T-Mobile switch now or wait (family plan promotion vs. iPhone 6s)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maflynn, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #1
    Here's the quandary I'm in and I'd appreciate some wisdom and insight.
    My kids are getting to the age where they'll be getting phones. We were planning on getting them phones for their birthday (in January).

    I noticed with T-Mo, I can get 4 lines for 120 dollars and each line gets 10GB of data. That promotion ends on 09/08. I'm currently under contract with ATT with two lines but with T-Mo, I basically get 4 lines for what I'm paying ATT for two lines, so to me its a no brainer to switch - my plan is to buy a couple of used phones on swappa for the kids.

    Apple is presumably rolling out new iPhones later in the month. I don't feel like buying new phones at the very cusp of a new model. Another alternative is to eat the two ETFs (total about 400) myself and unlock the phones to use on T-Mo, and then sell them after the 6s rolls out. One question comes to mind with that option, do I get 3G, 4G, LTE with an ATT phone on T-Mo?

    If I wait beyond the promotion, then I'll be paying 140 dollars a month for 3GB of data per line not 10GB per line. I don't know how often they have these sort of promotions but is it worth rolling the dice to see what they might roll out for the Christmas buying season?
     
  2. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #2
    Do the math and go with the cheapest option.
     
  3. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #3
  4. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    That's been my mantra, but I also don't want to throw good money after bad, and in a sense I question the logic in buying an iPhone 6 mere weeks from the announcement of the 6s

    They are, but its not as clear cut as them paying the ETF. You need to show them the bill with the ETF charge, then up to 8 weeks later you get a master card for the amount of the ETF. I would need to pay out of pocket the ETF well before getting that credit card. Secondly, I would also need to turn in my iPhones and then buy T-Mo iPhones which will cost me 27 dollars a month (less any credits for turning in my iPhones). That's the issue I'm having now, paying for an iPhone 6 at the very end of its life cycle.

    That's why I was thinking of paying for the ETF myself and unlocking the iPhones, I eat the 400 bucks but the wife and I will not have to pay 27 dollars a month for each iPhone.
     
  5. I7guy macrumors G5

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    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #5
    That 9/8 are was no coincidence, Tmo knew what they were doing. That said I would see what my projected savings is over a few years to see when the $400 break even is.
     
  6. techspin, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015

    techspin macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #6
    Maybe sell your phones now and find some cheap android ones to tide you over. Next month you can upgrade to the new phone while the prices will drop on the 6 or whichever model you choose for your kids. T-Mo seems to always have promotions around the corner though.

    Plus if you join their jump plan, you upgrade for "free". Really you're just leasing the current iPhone then turning it in.
     
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    If you can find some cheap phones on Swappa or Craigslist for around $20-30 each to trade in then that would probably be better. Then finance the $50 LG Leon from T-Mobile in order to get the ETF repayment. So you would be looking at spending around $150 total in order to get back your $400 in ETFs. I guess you could also offset that slightly by selling the LG phones afterwards.

    This allows you to keep your current AT&T iPhones (which are fully compatible and identical to the T-Mobile versions). You get in before the promotion ends, and you'll fully eligible to finance the 6S when it comes out in a few weeks. I think that's the best way to handle it.
     
  8. RossMak macrumors 6502

    RossMak

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #8
    How much data do you use? I find that 3GB is quite a lot because I am connected to Wifi a lot of the time if I am at home or work which obviously isn't always the case for everyone.

    Although paying less for more data is always a winner but could you look at getting even less data say 5GB which would save you more?
     
  9. Sketchr macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #9
    You will definitely get T-Mobile LTE on an ATT model iPhone 6/+
     
  10. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    That's the quandary I'm in. In a sense I think we'll be better off waiting because the 6s will be out, our ETF goes down (slightly each month) and the kids don't need phones now. We were going to wait until their birthday and I'd rather keep that plan. I was going to just order the family plan and get two sim cards to be used later - this makes sense since the amount of money I'd be paying T-Mo would be less then what I pay at ATT.

    We constantly bump up against 6GB threshold of our plan. I can see two 10 year olds using a lot more data
     
  11. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 16, 2014
    #11
    I would get on the T-Mobile $120 for 4 lines with 10gb each, then do Jump on Demand for you and your wife's phones for just $15 each more to get new iPhone 6 for both of you, and can exchange out for the new one in just a few weeks. And then either get cheap phones for the kids or eat your old ETF and give them your old phones.
     
  12. Catul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    #12
    I would switch right now to get on the $120/10Gb/4 lines plan, and ALSO because of the Jump on Demand (JOD) iPhone 6 promotion. You pay $15/month for the iPhone 6 ($27 - $12/month credit), turn it in next month and get the iPhone 6S for the same $15/month for 18 months, then pay the $163 to buyout the phone; effectively saving $216 off the full retail price of the new iPhone.

