T-Mobile is updating its automatic payment (or AutoPay) rules, including dropping the ability for credit card users to gain the AutoPay discount on its plans. The carrier confirmed to CNET on Thursday that starting "as early as May" it will be limiting these discounts just to those who pay with a debit card or bank account.
The move marks a change from the carrier's current policy, which allows anyone to get a discount on wireless or home internet service if they set up automatic payments, regardless of the method they use to pay their bills. If you still want to pay your T-Mobile bills with a credit card, you can, but it will be without this discount.
A T-Mobile spokesperson says that the switch is being done to "continue providing customers with the best value in wireless," noting that the "majority of our customers use their bank account or debit card for AutoPay and will continue to get a discount on top of an already great rate plan value."
T-Mobile says that debit cards will still be accepted even after the changes. No firm date was given for when the switch would take place or when customers might be notified.
AutoPay discounts are a regular incentive offered by wireless providers to encourage users to set up direct billing for services. Without AutoPay set up, carriers generally charge a few dollars more per month, per line or per service. For T-Mobile's Home Internet, for example, the price with AutoPay is $50 per month, while the cost without it being set up is $55 monthly.
The carrier offers a similar $5 discount for each line on an account with its Magenta Max, Magenta (up to 8 lines, respectively) or Essentials plans (up to 6 lines).
T-Mobile isn't the first carrier to move away from credit cards for automatic payments. Verizon has long limited its AutoPay discounts to users who pay with debit cards or checking accounts, expanding in 2020 to only allow for credit card payments if you use the carrier's own branded Verizon Visa card. AT&T, meanwhile, still allows for credit card payments (even without using its own branded card), in addition to debit cards and bank accounts.