Have A Best Buy Card? Check Your Local Store Before Using It Online

Matt writes in with a tip if you’re unlucky enough to have a Best Buy credit card and plan on using it any time soon: check whether the brick and mortar store near you has any special promotions running first. If so, buy the item from their store instead of online or you’ll be bound by Best Buy’s 90 days same-as-cash terms regardless of whether or not the store is offering a better deal.

The only part we find hilarious is Matt’s assertion that “Best Buy stores will match the online price of merchandise.” Well, sure they will, since they’ve got that special in-store version of the website. If you can find a way around that problem—we suggest bringing in a phone with web access, or at least some screen print-outs—then you might have better luck getting a price-match without having to argue up the chain.

As a general rule, if you are using your Best Buy credit card to purchase merchandise, try to avoid buying at Bestbuy.com and picking up in the store. If the store already has the item, call the store and ask to have it held for you. When you buy from Bestbuy.com same-as-cash credit terms are ALWAYS 90 days, no matter what the in-store promo. Best Buy stores will match the online price of merchandise and you get the promo terms.

(Thanks to Matt!)

(Photo: gamerscoreblog)


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    I thought Best Buy didn’t price match their online prices. Isn’t that why they have the fake in store bestbuy.com site?

  2. KingPsyz says:

    The gawker sites have been really wonky for me at work lately, showing up in text only and not accepting comments…

    Anyways, this is very true. When I bought my PS3 I was going to do site to store just to get my free GC when they weren’t ready for me. But they had a decent inventory and decided I’d just go down and walk back to the game section.

    On the site the only mentioned offer was the 5 free blu ray movies (which BTW, has anyone actually received their movies yet?).

    At checkout we got the 5 free BD offer plus 6 months no intrest or 12 months at some retarded low rate like 5%.

    Basically, every single time I have made a large purchase there I always get some special financing offer.

    Yes it is safe to shop there if you know what you want and take your business to the right ones. If the Vegas Best Buys messed with me the way I see others posting about I’d go down the street.

  3. blueboxer says:

    Maybe its time to stop going on about the “fake site” which was actually a useful tool for employees who weren’t idiots/sleazebags. Originally, there was just one site, which was very confusing. Then they split it into two easier to understand sites (with the disclaimer up top). The point of having multiple sites was so employees could see the national (bestbuy.com) price as well as the store price which varies based on market reactions.

    Recently they changed it once again to be easier on the customers who use the kiosks (but possibly harder on employees looking at price differences). The kiosks now show the lowest price available for any given product, excluding some store-specific clearance items.

  4. quiksilver says:

    @blueboxer: Or just stop shopping at Best Buy all together.

    There are a lot better businesses, like Costco or Newegg, that will be cheaper and more helpful.

  5. headon says:

    @Blueboxer: Never never never stop going on about the fake site. It was an egregious attempt to scam the customer. Never forget it because it’s an example of one of the lowest points in corporate America.

  6. Aesteval says:

    Best Buy online same as cash terms are whatever the terms are online
    at the moment. They have their own special deals that are highlighted
    on the site. Unless something has drastically changed since I purchased
    a TV from them online, to pick up in store, and with 24 months same as

  7. slowlyxdownward says:

    I work at a Best Buy. It’d be fan-freaking-tastic if people would stop thinking that the “Fake site” is something that ALL Best Buy’s use to screw the customer out of a price. My store, and myself specifically will ALWAYS check both sites first, so if customers say they saw a different price online, we will always confirm. It’s ludicrous to think that a customer needs to bring in a mobile web browser to get a price matched (ESPECIALLY since the pricing difference between online and in-store is almost always within 10-15 dollars. Best Buy still (generally) makes a profit, even after the price match, and 98% (i made this number up) will result in customer retention. In fact, just tonight I actually INFORMED a customer that a product was $10 cheaper online, so they knew what to say when they reached the customer service desk.

