Of the many cards in your wallet, one from a popular cell phone company wouldn’t normally make the cut — but T-Mobile Money may be worth your time and money.
What money expert Clark Howard really likes about T-Mobile Money is that it doesn’t charge any fees!
But what exactly is T-Mobile Money and is it a good option for you?
In this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about T-Mobile Money. I’ve been a T-Mobile Money customer since its inception and have been using the banking service regularly.
1. What Is T-Mobile Money?
T-Mobile Money is a fee-free high-interest checking account from wireless carrier T-Mobile. While T-Mobile doesn’t operate as an actual bank, T-Mobile Money provides many of the same services that banks do.
You can open a checking account and deposit your money, knowing that it will be safe. That’s because all funds in T-Mobile Money accounts are through Customers Bank, and that money is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $250,000 per customer.
One of the main attractions of T-Mobile Money is that it doesn’t charge fees. That means no transfer fees, overdraft fees or any extra charges.
T-Mobile Money checking accounts offer the option to order a debit card.
Here’s a screenshot of the T-Mobile Money app’s interface:
2. What Features Does T-Mobile Money Provide?
T-Mobile Money provides many of the features that digital bank customers enjoy including:
- 2.50% APY (up to 4.00% APY for qualifying T-Mobile customers)
- 24/7 customer support
- Digital wallet compatibility
- Access to 55,000+ ATMs in the Allpoint network. Read up on how to find Allpoint ATMs.
Not all of the reviews are glowing. One issue that seems to crop up a lot is people having problems talking with a live customer service agent.
But when I called T-Mobile Money’s customer service number (866-686-9358), I was connected to a live person after about a minute and a half.
In the app, you also have the option to send a secure message to Customer Service, which T-Mobile says will be answered in 24 hours.
When I contacted Customer Service via the app, I heard back in less than a day.
3. Are There Any Perks for T-Mobile Customers?
You don’t have to be an existing customer of the wireless provider to sign up for T-Mobile Money, but if you are one, you can unlock even more features.
4% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
You can earn a high amount of interest on your T-Mobile Money checking account if you meet certain criteria related to your balance and wireless plan. As of September 2023, T-Mobile Money offers 4% APY on balances up to $3,000 when you make 10 qualifying purchases each month using a T-Mobile MONEY debit card.
After you pass the $3,000 threshold, you get 2.50% APY on everything over that balance.
T-Mobile Money customer Dave Roycroft of Denver, Colorado says he was able to boost his account by taking advantage of the 4% APR.
“I was astonished at seeing 4% interest,” Roy tells Team Clark. Since opening his account in 2020 with $300, Roy says he’s been able to more than double that amount thanks to the generous interest rate.
“I have earned about $320 since starting with T-Mobile Money,” Roy says.
T-Mobile Money also gives you the option to get paid two days early. The condition for this is that you have to sign up for payroll direct deposit.
Although Clark is not a fan of overdraft protection, T-Mobile Money features what’s called Got Your Back protection, which credits your account to help prevent overdrafts.
The way it works is that after your first 10 qualifying purchases in a month, T-Mobile Money will front you up to $50 in overdrafts — as long as you bring your checking account in the black within 30 days.
4. How To Sign Up for T-Mobile Money
If you’re interested in signing up for T-Mobile Money, you can register via the mobile app or online at tmobilemoney.com.
You can choose to use your existing T-Mobile account (like me) or create a T-Mobile ID.
Here are the three steps it takes to sign up with T-Mobile Money:
- To get started, it will ask you to enter your Social Security number (you have the option to skip this step initially, but it comes up again later in the process).
- Enter your address.
- Enter a form of identification (passport or driver’s license number).
Once you’ve completed the setup, your account will be created. From there, you can fund your account by connecting it to an existing bank account.
It will typically take two to four days for the cash transfer to be complete.
5. What Is Clark’s Take on T-Mobile Money?
We told you that any no-fee checking account gets high praise from Clark. Here’s what he has to say about T-Mobile Money:
“T-Mobile Money is awesome! And it’s something that we take very few questions about,” Clark says. “To this moment, we’ve had zero complaints about T-Mobile Money as an alternative to using one of those big, bad rotten banks!”
With T-Mobile Money, you get many of the features of a big bank, but without the fees, which makes it a viable financial alternative.
Clark sees T-Mobile Money as the wireless provider’s attempt to keep customers in its ecosystem, along with its bargain promotion app T-Mobile Tuesday and unlimited data plans that include free Netflix.
“T-Mobile is trying to be a ‘stickie,'” Clark says. “If you’re not familiar with that business concept, the idea is that you come up with multiple benefits for your customers so that they become more loyal to you.”
Of course, loyalty comes with a price. That’s why Clark wants you to comparison shop to get the best deal.
Looking for more digital alternatives for your money? Read our guide on the best online banks.