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Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors in 2020

Claire Samuels
By Claire SamuelsApril 13, 2020

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.

Top cell phone plans for seniors in 2020

Consumer Cellular

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.

Jitterbug Cell Phone Plan – GreatCall

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.

AT&T Senior 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.

The top 55+ discounts for major network plans

Verizon Senior Plan

  • The Verizon 55+ Unlimited plan is great for tech-savvy seniors who want to make the most of their phone service. With unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data, there’s no such thing as too much communication.
  • Streaming is high quality, so loved ones can video chat, connect to Netflix, and listen to all of their favorite music. The coverage network includes Mexico and Canada, and provides unlimited hotspot capabilities for internet on the go. The Verizon 55+ plan is also available on smart devices, like the Apple Watch and tablets.
  • This plan is more expensive than some of the others on the list, but at $60 for one line or $80 for two, it’s a comprehensive package at a solid discount. Be sure to read over the contract before signing, as there are some hefty cancellation fees.

T-Mobile Senior Plan

  • The T-Mobile 55+ plan can be used with any phone, which makes it an ideal switch for seniors with smartphones who are looking for a discount, or family members who want a big-name network for their older devices. It offers unlimited talk, text, and data on the nation’s fastest LTE network, and T-Mobile’s coverage makes it great for seniors who love to travel. Text and data are even available abroad for no extra charge.
  • Depending on the phone, this network supports everything from streaming to in-flight data for airplane trips. T-Mobile Tuesdays are another interesting perk, with exciting new deals at restaurants and stores each Tuesday.
  • A unique feature of T-Mobile’s 55+ plan is that only the primary account holder has to meet its age requirement. The pricing, $50 per month for one line or $70 for two, makes this plan ideal for couples. The cost includes all taxes and fees, so there aren’t any sneaky charges to look for each month.

Sprint Senior Plan

  • Like the Verizon and T-Mobile 55+ plans, Sprint’s discounted senior option is designed to be compatible with all phones, and includes Sprint’s standard features. Unlimited talk, text, data, and 3G wireless hotspot ensure that you’ll always be connected to friends and family, and high speed streaming means entertainment is always at your fingertips.
  • The Sprint network supports music, gaming, and video streaming, and provides roaming coverage in over 200 locations across the globe for worry-free travel.
  • This plan costs $55 for one line and $25 for an additional device, but signing up for autopay can save time and cut costs by $10 per month. Paper bills are not available through Sprint, so if your senior friend or family member isn’t comfortable with e-billing, this may not be the best choice. Approval and activation fees depend on a credit check, and can be up to $30 per line.

The cheapest cell phone plans for seniors

AT&T’s GoPhone Daily 

  • AT&T’s GoPhone Daily is a great option for seniors who want a phone for sporadic use and prefer AT&T’s coverage.
  • It’s $2 a day, but only if you use the phone that day. And if you do, it’s unlimited calls and texts.

Consumer Cellular

  • Consumer Cellular offers excellent add-ons for seniors, as seen above.
  • Their basic plans start at only $15 per month with an AARP member discount.

T- Mobile Pay As You Go

  • Seniors who want a cell phone for emergency use only will love T-Mobile’s Pay As You Go plan.
  • It’s $3 a month for any combination of 30 minutes of phone calls or 30 text messages. Anything over that costs 10 cents a minute per talk or text.
  • This is a great option if you plan to use your phone only sporadically or in the event of a crisis.

Claire Samuels
Author
Claire Samuels

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.

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