When choosing a cell phone plan for senior citizens, you'll want to consider their specific needs and usage patterns. Some seniors may only need a basic new phone for an emergency lifeline, and others may use their phones, whether iPhones or Samsung devices, for more data-intensive tasks such as video calls, streaming media, or internet access.
Cell phone providers will have different plan prices and safety packages for seniors who need nationwide coverage, unlimited data with no overage charges, and high-speed data on 4G LTE and 5G networks. Navi has some helpful articles that compare phones and plans, but this information can be complex for people unfamiliar with the ins and outs of technology.
We’re making comparing cell phone rates and plans easier because everyone, especially seniors, deserves access to the best information.
Here are some things to consider in a senior cell phone plan:
- Simple plans with affordable pricing: Many senior citizens may only need some of the features of an unlimited data plan. Look for plans that offer basic features such as talk and text with a low monthly cost.
- Discounted rates: Some carriers offer senior discounts on their plans. Be sure to inquire about these discounts to save some money.
- Easy-to-use phones: Consider purchasing a phone that is designed for senior citizens. These phones typically have larger buttons and simplified menus for ease of use.
- Coverage: Make sure that the carrier you choose has good coverage. You want to avoid signing up for a plan only to discover that you can't get a signal.
- Customer service: Look for a carrier with good customer service. Seniors may need additional assistance when setting up their phones or troubleshooting issues.
Always compare plans and prices from different carriers to find the best fit for you or your loved one's needs. Your clothes and personal items are tailored especially for you, so why wouldn’t your cell phone plan be, too?
What Special Offers and Discounts Are Available for Seniors?
Senior citizens at least 55 can take advantage of discounts offered by T-Mobile. One offering is two phone lines for $80 per month with unlimited talk, text, and data. This results in an average savings of $40 per month. Navi gives an overview of other discounted plans with specific stipulations, like living in a particular area or subscribing to Internet services. For example, seniors living in Florida can consider Verizon's 55+ Unlimited Plan.
However, additional providers and plans beyond the major wireless carriers are also suitable for seniors. One such provider is Lively. While they don’t have a specific age requirement, they offer various perks and features that seniors may find beneficial. Some of these include:
- Access to virtual urgent care
- Medical alerts
- Fall detection technologies
- Operators who can assist with phone calls, ride services, or finding phone numbers
Membership benefits of AARP include discounts on cellular services, which are available to anyone over the age of 50 who becomes an AARP member. These AARP cell phone plan discounts and AARP cell phones for seniors can save older individuals money on their phone bills.
Two providers with AARP discounts are Consumer Cellular and AT&T:
Consumer Cellular Plans for Seniors: This plan offers customized cell phone plans for seniors starting at $15 monthly. AARP members can benefit from the following:
- 5% discount on monthly cell phone plans.
- Up to 30% off on cell phone accessories.
- An extended money-back guarantee period of 45 days instead of 30 days.
AT&T Senior Cell Phone Plans: AT&T Wireless customers who are AARP members can save up to 10% on their monthly talk and data plan charges and receive a 15% discount on eligible phone accessories. AARP members can enjoy the following:
- 10% off on voice and data plan monthly costs.
- Waiver of up to $45 for activation or upgrade fees.
- Up to 15% off on eligible phone accessories.
Seniors may want to take advantage of these discounts but should also explore plans based on their usability and the features they need.
1. Ultra Mobile
This carrier’s pay-as-you-go plan is extremely affordable yet limited. However, it could be an excellent option for seniors who rarely use their phones. For just $3 per month, you receive 100 minutes of talk and text and 100 MB of data.
If the user needs to make a lot of calls, there are add-ons available. Extra data is three cents per megabyte or $5 for 500 megabytes. One day of unlimited talk and text costs $2, and one week is $10.
T-Mobile offers a line of cell phone plans for people 55 and up. The most basic T-Mobile plan is the Essentials 55+ for $27.50 per line for two lines. It includes:
- Scam-blocking protection
- Unlimited calls, texts, and data
- Texting abroad
A dedicated customer service team is available that could be useful for older adults with technology questions. It’s also easy to upgrade to the Magenta 55+ for $35 per line for two lines, which adds a AAA membership, in-flight service, Apple TV, and Netflix. The next step up is the Magenta 55+ Max for $45 per line for two lines, with high-speed data and texting abroad, UHD streaming, and additional hotspot data capacity.
An important note here is that Sprint, which merged with T-Mobile and was discontinued in August, 2020, used to offer a similar senior plan.
Verizon offers a cell phone plan for senior citizens called the "55+ Unlimited Plan". This plan is available to seniors who live in Florida and are 55 or older. With this plan, customers can get two lines of unlimited talk, text, and data for $80 per month, which is $40 per line. The plan includes the following:
- Unlimited mobile hotspot data.