    You can't do both the ETF reimbursement and the iPhone JOD simultaneously for some reason, so have to go through a couple of steps. Turn in any old phones for the ETF reimbursement (as long as it's not a Next plan payoff), buy cheap T-Mobile smartphone (refurbished is good, or LG Leon for $50), then sell your current AT&T iPhones on Swappa. Trade that smartphone you just bought and get on the iPhone JOD deal. If you want to give your kids early birthday presents, sign them up for the iPhone as well :)
     
  13. Surrylic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #13
    As convoluted as this may sound, it's the best deal for your money. You can buy ANY smart phone and turn it in, not just a T-Mobile phone. I turned in a really old Sprint phone a couple weeks ago. There are a couple super cheap $20 smart phones at Walmart you could do.
     
  14. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #14
    I just remember the price wars that have gone on between carriers the last few years when the newest iteration of the iPhone debuts, and I can't help but think you could get a better deal when the current promotions expire.

    The carriers clamor to cannibalize each other's customers this time of the year because it's one of the only times that they can. Last year I traded in my iPhone 5 for $200 and got GB's of free data for every line I renewed with Verizon. I can't imagine that carriers won't do the same again this year.
     
  15. Catul macrumors newbie

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    Aug 3, 2010
    #15
    Yup, I just went through this process when switching from Verizon a few weeks ago. Had planned to wait till the 6S was available, but when they announced the JOD promotion and the $120/4 lines ending on September 8, it made sense to switch right now. I did well selling the Verizon iPhones on Swappa, and traded in really old smartphones that I had laying around. When you trade in a smartphone for the JOD iPhone promotion, you get no value for them so the older the better :)

    Re: the price wars, yeah there are some promotions on moving up to the new iPhone but the actual retail price of the new phone has never been discounted. This T-Mobile Jump on Demand promotion is the first time you can save >$200 on the price of a newly released iPhone.
     
  16. 1080p macrumors 68020

    1080p

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    #16
    The traded in smartphone has to be from the same carrier that you are porting out of... FYI...
     
  17. Catul macrumors newbie

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    Aug 3, 2010
    #17
    Hmm, are you talking about the smartphone trade-in for the iPhone JOD promotion? I traded in some AT&T and Verizon old smartphones. Or the ETF reimbursement? I had phones on Verizon Edge so didn't do the ETF reimbursement, just sold them on Swappa and will be paying off the final Verizon bill (came out ahead ~$200 for each iPhone). You can trade in any working phone for the ETF reimbursement, doesn't have to be a smartphone - but I guess you're right, makes sense that it has to be from the carrier you're porting in from.
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    Bro, that deal is amazing.
    $30 for 10GB LTE data and unlimited texts and calls. And also all the extra free coverage outside of the US Tmobile is offering, wifi calling with unlimited calls from outside the US, data stash and much more.
    Im seriously thinking about going for it too, it would save me about $40-50 a month.
    Also Tmobile will pay your ETF's for switching to them so look into that too. Depending on what model AT&T iphone you have 3G,4G and LTE will work fine with anything iphone 5 and newer.
    Also kids use lots of data. My 7 year old uses my phone here and there and racks up many GB's with youtube and other apps. At least with tmobile even if one goes over they just get throttled instead of getting charged extra per month. There will be no data overage charges.
     
  19. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #19
    Agreed, but I also want to be a good steward with my money and do my due diligence.
     
  20. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #20
    Is this an ETF reimbursement or an EIP? With the ETF reimbursement you don't need to trade the device in. I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile in June. I got my Verizon ETF reimbursed, kept and sold my Verizon iPhone 6, and traded in a cheap Target clearance rack phone to get the iPhone 6+ $19 JOD promo.

    If it's an EIP then you do need to trade in the device.
     
  21. uwdude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    #21
    The trade in phone doesn't have to be from the same carrier as the number you're porting- I purchased a cheap $20 Walmart Family phone, did not even activate it, and traded that in, lol. Then got $430 for my iPhone on Gazelle.

    Edit: Well technically it was activated when the phone was rung up on the register at Walmart, but I never used it or added any money to make calls from it.
     
  22. Catul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    #22
    You need two trade-in's after all is said and done right? First any old dumbphone when first setup an account and port your number, so you can get the ETF (not EIP/Next) reimbursement. Then any smartphone when doing the iPhone 6 $15 JOD promo.
     
  23. uwdude macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Hmm, I don't think it works that way, I think it's either/or.
     
  24. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 9, 2015
    #24
    You don't need a trade in to get the ETF reimbursement. And you can trade in anything for the JOD promo, even a flip phone.
     
  25. Catul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    #25
    I think you're pretty wrong on both counts. Read the terms of both offers, and actual posts from those who've gone through this. You may have got a rep who'll bend the rules a bit, but don't count on it.
     

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