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Best Buy to trial $200-a-year memberships in Twin Cities

It will qualify subscribers for "free" in-home delivery and shipping.

Best Buy is betting on Twin Cities shoppers being willing to pay $200-a-year for enhanced service from the retailer.

The Richfield company announced it's launching a pilot program called Best Buy Beta, offering memberships to customers that will give them access to exclusive services and deals.

The Twin Cities is one of six test markets selected for the trial, which will cost $199.99 typically, or $179.99 for Best Buy credit card holders. It will launch in late April.

Among the benefits provided by a membership is "fast and free shipping" with zero minimum purchase, free in-home standard delivery and installation on "most products," and "exclusive member pricing on a wide range of products."

It will also offer unlimited Geek Squad tech support even if you didn't buy the tech at Best Buy, 2-year protection on most Best Buy purchases, a 60-day "extended return window," and 10% off subscription services bought through Best Buy.

“As we look to evolve our membership programs, the goal of Best Buy Beta is to create a membership experience that customers will love and to leave them feeling confident throughout their relationship with Best Buy,” said Best Buy's Chief Customer Officer Allison Peterson. "This pilot offers premium service, complete with support aimed at anticipating our customers’ needs."

Best Buy's existing tech subscription, the $199.99-a-year Total Tech Support, will remain available outside of the six test markets.

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