(Bloomberg) -- Just when some wireless carriers were trying to move away from phone giveways, T-Mobile US Inc. upped the ante on Thursday with a deal offering new customers as much as $1,000 if they switch.

The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier said that starting Friday consumers who bring a bill from their current provider to a T-Mobile store can get a prepaid debit card for any remaining amount owed on their phone, up to $1,000. 

Rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. reported stronger-than-expected subscriber gains this week after using phone giveaways to help prime the pump in the third quarter. Both companies dialed back on their promotions in the last two weeks.

Lightshed Partners LLC analyst Walt Piecyk noted the latest twist in the phone wars in a Tweet Thursday.

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