Union
  • Citadel Federal Credit Union
  • Citizens Equity First Credit Union
  • Coastline Federal Credit Union
  • Community Choice Credit Union
  • Deseret First Federal Credit Union
  • ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union
  • Illinois State Police Federal Credit Union
  • JSC Federal Credit Union
  • Lafayette Federal Union
  • Logix Federal Credit Union
  • Mission Federal Credit Union
  • Missoula Federa Credit Union
  • North Country Federal Credit Union
  • Northruo Grumman Federal Credit Union
  • Point Loma Credit Union
  • Publix Employees Federal Credit Union
  • Robins Federal Credit Union
  • San Diego Credit Union
  • Technicolor Federal Credit Union
  • Truit Federal Credit Union
  • USAlliance Federal Credit Union
  • Utah Community Federal Credit Union

Banks:

  • Bank of Utah
  • BMO Harris N.A.
  • Cambridge Savings Bank
  • Centennial Bank
  • Citizens Bank & Trust
  • First Fideility Bank
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • Hilltop National Bank
  • MidFirst Bank
  • Old National Bank
  • PointBank
  • Stockman Bank of Montana

By showing support for Apple Pay, these credit unions and banks will allow their customers to electronically store their debit cards in the Passbook application on their iPhone. They can then pay for purchases at stores with their phone instead of the physical card their institution issues. Currently the service is limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but when the Apple Watch launches on April 24, the iPhone 5/5s/5c will be able to use Apple Pay in conjunction with the watch.