AT&T is known for being the world’s largest telecommunications company and provider of cell phone services. They also have the widest range of coverage and one of the fastest data speeds in North America. All these superlatives present AT&T as a company with a solid pedigree.
What really stands out for me, however, is their wide range of plans that suit the needs of older adults, from tech-savvy users to those who simply want a device for calling and texting. AT&T is ideal for helping older adults stay connected with their loved ones, especially if they are living alone.
On this page, we’ll explore how to purchase from AT&T, in addition to highlighting their offerings for older adults.
Advanced devices: Being one of the nation’s largest cellular providers, AT&T offers just about any type of cell phone, from advanced iPhones to simple flip phones.
Discounts for multiple lines: Nearly all of AT&T’s cellular plans come at discounted rates with each additional line of service you purchase.
No data throttling: Unlike popular providers such as Mint Mobile, AT&T won’t slow your data speeds after meeting usage thresholds.
Discounts for AARP members: Regardless of the state you live in, AARP members can get 10% off their monthly bill when signing up for AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plan.
Limited availability: AT&T’s Unlimited 55+ plans are currently only available to those with a Florida billing address. Similar to Verizon, AT&T requires seniors living outside of Florida to select other more costly unlimited plans.
Activation fees: Though not listed in the monthly price, most of AT&T’s plans require hidden fees for activation. However, these fees can sometimes be waived for AARP members.
How To Shop with AT&T
AT&T’s website is a great place to get started in your search for a new phone or plan. You’ll find information on a variety of flip phones, smartphones, and different service plans online.
For heavy data users, there are unlimited plans starting at $35 per month per line, featuring 5G access, standard definition streaming, and unlimited talk, text, and data (when you get four lines).
There are also several affordable prepaid phone plans offered by AT&T for those who don’t spend a great deal of time on cellular usage. I’d recommend looking into their $30 per month for 5GB of data monthly prepaid phone plan with unlimited talk and text, and data.
AT&T, like Verizon and T-Mobile, offers plans tailored to older adults; however, with AT&T, these plans cannot be purchased online. You’ll need to visit the AT&T store in person and present proof of age to secure the offer.
Once the purchase is made, you may find detailed instructions on the website’s support page to help activate plans and unlock the phones. Alternately, the company has a toll-free number for wireless support.
AT&T Plans for Seniors
Monthly Price (per line)
Scam and Fraud Blocking
Unlimited Talk, Text and Data
Best Suited For
AT&T Senior Nation
200 anytime minutes
500 night and weekend minutes
Unlimited AT&T mobile-to-mobile
Two-year contract commitment
Compatible with basic phones only
Adults who are 65 or older
Ideal for users who do not care for data, and only want the talk-time
AT&T Unlimited 55+
$40 (for two lines)
Compatible with smartphones and basic phones – not tablets
For adults who are 55 or older
Must be a resident of Florida
Heavy data users
Free texting to 120+ countries
Florida AARP members save up to $45 on activation fees and get 15% off eligible accessories
AT&T Unlimited Starter
$35 (when you get 4 lines)
Compatible with smartphones and basic phones
6 months of free gaming streaming (Stadia Pro)
Spam and fraud call blocking
Unlimited talk, text, and data
Older adults who are comfortable watching online videos, video-chatting and the like, and also want to share data with loved ones
AT&T Mobile Share Plus 9GB
$45 – $70
Unlimited talk, text & 9GB data
No annual contract, no credit check
Older adults who are comfortable with limited data and would like to share the data with partner or caregiver
As you can see, only one of these plans has been curated for the more “traditional” needs of older adults. The remaining three are data-heavy plans for those who would want to browse social media, shoot emails and stream videos. There is also AT&T Lifeline, a federal program that is perfect for older adults who have a fixed income or are dependent on government programs. Qualifying households get at a minimum of $7.25 per month discount on their phone bill, which can add up to significant savings over the course of a year.
Savings Tip: AT&T offers 10% discounts to AARP members and approximately 25% discount on unlimited plans for veterans. An additional $20 discount is applicable on choosing AutoPay and paperless billing.
AT&T retails almost every kind of phone there is, from the latest from Apple and Samsung to basic flip phones. Many of the devices can either be bought for a one-time-fee or via an installment plan, where the associated cost is added to your monthly cellular bill and is typically paid off within 30 months. Users may subscribe to AT&T wireless service by buying a new phone or exchanging the old phone for a discount on a newer model.
