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Senior citizens can have unique needs when it comes to mobile phones. Some cellphone users prefer to do everything on their phones, from banking to playing games, whereas some seniors prefer phone services that offer more simplified features such as calling, texting, some data access and emergency services.
In households with limited income, seniors may not have money to spare for a mobile plan that offers bells and whistles they don’t need. Cellular providers understand this and offer discounts particularly for users over 55. Consumer Cellular gives its customers a special discount of 5% off services if they’re a member of AARP, whereas T-Mobile designed some plans just for users 55 and over.
To see which is the best option for you or your loved ones, here’s a closer look at the best cellphone plans for seniors.
Best senior citizen cellphone plans
One of the best ways to find the right deal for you is to compare multiple providers:
|Provider||Starting price*||Cool feature||Accolades|
|Consumer Cellular||$20.00/mo.||Try risk-free for 30 days||#1 in customer satisfaction (for non-contract provider) from J.D. Power for eight straight years|
|T-Mobile||$27.50/mo. with autopay||Unlimited data||17 #1 ratings from J.D. Power|
|AT&T||$29.99/mo.||Compatible with all regular phones (not smartphones)||A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau|
|GreatCall||$14.99/mo.||Offers medical alert devices||No cancellation fees and access to nationwide coverage|
|Boost||$50.00/mo.||Unlimited data||Best prepaid services|
|Ting||$6.00/mo.||Pay for what you use||Best for flexibility|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Last updated 07/27/20.
Best emergency cellphone plans
The goal for emergency-only cellphone plans is to provide some quick access to first responders if you’ve fallen or fall ill. Some providers even offer medical alert devices or have an emergency button built in to the phone so you don’t have to dial.
In this regard, the best provider to go with is GreatCall. They sell the widely popular Jitterbug cellphone that comes with big keys to make it easy to dial. They also sell the Lively Mobile and the Lively Wearable which gives you two more ways to access first responders when you need them.
What’s really unique about the wearable alert is it connects with your smartphone. So, if you need help, all you have to do is press the emergency button and it connects you with GreatCall’s emergency response team, who’ll know your location and stay on the line until you have the help you need.
GreatCall offers a wide variety of plans so you don’t overpay for services you don’t need. This makes them an affordable and innovative option for households on a limited budget that need quick access to emergency services.
Best plans for seniors
To help you find the right plan for you, here are some of the best companies based on the most popular needs:
Most affordable provider: GreatCall and Consumer Cellular
Both providers offer outstanding value. Starting at $14.99/mo., GreatCall allows you to use a menu to create the services you need based on minutes, texts and data usage. Consumer Cellular’s talk, text and basic data package starts at $20/mo. If you’re on a tight budget, these are excellent options to investigate.
Best for unlimited use: T-Mobile
If you’re 55 or over, T-Mobile offers exceptional senior plans that include unlimited data. This makes them a smart option to consider if you enjoy using your phone to video chat with family members, read news articles or surf Facebook. With plans starting from $27.50/mo., it’s the right price for just about any budget.
Best prepaid services: Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile gives you access to high-speed data across its extensive nationwide network. They’re also the lone provider who will shrink your bill the longer you’re with them. How it works: if you use their plan with unlimited talk, text and 15 GB of data, you’ll pay $45 for the first six months. However, after six payments on time with no service interruption, they’ll drop the price to $35. For those who want access to quick data occasionally, this is a great option.
Best for flexibility: Ting
Ting is unique in that you only pay for the services you use. It works by charging you a $6 monthly fee for the first line active. From there, Ting assigns charges based on usage tiers. For example, if you plan to talk on the phone for 300 minutes this month, you’ll have an average charge of $9. And if you want to send 500 texts, it will cost you an additional $5. Ting is perfect for if you don’t use your smartphone often. Ting gives you unparalleled flexibility compared to other providers.
Best for emergency services: GreatCall
GreatCall designed its products with seniors in mind. Its responsive service means you’re a press of a button away from a friendly voice, who’ll ensure you receive the help you need. GreatCall also offers a good selection of alert devices that makes it even easier to get help.
The bottom line
There are several options for senior-specific cellphone plans. The key is to first understand what needs you have, as this can help guide which provider and plan is the best fit for you. Once you determine your needs, the providers listed above represent the best of the best in value, network coverage and unique features, so you can’t go wrong.
That said, if you want basic coverage without a lot of frills then Consumer Cellular or GreatCall are smart choices. Alternatively, if you use your phone for many internet activities, you cannot beat the deals T-Mobile offers.
For more information on wireless plans or broadband services to help you stay connected to the world, bookmark our Resource Center.
By Sean Jackson.
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