Do you ever wish you truly understood how your upgrade program works?
You're not alone. We know that the terms and conditions, never mind the basics, can seem like they're written in Greek.
You've probably seen the advertisements that promote all the features and perks you receive when you switch to T-Mobile service - things like solid T-Mobile coverage, their reliable LTE network, and that generous 10GB T-Mobile hotspot.
In this guide, however, I'm going to focus on answering one question: what is T-Mobile Jump?
Jump! and Jump! On Demand from T-Mobile are phone leasing programs which allow you to upgrade your device up to three times per year. You pay a monthly installment fee of $9 - $12 for access to Jump!, which can be added to your existing T-Mobile plan. Jump! On Demand is free.
In This Guide
How Does T-Mobile Jump! On Demand Work?
According to Business Insider, as of June 30, 2016, cell phone users - even with the near death of the two-year contract - were waiting more than two years to upgrade their devices. In fact, a Fluent survey reported that just 30 percent of respondents upgraded their phones every two years, whereas 42 percent said they waited three or more years. Despite these interesting factoids, there are incentives that come with an upgrade program like Jump! On Demand.
Nevertheless, to upgrade a handset with Jump! On Demand, you must visit a T-Mobile store or contact T-Mobile customer service. Initially, users sign up for 18 months, during which you can upgrade your device up to three times over a rolling 12-month period.
The number of monthly payments varies with your credit score, the handset you choose and your cell phone plan. It is important to note that T-Mobile family plans are eligible for Jump! but prepaid plans are not.
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Handset protection insurance is not included with Jump! On Demand, but it's a good idea to purchase device protection separately, just in case. Find out more about the best cell phone insurance in our helpful guide.
Customers who are currently on an equipment installment plan for a T-Mobile phone can switch to Jump and trade in their device. You'll get a trade-in credit, and must pay off the balance owed on the device to sign on to the Jump service.
Jump users can get many of the latest T-Mobile smartphones, such as the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, and the LG G5, among others.
T-Mobile Jump Program
To sign up for the original version of the T-Mobile upgrade program, you agree to pay the full cost of a new phone over 24 monthly payments. On top of the phone cost, you can get Jump for an extra $9 - $12 monthly, depending on which handset you choose. Premium phones like the iPhone 7 Plus put you at the higher end of the range.
With Jump, you can trade in your phone when you like, as long as you've paid half of the phone's retail value, with T-Mobile crediting you for up to 50% of the first phone's price. If you upgrade every 12 months you get the most out of the Jump fee you've paid. Upgrading earlier than 12 months means you pay off the difference, not covered by T-Mobile.
As an example, if you buy a $300 T-Mobile smartphone, the first 12 months you'll pay $150. Should you choose to upgrade, T-Mobile covers the $150 outstanding on the phone. This does not include the monthly Jump service fee.
Current T-Mobile users with an active phone lease can join the Jump program. You can upgrade to a new handset at a T-Mobile store up to twice a year. Upgrades must be to a different phone or memory size, and the trade-in phone must be in good condition. Alternatively, those currently leasing phones can purchase the device as per the terms of the lease agreement, paying the full retail price.
Here's the best part: Premium Device Protection is included in the regular Jump! program. Accidental damage, loss, and theft are included, however, there may be a deductible for repair or replacement. Give T-Mobile customer service a call with your specific questions about T-Mobile coverage under their device protection plan.
The terms of Jump are revised by T-Mobile from time to time, often in response to competition from AT&T and Verizon. It's worth noting that Consumer Reports rates T-Mobile the best of the big four cellular providers in terms of customer service.
Pro Tip: Jump! is available for tablets, while the On Demand version is not.
Jump users can upgrade devices sooner and more frequently by paying extra each month. You can even upgrade immediately, as long as you've paid half the retail price of your phone. With each handset you get, you can proceed to upgrade as long as you've paid at least 50 percent of the full cost of the phone.
Upon trading up, you must return your current phone in good working order. You can also purchase the phone and keep it, or cancel your Jump service, by paying 100% of the phone's retail price.
Related: Not on T-Mobile Jump! yet, or on a different carrier? We'll tell how to find out when you can upgrade your phone.
T-Mobile Jump Review
Jump does not change the cost of getting a new phone too much, pro or con. It does open up options when you want to get a new phone. Instead of privately selling your phone, you return it to a T-Mobile store and leave with a new phone. Users with low credit scores will pay more for Jump than users with good credit.
Jump vs. Jump On Demand
These two options for T-Mobile phone upgrades offer different benefits. Jump! offers device protection, but there is an additional monthly installment fee for this plan. Jump! On Demand has no handset protection, however, you can upgrade more often and enrollment is free.
Jump costs $9 - $12 per month on top of your service plan and phone combination. It is good for those who know they will change handsets often, but if you tend to keep your phone for more than a year, the advantages of Jump fade.
Users can cancel the regular Jump whenever they want, and continue their T-Mobile plan without it. You can't sign up again until you buy a new phone, however. With On Demand, you enter into an 18-month agreement to stay on the plan. After that, you can either upgrade, pay off the remaining installments on your device, return your device, or enter a POIP (Purchase Option Installment Plan), which is a nine-month payment arrangement to pay off your phone.
Read More: T-Mobile vs Verizon: Which is Better? Find out!
Is Jump! Worth it?
What's the bottom line?
The Jump program is a great added bonus to any T-Mobile plan.
Using T-Mobile service gives you solid advantages, like a reliable 4G LTE network, a T-Mobile international plan, and great T-Mobile hotspot options. Now you have even more choices when it comes to your devices, through the T-Mobile upgrade programs. Whether you're already a T-Mobile network customer, or you're thinking of making the switch to T-Mobile, Jump is an option worth considering.