AT&T Wireless Is Offering Me $1,750+ to Switch – Full Analysis & Does It Make Sense?

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att directv bundle switch 500

AT&T/Directv Bundle Deal

I have written before about some of my experiences with Directv. Overall I think they are an alright company, but I stick around for NFL Sunday Ticket and because they provide me with a generally good overall value. Directv was recently purchased by AT&T, which will make for some interesting synergy going forward. The first example of that is a deal they are offering right now.

For Directv customers who switch their cell service to AT&T they are offering:

  • $300 credit per ported in line.
  • $200 trade-in credit on an old smartphone
  • $10 off per month on your combined wireless/tv bill
  • 10,000 Plenti points
  • $150 cashback through Ebates

That is a lot of stuff and it is almost as good as it sounds. Lets take a look at each part of the deal to see what the terms are and how to maximize.

att directv bundle switch 500

$300 credit per ported in line

Here is what you need to do for the $300 credit.

  • Buy a new smartphone online with AT&T Next.
  • Transfer your phone number from your current wireless carrier during checkout.
  • Activate a new line of service on your wireless smartphone.
  • Remain active and in good standing on your new phone line and your AT&T wireless and DIRECTV or U-verse TV accounts for 45 days to receive your credit in 90 days.

Basically you need to purchase a new phone from AT&T, port in a number and keep both your television and phone service active for at least 45 days. Easy!

$200 trade-in credit

This credit is provided via a prepaid Visa issued by Metabank. In order to get the credit:

“Smartphone trade-in must be in good working condition, have at minimum a standard $10 buyback value, and meet AT&T Buyback program requirements. If purchased via att.com, you will be emailed a promotional code after eligible purchase ships to complete trade-in and receive $200 trade-in credit. Code expires not less than 30 days after receipt.”

You can check the buyback value on AT&T’s site. All you need to do is trade-in a phone that has a value of $10. Not bad.

$10 off per month on your combined bill

This is pretty simple. You have to agree to put both services on a bill.

*$10 Combined Bill Discount: For customers who agree to combine eligible TV and postpaid consumer wireless services on a single AT&T bill.”

This offer ends 11/14/15.

10,000 Plenti Points

This actually isn’t mentioned in all of the ads, because I think it is a separate promotion. I was able to find it in the terms of their press release.  It says,

“As a bonus, these customers can also receive 10,000 Plenti points to use at participating partners if they combine their DIRECTV or U-verse TV and AT&T wireless services on one bill.”

This portion of the offer expires 10/04/15.

$150 cashback through a portal

att directv bundle switch 500

This isn’t part of the advertised deal, but you should be able to get $150 for signing up through the Ebates portal. If you don’t see the $500 offer advertised on the homepage, go to the “Bundles” section

Analysis & Math

I am seriously considering this deal, so I’ll walk you through the math as it pertains to my situation. I’ll also breakdown the methods I would use to maximize the deal. My family has 3 lines that we would port over.

This means that we would receive:

  • +$900 in bill credits
  • +$600 in trade-in credits
  • +$100 in Plenti points
  • +$150 in portal cashback

Instead of trading in our phones (which are worth more), I would purchase phones on eBay that meet the minimum standards. I found a phone model that costs about $50 that would work. Also, there is a $15 activation fee per line. Since I have to purchase new phones as part of this plan, I would sell my old phones. I could get about $600 for them.

So here are some adjustments:

  • -$150 to purchase trade-in phones
  • -$45 activation fees
  • +$600 for old phones

At this point point I end up ahead about $2,155. Not bad, but of course we need to purchase new phones.

Buying the Phones

att directv bundle switch 500

AT&T sells the new iPhone 6S 16GB model for $649.99 plus tax. We could get the phones on the Next Plan with no interest and then pay them off if we ever decided to cancel. Three iPhones would cost $2,107.92 including tax. (We may go with a higher capacity or different model, but I’ll use this example to keep it simple.) If we buy 3 new iPhone 6S 16GB models, we end up ahead about $48!

Service Differences

Currently we pay $100 per month for 2.5GB per line on T-Mobile. With AT&T we would have 15GB of shared data for $145 per month. Since we get a $10 bill credit, our actual monthly increase is $35 over what we are paying now. I would lose free international data when traveling, although AT&T’s coverage is MUCH better here at home.

