Last year I was in a Best Buy store buying a new TV after moving to Pennsylvania, and I saw signs for the company's new Totaltech membership program. Designed as the evolution of the Best Buy Beta rewards program — which was, as the name suggests, a Beta version — Totaltech combines the best of the rewards program with several other added benefits, including those offered through Best Guy's Geek Squad.
I try to buy from Best Buy instead of Amazon, because of Totaltech.
At first, I took no notice of the giant banner. However, while waiting for the rep to ring up my order, I saw something interesting: Totaltech includes free installation of most common items bought at Best Buy, including thermostats, TVs, appliances, and more. There are also discounts on advanced services. I was already spending $5,000 per year with Best Buy to hit the top-tier Elite Plus level, but it didn't really come with many benefits aside from rewards.
Fast forward to today, 18 months later, and I'm a Best Buy Totaltech advocate. I will deliberately buy things from Best Buy instead of Amazon if I can, for many reasons. It's the best $200 I spent this year, and I'll continue to pay. Here's why.
60-day returns on almost everything
My most-used benefit with Best Buy Totaltech is now the 60-day returns on almost everything. My primary place to buy tech has usually been Amazon or wireless carriers directly, but as I rose through the Elite membership tiers, Best Buy kept extending the returns period. With Totaltech, I now get 60-day returns on most products, although that doesn't apply to things like cell phones or anything that needs service activation.
Best Buy Totaltech is perfect for people who always want the latest tech.
This 60-day returns policy saved me hundreds in the first 12 months of my membership. Last year, I bought a new 48-inch OLED TV for my bedroom — the LG C1 OLED, which is a great purchase — and about six weeks later, the price was reduced by $300. I was just outside the regular returns window, but still inside the 60-day extended returns period under Best Buy Totaltech. Best Buy support, via Twitter, quickly refunded the difference.
That's not all — yesterday, I wrote about how much I love the Dell U3223QE 32-inch 4k monitor. While waiting for that to go on sale at the beginning of this year, I bought four of the older model. When I noticed that the newer model was finally available, I processed a return with Best Buy for all four of older ones; again, I was outside the standard return period. If you often get buyer's remorse or just like to try out the latest tech, Best Buy Totaltech is the membership for you.
24 months of coverage, including AppleCare Plus
When you decide to keep something you buy from Best Buy, it typically comes with two years of Geek Squad protection. This covers drops and spills for portable items, although what's covered depends on the exact category. You can find out more about what's covered here.
I buy my Apple products from Best Buy, because Totaltech includes AppleCare+.
One of the best reasons to buy Totaltech is the coverage provided on Apple products; for as long as your membership is active, any Apple product you buy from Best Buy comes with AppleCare+ included.
Aside from the iPhone, or anything you need to customize, it's worth buying your Apple products from Best Buy if you're a Totaltech member. The cost of AppleCare+ on my Mac alone is $99 per year, and you can save hundreds with Totaltech, depending upon what you buy.
Free same-day or fast delivery
If you live near a Best Buy store, Totaltech is even more valuable. A lot of the time, I'll make impulse purchases, but these often mean needing to go to a store. Best Buy Totaltech changes this, in a really good way. The success of Amazon has been the ability to get same, next, or two-day shipping on most items, and Totaltech offers the same from the Best Buy inventory near you.
Best Buy set Amazon in its sights with super fast delivery.
If you live within the range of a Best Buy, you'll find that your local store offers same-day shipping on many items. I've ordered plenty of things for same-day delivery, and if I order before 3 pm, they're typically delivered before 11 pm. Best Buy partnered with Roadie to offer this service, which is present in both Pennsylvania and California, although I'm not sure about its availability in every state.
Whether you have same-day delivery available or not, you get one- or two-day delivery on virtually everything. I say virtually because it depends on inventory location, and some things take a few days longer. Regardless, it's fast. I ordered many large and small things that all arrived the next day. If I had paid consumer rates for all of these deliveries, which are handled by FedEx and UPS if not Roadie, it would have cost over $1,000 in the past 18 months.
Better customer service
You won't see this on the Totaltech page, but a side benefit of Totaltech is better overall customer service. I say better because Best Buy leaves much to be desired regarding customer service, but Totaltech gets you better service than without. Whether through Twitter support, in-store help, or over-the-phone discussions, being a Totaltech member gets you better support. That's to be expected as Totaltech is for Best Buy customers willing to pay a premium, and it's another reason to have a Totaltech membership.
Free installation on most products
It's funny, but the reason I bought Totaltech has become one of the benefits I use the least. As it turns out, it can take a while to get products installed, and I need the instant gratification of buying and installing something immediately. That said, theoretically Totaltech could have saved me more than $500 in installation costs over the past year, had I not known what I was doing or used a handyman.
Consider the table below, which shows the various items I purchased and installed, that someone may have had to pay a handyman over the past 12 months. You can see all the included services here.
|Service||Best Buy cost|
|Smart thermostat installation||$129.99|
|55" and below TV connect and mount||$249.99|
|56" and above TV connect and mount||$249.99|
|Soundbar connect and mount||$129.99|
|Video doorbell install||$149.99|
Assuming you purchased a TV, thermostat, soundbar, and video doorbell from Best Buy, the total separate cost of installation would be $659.96. You would save $459.97 with a Totaltech membership, let alone all the other benefits.
How much has Best Buy Totaltech actually saved me?
According to the Best Buy website, my Totaltech savings are $334.19, since I renewed on July 18, 2022. That's broken down as $7 on purchases, and $327.19 on protection plans. There are plenty of Totaltech-exclusive sales — especially every Monday — so your purchase savings could be much higher, depending upon your purchase habits.
Totaltech saves money on the protection I would have paid for anyway.
It's worth noting that I wouldn't have bought protection for some of these devices. Anything Apple I tend to buy AppleCare+ for, or in this case, actively buy it from Best Buy to get it included for free. For things like monitors, my Xbox controllers, my Amplifi Alien Wi-Fi routers, and more, I would have also bought protection, in some form. Ultimately, I think it's saved me around $250, making it a net positive after the $200 fee.
The actual fee for Best Buy Totaltech is $200 per year, but when I signed up, it was still in Beta, and I got 10 percent off for being a Best Buy credit card holder. Upon renewal, I was charged the full renewal fee, and the offer to get 10 percent off with a credit card is no longer applicable. It's still a worthy purchase yearly, and I intend to keep renewing.