T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Upgradeable Smartphone Plan Review
T-Mobile created a new wireless plan called T-Mobile JUMP! to address the needs of customers who want to upgrade to the latest and greatest Smartphone when a new device is available or when you are tired of your current phone. This was later renamed to JUMP! On Demand in June 2015.
Normal Smartphone plans in America require shoppers to commit to a 2 year contract. People cannot change phones during this time unless they want to pay an expensive early termination fee (ETF), for cancelling their contract. With this new program, you can upgrade as many as 3 times a year, more often than AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless. As you read our T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand review, you will see how much it costs and whether it is worth signing up for.
JUMP! On Demand Features:
- Never pay to upgrade, just trade in unwanted device
- Zero upfront for new phone
- No waiting 2 years to upgrade
$0 at signing + $X/mo. for 18-months on approved credit. If you cancel wireless service, remaining payments become due & you must return working device.
T-Mobile Jump ON Demand started in June 2015 with the hottest phones at the time: iPhone 6 and 6 plus, Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, and LG's G4.
T-Mobile changes its plans from time to time, so we will reexamine them when necessary. Additional short term promotions may popup. They have already adjusted this plan to make it more attractive. They dropped the 6 month requirement before you can upgrade.
June 2015 JUMP! Changes
- T-Mobile dropped the $10 a month charge in June 2015, but charges $8 a month if you want the insurance that was included with the $10 monthly charge. (AT&T and Verizon never charged extra for this)
- With the 24 installment payments, you make 18 monthly, then must pay the 6 remaining at one time. (Few will wait this long before upgrading)
Upgrading early with a 2 year Contract
With a traditional 2 year Smartphone contract, a user wanting to upgrade to a new handset would have to pay the following:
- $350 Smartphone early termination fee ($10 less with each passing month)
- $649.99 or full price instead of $199 for the new phone
- Another 2 year commitment
- If you cancel a contract, you will lose your phone number
- You need to pay off the phone’s remaining balance
This is a steep price, hence the JUMP! Plan was born.
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- iPhone 12: Starts at $799 (64GB), $8749 (128GB), $949 (256GB)
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Special iPhone 12 Promotions
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- Xfinity: $250 off iPhone 12 when you switch to Xfinity
- T-Mobile: Up To $950 Off 12 Pro Max or 12 Pro (via 30 Monthly Bill Credits) with a Qualifying Device Trade-In valid for New Lines Only/Auto Pay only.
Some Older phones are available with less trade in. Trading in is a lot easier than selling your phone on eBay or Craigslist.
AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan
- 1 Line $65/mon for Unlimited Talk, Text, Web, DVD Quality Streaming, Max 3Mbps data speed, No Hotspot
- 5G Access
- Standard Mobile Security
- 5 lines for $150
- Plus tax & fees
AT&T Special Trade-In Offer: Monthly Price reflects net monthly payment, after application of AT&T trade-in credit up to $800 applied over 30 months after trade-in of eligible smartphone with min. $95 trade-in value. Requires upgrade of an existing line (or activation of a new line in stores) and purchase of a new iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max on qualifying 30 month 0% APR installment plan, subject to carrier credit qualification.
Verizon StartUnlimited Plan
- 1 Line $70 for Unlimited Talk, Text, Web, DVD Quality Streaming, Unlimited Hotspot (600kbps)
- 5G Nationwide
- Disney+ 6 month on Verizon
- Apple Music Free for 6 months
- Plus tax & fees
Verizon Special Trade-in Offer: Monthly price reflects net monthly payment, after Apple instant trade-in credit at checkout, and Verizon monthly bill credits applied over 24 months. Customer must remain in the Verizon Device Payment Program for 24 months to receive the full benefit of the Verizon bill credits. Bill credits may take 1-2 bill cycles to appear. If it takes two cycles for bill credits to appear, you’ll see the credit for the first cycle on your second bill in addition to that month’s credit. Requires purchase and activation of a new iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or iPhone 12 Pro Max with the Verizon Device Payment Program at 0% APR for 24 months, subject to carrier credit qualification, and iPhone availability and limits.
T-Mobile Essentials Plan
- 1 line $65/month, 4 lines $105/month
- Unlimited Talk Text and Web
- DVD quality SD Streaming 480p
- 3G Mobile hotspot
- T-Mobile Tuesdays
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Smartphone Product Cycle
The cellular industry is built around yearly releases of major products. Samsung and Apple introduce new flagship devices every year. Each year, customers have to make a decision whether they want to break their contract to upgrade to the newest Smartphone.