- DVD-quality video streaming.
- Unlimited calls and texts to Mexico and Canada.
Additionally, the plan offers various other features, such as international texting, 5G access, and HD voice. It's worth noting that this plan is limited to residents of Florida and that Verizon's other unlimited plans may also be suitable for seniors, depending on their needs and usage habits.
AT&T’s Unlimited 55+ plan offers Floridians a special deal. For $40 per month per line, you receive unlimited talk, text, and data. For non-Florida residents 55 and older, the price is one line for $60 or two lines for $80, including features like:
- Unlimited talk, text, and data, and some countries abroad
- A mobile security app that prevents spam calls
- Unlimited texts from the US to several countries abroad
Sometimes AT&T also works with AARP to offer AARP members special discounts, so be on the lookout for those timely offers!
Lively does not have a specific age requirement for its plans, but it provides various services and features that seniors may find helpful, like its Health & Safety Packages, Urgent Response, and Urgent Care, which users can add anytime without a contract.
Their plans start at just under $15 per month, with data add-ons ranging from $2.49 to $30 per month. However, a Lively phone is required to use the plan, and there is a limited selection of phone models.
Lively's customer service is U.S.-based, and they offer the option to keep your existing phone number. Overall, Lively's customizable plans and Health and Safety Packages make them a great choice for older adults on a budget. Here are some items to note:
- The basic plan does not include data but can be purchased. 100 MB is an extra $2.49 per month and $30 per month for unlimited data.
- Not all services are included in every plan, but people can add urgent Response and other Health and Safety Packages for additional costs.
6. Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular offers cell phone plans designed for senior citizens, with monthly plans starting at $15 and including talk, text, and data. They also provide a 5% discount to AARP members. Here are other things to know:
- Plans are customizable, allowing customers to choose the amount of data and other features that best suit their needs.
- Plans come with features such as voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, and conference calling. Customers can also add international calling, device protection, and other features for an additional fee.
- Plans offer a range of senior-friendly devices, including flip phones and smartphones with large screens and simplified interfaces.
- Plans provide customer support tailored to senior citizens, with agents who can assist with device setup and troubleshooting.
Overall, Consumer Cellular is a popular option for seniors looking for affordable and customizable cell phone plans with excellent customer service.
Visible is a service provider that offers a single cell phone plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and data. Visible's plan costs $40 monthly with no additional taxes or fees.
While Visible does not have a specific cell phone plan for senior citizens, their unlimited plan may be a good fit for seniors who use their cell phones frequently and want a simple, all-inclusive plan. The plan includes the following:
- Unlimited data.
- Unlimited mobile hotspot data that allows customers to use their cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and share their internet connection with other devices, such as laptops or tablets.
- Free international texting and the option to add international calling for an additional fee.
Visible is a good option for seniors who want a simple, all-inclusive plan with unlimited data and a mobile hotspot without the need for additional features or services tailored specifically for seniors.
8. Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile offers affordable cell phone plans that start at $15 and include unlimited talk, text, and data. Here are its offerings:
- Prepaid plans, meaning customers pay for their plan three months, six months, or 12 months in advance. This can be helpful for seniors who want to budget their expenses and avoid unexpected charges.
- A range of senior-friendly devices, including smartphones with large screens and simplified interfaces.
- A mobile hotspot that allows customers to use their cell phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and share their internet connection with other devices, such as laptops or tablets. Customers can also add international calling, device protection, and other features for an additional fee.
Mint Mobile is an affordable, flexible cell phone plan with good coverage and features.
Tello’s flexible and affordable plans may suit senior citizens, with monthly plans starting at $5 and including unlimited text and pay-as-you-go data. Some of its notable features include:
- A Build Your Own Plan feature, which allows customers to customize their plan by selecting the number of minutes, text, and data they need each month. This can be helpful for seniors who use their cell phones primarily for texting and occasional calls and only need a little data.
- International calling and the option to add a mobile hotspot for an additional fee.
- A range of senior-friendly devices, including smartphones with large screens and simplified interfaces.
Tello's flexible plans and affordable pricing may appeal to seniors who want a simple and customizable cell phone plan without additional features or services. However, it's worth noting that Tello operates on the T-Mobile network, which may have limited coverage in certain areas.
Selecting the appropriate phone and service plan can be complicated and overwhelming, even though phones have simplified many aspects of our lives.
Navi aims to empower consumers with information and tools that make wireless shopping more manageable and enjoyable. We compare hundreds of plan options for customers in seconds, helping them find the perfect plan for their needs — completely free.
If figuring out which senior plan is right for you seems daunting, don’t worry. Let us do it for you! Reach out to us for more information today.
The Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors In 2023 – Forbes Health | Forbes
Best Seniors Cell Phone Plans 2023 | U.S. News