    Finally, and this is just for general knowledge for anyone who’s in the market for a computer: With the B.B. Credit Card, there will be 18 months no interest financing for the middle two weeks of February. So don’t go in and purchase any computers until next week, when you’ll get an additional year of no interest for free.

    i know, i know, worthless info, right? Well, it’s better than buying something now and finding out you could pay less per month for the same laptop, AMIRITE?


  8. Mr.Ninethree says:

    Weird enough, I was just discussing my Best Buy credit card that I used to buy a laptop back in August.

    I actually hate it. My payment is due on the 17th of everymonth, so the first payment I did, I logged online on the 16th to pay. Thinking “oh no worries I’ll be EARLY with my payment..” Nope.

    It actually takes best buy TWO days to process my ONLINE PAYMENT. So, next month, still not realizing this, am hit with a $40 dollar LATE FEE ON A $10 dollar payment!!

    Anyways, I also looked around before making my next payment, and noticed that in order to process my payment THAT DAY or even the NEXT DAY it will be $15 extra dollars…AWESOME

    I’ve since paid it in full because of this shit.

    I hate that place. DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD unless you pay your bills weeks in advance.

  9. jezzwer56 says:

    Get over it already. Yes, it is obvious that the Consumerist hates Best Buy and will post any story about them. Yes, we know that everyone who leaves comments hates Best Buy too. Guess what, Target has the exact same policy about this situation. So does Wal-mart. Retail stores have different offers available for brick and mortar as they have on their website.

  10. endless says:

    Best Buy pricematches their online site most of the time.

    they have the other website setup so people can’t be at the store already and see different prices. for example some one wants to know the specs on a certain TV or camera, a real obscure thing not told on the tag. so you look at the “website”… this isnt rocket science people

  11. Michael Belisle says:

    @quiksilver180: Yeah, I’ll just go down to my local brick-and-mortar Newegg…

  12. Myotheralt says:

    @PSN: kingpsyz: I got 4 of the 5, Beuna Vista said one was out of stock, and it took all of the 6-8 weeks.

  13. dspiewak says:

    Happened to me too, but I called customer service and they switched it from 90 days no interest to 18 months for my washer/dryer, no questions asked and even offered an apology.

  14. Coder4Life says:

    Now that ocmpusa is gone, I am forced to shop at best buy as much as I hated it. But to say that it is some what descent since I have shopped there for a few things. Though I don’t talk to their associates unless I need something. I know what I want and get out of there…

    If I ever run into a single problem I will not shop there, I still rely on the internet on most things…

  15. secretblueshirt says:

    While it’s true that you can’t check out the BestBuy.com (National) price from the self-service kiosks you can ask any employee to check the “national website” for you. When you’re logged in as an employee on any register or computer you have the option of opening “BBY.com – Local” (kiosk.bestbuy.com) or “BBY.com – National” (www.bestbuy.com). Also the BBY local (kiosk) site makes it very clear at the top with a yellow band at the top of every page that the prices listed are in-store prices that may differ from national internet pricing.

    It’s trivially easy to price match to the BBY.com National price, just need to verify it on any computer or cash register (can even do it on the same register you’re being rung up on, by pressing Alt-Tab) then press price match, BestBuy.com price– as long as the employee knows what he/she is doing it takes 10 seconds and shouldn’t require a manager approval/override.

  16. clyde55 says:

    I went into Best Buy to buy a new computer about three weeks ago. It was quite a hassle but I’ll leave the bad part of the story out of it and tell the good part of the story to balance things out.

    It was hard to tell from the box whether the computer had the exact specs I was looking for. I wanted to find out for sure without taking the computer out of the box. So, I went and found it online at their website the next morning and it had gone on sale at $230 dollars cheaper. So I printed the ad up.

    I had also at the last minute bought a monitor that I regretted having purchased before I was a mile away from the story. Why I waited until the last minute is again part of the bad story so we’ll again skip it for now.

