T-Mobile Says It’ll Pay Off Your Phone If You Switch


A photo of the T-Mobile logo on a building

T-Mobile has got a deal that will pay off your phone in exchange for your business.
Image: Alastair Pike/AFP (Getty Images)

Carriers will stop at nothing to entice you away from your current plan. T-Mobile is known for pushing freebies and price cuts to keep its customers on board, and now it’s offering $1000 pay off your smartphone at your current carrier and have you come over to the pink side.

T-Mobile will help you jump ship beginning today by offering up to $1,000 for each of up to five qualified unlocked devices via a prepaid Mastercard, as well as 20% off a family plan. The deal is geared toward AT&T and Verizon customers who aren’t satisfied with their carrier’s respective 5G networks. Those customers can switch to T-Mobile’s Essentials plan, which costs $27/line and includes unlimited talk, text, and 5G data, plus mobile hotspot data up to 3G speeds.

In the fine print, T-Mobile writes the virtual Mastercard can take 15 days to administer, after which you’ll have six months to use it.

T-Mobile is desperate for you to think of it as the best around. The carrier wants you to know it’s been ranking highly in various third-party speed tests, and it lists Ookla’s Speedtest as its barometer for network performance. Speedtest found that T-Mobile was the fastest mobile operator in the U.S. with median download speeds of 62 Mbps on the latest smartphone chipsets, with AT&T and Verizon ranking a solid second and third.

PCMag’s independent network tests also found T-mobile had the fastest consistent 5G download and upload speeds across the board. However, Verizon ranked as having the highest download speeds, helped by the company’s use of the mmWave spectrum.

T-mobile’s offering is certainly alluring to anyone having performance issues with their current carrier. But its significant mishaps in the last year are a reminder that all carriers come with their batch of issues. Earlier this year, T-Mobile lied about the spectrums it would maintain to get its Sprint merger approved. And it recently experienced a massive data breach where hackers stole sensitive data of roughly 49 million customers and even potential customers. T-Mobile offers complimentary identity theft protection through McAfee’s ID Theft Protection Service as a result of this, but it’s hardly a freebie for the customer’s sake.

If you’ve been mulling over a change like I have because you feel like you’re paying too much for a carrier that isn’t meeting your needs, you might consider taking T-Mobile up on its deal. Just remember to read the fine print, as every carrier has its caveats.