For seniors, having a cell phone is a near necessity; the safety, peace of mind, and convenience that a mobile phone can offer make the purchase of a cell phone plan an investment. Cell phones can help seniors connect with friends and family members, especially those living further away. Given the rising costs of technology, many companies offer affordable plans and cellular offers specifically for seniors.
How to Choose the Best Cell Phone Plan for Seniors
Selecting the best option for yourself or an older adult in your life means considering what kind of a phone you need and what features of a cellular plan you would use most often. While more technology-savvy seniors may be looking for a smart phone, other seniors may just be searching for a basic phone, prioritizing safety features and ease of use over other amenities. If you are considering a smartphone, you may need to consider looking for a plan that offers unlimited data, while if you are only planning on using a flip phone or similar model, you might not need much data in your plan and don’t need to pay for unlimited. When comparing the features plans, also consider the devices available on each plan; devices with large screens and large buttons tend to be good options for seniors as they make use easier. Below is basic information on some of the most affordable plans with senior-friendly features.
T-Mobile Senior Plans
T-Mobile has multiple unlimited plans that they offer uniquely to seniors at relatively low price points. While T-Mobile also offers affordable pre-paid plans, their senior plans may be a better option for seniors who plan on using their devices somewhat frequently. All plans offer unlimited talk, text, and data across their domestic networks with varying international service coverage based on the plan you select. These plans are the perfect fit for seniors living a more active lifestyle and looking for a good deal for quality service and features. Unlike other cell phone providers or service providers, T-Mobile does not include the cost of the cellular phone in the plan itself, making it an additional cost to consider.
- T-Mobile Essentials 55: $55 for two lines
- The Essentials plan offers all of the key features that you would need to stay connected to the world, including unlimited text messaging abroad for seniors who plan to spend their golden years traveling. The service plan doesn’t have an annual contract and the plan gives customers access to T-Mobile Tuesday deals, free perks for customers every week.
- Magenta Unlimited 55: $70 for two lines
- Offering all of the same features as the Essentials plan, the Magenta plan offers both data and texting abroad for seniors on-the-go and offers more data than the essentials plan in Canada and Mexico. The plan also includes taxes and fees in its rate.
- Magenta Plus Unlimited 55: $90 for two lines
- The highest tier of T-Mobile’s senior service plans, the Magenta Plus plan offers all of the unlimited data, talk, and text of the other plans, but offers twice the speed of data and texting abroad. The plan also offers HD rather than SD streaming for higher quality videos. Unlike the other plans, the Magenta Plus plan screens voicemails and calls for its customers and comes with an included Netflix subscription, meaning seniors can save on the cost of streaming on their own plans.
Boost Mobile‘s deals aren’t necessarily senior-specific, but their offers are overall good deals with lots of data for seniors who find themselves using apps or the internet away from a home WiFi network often. Their Go Unlimited Plan is $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data with an additional line available for $30 per month. Boost Mobile doesn’t offer phones in their plans, but they do frequently have promotions and phone deals so long as seniors can understand how to use the devices without a hard time. Boost Mobile may be particularly appealing to caregivers since their mix-and-match family plans can be adapted to include lower-rate plans for seniors who aren’t using their phones frequently and expansive plans for children and teenagers in the house with the best cell phones. Their selection of basic phones is limited to one flip phone and basic smartphones, but they offer the option to bring your own phone to the plan.
AT&T offers an exclusive senior plan for older adults (55+) living in Florida with unlimited talk, text, and data on US mobile networks and basic spam safety features with two lines for $80. Florida residents can also save on activation fees and accessories in-store with their AARP membership. The deal offers the key features of a cellular plan but is only available to residents in Florida, making it an option for those looking to retire and spend their golden years there.
Consumer Cellular offers some of the most affordable service plans on the market, although key features like unlimited talk and text may be an extra cost. There are plans with just calling minutes or with talk and text services, along with plans that offer unlimited talk and text but not unlimited data. Still, for seniors who are looking for an affordable and minimal plan or for caregivers looking for an emergency line, consumer cellular offers flexibility distinct from other companies. They offer both smartphones and flip phones in addition to their plans. The company also offers a tablet called “The GrandPad” with big buttons designed for ease of use for $250, which is perfect for caregivers looking to connect their loved ones to the internet but still keep safety features in place or for seniors who struggle with understanding new technology.
For caregivers looking for an emergency device for their loved ones, GreatCall is a cellular service that includes a built-in emergency response line. Their devices are linked to Urgent Response, a service that connects callers to operators who can assess and respond to incidents over the phone. With GreatCall’s app, caregivers can also receive updates and notifications if Urgent Response is contacted, providing safety and peace of mind. Customers are also connected to an Urgent Care medical line and to Lyft for affordable ride offers.
They offer two main cell phones, the Jitterbug Smart2 (a smartphone) and the Lively Flip (a flip phone) that can connect seniors with all of the key features of a cellular plan along with easy access to GreatCall’s emergency resources. The devices were designed with ease of use for seniors in mind, and can easily be set up and understood. Both devices have long battery lives and are focused on durability rather than flash. GreatCall also offers two non-phones that can offer emergency services: the Lively Mobile Plus (a medical alert device) and the Lively Wearable 2 (a smartwatch). The devices can connect seniors with Urgent Response lines quickly in case of emergency, and have features like water resistance and fall tracking available to ensure safety. While all of their devices require an additional payment plan for select services, the features are unique to GreatCall’s devices and set them apart from other cellular providers; their unique focus on senior accessibility and safety combines the features of a mobile plan with a medical alert system.
- Pexels, Andrea Picquadio