Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom services provider, today unveiled its installment schemes for the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus that can save you anywhere from Rs 8,000 to Rs 11,000 over a two-year period.
The plans are similar to what it has rolled out for the Apple iPhone, and offer value for those who want to go for the bundled plans.
In all four cases, you get free calls and SMS for 24 months as well as 80 GB of data per month with roll-over.
In terms of detail, the down-payment depends on the storage memory, while the EMI depends on whether you are buying the S9 or the S9 Plus.
In other words, the down payment is the same at 9,900 for both 64-GB models, while it higher at Rs 17,900 for the two 256 GB models.
When it comes to the EMIs, it is Rs 2,499 for both models of S9, and Rs 2,799 for both models of S9 Plus.
The bundled plan, which doesn’t have any per-day cap and also offers roll-over of unused data, is worth about Rs 700-800 per month in today’s terms.
Even giving a conservative price of Rs 600 per month on the freebies gives a value of Rs 14,400 for the bundled airtime, SMS and data.
The second ‘freebie’ you get is the loan.
Take the case of the Galaxy S9.
It has a street price of Rs 57,900. In Airtel’s scheme, the downpayment is Rs 9,900. Hence, the loan amount works out to be Rs 48,000.
On such an amount, a credit card loan at 13% interest will result in interest charges of Rs 6,768 for two years.
In other words, you are getting a total benefit of Rs Rs 6,768 (interest) plus Rs 14,400 (airtime and data). Putting both together, you get benefits of Rs 21,168.
However, in return, you end up paying more than the street price by the time you finish the EMI.
Since you are paying Rs 2,499 per month for 24 months, you end up spending close to Rs 60,000. Together with the down payment, you end up paying Rs 69,900.
In other words, under Bharti Airtel’s EMI scheme, you end up paying Rs 11,976 extra compared to buying the phone off the shelf without any bundling or EMI.
However, for this Rs 11,976, you are getting freebies worth Rs 21,168.
In addition, customers who go for the EMI scheme will also get free Amazon Prime membership for a year.
The savings are highest in case of the S9 256 GB and the lowest in case of the S9 Plus 64 GB. (see chart).
It is not clear whether the scheme is available only to credit card holders or not, and whether an equivalent amount will be blocked on credit cards when a user avails of the scheme.
Airtel said it has partnered with HDFC Bank, Federal Bank, Clix Capital and Seynse Technologies to enable the scheme.
The offer makes sense for really heavy users of data and voice who are looking to upgrade their phone, especially if they are existing customers of Bharti Airtel.
“We have made it very convenient for customers to own this premium device by removing the price barrier and offering instant and seamless financing,” said .Vani Venkatesh, chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.