The evolution of cell phones are something that today’s seniors probably never imagined. From the brick-sized devices of the 90s, they are now sleek, portable pocket-sized mini-computers. The best cell phone plans for seniors harness this power, plus add special features without a hefty price tag.
Cheap cell phone plans are plentiful today, allowing seniors to choose the best service for their needs. Whether you travel extensively, or need plans that allow connectivity to health care services, there are ample choices to consider.
If you’re in the market for new mobile service, our guide shares the best cell plans for seniors.
Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
Over forty percent of seniors own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. Additionally, 80 percent own a cell phone of some kind.
It’s to the benefit of cell phone providers to offer competitive and cheap cell phone plans for seniors. Most providers make starting with their service simple, by allowing you to bring your own phone or buy one from them.
If you are a senior, or have a senior family member, who is in need of a new cell phone plan, below are the seven best cheap cell phone plans for seniors.
1. Republic Wireless
Republic Wireless is one of the leading no-contract cell phone providers in the space. The company allows customers to use Wi-Fi to make phone calls and send texts. When you aren’t near a reliable Wi-Fi source, then you can use a cell network.
Republic Wireless, similar to others on our list of best phone plans for seniors is a Multiple Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and operates on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks to provide service. The combination is how Republic Wireless can offer competitive pricing for their service plans.
They often have promotions to attract new customers and keep current ones. For example, when a customer activates a new line of service and transfers a phone number within 30 days, they will receive two months of free service (on the 1GB plan). Customers are also offered extra promotions (ex., $50 off a new phone) if they purchase through the Republic Wireless website.
Those kinds of promotions are available multiple times a year for all different kinds of phones. Unlimited talk and text no-contract plans with Republic Wireless start at $15 per month.
If you want to add data it’s just $5 per GB. Members are able to easily add data to their plans and also have the benefit of spam call blocking.
- They offer a 14-day money back guarantee
- No contracts
- They pay you back for unused data each month
- Operates on Sprint and T-Mobile
- You can make free international calls from anywhere in the U.S.
- Only works with Android devices
- You must purchase data, but it is inexpensive
Compare plans at Republic Wireless to see how much you can save.
Tello gives seniors access to some of the top prepaid rates on the market. The carrier has 4G LTE coverage, and minutes can be used to call Canada, Mexico, and even China. Plans can be set up to renew automatically every month and can be canceled at any time without penalty.
Tello is also a good cell phone plan for seniors because there is also no charge for upgrading or a plan. And any unused minutes roll over to the next month. Tello is another MVNO and operates on the Sprint Network.
You can customize your plan to your needs at Tello, with the cheapest plan starting at just $10 per month though that plan is fairly limited. For just $14 per month, after $7 the first month, you receive unlimited talk and text plus 1GB of data.
Another perk of Tello is that it gives customers the option of free tethering. Tethering turns a mobile device into a modem or router to connect other devices in the home to the internet. This is great for those who travel and need web access.
- Ability to make international calls
- Customizable plans
- Free tethering
- Works with both Android and iOS devices
- No roaming, but operates on Wi-Fi
- Phones are more expensive
Compare plans at Tello to see how much you can save.
Twigby, like the aforementioned providers, aren’t specifically phone plans for seniors, but their low price warrants their inclusion on our list. The provider is an MVNO and operates on both Verizon and Sprint, allowing them to provide quality coverage throughout the country.
Twigby starts all new customers with a 25 percent discount for their first six months of service. Their standard pricing is $13 per month for unlimited talk and text, and you can add data for $6 for 1GB, with discounts for each additional GB you add. If you worry about data usage, you can be notified once you reach 50 percent or more of your monthly data.
Twigby Live chat is available seven days a week including Sundays until 6 p.m. Twigby launched in 2016 so they are fairly new, but in that short period have grown into a widely respected cell phone company.
You can read our Twigby review to get a comprehensive picture of what they offer.
Twigby holds double-referral bonus months throughout the year, which means that customers can earn up to $20 per referral. This can be a great way for a senior to earn some extra cash by simply inviting friends to Twigby.
- Runs on two networks, Verizon and Sprint
- International calling to Canada, China, and Mexico
- Plans as low as $13 for unlimited talk and text
- Fully customizable plans
- Works with both Android and iOS devices
- Online only, no retail locations though many providers are similar
Compare plans at Twigby to see how much you can save.
Ting is a great option for phone plans for seniors without an expensive monthly bill. With Ting you don’t have a set plan, but you customize to your particular situation. The provider has no contracts and you can leave whenever you wish.
If you need unlimited talk, text, and data they may not be for you, but the ability to customize a plan is hard to overlook. In fact, the average monthly bill with Ting is $23, which is a big savings versus a traditional contract plan.
Frugal Rules readers receive a $25 credit when signing up, effectively providing you one month of free service.
Ting, like Twigby, operates on two networks – Sprint and T-Mobile so you have more reliable coverage with the provider. You can add as many lines as you like with Ting, each running $6 per line. This is great if you want to share a plan with other family members and keep costs down and share data, talk, and text.
