How to switch to T-Mobile: Everything you need to know to make the jump


Sep 28, 2020 — 5 min read

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Are you thinking about switching to T-Mobile? We’re going over everything you need to know before you make the jump. Don’t cancel your existing service yet. Let’s make sure you can switch first. You will also want to go over the costs of switching and if T-Mobile will reimburse any of those costs for you. 

Bring your own phone

If you want to bring your own phone to your T-Mobile plan, you first need to do these things:

  1. Make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile’s network. Generally, if you’re coming from AT&T or Verizon, you should be fine. If you bought your phone from Sprint, you might have some problems. If you bought your phone from a third party, you shouldn’t have any issues. 
  2. Check with your current carrier to see if you need to pay any termination fees. 
  3. Check to see if you have any more payments to make on your phone. 

How to unlock your phone

  • AT&T: Unlock your AT&T device online by entering your phone number, account information and then confirm. You can check your unlock status to ensure you’re ready to move on. 
  • Sprint: Unlock your Sprint device by calling customer care at 888.211.4727. If you’re a Sprint Forward customer you’ll need to call 855.639.4644.
  • Verizon: With Verizon, your device will automatically become unlocked 60 days after the purchase date and as long as it’s not flagged as fraudulent, stolen or lost. 

Confirm your phone is unlocked and compatible with T-Mobile before you cancel your plan and start the switch. 

Check your coverage

T-Mobile has some pretty great LTE coverage across the country. Check the coverage where you live and work by entering your ZIP code. You want to make sure you have the coverage you need before you make the switch to a T-Mobile plan. 

Determine the costs

How much will it cost you to switch to T-Mobile? T-Mobile has some great deals for customers switching to it, but first let’s check your costs. You’ll need to check your contract with your current carrier to see if you will be expected to pay any cancellation fees and if you owe any money on your phone. 

Don’t worry about paying the costs. Just write them down for now so you can have it as a reference. By switching to T-Mobile, you can get up to a certain amount to pay off your phone and any cancellation fees. Make sure you have your latest statement from your current carrier so you can send a copy to T-Mobile. They will want to verify the costs. 

T-Mobile deals for new customers

$450 towards paying off your current phone

T-Mobile will pay off your phone when you switch from Verizon or AT&T. You’ll get a virtual prepaid card with up to $450 per line (up to five lines) to pay off your eligible, compatible and unlocked phone. 

$650 towards your current contract

T-Mobile will buy you out of your current carrier contract and any remaining balance on your phone by reimbursing you up to $650 per line for up to five lines. This fee includes paying off any early cancellation fees and any balance you have left on your phone. You will need to trade in your device and sign up for an eligible plan. 

Contract buyout for switching TV service

Switch to T-Mobile’s TV provider, TVision, from your current satellite provider (DISH or DIRECTV) and T-Mobile will reimburse any early cancellation fees up to $500. You’ll get the reimbursement on a prepaid card. 

Ask T-Mobile about any other discounts you might be eligible for, especially if you are a veteran, or currently serve in the military, a first responder or are 55 or older. 

Transfer your number to T-Mobile

Keep your current phone number when you switch to T-Mobile with these steps. 

Check your eligibility by entering your phone number. The T-Mobile web page will let you know if you’re eligible to transfer your number and switch to T-Mobile. 

Next, choose how you want to transfer your number. You can call T-Mobile customer service, visit a store to speak to an agent in person or do it all online. 

  • Call: 800.937.8997. A T-Mobile representative will walk you through the process. 
  • Visit a T-Mobile store to speak to someone face-to-face. Use the store locator to find one near you. 
  • The online option will only work for you if you can wait until your new SIM card or phone arrives in the mail. If so, just follow the directions on how to transfer your existing number at checkout. 

Which T-Mobile plan should you switch to?

All three of these plans come with unlimited talk and text, unlimited 4G LTE data on the T-Mobile network, 5G network access, spam-blocking protection and mobile hotspot data.

The Magenta and Magenta Plus plan prices do include taxes and fees in the price with autopay. Magenta is the best plan for the price because you get everything you need with taxes and fees included when you sign up for autopay. There’s no guessing on what your bill will be each month. 

Don’t forget there are plans for certain members with discount pricing. This includes the unlimited 55 plans for those age 55 and older, military plans for those in the military (includes veterans and their families, too), and first responder plans for first responders and their families. 

Should you switch to T-Mobile?

Whether you should switch to T-Mobile depends on the network coverage where you live and work, if you can get a great deal on a new plan, and if you can bring your phone with you if you want to. If you’re paying the same for a better plan right now, then stick with what you have. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to switch to T-Mobile. It offers plenty of discounts and incentives for switching over. 

By Nicole LaMarco