Am I making a mistake getting into a 24-month agreement with T-Mobile? : personalfinance

T-Mobile, like the other carriers is currently running a promotion to trade in your old iPhone and get $830 in bill credits off the iPhone 12, spread over 24 months. I’ve talking to corporate and the store to verify the details and it is indeed $830 total in credits. The only cost would be paying for the data, in my case, we are doing 2 lines of Essentials which cost $90 plus taxes.

Even though it’s a very attractive deal, I can’t help but feel some doubts. It’s really the most feasible way to finally have a newer iPhone 12 with improved specs, battery life etc. over our old iPhones which are aging. Yes, iPhones get support for 5 years but after a couple the battery life is reduced and they might get scratched up a bit by then.

It’s always nice to get a fresh start. We are very responsible and keep our phones for years without issues, so this isn’t completely vital but yes it would be nice. Also these deals are pretty rare to come by and will end soon.

The alternative, without this deal, would be having to pay the full financing price for an iPhone 12 which is $30/month, this deal completely removes that cost. So the 2 people in my family who are doing this get a new iPhone 12 for nothing (after monthly bill credits) and just the data cost, which you have to pay regardless of if you get a deal like this or not.

The promotion makes the bill $90 + taxes so about $100/month for 2 years. Without this promotion, they’d easily be paying $170/month to get two iPhone 12s with full cost financing.

We have a long experience with financing and are very familiar. It’s straightforward as long as you make those payments on time. We never missed a payment before and put everything on Auto Pay.

I would appreciate your advice. Do you think it’s wise to do this to get the 2 iPhone 12s free, since it would be so expensive otherwise? $1660 worth of devices for nothing except paying for data for 24 months which seems alright to me. I suppose I’m looking for the “catch” but it seems like the only one is having to stay with the carrier for 2 years.

Finally, do these carriers run hard credit checks? Does financing a phone benefit credit score at all if you make all payments?

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