Be prepared to utilize a debit card or bank account if you want the discount for automatic payments on your T-Mobile bill.
T-Mobile has updated the terms governing automated payments (also known as AutoPay), eliminating the option for credit card holders to take advantage of the AutoPay discount on its plans. The carrier confirmed to CNET on Thursday that it will restrict these reductions to just those who pay using a debit card or bank account starting “as early as May.”
The action is a departure from the carrier’s previous practice, which permits anyone to receive a discount on wireless or home internet service if they set up automatic payments, regardless of the method they employ to settle their accounts. You can still use a credit card to pay your T-Mobile bills, but you won’t receive the discount.
The change is being made, according to a T-Mobile spokesperson, to “continue providing customers with the best value in wireless,” noting that “the majority of our customers use their bank account or debit card for AutoPay and will continue to get a discount on top of an already excellent rate plan value.”
Debit cards will still be accepted following the modifications, according to T-Mobile. No specific time was mentioned for the switchover or potential customer notification.
Discounts for AutoPay are a frequent perk provided by cellular providers to entice customers to set up direct billing for services. Carriers typically charge a few dollars more per month, per line, or per service if AutoPay is not configured. For instance, the monthly cost of T-Mobile Home Internet with AutoPay is $50 while the monthly cost without it is $55.
With its Magenta Max, Magenta (up to 8 lines, respectively), or Basics plans, the carrier provides a comparable $5 savings for each line on an account (up to 6 lines).
The trend away from credit cards for automatic payments is not exclusive to T-Mobile. In 2020, Verizon will only let credit card payments if you use the carrier’s own branded Verizon Visa card. Currently, Verizon only offers its AutoPay discounts to customers who pay using debit cards or checking accounts. In contrast, AT&T still accepts credit card payments in addition to debit and bank account payments (even when using a card that is not its own brand).