Here’s a selection of AT&T’s cell phones that are perfectly geared towards the needs of older adults:
The average American is said to drop their phone at least four times a week. Fortunately, the SONIM XP5s is drop-proof, in addition to having oversized buttons and keys. Retailing at $339.99, it has AT&T’s Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) capabilities that makes for more simplified calling. This rugged phone is perfect for older users who use their device primarily for making calls and texting, and it can be used with AT&T’s Senior Nation Plan. Additionally, it has a 3-year warranty and oversized buttons and keys for older adults with dexterity or vision impairments.
Cingular Flip IV
At $62.99, this lightweight device is ideal for the older adult’s everyday communication needs. What’s more, users can watch YouTube, get directions from Google Maps, and execute tasks via voice commands using the phone’s integrated Google Assistant. With long-lasting battery life, the AT&T Cingular Flip IV’s large keypad and navigation keys also make it really easy to operate, even for those struggling with arthritis and vision impairment. What’s more, it is completely hearing aid compatible, which is great for 50% of those older than 75 who have hearing loss.
iPhone XS Max
If you’re an older adult who enjoys user-friendly features, the iPhone XS Max is a great upgrade. With a large 6.5-inch retina display and advanced security features such as Face ID to unlock important applications and pay with Apple Pay, this device is a keeper. It’s also a great phone for taking photos of the family and grandkids, with impressive 12MP dual rear cameras and 7MP in the front. Plus, if your grandkid grabs your phone or accidentally drops it in water, this phone is fully water, splash, and dust-resistant. You can pay $31.95 per month for this device through an AT&T installment plan.
Additionally, thanks to its fast charge feature, users don’t have to constantly worry about their device running out of power. All of these advanced features might seem intimidating, especially for those uninitiated to the world of smartphones, but my favorite thing about the iPhone XS Max is how intuitive its controls are. Learning the ins and outs of this device is a breeze.
Note: If the older user is comfortable with their existing device, they can switch to AT&T’s wireless service on the same phone and get a $250 reward card and a waiver on the activation fee.
AT&T Benefits for Seniors
Here are some other benefits of an AT&T plan for seniors.
Mobile Security and Call Protect app: This free app helps users avoid spam and fraud calls. It also enables safe browsing, identity monitoring, and more. It’s available with the AT&T Unlimited 55 & Over plan, amongst others.
Mobile Protection:At just $15 per month for each mobile number that’s enrolled, AT&T offers same-day device replacement and setup for lost, stolen, and broken phones. There is a cheaper mobile insurance option ($8 per month) without the same day replacement feature, and a more expensive one ($40 per month) that covers up to 4 devices. I would really recommend going for the mid-range plan for greater value and peace of mind
HBO Max: Available on select premium wireless plans is free access to the HBO Max entertainment channel. Especially if you go for one of the higher-priced plans, this is a great way to take advantage of your video streaming capabilities.
When it comes to finding cellular solutions that are suited to older adults in North America, AT&T really takes the cake. Granted, AT&T’s plans are a bit on the pricier end of the spectrum, especially compared to Consumer Cellular whose basic plans start at just $15 per month. Still, AT&T’s plans targeted at older folks are still about $10 cheaper than that of most competitors.
AT&T’s speed, coverage area, and reliability more than make up for this premium. I will admit though that it was a little disappointing that a mobile emergency response device that AT&T had launched in 2013, called EverThere, was conspicuously absent from the list of devices being sold on the website. So if you’re looking for a phone with medical alert capabilities, I’d recommend checking out the Jitterbug Smart3 from Lively.
On the flip side, it’s quite refreshing to note that AT&T is one of the only players to still offer ‘no-frills’ call-only cell phone plans; for older adults who do not wish to use expensive (and sometimes frustrating to use) smartphones.
To learn more about our favorite phones and plans for seniors, check out our helpful guides:
AT&T Senior Nation plan offers unlimited nationwide calling to AT&T Mobility Customers, 200 anytime minutes and 500 night & weekend minutes and is applicable only on basic phones and for account holders over the age of 65.
With AT&T, you may keep your current device, even if it’s from another service provider, as long as it uses a SIM card. In exchange, typically, you get a free $250 reward card and the activation fee is also waived.
With AT&T, you may have up to two phone lines on the 55+ plan. You pay $40 per month for 2 lines.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here