Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

UPBaylor

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 30, 2014
69
16
I'm not really up on all the details of the discount plans, but I did research them a bit a few months ago. Here's what I would like, but I don't know if it's possible - it doesn't appear so. AT&T.

We have traditionally paid for our phones up front and are on a defined data plan that is far more than we ever use, so we haven't been on a contract for phones for many years. The feature that we do use sporadically, but often for short periods is the ability to tether to our phones. If I want to take advantage of the phone "discounts" by AT&T, it seems that they force you onto their unlimited data plan which eliminates the hotspot tethering option. I am satisfied with AT&T, so I would happily sign a contract keeping me with them for two years (or whatever the time period is), but I would like to maintain our current defined data plan which allows us to use the phones as hotspots.

Is that possible, or is the only pathway to discounted phones through their unlimited data plan without the hotspot feature?
 

Crow_Servo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2018
929
1,186
America
The base unlimited AKA Unlimited Starter is without hotspot, but the Unlimited Extra has 15 GB of hotspot, while the top-of-the-line plan, Unlimited Elite, has 40 GB of hotspot. So you can have unlimited and hotspot.
 

now i see it

macrumors G4
Jan 2, 2002
10,817
22,805
I did att prepaid fake gimped "unlimited" data for quite a while. It's horrible. ($65/month). It does not allow tethering, will not stream video embedded in a web page or any video bigger than 480p and for me it ALWAYS throttled me down to dial up speeds every afternoon and unpredictably. It was misery. Unlimited data? Yeah right. You'll never get a fast enough connection to download much data.

Their $75/month unlimited prepaid plan allows for limited hotspot data and fast data speeds. This is the plan to get.
 

UPBaylor

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 30, 2014
69
16
Thanks Crow! Last time I checked, I didn't see that option.

Now the issue I have is that all their plans say based on 4 devices and we only have 3 with cell service (we use the hotspot feature when we need to connect watches and ipads, etc.). I need to find out how they charge it if you don't need 4 connected devices.

Then again, it's about time to upgrade the ipads, so that could be an option ($$) too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crow_Servo

Crow_Servo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2018
929
1,186
America
Thanks Crow! Last time I checked, I didn't see that option.

Now the issue I have is that all their plans say based on 4 devices and we only have 3 with cell service (we use the hotspot feature when we need to connect watches and ipads, etc.). I need to find out how they charge it if you don't need 4 connected devices.

Then again, it's about time to upgrade the ipads, so that could be an option ($$) too.
You’re welcome!

The price will definitely be lower for 3 lines compared to 4. For some reason carriers like to advertise the price of 4 lines. I guess they consider that the sweet spot or something.

The iPad is in its own unique tablet category, so it won’t count towards the 4 lines price. Speaking of the iPad, the iPad Air promo (50% off with trade-in) is pretty good, but that’s the only iPad with any promos. Maybe they’ll do a promo for the upcoming Mini? But yeah, the tablet price is $20/month for unlimited, regardless of how many lines you have.
 

UPBaylor

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 30, 2014
69
16
And, deviating further from my OP, I'm wondering how long they will continue the $700 trade in credit for the older models? I have an 8 and was waiting on the 13 to come out to upgrade. But, the 8 is at the bottom of their list for credits an I'm concerned they will be bump it off this list when the 13 becomes available. Trying to think through the strategy as to my best course of action. Maybe upgrade now, and pay for the Next Up feature, then drop it after I get the 13?? The other phones in our family are already 12's so I'm good to go there for a while.
 

Crow_Servo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2018
929
1,186
America
And, deviating further from my OP, I'm wondering how long they will continue the $700 trade in credit for the older models? I have an 8 and was waiting on the 13 to come out to upgrade. But, the 8 is at the bottom of their list for credits an I'm concerned they will be bump it off this list when the 13 becomes available. Trying to think through the strategy as to my best course of action. Maybe upgrade now, and pay for the Next Up feature, then drop it after I get the 13?? The other phones in our family are already 12's so I'm good to go there for a while.
That’s definitely a whole other can of worms. Nobody outside AT&T corporate knows if the iPhone 13 will have the same trade-in promo as the 12 series. I’m hoping yes because my XR would be part of the $700 tier for trade-in. If the 8 falls out of the $700 tier, then it would still be part of the $350 trade-in tier, assuming the promo doesn’t radically change.

For Next Up, you need to pay off 50% of your phone before upgrading, and since you’re trading in a phone you don’t yet own, there’s not usually any savings on the phone you trade it in for (although they have been offering some incentives for that lately), so you’re basically canceling out the savings you got from the initial trade-in.

It’s very difficult to game the system. They’ve pretty much figured out all the loopholes in advance, so I’d get a phone you plan to use for quite some time if you want the best deal long-term.
 

UPBaylor

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 30, 2014
69
16
Thanks Crow! It appears that I can change plans, then take care of the phone trade in separately at a later time depending on them still offering trade credit so I'll go that direction.

I'm ok still cruising along with my 8 for a while and the 13's are rumored to have some features that matter to me, so I've been waiting. If true, it's worth the risk of waiting for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crow_Servo

dojoman

macrumors 68000
Apr 8, 2010
1,934
1,093
I did att prepaid fake gimped "unlimited" data for quite a while. It's horrible. ($65/month). It does not allow tethering, will not stream video embedded in a web page or any video bigger than 480p and for me it ALWAYS throttled me down to dial up speeds every afternoon and unpredictably. It was misery. Unlimited data? Yeah right. You'll never get a fast enough connection to download much data.

Their $75/month unlimited prepaid plan allows for limited hotspot data and fast data speeds. This is the plan to get.
There is no such thing as unlimited hotspot data where do you see this? I have unlimited elite, not prepaid my hotspot is 40Gb limit yes I did go over one time and they slow down so much it’s unusable after 40Gb.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.