Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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How to save more money on cord-cutting by way of your wireless plan

Among potential cord-cutters, a common concern is that once they drop cable, they’ll miss out on the savings that comes from bundling TV and internet together.

But while some cable TV providers might give you a discount for combining their services, that’s not the only way to save money on TV service through bundling. These days, major wireless carriers have their own bundle deals for streaming services, so you might be able to get free or discounted TV with the cell-phone plan you’re already paying for. Even if you still need the cable company for home internet, those deals can help take the sting out of losing your double- or triple-play discount.

This week, T-Mobile raised the stakes on TV bundling by announcing $10-per-month discounts on either YouTube TV or Philo, but it’s hardly alone in tying streaming and cellular service together. Here’s a full list of discounts, giveaways, and extended trials that are available with wireless service:

How do T-Mobile’s YouTube TV and Philo deals work?

T-Mobile’s new discounts on YouTube TV and Philo are tied to the company’s decision to wind down its own TVision live TV service on April 29. Apparently T-Mobile never received TV networks’ full blessing to launch the packages it did, and the company that was providing TVision’s underlying software recently went bankrupt, further complicating the service’s future.

In its place, you’ll be able to get $10 off YouTube TV or Philo starting on April 6, bringing the price of those services to $55 per month and $10 per month, respectively. T-Mobile says it will start sending out unique redemption links to subscribers starting on April 6, and customers have until June 30 to secure the discount, which will apply for as long as they subscribe.

Having been underwhelmed by TVision, I think this is a fair trade. Customers who subscribed to T-Mobile’s $10-per-month Vibe package will get Philo at the same price, and while YouTube TV is pricier than T-Mobile’s Live service, which started at $40 per month, it has a stronger channel lineup, better video quality, and a more expansive DVR.

For current TVision Live subscribers, T-Mobile is also throwing in a free month of YouTube TV and three months of YouTube Premium, which lets you watch regular YouTube videos offline and without ads. Meanwhile, TVision Vibe subscribers can get a free month of Philo.

Just be aware of some fine print: These deals are only available to postpaid T-Mobile customers, and after one year of service, T-Mobile says you “may need to take additional action” to keep the discount. Existing YouTube TV subscribers will also need  to cancel their service and sign up again through T-Mobile’s redemption page.

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