    So the next afternoon I returned to the store, fully expecting to be given a hassle about one if not the other exchange or both. I even had a voice recorder in my shirt pocket just in case.

    I showed the girl at the service counter the ad I had printed up for the discounted computer. She asked where I got the ad from and I pointed to the top of the page and said it was from their web site. She said since it was from their web site they would honor it. No problem.

    I then told her about the monitor and that I wanted to exchange it. Again, she said it was no problem. So basically I was able to get a better monitor, which was more or less paid for by the computer discount.

    So on THAT day I had no problem. Don’t ask about the previous evening though. So it’s always a crap shoot when you go in there.

  17. StinkyCat says:

    I think the point of the article was missed. Basically, if you buy from Best Buy, buy at the local store and not from the website because the website and the credit card do not honor the in-store credit terms while the in-store employees will honor the on-line price. Therefore the best deal AND the best credit terms can be found in-store. ANd if you have tin-foil hat fears about a fek in-store site, print out the site price and bring it in.

  18. Phildawg says:

    I love all the newbie BBY employees who come here to defend their company! LOL As if they know wtf their talking about. The fake site existed long before you had 2 different options in side of employee toolkit and long before they put disclaimers on it. As a matter of fact when the fake site was launched instore, training was put into place to deceive customers into thinking this was BBY online and make sales through it even if the prices were higher and somehow somebody knew it (because only in the geeksquad area could you go to the real bestbuy.com on their bench pc which they won’t even let other bby employees touch, nevermind checking prices on it, haha).

    Anyways, the training existed on the fake site because items sold on the fake site would count within 48 hours towards that stores numbers. In other words, they would still capture and receive credit for the revenue.

    This was quite important as the fake site launched prior to 9/11/2001 but the economy was already in a down spin and store rankings had revenue and profit margin set to count as double in store rankings. This meant revenue and gross margin counted for 80% of a stores rankings which large bonuses were based off for management and supervisors.

    Now you know the whole story of the fake site and all these 3 month old employees can’t say shit.

  19. Mike_ says:

    I bought a 50″ plasma TV at Best Buy awhile back. They were offering 18-month 0% interest, so I opened a Best Buy credit account and put $3,300 on the new card. When I got my first statement, I set up auto-pay at my bank: 18 even payments. And then I mostly ignored it, reviewing my statements only to make sure they received my previous payment. When it got close to the end, I would combine the last few payments and close the account.

    Fast forward 12 months. I opened my statement, and found that my promotional interest rate had expired 6 months early! They applied some ridiculous interest rate to the entire purchase, and added a finance charge of more than $600 to my account. I freaked.

    I went looking for my purchase documentation — receipts, credit application materials, anything. I found my receipt, of course, but nothing relating to the financing plan I was offered. And then I remembered my conversation with the Best Buy rep who set up my credit account. She said her system would only let her enter it as a 12-month plan, but a manager would change it to 18-months after the first billing cycle. She was very convincing. In retrospect, I was starting to think I had been hustled.

    I decided to try the customer service number on my Best Buy (HSBC) card. For my first few attempts, I reached unsympathetic agents who insisted there was nothing that could be done. (They suggested I go back to the store and plead my case to the manager.) I asked to speak to a supervisor.

    I explained the situation to the supervisor. He asked what I bought. Then he looked up the promotion history for plasma TVs, and found that they were indeed offering 18 months interest-free at the time. He immediately fixed my interest rate and credited back the finance charge. I was shocked!

    I had all but resigned myself to paying more than $600 for someone else’s negligence (or perhaps malice). Instead, I found a supervisor at HSBC who was able to do the right thing, despite all of my errors along the way, and undo a wrong that happened more than a year earlier. What a relief that was.

    I recorded the call, burned it to a CD and filed it with my Best Buy Card statements. When I got my next bill (with the promised corrections), I paid the remaining balance and immediately closed the account. Despite the happy ending, I have been avoiding Best Buy since this whole fiasco.

