The number of seniors using cell phones increases every year, according to the Pew Research Center. Today’s available cell phone plans for seniors can accommodate everyone’s needs, from texting, streaming videos, or playing games, to emergency-only options with limited features. Use this list to find the best cell phone plan for your aging loved one, whether it’s your aunt who loves emojis and never hangs up, or your grandpa who fishes the flip phone out of his glovebox once a month to check in.
Overview: Consumer Cellular was designed with seniors in mind. Their plans are basic and intuitive, and can be used with either Consumer Cellular devices or major brand phones and tablets. The plans are no-frills and customizable, so seniors can pay what they want for the services they need to keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
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Plans: Consumer Cellular offers either Talk or Connect plans. Talk is a nationwide, no-roaming-fees, anytime service that’s available as either an unlimited package or a money-saving 250 minutes per month. Connect plans are add-ons that include unlimited texting and priced data tiers from 500 MB to 250 GB per month.
Special Senior Features:Ally is an emergency device compatible with Consumer Cellular’s plans. It’s a rechargeable, wearable alarm similar to LifeAlert that can make manual emergency calls and send automated fall detection alerts. The Consumer Cellular website also provides easy instructional videos geared toward helping seniors understand their new devices.
Cost: Adaptability is what makes Consumer Cellular a great option for seniors with a fixed income. For older Americans who want an emergency-only phone without data, plans start as low as $15 per month. Use this convenient price tool to compare options and view AARP member discounts.
Overview: A Place for Mom’s Best Cell Phones for Seniors list recently awarded Jitterbug its top spot. All of GreatCall’s products are designed for seniors who want to connect with loved ones but may not have an interest in tech, or the prowess to operate a standard smartphone. GreatCall operates on Verizon’s network, but offers extensive features not included in their 55+ plans. It’s important to note that these features are only available on GreatCall devices.
Plans: Like Consumer Cellular, GreatCall is totally customizable, so seniors can select their own talk, text, and data options. Health and Safety packages are available in Basic, Preferred, and Ultimate tiers, and can be combined with all GreatCall device plans.
Special Senior Features: GreatCall offers the widest range of built-in features for senior health. All plans include 5Star Urgent Response, which immediately connects seniors with highly-trained agents for 24/7 assistance. Higher-tier plans include GreatCall Link, which helps caregivers stay informed, Urgent Care, which provides phone access to doctors and nurses without an appointment, and Personal Operator, which offers unlimited access to a friendly operator who can help look up addresses, phone numbers, and business information.
Cost: 5Star Urgent Response with a basic talk package starts at $19.99 per month, while Ultimate plans with unlimited talk, text, data, and medical resources peak at around $75 per month. AARP offers member discounts on all GreatCall plans.
Overview: AT&T Senior Nation is for seniors who haven’t made the switch to a smartphone. This affordable option covers the basics, offering ample minutes to chat with friends, schedule appointments, and keep in touch with family.
Plans: AARP-approved Senior Nation offers 500 night and weekend minutes, 200 anytime minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls with no roaming charges, making it great for seniors who travel.
Special Senior Features: Unlike other major network providers mentioned here, AT&T doesn’t limit its Senior Nation plan to new users. If you’re an existing AT&T member who happens to turn 65, just call the company and they’ll switch your service to whichever package is best. If you are new to the network, they’ll send you a phone fully programmed and set up, so no technical knowledge is needed to start connecting with loved ones.
Cost: This plan works with any non-smart phone, and it is a great deal for those over 65 at only $29.99 per month. If you’re over 55 and do want a smartphone, you won’t qualify for Senior Nation, but you will receive an AARP discount from AT&T. Service is 10% off for members, with free HBO streaming and setup.
Claire Samuels is a content writer at A Place for Mom. She worked with senior living communities throughout the Midwest before pivoting to writing. She’s passionate about sharing ways of living well at any age.