The best senior cell phone plans are budget-friendly, uncomplicated and have zero surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. We took a look at the top cell phone plans for older adults to see how they stack up.
Seniors are more tech-savvy these days, and more likely than ever to have their own cell phone. For some seniors, a cell phone provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing they can call 911, or get in touch with family or friends, whenever they need to.
For others, a cell phone is so much more than that – it’s a way to browse the internet, take photographs, enjoy music, and stay up to date with family, friends and their local community via email and social media.
According to Pew Research, four in ten seniors now have a smartphone. That’s more than double the number from 2013.
Cell phone providers are getting wise to this growing market share, and there are several phones on the market today designed specifically with older adults in mind. We’ve highlighted various senior cell phone plans over the last few years.
Now we’re bringing all of that information into one comprehensive list so you can compare at a glance and figure out which one is best for you, or for the loved one in your life.
What We Looked For
When picking out the best senior cell phone plans, we looked for the following criteria:
- Fair pricing
- A good amount of minutes and texts for the money
- Reliable coverage
- Ease of use.
The Best Senior Cell Phone Plans
These are the packages that made the grade – so you’re sure to find something here that meets your needs.
T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ Plan
T-Mobile launched its first senior-specific phone in fall 2017. Designed with the older generation in mind, the Unlimited 55+ plan was created to be economical for budget-conscious seniors, but with all the features of any standard smartphone plan.
Handset: Works with any phone type
Cost: $50 monthly for the first line, and an extra $10 monthly to add a second line (includes all fees and taxes)
Contract: No – cancel anytime
Extras: Use in Mexico or Canada without additional fees, unlimited mobile hotspots at 3G speeds
What we like: We love that T-Mobile has designed a plan for tech-smart seniors that doesn’t patronize or talk down to them. We also love the very reasonable price, and, of course, the unlimited usage.
Ideal for: Seniors who want to use their phone for more than just calling. This plan is perfect for web browsing, social media, and streaming, in addition to calls and texts.
Jitterbug offers more than just senior cell phone plans. Their handsets are specifically designed with seniors in mind, and we love how they deliver sleek, modern designs that are made for senior eyes and hands.
Handset: With large buttons and a backlit keypad, the Jitterbug Flip handset is easy for seniors to use.
Cost: Plans start at $14.99 monthly for 200 minutes and $3.00 monthly for 300 texts. There’s also a $99 one-off fee for the handset and setup.
Calls: The cheapest option offers 200 minutes monthly, whereas the costliest option ($49 monthly) offers unlimited minutes.
Texts: The cheapest option offers 300 texts monthly, and the costliest option ($15 monthly) offers 1500 texts.
Data: N / A – the Jitterbug Flip isn’t a smartphone.
Contract: No – cancel any time.
Extras: Extras are where the Jitterbug Flip really shines. Each handset comes with the 5Star button users can press to access an emergency call center immediately. The Flip also features a large screen with easy-to-read letters, a flashlight, a camera with built-in flash, and intuitive yes/no navigation that’s easier for seniors to follow. And that’s before we get started on the unique health and safety features such as medication management, access to registered nurses and doctors, health tips, automated check-in calls, scheduled wellness calls with a wellness expert, and more. Caregivers can also keep track of their Jitterbug-owning loved ones thanks to alerts and activity logs.
What we like: We love the dedicated help button and senior-friendly design. Even seniors with tremors, weakness in the hands or eyesight issues should be able to handle the Flip quite easily.
Ideal for: Seniors who aren’t looking to get online but just want an easy-to-use and affordable option for making calls and sending texts.
Just like the Jitterbug Flip, the Jitterbug Smart was designed to be super easy to use for seniors. This is a smartphone that’s smart about helping older adults stay in touch with its easy-to-use design and intuitive navigation.
Handset: The Jitterbug Smart comes with oversize buttons and text, and simple intuitive list-based navigation, so it’s easy for seniors to see and use.
Cost: Plans start at $14.99 monthly for 200 minutes, $3.00 monthly for 300 texts, and $2.49 for 40 MB of data. There’s also a $149.99 one-off fee for the handset and setup.
Calls: The cheapest option offers 200 minutes monthly, whereas the costliest option ($49.99 monthly) offers unlimited talk and text.
Texts: The cheapest option offers 300 texts monthly, whereas the costliest option ($49.99 monthly) offers unlimited talk and text.
Data: The cheapest option is $2.49 monthly for 40MB of data. The most expensive option is $30 monthly for 2.5GB of data.
Contract: No – cancel any time.
Extras: Just like the Jitterbug Flip, Jitterbug Smart comes with a multitude of extras. Each handset comes with a 5Star app users can press to access an emergency call center immediately. The Smart also features a large screen with easy-to-read letters, a flashlight, a camera with built-in flash, talk-to-text capability, a usage meter so seniors can see how much of their plan they’ve used that month, and intuitive list-based navigation that’s easier for seniors to follow. It also has all of the extra health and safety features as the Flip, including alerts and activity logs for caregivers.
What we like: We love how senior-friendly the Jitterbug Smart is. It’s made for ease of use, and the wealth of health-based extras make it much more than just a phone.
Ideal for: Seniors who want a fully functioning smartphone at a reasonable price.
