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T-Mobile is turning phone plans into VIP rewards programs

T-Mobile is turning phone plans into VIP rewards programs

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T-Mobile’s new program includes discounts galore, all managed through the T Life app.

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Illustration of the T-Mobile logo, the letter T in a pink box with two squares on either side of it, in front of a blue and aqua background.
T-Mobile wants to be more than just your network.
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

T-Mobile wants you to see it as more than a wireless company, so it’s flattering its customers with status. The company is launching a new program called Magenta Status, which includes a set of new perks for subscribers as well as the benefits already offered by T-Mobile Tuesdays. The company is partnering with Hilton, Hertz, and Live Nation to offer discounts, which can all be managed by the rebranded T-Mobile Tuesdays app, now called T Life.

Only T-Mobile’s own subscribers will be eligible for Magenta Status — Metro by T-Mobile customers aren’t. The new program adds discounts on top of the existing T-Mobile Tuesday promotions, including a $5 ticket to a different movie every month, 25 percent off some Live Nation tickets, discounts on certain car rental fees from Hertz and Dollar, and 15 percent off rooms from Hilton hotel brands. Magenta Status also gets you Hilton Honors Silver for a year.

T-Mobile is quick to remind us that its existing promotions aren’t going anywhere — Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV Plus are still bundled with certain plans, and MLB.TV is still available with T-Mobile Tuesdays. The new T Life app will include access to all of the above, as well as your T-Mobile Home Internet subscription if you have one of those. Magenta Status will be available starting February 13th.

T-Mobile has been pushing the strength of its 5G network for the past few years, but that’s not the selling point that it once was with AT&T and Verizon playing some catch-up. Beefing up its perks program is certainly one way to try to stand out. It’s also a move toward a familiar goal — carriers want to be seen as more than just a “dumb pipe” for your phone data. Charging people more for a service they see as a utility is hard; charging more for a premium service is a little easier. Giving your customers “VIP status”? Well, they say that flattery will get you everywhere.