T-Mobile offers a wide array of phone options, although they don’t carry any pre-owned or refurbished phones. This may be a bummer for someone looking to mitigate the costs of buying a brand-new smartphone. That said, T-Mobile has the second-best coverage in the country, behind Verizon Wireless, so no matter what phone you choose, you can feel happy knowing you’ll receive quality service.
T-Mobile offers the following payment options for their cell phones:
- RRP (pay the full price up front)
- Monthly installments with “awesome credit”
- Monthly installments with “good credit”
you can pay off your phone in either 36 or 24 months, with a higher down payment for the 24-month plan.
iPhones from T-Mobile
T-Mobile carries the flagship iPhone devices, such as the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR. If you’re on a budget, they also have a few of the older models, but beware that they have limited options. They also don’t sell any pre-owned iPhones.
Top 10 iPhones available right now (full list of T-Mobile iPhones here)
Android Phones Available from T-Mobile
You can get the newest Samsung phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Samsung Galaxy S10+, through T-Mobile. They also carry the OnePlus 6T, which balances quality features and performance with affordability. Several smartphones from LG and Motorola are available as well, plus the T-Mobile REVVL 2 and REVVL 2 Plus. As with the iPhone, there aren’t any pre-owned or refurbished T-Mobile Android phones available.
Top 10 Android Phones available right now (full list of T-Mobile Android phones here)
Prepaid Phones from T-Mobile
You must pay for T-Mobile prepaid phones outright. While many of the older models such as the Samsung Galaxy J7 Star and LG Stylo 4 are below $300, most of the new devices cost anywhere from $750 to $1,100.
How to Buy a New Phone on T-Mobile
There are two different ways to buy a phone from T-Mobile: paying for the smartphone upfront at its RRP or via monthly installments. The carrier offers two monthly installment options depending on your credit. T-Mobile separates the categories into “awesome credit” and “good credit.” Looking for a new smartphone? You’ll want to check out T-Mobile’s top phone deals to get some steep discounts.
Buying a T-Mobile Cell Phone Upfront
The easiest way to buy a T-Mobile smartphone is to pay for it upfront. You’ll simply choose the phone you want, add it to your cart, and then pay for it in full plus taxes, shipping, and $25 for the SIM Starter Kit. T-Mobile automatically adds their service plan to your cart when you add a phone, and the plan varies slightly depending on which credit option you chose. So even if you’re buying the phone upfront, make sure to still choose which credit category you belong to, because that affects the features of your T-Mobile service plan.
When you choose “no credit,” T-Mobile adds the T-Mobile No Credit Check Plan to your cart. This particular plan costs the same as the T-Mobile One plan ($70/month) but has fewer features and benefits, so it’s worth it for you to agree to a credit check if you have decent credit.
Both the No Credit Check Plan and the One Plan cost $70/month, but the One Plan has far better features and benefits.
By choosing to get a credit check, T-Mobile will automatically add the T-Mobile One service plan to your cart, along with your smartphone. There is an option for you to upgrade to T-Mobile One Plus before checkout. Then you simply follow the prompts and checkout.
Let’s Talk Tip: If you buy your phone outright, you’ll want to agree to a credit check to get the better service plan for the same price as the no-credit plan.
Buying a T-Mobile Smartphone Via Installments
It’s easy to buy a T-Mobile smartphone through monthly installments. Once you’ve chosen the phone you want to buy, pick either “awesome credit” or “good credit.” T-Mobile loosely defines what these terms mean in regard to purchasing a phone through them, but it’s still rather subjective as they don’t list actual score ranges. Unless you know you have an amazing credit score, it may be wise to choose “good credit.”
The two credit options include:
- Awesome credit: Both your down payment and monthly installment are cheaper, but you’ll pay off the phone over a period of 36 months.
- Good credit: Both your down payment and monthly cost are higher, but you’ll pay off the phone over a period of 24 months.
T-Mobile emphasizes that the estimated down payment and monthly installment price is just that—an estimate. Final financing agreements are contingent upon your credit check.
Down payment and monthly installment costs are contingent upon your credit check
Regardless of which financing plan you qualify for, you’ll wind up paying the same amount of money in the long run—the RRP of the phone. Initially, you will pay the down payment plus taxes, shipping, and the $25 SIM Starter Kit.
If for any reason you cancel wireless service, you will be responsible for paying the remaining balance on the phone. This can be rather expensive if you cancel early on in the installment plan, so you’ll want to ensure that T-Mobile is the carrier you’d like to stick with for at least 18 months, if not longer.
Financing Plans for the Samsung Galaxy S10 Compared
|Example||T-Mobile Awesome Credit||T-Mobile Good Credit|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB RRP||$899.99||$899.99|
|Down payment||$99.99 + tax||$149.99 + tax|
|Payment length||36 months||24 months|
|Option to pay all installments and own phone (no trade-in)||Yes||Yes|
|Total paid over installment period (no trade-in)||$900||$900|
Trade-in and Upgrade
The first thing you’ll want to do before determining your upgrade status is to make sure that you are the primary account holder or have full account access. Only these lines are able to upgrade a device through My T-Mobile. Once you’ve confirmed that you have upgrade capability, login to My T-Mobile. There you will find all of the phones on your account. If there is an “Upgrade” button next to your device, then congrats, you’re eligible!
Then you can shop for upgrade phones, select your new device, select payment option (RRP or monthly installments), and add it to your cart. Choose the subscriber you’d like to upgrade. If you’re going to do a trade-in, select your current phone from the list of available devices or manually enter it. Validate the condition of your current phone (“It’s good” or “It’s got issues”). Then, confirm the phone trade-in value and continue following the prompts.
T-Mobile also has an early upgrade program called T-Mobile Jump! This is a good idea for anyone who likes to have the newest devices when they come out and don’t mind always having a monthly payment. Customers enrolled in Jump! are allowed to upgrade after 12 months or once they’ve paid off 50% of their phone. In order to enroll in Jump! you must also sign up for a 24-month payment plan. Further, you must also sign up for Protection <360>, which is T-Mobile’s phone insurance program.
In order to upgrade on Jump!, login to your account, choose the menu option and then “shop.” Select the device that you’re upgrading and then scroll to choose your desired smartphone and add it to your cart. Next, answer a series of questions about your current device to ensure it’s in good condition. Then follow the directions in order to check out and upgrade your phone.