The JUMP! plan allows users to upgrade as often as they would like (up to 3 times a year) without incurring penalties. There is always a catch, so we will examine the plan in detail. Most articles have labeled the JUMP! Plan as expensive and a way for T-Mobile to generate more revenue. Our analysis will give you hard numbers on the exact costs.
T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan
Here are the main features of this T-Mobile Smartphone Plan:
- Get a new Smartphone whenever you want
- Upgrade up to 3 times a year
- When upgrading, you will trade in your eligible device
- Get credit for remaining device payments, up to 50% of the original cost
- Replace damaged or lost devices through premium device protection ($8/month) - You do have to pay a deductible
- Lookout Mobile Security for Android is included
- You can remove JUMP! from your plan at any time
How to Start a JUMP! Plan
Here is how you begin a new JUMP! Plan on T-Mobile:
- Buy a new Smartphone or Tablet - finance your device
- Select a Simple Choice Plan
- Subscribe to JUMP! On Demand
- You can now upgrade at any time
- You can enroll within 14 days of purchase
Customers pay the normal monthly installment payment, which is the cost of the smartphone divided into 24 monthly payments. Typically $679.99 / 24 = $28.33 a month.
T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan for iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6
We will list out the charges due when you setup a JUMP! Plan for two of the most popular Smartphones on the T-Mobile network.
iPhone 6 16GB or Galaxy S6 32GB with JUMP! On Demand Plan. This allows us to upgrade after one year.
Amount due at sale:
$0 free activation with Simple Choice Plan
$15 SIM Starter Kit
Free standard shipping
Sales tax on full value of phone $57 in our area.
Total due at time of sale: $0 + $15 + tax = $72
$26.24/month x 24 mos. installment charge for iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6
$60/month Simple Choice Plan 3GB with unlimited talk and text
Total due each month: $86.24 + tax
Amount paid after one year:
$87 X 12 months = $1044 + $15 + $57 Initial Sales Tax = $1116 + tax.
You can get a new Smartphone at anytime
Amount Paid to fulfill handset payments: (24 months)
$87 X 24 months = $2088 +$15 + $57 Initial Sales Tax = $2160 + tax
iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 value is now roughly $250
No Surprise – this is $240 More than normal 2 year plan! You're basically paying how much the handset is worth in extra JUMP! fees.
Costs When Upgrading After 1 year
Lets pretend that we started our plan with an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6, kept it for a year, then upgraded to the iPhone 6S or Galaxy S7. Here are the costs involved:
First two years of Smartphone Ownership:
Year 1: iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 $1111 + tax
We upgrade to a new Smartphone after one year. Trade in the existing Smartphone. Remaining payments $27/month x 12 = $324. T-Mobile will pay 50%, meaning that you will pay $162 at time of upgrade.
Year 2: iPhone 6S or Galaxy S7 $162 + $1111 = $1273 + tax
Total cost for 2 years: $2384 + tax
$469 premium using JUMP! on demand over a standard 2 year contract - but we upgraded to a new phone. You did not get to keep the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 though.
Caveat – you do not own the phone, and had to trade in the first phone after the first year.
Anytime you want, you are ready to get another phone!
When is the T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan worthwhile?
There are specific situations where the JUMP! Plan is worth considering. One of these situations might depend on your timing on fulfilling the contract.
- If you want to have the latest Smartphone
- You do not like the hassle of selling your phone and upgrading
- When T-Mobile has good service in your area and you plan to stick with them
The AT&T Next Plan can be cheaper and has situations where it is more cost effective.
Unlocking T-Mobile Smartphones
If you wish to use your Smartphone Internationally or with a different wireless carrier's SIM card, you need to unlock your phone. T-Mobile does allow you to unlock Smartphones with SIM slot right away by calling customer service. Here are the requirements:
- The Smartphone to be used for one day within the last 7 days before requesting an unlock code.
- The line needs to have been activated at least 40 days since first use
- Account needs to be in good standing
AT&T Wirelesswaits until you fulfill your contract. This is much better for international travelers.
T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan adds more ways for Smartphone owners to upgrade to the latest technology without waiting 2 years for their contract to be fulfilled. If you are a frequent upgrader, you should do the math and consider this plan.
Do you have a different opinion or a suggestion? Please leave a comment below.