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T-Mobile Tuesdays used to be fantastic, but this year has been pretty weak
In 2016, T-Mobile’s then-CEO John Legere announced a new feature for subscribers: T-Mobile Tuesdays. Each week, subscribers could get a special freebie, discount, or deal. The company rolled out a special app for this, which alerts you every Tuesday when the new promotion is live.
In the first few years of its existence, the Tuesdays program was awesome. There were free gift cards for popular eateries at a $5 value, including Starbucks and Dunkin’. You could also often get totally free movie tickets. And, of course, we can’t forget the free Domino’s pizza weeks, which probably caused many Domino’s employees to quit their jobs due to the overwhelming demand.
Since those glory days, however, Tuesdays have become much less exciting — one could even say boring. Free gift cards of a decent value rarely happen, most movie ticket deals are heavily restricted discounts for specific films, and I haven’t seen anything as substantial as an entire free pizza in years.
This past week was particularly bad. Usually, the top-most listing in the Tuesdays app is the highlight deal of the week, and this past Tuesday, this wasn’t even a deal. Instead, it was just an ad for a service called Pizza Deals, which can offer discounts on pizza in your area if you sign up.
To T-Mo’s credit, there were other deals this week that weren’t terrible (a one-year membership to pet-care service Pawp wasn’t bad, even with the significant removal of the $3,000 emergency benefit paid users get). But that doesn’t change the fact that this entire year has been mediocre for T-Mobile Tuesdays. Have we reached the end of Tuesdays’ golden years?
How many T-Mobile Tuesdays deals have you used in 2023?
Examples of T-Mobile Tuesdays offers in 2023
While the Pizza Deals “offer” is an egregious example of the fluff the Tuesdays app has delivered this year, it isn’t alone. Here are some other things I’ve seen in 2023 that have left me underwhelmed:
- Sign up for the Panda Express app and pay $1 to try the Chili Crisp Shrimp Bowl
- Get 24 long-stem roses from Rose Farmers for $39.99 plus tax
- Get a free movie rental from Redbox
- Receive 72 Shore Points at Jersey Mike’s by signing into the app as a new customer
- 10 free photo prints
These deals are pretty meh, from my perspective. They also present a problem that’s plagued the Tuesdays promotions recently, which is offering freebies/discounts from retailers that aren’t prevalent all through the US. Once you move away from the East Coast, for example, you won’t find too many Jersey Mike’s locations, especially if you live in the middle of the country. This makes the star deal of the week useless for a considerable portion of the US population.
T-Mobile Tuesdays are often headlined by deals that feel much more limited than they did in the past.
Another issue with many T-Mobile Tuesdays deals is that you often need to subscribe to or sign into an app to get the deal. Obviously, this is what the partner brands want because this snags your info for advertisement purposes. But sometimes, this can be problematic. The previously mentioned Pawp deal requires you to enter your credit card information into the app for the free year, which puts you at risk of automatically paying the $99 subscription fee when your free trial is up.
Finally, something else about the Tuesdays program that’s been annoying is the over-reliance on T-Mobile swag. This year alone, we’ve seen multiple tote bags, a Halloween pail, a drink tumbler, and a mug. Not only are these generic things you’ve probably got a million of already, but you need to go to a T-Mobile store to get them, and you need to do it before anyone else does because each store only has a few to give out. In most cases, these have been the highlight deal of the week, too.
There are still great deals, but the best days are behind us
I’m trying really hard not to trash on T-Mobile Tuesdays too much here because there are still some terrific perks. Every year, for example, T-Mobile gives away a free MLB.TV subscription, allowing you to watch almost every American baseball game. This is a $149 value. This year, T-Mobile subscribers also got a free year-long subscription to MLS, which shows all American soccer games. For sports fans, these are crazy-good promos.
Even the free food deals can be good if you live in an area where they work well. Yeah, a $2 Baskin-Robbins gift card won’t get you much, but it’s still free money. Even the previously mentioned Panda Express deal is still a decent discount; that’s dinner for just $1!
However, these deals just aren’t as good as what we saw in the early days of T-Mobile Tuesdays. For many folks, hearing the word of free Domino’s and Starbucks may have been the nudge they needed to switch to T-Mobile. Now that they’re in, they’re seeing the free perks get weaker and weaker, which feels a lot like a bait-and-switch.
As a T-Mobile subscriber, the lack of terrific deals in the Tuesdays app isn’t going to sway my loyalty to the carrier. There are other great T-Mobile perks, such as free Netflix and Apple TV Plus, high-speed international data, and free Wi-Fi on pretty much every flight I take. But I used to tell people all about how awesome T-Mobile Tuesdays is when they asked if I liked being with T-Mobile. I don’t really bring that up anymore, which is disappointing.