AT&T Access More Card Bonus

att directv bundle switch 500

One of the cool things about the AT&T Access More card is that it comes with a free phone up to $650. The main reason I haven’t picked up this card is because I would have a hard hit for getting the card and then a hard hit for setting up the AT&T service. If I make this move, I will already be on AT&T, so I could get this card to maximize the free phone benefit. I won’t consider this as part of the deal, but as an added side benefit.

Final Considerations

Basically we can get three new iPhones for “free” and we’ll end up paying about $35 more per month for twice the amount of data on a better network. We would lose international data, which to be honest is something I use quite often.

There is of course one other interesting part of this deal. It only requires that service is active for a minimum of 45 days. While I wouldn’t plan to do this, theoretically we could cancel anytime after receiving the credits and switch back if we weren’t happy. Once we paid off the phones, we could go anywhere we want and would actually come out ahead given the value of the phones.

Conclusion

I am really torn about this deal. It has been around for a little while, but I finally decided to really look hard at it. Between the Apple Pay deal and my switch to using the camera on my phone full time, I think the iPhone may be a better fit for me. I do love my Galaxy S6 though, so who knows how I’ll feel. Of course I could always sell the new iPhone if I’m not happy, so I really do come out ahead no matter what.

So what do you think? Is this a good deal? Did I miss anything in my analysis of this deal? Is this something you are considering? Let me know in the comments!


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34 COMMENTS

  1. We switched back to AT&T. Reliability and data speed (particularly in building) was far better. Sad to give up international data, cheaper rate, and the ease of WIFI calling (google Chat easily fills most of that gap), but reliability was far more important. I figure competition will eventually force AT&T to add some sort of included int’l data package in the future and say goodbye to the $30 a month int’l data fee for 100 mega.

    • These people are liars. The store offered me a 200.00 incentive per line for porting my numbers plus a 200.00 minimum trade in value for my smart phone. I was told that I will get the credit in my bill after the 2nd billing cycle. They only gave me a $100.00 porting incentive per line instead. When I called their customer care line, I was directed back to the store and when I called the store they asked me to take it upon their customer care. Ridiculous!

      • I signed up in October 2015. Ported 2 lines in and only received 1 credit. I have been calling for 4 months and noone seems to know how to get my 2nd credit applied. They keep bouncing me around. About 6 hrs on the phone to date. STill hustling to try and get my credit.

  2. For a family with 3 lines your math makes sense. You have to factor in the value of the phones you are trading in – big diference between an iPhone 5 and a first generation Blackberry. I guess the prices you list are pre-tax recovery charges? For a single user it sounds like a MVNO like Straight Talk is still a better way of buying AT&T service.

    • I did factor in the value of the phone we are trading in. I am going to purchase 3 x $50 phones off eBay that will qualify for the trade-in credit. That is the $150 cost I accounted for. I will then sell our current phones on eBay probably. After fees I should net about $600 for selling them.

  3. In your case, it might make sense to switch given all the bones they are throwing. If they didn’t have these incentives, the choice may not be as obvious. I was with AT&T for many years and was tired of getting ripped off. My T-Mobile bill with 7 lines is half of what I used to pay with 5 lines with AT&T. I also don’t get bs with T-Mobile and better customer service but that’s YMMV.

  4. I dunno. You gotta look at the cost over time. I’m on Cricket and it costs me 35 a month for the unlimited everything. I also can use AT&T phones, and buy them on ebay or swappa.com for a fraction of the cost. I’ve had straight talk, cricket, or boost for the past 10 years.

  5. The AT&T Access card does not work with the AT&T Next program. With the Access card, you must buy a full price phone through the special link that Citi provides you. I just went through the process and got my new IPhone delivered today. I think the Access card is a great deal since I am already with AT&T, but I don’t think it will work for your plan.

    • Correct. My point about the AT&T Access More card was that this move makes it more attractive since I can get it down the line without a double credit hit. Since I will already be an AT&T customer, I would just be able to buy a phone without the need to have my credit run. (Since it will be run if I switch to AT&T now.) You are absolutely right that the Access More doesn’t work with Next.

  6. You’re assuming that you do not have a current contract with another carrier. Paying the cancellation fees of $300 plus eats into these numbers.

