AT&T now offering $15 monthly discount for off-contract subscribers

by: Andrew GrushDecember 5, 2013

AT&T logo [aa] (4)

It wasn’t long after T-Mobile introduced its JUMP early upgrade plan that Sprint, Verizon and AT&T followed suite with their own similar monthly installment options. For AT&T, this meant the creation of NEXT, a way to buy your phone off-contract and then pay for it through 20 monthly payments.

While AT&T Next sounds like a cool idea on paper, there’s one problem: you were still paying the same rate as a contract customer would pay.

The reason this is a problem is that the standard contract prices are actually inflated in order to make back money on phones sold at low, subsidized prices. So no-contract AT&T customers were not only paying full price for their handsets, they were also paying the inflated contract rates as well.

The good news is that AT&T is now working to change this, likely as a way to be more competitive against rivals such as T-Mobile. Starting this Sunday, additional savings will be applied to customers that pay full price for handsets, bring their own phone or those that use AT&T Next.

So how much will you actually save? That’s where things get a bit more complicated (ironic I know).

Starting this Sunday, additional savings will be applied to customers that pay full price for handsets, bring their own phone or those that use AT&T Next.

For data, both contract and no-contract customers are seeing newly revised rates. Under the new rates you’ll pay the following: 300MB for $20 a month (no change), 1GB for $45 ($5 MORE than before), 2GB for $55 ($5 MORE than before), 10GB for $100 ($20 less than before), 50GB for $375 ($125 less).

If you think it’s odd that the 1GB and 2GB (the most common data sizes) are more expensive than before, trust me you aren’t alone.

Where the savings really come into play is on the device ‘access’ fee. Previously this price could range from $30 to $50 a month, depending on your data plan. Going forward, AT&T will charge a flat rate of $40 for all contract customers, or just $25 if you’re off contract.

Although it’s nice to see AT&T throwing a $15 no-contract discount our way, it’s still important to point out that T-Mobile’s no-contract plans are still cheaper. For example, a 2GB data plan with unlimited text and voice costs just $60 — that’s $20 less. An unlimited plan at T-Mobile is just $70.

Of course T-Mobile’s cheaper rates only matter if you live in an area with solid T-Mobile coverage. For those that don’t, AT&T’s reduced rate no-contract pricing could still certainly be worth looking into.

  • Shane C.

    I’m so tried of AA’s bias of phone networks. It’s clear you lean strongly to T Mobile. Yes they have good prices and deals on data, but that’s it. Their speeds are better than Sprint but their still not that good. Verizon is the most expensive and that’s for a good reason. Verizon’s speeds are amazing fast, faster then the majority of ISPs. You sure pay a price for it but the speeds and customer service is great. AT&T’s prices are quite a bit less then Verizon, actually quite a noticeable difference. AT&T has alright customer service, it’s not bad and it’s not Verizon status. AT&T has a lot more coverage over the US and the speeds have an average throughout with the areas with more customers getting greater speeds. AT&T’s speeds are slightly above average if not above average (depending on where you are). This isn’t even talking about call quality or cell reception, however those fit it pretty much with data. I have used all these phone providers that I have talked about. I didn’t talk at all really about Sprint, so here’s a quick summary. Horrible doesn’t even describe it. From their access to phones to their customer service to the actual service it’s self.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      so Verizon is better than T-Mobile but it doesn’t have the nexus 5and a bunch of other phones. besides I have T-Mobile and pay the 70. its not bad at all.

      • Dan

        Verizon isn’t missing a bunch only a few. Also remember that they are doing something with Google that we won’t hear about for a while. In the case of the Nexus 5 (I know it doesn’t currently work but let’s say it did) wouldn’t it be better to buy the phone unlocked?

        • jfrov11

          I love TMO here in S. Florida. I left Sprint and compared Tmo, Verizon & ATT before deciding. I eliminated Verizon for 2 reasons. WAY MORE $$$ and at the time no HTC One. Then I eliminated ATT b/c Tmo was about $800 less a year, just as fast and I’ve already upgraded once in less than six months! Depends where you live & what you want to spend. For $160 a month after tax I’ve got 2 lines UNLIMITED, that constantly get 10 to 20 down. Happy as can be!

    • Don Fuldauer

      All of what you just said completely ignores the fact that experiences vary from location to location. For instance, T-Mobile’s LTE has a consistent bandwidth of about 30 down/10 up where I live/work. Verizon’s is absolutely terrible – when I had it it was bad, and a coworker is lucky to get above 2-3 down mbps.

      If T-Mobile works well around where you live, then they’re a no-brainer.

      • Dan

        T-Mobile speeds in good areas are still nothing great, you get what you pay for. Verizon can be picky at times for good speeds. In Southern California and a little up North it’s common to get speeds of 60 down and 50 up. If you haven’t noticed T-Mobiles coverage is pretty bad, and that’s 4G most of the time. The question to ask yourself is do I really need unlimited? Do I need speed? I’d take speed over unlimited any day.

        • Relaxasaurus

          “T-Mobile speeds in good areas are still nothing great, you get what you pay for.”

          Absolutely not true. Read his sentence again, “All of what you just said completely ignores the fact that experiences vary from location to location.”

          Speeds vary depending on where you live. If you’re in the burbs where VZW has built up you may see Verizon with a clear advantage. But if that’s the case you’re most likely on WiFi anyway.

          Tmo spent a ton of money on infrastructure in major cities over the summer. T-mobile LTE is consistently much faster than Verizon in NYC (at least in midtown, SoHo, & Brooklyn). It was also fast in DC when I was there last week, though I didn’t get to compare it to a VZW phone while visiting.

          I began paying $30 for 5GB of T-mobile last month, compared to my $60 unlimited grandfathered plan through Verizon. I would instantly take faster speeds @ 5GB over crappy “unlimited” service that was slow.