The average talk minutes is $9 per month for 100 – 500 minutes. The average text amount is $5 for 101 – 1,000 texts per month. Data is last, and the average amount is $10 per month for 101 – 500 MB of data.
If you find the data restrictive, remember that if you use Wi-Fi a lot you should be able to avoid that. You only pay for what you use, so you don’t overpay for something you don’t need.
You can also bring your own phone to Ting, or buy one from the provider.
- Provides coverage on two carriers
- You can bring your own phone
- Provides fully customizable plans
- You only pay for what you use
- No additional cost for calls to 60+ international countries
- Not for heavy data users
Check out plans at Ting and see how much you can save.
AT&T seems like an odd choice for best cheap cell phone plans for seniors due to their pricing model, but they have plans that make them worthy of consideration. The provider offers two models specifically for seniors:
- GoPhone Daily
- Senior Nation (must be at least 65 years old to qualify)
With the GoPhone Daily plan, you only pay for service on days you use your phone for calls or data. You pay $2 per day you use the phone. If you don’t use the phone then you aren’t charged. This allows you to use it as much as you like, but if you only make one call, you pay $2.
Under the Senior Nation AT&T Plan, you receive 200 anytime minutes, 500 nights and weekends minutes, and unlimited mobile to mobile minutes and that includes no roaming or long-distance charges.
Anything additional will be just $0.45 per minute. This program is only available for basic phones, not smartphones or tablets.
AT&T charges $29.99 per month, and the Senior Nation AT&T Plan is something that isn’t available through the website.
If a senior is interested in the program, they have to call, chat, or visit an AT&T store. AT&T does offer certain bundles on other products like internet and TV that can result in big savings.
This service is simplistic, but is good for those who have basic phone and data needs.
For those who travel to Canada and Mexico and don’t require data, AT&T may be a good option thanks to their coverage in those countries. If you’re an AARP member, don’t forget to take advantage of their ten percent discount!
- Multiple plans to choose from
- AARP discounts
- Works with Android and iOS devices
- Reliable network
- Senior-specific plan does not offer data
Compare plans at AT&T to see how much you can save.
6. Great Call
Great Call is one of the best cell plans for seniors. You’ve likely seen their commercials promoting their Jitterbug phone for seniors. Plans start at $14.99 for 200 minutes, and $3 for 300 texts per month.
The provider also charges a one-time $99 fee to set up your device, and there are no contracts.
You can’t bring your own phone to Great Call because they connect your device to medical alert services and other healthcare needs.
Great Call offers a limited amount of options for cell phones. You can get a flip phone that’s typically viewed as an emergency phone, or a smart device. However, the options they do have are perfect for seniors.
The Jitterbug Smart 2 is actually running at a discounted rate of half-off. It’s a solid option for seniors due to the 5.5” screen that makes things easy to see. The simplified menu makes it easier to navigate and find important features on the cell phone.
This phone also has a long-lasting battery which is a great feature to have. It’s easy to forget to charge a phone sometimes. This gives a little bit more time to get a phone on a charger in the event of an emergency.
With the click of a button, Great Call agents are on the phone to try and solve a problem big or small. When one of those calls is made, a link can also be sent to family members know that it took place.
The Great Call Youtube channel offers seniors easy to follow instructions on a variety of topics–even a video on how to set up the smartphone!
- Connection to medical alert providers
- Senior-specific features like daily health tips and check-in calls
- Devices with larger buttons
- Can’t bring your own phone
Compare plans at Great Call to see how much you can save.
7. Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular is one of the best cell phone plans for seniors. In fact they focus on customers 55 and over. The provider is an MVNO and you choose whether to have service on AT&T or T-Mobile.
Plans start as low as $20 per month for 250 minutes of talk, 250MB of data, and unlimited texts. You can customize your plan from there, even changing plans month-to-month based on your needs.
Consumer Cellular offers a 30-day money back guarantee for anybody not satisfied with the service. Flip phones with Consumer Cellular start as low as $30 and, similar to other MVNOs, you can bring your own device, either flip phone or smartphone.
Consumer Cellular allows customers to receive convenient usage alerts so it’s easy to keep track of data. If customers go over their data allowance they will be automatically upgraded with no overage fee. Add on a family member for just $15 per line and share all talk, text, and data features.
Flexibility is a hallmark of Consumer Cellular. They know your needs change and they provide the ability to change your service to meet those needs without an extra cost.
- Operates on AT&T and T-Mobile platform
- Works with Android and iOS devices
- AARP discounts available
- 30-day money back guarantee
- No unlimited data plans
Compare plans at Consumer Cellular to see how much you can save.
Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Seniors: Bottom Line
Having a cell phone is a must for most people these days. Cell phones can replace your house phone, computer, and multiple other devices. Plus, they provide more convenience for communication and keeping in touch.
These best cell phone plans for seniors help you easily fit the cost into your budget. You can adjust your plan to fit your talk and texting needs with most of these companies. Take advantage of regular promotions to save even more money.
What are some other cell phone plans for seniors you’ve used and liked? How much do you spend on cell service each month? What’s one feature you look for in cell plans for seniors?
Source: Frugal Rules