  7. do you know if this offer works to be added on to an existing AT&T family plan. I am with Sprint right now, but I would go to my friends family plan if this offer would work for that?

    • No the Next program also qualifies. Next isn’t a contract since you simply need to pay off the balance of the phone if you cancel.

      Here are the terms from Ebates: “$150.00 Cash Back on a 2-year plan for new customers, or on AT&T Next Program for new customers”

  8. Things to consider: how much in overages will you accumulate when and if you go over your data?

    How important is the international feature?

    Does wifi calling fix the lower reception and if it doesn’t what about getting a signal booster? Btw why did you upgrade to the 10GB of high speed instead of 2.5?

    Lastly if you’re spending $2,000+ in phones! doesn’t that cancel out what they’re offering u to switch?

    Just some things to consider! I was contemplating myself for a brief second but looked at the long term result.

    Either way, best of luck, keep us updated

    • Actually we will have double the data that we have now, so I don’t think that will be an issue. The international calling is big, so we will see how it is going forward. You make a good point about spending $2K+ on new phones. That actually wasn’t my final course of action. I’ll have a follow up post once all is said and done, but I should end up getting about 8 months of free service out of it!

  9. I just did this deal. While you are considering, make sure you click thru the offer to see if you can really order online or if you get a message to call. In my case, try as I might, I could not order online and kept getting a message to call, so the ebates 150 didn’t happen for me. However I had an old phone that worked for the trade in. Also there is a Walmart prepaid smartphone for about $32 or so that works. Just check it on the buyback site. Btw that phone It also works nicely for someone that currently has att, want to port out and then come back in. :-). I did this for one line that had AT&T prepaid at the time I wanted to do the deal.

    Since it didnt work online I went ahead and went to the store so I wouldn’t have to wait for anything. I got the $200 promotional credit right away and it could be used in store for taxes on the phone purchase or accessories Etc. I used it for taxes and then applied the rest to my bill. I also have the Plenti points pending.

    • What is the $32 phone that works? I’ve been searching and can’t find anything that’s not valued at zero among the low-priced Walmart pre-paid options.

      And what’s the cheapest way to get a phone number to port in? Activate a prepaid phone?

  10. the main thing that’s keeping me from doing these deals is the hard pull and the untrustworthiness of at&t. I just don’t trust that they will honor all these things.

    one can even make this thing sweeter by signing up for t mobile afterwards and takign advantage of their switch promo.. but another hard pul.

    i’ll just stick to my usual MS

    • Speaking from the future, you aren’t far off. They have been very difficult to deal with. My order was screwed up badly. Thankfully they have a good social media team who is working to fix it, but something that should have been very simple has been way too complicated!

      • ironically it is that very sort of thing that makes me continue to do these deals. each time, their screw-up works out in my favor. they’re too big of a company, which is very annoying sometimes but wonderful once you figure out how to navigate. eventually you do get someone awesome that sends you new bluetooth headphones and extra bill credits for your time. or you somehow get into a contract when you originally ordered the next program but they forget to charge you the initial phone price and you end up only having to pay ETF to get out of it, instead of $700 to pay off the phone. plus you get CB from portals.

        so far, they have paid out on all the advertised bill credits, portal CB, and then some.

        for me, HP is not an issue since i usually have some sort of AT&T service (internet or tv) anyway. but IMO doing a deal like this twice a year is almost worth keeping a cheap line open when you switch out to another provider so you don’t have a hard pull when you go back in for another round.

        but each of us has different tolerance for shenanigans.

        • thanks for this comment. It’s good to see a data point. Is this deal discussed actively on forums with more info on how far you can push it. I’d love to SCREW at&t. I do have an active phone plan with them and my reports are locked. Hopefully that will prevent a hard pull

          i just don’t wanna mess up my grand fathered unlimited iphone data plan

      • Sounds like you had the same experience we are having. We just got our account set up and everything is all crazy and we had to spend hours on the phone trying to get a phone activated.

        I actually thought of searching for a social media page who might be able to help but I couldn’t find the energy after four hours on the phone yesterday…

  11. I wouldn’t do it just for the fact that I have to buy 3 new phones. We just bought 3 phones last year just sucks that we don’t have unlimited.

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