Students looking to save money may want to head to a Best Buy store, where they can get a year of Sprint service for free when they buy a new smartphone.
Sprint and Best Buy rolled out a new offer Monday that gives students 12 months of free unlimited talk and text as well as 1 gigabyte of data per month. Students have the option to pay $10 per month to get unlimited data.
To take advantage of the offer, the student must be enrolled at a school in the U.S. — from elementary to college, or an accredited institution — have proof of student status and buy an eligible phone at the designated student price. The student must also purchase the device at a Best Buy store.
The one year of free service is enticing but the deal requires a high up-front cost. There is no two-year service contract to sign so there is no subsidy that would lower the price of the device.
The cheapest phone eligible for the deal costs $250; the latest smartphones cost more than $500. The iPhone 5s costs $699.99, the Galaxy S 4 costs $649.99 and the HTC One costs $599.99, under the student offer.
Additionally, students must pay a $36 activation fee, taxes and any fees that may apply, such as overages.
Once the year of free service ends, Sprint will charge a monthly service for the plan, which typically costs $70 a month. But because there is no service contract and the students own the phone outright, they can terminate the service at any time.
Students can get a second free year of service when they add another phone line to the same account activated at Best Buy. That line must sign up for a two-year contract with either a Sprint Unlimited, My Way plan or the My All-in plan.
The offer ends Jan. 4.