T-Mobile's JUMP!: a guide to early upgrade plans


WhistleOut
16 November 2015

The option to change phones more frequently than just at the end of your contract is standard now for most carriers, and T-Mobile was the first to get the early upgrade bandwagon rolling. JUMP! originally rolled out in 2013, and since then has undergone several changes (including its leasing spin-off, JUMP! On Demand).

While JUMP! originally limited upgrades to twice yearly, with a minimum wait of six months, those restrictions have since been scrapped and replaced with unlimited and immediate upgrades, so long as a customer pays at least 50% of their phone's full price.

Here's what you can expect from JUMP! if you sign up today.

T-Mobile JUMP! at a glance

Monthly fee $10
Repayment period 24 months
Upgrades Any time, provided that 50% of the handset's full price has been repaid.
Subsidy still included in service plan? No
Device downpayment required? No
Insurance included? Yes
Available for all plans? Yes

How it works

JUMP! is an early upgrade option that's now offered as an add-on feature for customers choosing to finance their T-Mobile device over two years, rather than paying the full retail price outright. To be eligible for JUMP!, a customer will need to sign up to have their new phone financed through T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Plan.

This finance plan consists of an upfront payment, followed by 24 equal monthly repayments over the next two years to pay off the remaining balance of the device. Customers can opt out before the 24-month repayment period is up, but they'll need to pay out the remaining balance.

Unlike rival early upgrade programs, there’s a flat $10 per month fee to join JUMP!, but this is on top of both your monthly service charge and the Equipment Installment Plan repayments.

You can upgrade any time, as long as you've paid off 50% or more of the total balance owed. Once you decide to upgrade, your remaining device repayments for your old handset will be cancelled out and you'll enter into a new two-year Equipment Installment Plan for your new device. Continue making the $10 monthly JUMP! payments, and you can upgrade again once your new device is eligible.

As an indication of what you can expect to pay with JUMP!, here's a quick comparison between the costs of buying the 32GB iPhone 7 through JUMP!, paired with the new unlimited T-Mobile ONE plan. The table compares buying the phone with JUMP!, buying the same device through the Equipment Installment Plan without JUMP!, and buying the phone outright.

iPhone 7 32GB

With T-Mobile JUMP! Without T-Mobile
JUMP!, but with Equipment Installment Plan
Without T-Mobile JUMP!, paying full price upfront
Full retail price $698.16 $650.16 $649.99
Upfront cost $0 $0 $649.99
T-Mobile ONE Plan with unlimtied data $70 per month $70 per month $70 per month
Monthly device payment $39.09 $27.09 $0
Cost after 12 months for plan and phone $1309.08 $1165.08 $1489.99
Total cost to pay off your phone over 24 months, including monthly T-Mobile ONE plan $2618.16 $2330.16 $2329.99

Things to remember

Although you’re not paying the extra phone subsidy on top of your service plan, if you choose to upgrade early, you may still be paying several hundred dollars for a phone you don’t get to keep. Then the cycle will start again with your new device, until you pay out the balance of your current handset and cancel the JUMP! payments.

Importantly, JUMP! is also the only early upgrade plan to include cell phone insurance. Your $10 fee each month will cover your phone for loss, theft or accidental damage with T-Mobile's Premium Handset Protection and Lookout Mobile Security. Without JUMP!, these products cost $8 and $4 per month respectively.

There’s no obligation to stay with JUMP! once you’ve signed on, and you can cancel the service at any time and continue with your T-Mobile plan as normal. However, you won’t be able to re-enroll until you purchase a new device.

JUMP! is available to all new and existing customers on Simple Choice plans within 14 days of purchase of a new T-Mobile phone. Check out eligible T-Mobile plans below:

Original gift box image via Shutterstock

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