10 Simple Ways to Save Money at Best Buy

Courtney Neidel
By Courtney Neidel 
Edited by Kirsten VerHaar

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Best Buy is a go-to store for everything from iPads to refrigerators. And these electronic and appliance purchases can run up quite a bill.

To help avoid blowing your budget, we made a step-by-step guide for how to get the best buy at Best Buy, from before you make a purchase to after you leave the store.

Before you shop

1. Sign up for alerts

Products aren’t always full-price at Best Buy. The store has recurring sales, such as its 4-Hour Flash Sale, where a handful of items are discounted for a few hours only. Sign up for the email newsletter at the bottom of Best Buy’s website to stay up-to-date about such offerings. You can also like Best Buy on Facebook and follow the store on Twitter. There’s even a deal-specific Twitter handle.

2. Join the rewards program

Like many retailers, Best Buy has a tiered loyalty program to reward its repeat customers. My Best Buy is free to join. In the basic membership, you’ll earn 0.5 point for every dollar you spend. Earn 250 points and you’ll get a $5 reward certificate.

If you spend $1,500 at the store per calendar year, you’ll earn Elite status. Make $3,500 in purchases per year to unlock Elite Plus status. Higher levels earn you more points per dollar spent and longer periods for returns, among other advantages.

3. Recycle what you already own

Best Buy offers an electronics and appliance recycling program. Depending on when you recycle and what you bring, you could get a discount on a future purchase. At the time of this writing, shoppers can get 15% off a new HP inkjet printer when they bring in a used printer for recycling. Recycle something old before you buy something new.

While you shop

4. Access the app

We highly recommend whipping out your smartphone and using the Best Buy app as you shop. It’s free for iOS and Android. With it, you can read reviews on products, search in-stock clearance items by store and check a gift card balance.

5. Buy at the right time

Best Buy regularly hosts seasonal sales, including Black Friday and Presidents Day. If you’re trying to time a purchase, plan around holiday weekends. You’ll stand a good chance of getting a deal.

Regardless, consult the retailer's Hottest Deals page for a roundup of current sales. Online shoppers can browse the Deal of the Day page, too. Each day, Best Buy features a new deal, plus a handful of bonus deals.

6. Price match when possible

Best Buy has a price match guarantee, which means it will match prices from a handful of competitors. Compare prices at multiple stores before you complete a transaction. If you find a lower advertised price on an identical item at the time of sale, ask for the better deal at checkout or call when placing an online order.

Best Buy matches local retail competitors, including their online prices, and products shipped from and sold by seven major online retailers: Amazon.com, Bhphotovideo.com, Crutchfield.com, Dell.com, HP.com, Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com.

7. Shop the Best Buy Outlet

Get a deal with products in the Best Buy Outlet. They’ll be more affordable than if you bought a brand new arrival. Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • Clearance: These items are new, but the manufacturer has discontinued them, so Best Buy has reduced the price.

  • Open-box: These products have been purchased and returned.

  • Refurbished: These items are used but have been restored to a “like-new state,” Best Buy says.

  • Pre-owned: These used items have been restored and verified to work.

8. Get free, fast shipping

Save a tank of gas and a trip to the store with free shipping. You can get free two-day shipping on qualifying online orders of $35 and up; My Best Buy Elite and Elite Plus members have no minimum.

After you shop

9. Ask for a price adjustment

Your savings aren’t always over after you make a transaction. According to Best Buy’s price match guarantee, “If we lower our in-store or online price during the return and exchange period, we will match our lower price, upon request.”

Keep an eye on what you bought to see if the price goes down within the return period; most products fall under the standard 15-day policy. If the price drops, request an adjustment. See the policy for full details.

10. Trade in when it’s time to upgrade

After your shiny new electronic device starts to lose its luster, it may be time for an upgrade. Hang onto your old laptop, iPhone or gaming hardware. You could trade it in at the store or by mail in exchange for a Best Buy gift card. Check the retailer’s trade-in center online to estimate the value of your product.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.