    (Did anyone read all that?)

  20. bostonmike says:

    I read it. Good for you, good for the supervisor, bad bad bad for Best Buy.

  21. reasonsnotrules says:

    @Mr.Ninethree: Who’s fault is that but your own? It’s not the responsibility of Best Buy for you to pay your card on time. Also their cards are through HSBC bank so Best Buy really has nothing to do with the processing time…Would you mail a payment out a day before it is due? Stop blaming the company on something that is clearly your fault.

  22. FearlessUser says:

    I almost bought a TV at BB.com since it was cheaper there than in the store, then I saw that at the time, they had 18 months financing in the store. I went to the store, told them about the online price, they looked it up, and it wasn’t some “fake in-store site”, and the price was the same that I saw it for online at home. So I got it for the online price and the in-store financing. JEZZWER56, I agree with you. Everyone hates some store. I’ve gone to Best But a lot, spending tens of thousands of dollars there over the last 5 or 6 years buying all my consoles, DVD players, computer software, a computer, more than one TV, and lots of music, movies, and games. I’ve never had any problems with them. People are just the most vocal about them because they’re the biggest store here in the states.

  23. wellfleet says:

    We will price-match the online promotion, but per policy, you do not get the promotional financing as well. If the TV costs $1000 online with no financing but $1200 in store with 24-month financing, you get either the $1000 or the financing, not both. When we finance your purchase, it costs us money, so we lose even more money off the top. If a customer double-dips in offers, we would sell many things below cost. It’s really simple math. And for the love of God, BB, and all retail operations where you guys spend your money every day, are there to turn a profit. If they weren’t making money, they wouldn’t exist. I’m perplexed by intelligent people who begrudge a for-profit entity its profits. It’s not BB Charities Inc.!

  24. bufftbone says:

    The only time to order online and do store pick up is when the online price is lower and they won’t price match. I saved $100 on my printer last year that way.

  25. Phildawg says:

    @wellfleet: It’s the shitty attitudes you get from some employees and managers who are trained to think they are better than everybody because they are a manager at BEST BUY! wow! unfortunately, anybody with intelligence realizes that jobs sucks complete ass and requires no education, instead you have to be good at dealing with stressful situations and basically being a bitch, but at some point the employees and management didn’t get that memo.

  26. wellfleet says:

    @Phildawg: See, that’s not really true. The good employees DO have an education. I have two BAs. Most of my coworkers are in college pursuing advanced degrees. I would say the percentage of college degrees in my store is much, much higher than in the general population. Learning to deal with stressful situations is a skill everyone should learn, whether or not they work in retail. I can’t see how this can be a bad thing. And lastly, as someone with intelligence, I realize that I get to meet really cool people every day and help them out with their problems, help them get someone the most bad-ass gift, recommend some music I dig, get someone out of a bind… It’s actually rewarding. I’m essentially in charge of a multi-million dollar business, where I can make decisions that will make money or bleed money.
    It’s small-minded, not to mention uninformed, to shit all over a job you know little about. MY work has value beyond the money I bring to the company, and I try to do my job with all the integrity and humility I can muster. And some days, it’s really difficult, especially when most of my customers presume me to be an uneducated high-school dropout.
    The attitude you get from *some* employees reflects those employees’ work ethic, not the whole company’s, and certainly not mine. It’s ignorant to paint thousands of people with the same epithets.

  27. Counterpoint says:

    @Phildawg: I would laugh hysterically if you were Phil Schoonover or CC, aka Firedog… Who used to work with BBY during that time… Hmm…

    Anyways, I used to work in a BBY back when those rolled out. They were always portrayed as a site where customers could order store items that were out of stock, not to hoodwink them on prices. It reflected the in-store prices because you were in-store, and virtually buying something off the shelf.

  28. Counterpoint says:

    *dang missing edit button – Phi S *of* CC