We’ve written about FreedomPop in the past and think they’re amazing. They offer seniors a legitimate free mobile phone option. How? Their phone service is based on Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoiP), the same technology used to make calls with Skype. Because FreedomPop piggybacks (legally!) on the networks of other providers, it’s reliable as well as very budget friendly.
Handset: FreedomPop works with the Alcatel Conquest LTE Smartphone, which costs just $29.99 when purchased through FreedomPop (regular retail price $199.99).
Cost: After purchasing the handset, the basic package is completely free.
Calls: Free package includes 200 minutes of calls. There is also the option to upgrade to the 55+ plan exclusively for seniors, which costs $24.99 monthly for unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data.
Texts: Free package includes 500 texts. There is also the option to upgrade to the 55+ plan exclusively for seniors, which costs $24.99 monthly for unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data.
Data: Free package includes 500MB of data. The 55+ plan includes unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data. For seniors who need a lot more data, FreedomPop offers a range of data plans ranging from $3.99 to $74.99 monthly.
Contract: No – cancel anytime.
Extras: Users who sign up to the 55+ plan also get VIP support, and can downgrade to the free plan anytime they like.
What we like: We like that when FreedomPop says free, it really means free. 200 minutes of calls and 500 texts is a reasonable offer for absolutely zero dollars. We also appreciate the reasonably priced paid options for seniors who need a little more power.
Ideal for: Budget-conscious seniors who need a low-cost cell phone option.
Consumer Cellular provides a wonderfully flexible cell phone service that lets customers get what they need every month, and change their plan whenever they want to with no added fees and no long-term contracts.
Related: Consumer Cellular Ally Review
Handset: Consumer Cellular has a wide range of handsets available, or you can simply use your existing handset.
Calls: Get 250 minutes of calls for $15 monthly, or unlimited calls for $20 monthly.
Texts: All packages include unlimited texts.
Data: Plans range from $5 to $40 monthly, depending on how much data you want.
Contract: No contracts – cancel or change plans any time.
Extras: Usage alerts, and savings if you add a second line. Consumer Cellular also offers extra discounts for AARP members, including a 5% saving each month, 30% off selected accessories, and an extended warranty plan.
What we like: We love how flexible and no-fuss Consumer Cellular is. It’s easy to choose the right plan, and easy to change later if you need to.
Ideal for: Seniors who are looking for an affordable, flexible package that lets them purchase as much or as little service as they need month on month.
Republic Wireless isn’t specifically for seniors, but we think it offers great value that seniors can appreciate. Republic Wireless uses a combination of 4G cell phone service and wireless internet to offer reliable, fast connection options across the country, but for less money than many big carriers.
Handset: You can use Republic Wireless with your existing handset.
Cost: Plans start at $15 monthly for unlimited calls and texts, plus the option to add data if you want it at $5 per GB each month.
Data: As much or as little as you like!
Contract: None – cancel any time.
Extras: Make free calls to the US from anywhere in the world using wireless.
What we like: We love how well priced and straightforward Republic Wireless plans are. No hidden fees, no complex options, just one straightforward fee for unlimited calls and texts, and a reasonably priced sliding scale for data.
Ideal for: Seniors who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, but do want a reliable service that they can use for calling, texting, and surfing.
Verizon GoUnlimited 55+
GoUnlimited 55+ offers seniors savings of up to $50 monthly on their data plans compared with other Verizon packages. Readers, please note – this offer is only available to those with a Florida billing address.
Handset: Verizon offers a wide range of handsets to choose from – check out their range online or in stores.
Cost: $60 monthly for one line, or $80 monthly for two.
Contract: Yes – check the specifics of your contract before purchase. We noticed that early cancelation attracts fees of up to $350, and in some cases there is a minimum use fee as well. We recommend reading the fine print carefully and making sure you understand the fees before sign up.
Extras: DVD-quality streaming, unlimited mobile hotspots, and coverage in Mexico and Canada included.
What we like: Although the plan holder has to be over 55, the second line owner does not, making it ideal for seniors who want to include a younger family member on their plan.
Ideal for: Seniors looking for unlimited usage and an affordable plan that includes two lines.
Sprint is the fourth largest mobile network provider in the United States, and it has special senior cell phone plans: Sprint Unlimited 55+. Please note that Unlimited 55+ is only available to new customers, and only through physical stores, not online.
Handset: Sprint offers the option to buy or lease a new handset, or simply use your own.
Cost: There is an activation fee of up to $30. After that, the cost is $35 per month per line (you can have up to two lines on the package.)
Contract: Yes – ask in store for the specifics of your contract. We noticed that early cancelation attracts fees of up to $350, and if you lease a phone and then cancel you may still have to pay the rest of the lease payments. We recommend reading the fine print carefully and making sure you understand the fees before signing up.
Extras: All plans offer DVD-quality streaming, international roaming, and mobile hotspots.
What we like: The choice to buy or lease a handset or use your own offers a lot of flexibility.
Ideal for: Seniors who plan to use their phone a lot, thanks to the unlimited calls, texts, and data.
Whether you are looking for a simple call and text package or high-speed internet, you’re sure to find the ideal senior cell phone plans for you and your loved ones among this list.