Published on May 11th, 2017 | by Chuck39
Cheapest Way to Get Samsung Pay (3x on Altitude, Gift Card Deals)
Why We Care about Samsung Pay
Lots of people are interested in having access to Samsung Pay for a couple of reasons:
- The US Bank Altitude card earns 3x on mobile payments. While Apple Pay is also eligible, Samsung Pay works even in places that don’t have NFC capabilities due to it’s MST technology. In simple English that means that almost anywhere you can swipe a credit card, you can use Samsung Pay. By placing your phone next to the swiper, it will ‘trick’ the swiper into thinking it’s been swiped.
- Samsung Pay regularly releases some nice gift card deals.
Even iOS users might find it worthwhile to have a secondary Samsung Pay device to take advantage of these deals, though it is, admittedly, a hassle to have to lug around a second device. Figure out how much you’d be using mobile payments and how much you’ll gain by having a Samsung phone to decide if it’s worth dealing with.
The following devices support Samsung Pay: Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy Note5.
Supported carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket, MetroPCS, and US.Cellular.
Another option is to get a Gear3 smartwatch which has Samsung Pay and can pair with any Android phone running Android 4.4 or above, even non-Samsung phones or older Samsung phones. It won’t work with an iOS device, however.
Gear S3 works with MST as well, giving it the same wide acceptance as all Samsung Pay devices. Gear S2 only works with NFC, not MST, so you aren’t better off than using an iPhone. (Samsung link)
The cheapest will likely be to find a used (32 gb) Samsung S6 or Note 5 on Swappa, eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. From a casual ‘galaxy s6’ search on Amazon, it looks like you can score a refurbished phone for around $200, slightly less for a used phone. Similar prices on eBay.
You might find a cheap deal on a more advanced phone or on a new phone. For example, there was a deal to get a new Note 5 from Walmart for $199. Remember, assuming you only need the phone for limited uses (mobile payments or buying gift cards), lots of the minor issues with second-hand phones aren’t a big deal.
Just be aware that many second-hand phones (and maybe refurbs too?) are rooted/jailbroken, and Samsung Pay won’t work on those. Verify first that it hasn’t been rooted or just buy a cheap new phone (or refurb?).
Of course, veteran shoppers know that there are always ways to stack deals and get these thing for a better price. For example, wait for a 10% eBay Bucks promo or use some Amazon stacking for a discount there.
- Samsung Pay won’t work on rooted phones.
- Some people report that Samsung Pay won’t work properly on an unlocked phone. Others have success with unlocked phones. (The data points I’ve seen are with phones that got unlocked by carrier, so it might be that it will work on network-unlocked phones but not on factory-unlocked phones.)
- Some mention that Samsung Pay won’t work on an international device. (See also this comment.)
- I’m not sure if you need service to initially activate your Samsung Pay, but you certainly can use it without service at all.
Any other important things to know before buying a device for Samsung Pay? Other good ways to get it for cheap? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it into the post. I’m not an expert on this subject, but thought it’d be useful to have a post where we can discuss these issues.
If you ever see a cheap way to get a Samsung Pay device in the future, please let us know in the comments. You can also subscribe to the comments to get a alerted if such a comment comes through.