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.
Top Cell Phone Plans for Seniors in 2019
- Sprint Unlimited 55+ Plan – Best Unlimited Plan
- GreatCall Plans – Best Overall Senior Plan
- Republic Wireless Phone Plan – Best Month-to-Month
- FreedomPop Phone Plan – Best No Contract Plan
- AT&T Senior Nation Plan – Best Features
- T-Mobile Unlimted 55+ Plan – Best for Travelers
- Verizon Senior Phone Plan – Best Coverage
- Consumer Cellular Phone Plans – Most Affordable Plan
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.
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:
- Ease of use
- Fair pricing
- Reliable coverage
- A good amount of minutes and texts for the money
The Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
These are the companies that made the grade – so you’re sure to find something here that meets your needs.
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.
Phones: Sprint offers the option to buy or lease a new phone, 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.
- Great for high-use users
- $5/line/month credit if you enroll in Sprint AutoPay
- Stay connected in almost 200 worldwide destinations
- Keep all devices connected with unlimited mobile hotspot
- Only available in-store, not online
- Limited to 2 lines on Unlimited 55+ Plan
GreatCall offers more than just senior cell phone plans. The two main phone offerings from GreatCall are the Jitterbug Flip and the Jitterbug Smart2. 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. Read the full GreatCall cell phone review here.
Phones: With large buttons and a backlit keypad, the Jitterbug Flip phone 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 Smart2 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.
Phones: The Jitterbug Smart2 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 Smart2 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 Smart2 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.
- No long-term contracts
- Low initial cost for phones
- Two phones to choose from
- Plans start at just $14.99/month
- Phones are limited to GreatCall phone plans
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 LTE cellular service and wireless internet to offer reliable, fast connection options across the U.S., but for less money than many big carriers. See the full review of Republic Wireless here.
Phones: You can use your existing phone or choose from a variety of smartphones offered by Republic Wireless.
Cost: Unlimited talk and text for $15/month 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, add or subtract data right from your phone.
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 affordable and straightforward Republic Wireless plans are. No hidden fees, no complex options, just one monthly 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 data.
- Month-to-month, no long term contracts
- Add on high spreed 4G LTE data for $5/GB
- Affordable unlimited talk and text plan for $15/month
- Bring your own phone or choose from a variety of smartphones for purchase
- Not compatible with iOS
- U.S. only- No international coverage at this time
AT&T quietly offers a senior-specific cell phone plan called the AT&T Senior Nation plan. Geared towards people 65 and better, the plan includes 200 anytime minutes, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes (with other AT&T Mobility customers) and 500 nights and weekend minutes with no roaming or long distance fees. Unfortunately, this plan does not offer any data and is only available for basic phones. See the full write-up of AT&T here.
If you are looking for the best AT&T cell phone plan with data, the Unlimited&More plan gets you unlimited talk, text, and data for $40/month/line.
AARP members receive 10% qualified plans and 15% off wireless accessories.
Phones: AT&T has a variety of smartphone and flip phones to choose from or bring your own compatible device.
Cost: AT&T Senior Nation plan costs $29.99/month. If you are looking for a plan with data, the Unlimited&More plan is $40/month/line.
Calls: AT&T Senior Nation plan includes 200 anytime minutes, 500 nights and weekend minutes. Unlimited calls with Unlimited&More plan.
Texts: none with AT&T Senior Nation plan, unlimited with Unlimited&More plan
Data: none with AT&T Senior Nation plan, unlimited with Unlimited&More plan
Contract: If you bring your own device, the plans are month-to-month. If you purchase a device through AT&T with a contract and terminate service before the end date, there will be an early termination fee.
Extras: Additional benefits and discounts if you sign up for the AT&T THANKS reward program.
What we like: Lots of options available in plans and equipment offered.
Ideal for: For those not needing data, the Senior Nation plan is a great deal. Data users have lots of options depending on data usage.
- Senior-specific cell plan available for those 65+
- Substantial coverage area in the U.S., Canada and Mexico
- Discounts for AARP members and/or through the AT&T reward program
- Bring your own unlocked phone or choose from a wide variety of smartphones and flip phones
- Senior-specific cell plan does not include data and only works with basic phones
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 older adults, but with all the features of any standard smartphone plan. Read the full review of the T-Mobile ONE 55+ plan here.
Phones: Works with any phone type
Cost: Two lines for $35/line/month Autopay (includes all fees and taxes). Only need one line? One line for $50/month.
Contract: No – cancel anytime
Extras: Use in over 200 countries 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.
- No surprises, all plans include taxes and fees
- Unlimited texting and data in 200+ countries
- 1 hour of data and text on Gogo-enabled flights
- High data users may be throttled back during times of peak use
Verizon offers a variety of cell unlimited, shared data, single device, and international cell phone plans. It’s safe to say that Verizon also has the largest selection of smartphones than the other carriers we cover. From smartphones, tablets, smart watches, wearable tech and more, Verizon has everything under one roof. See the full write-up of Verizon phones for seniors here.
Seniors may see a bit of savings on their data plans with the Go Unlimited 55+ plan. Readers, please note – the Verizon Go Unlimited 55+ offer is only available to those with a Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Texas or Detroit, Michigan, billing address.
Phones: Verizon offers a wide range of handsets to choose from – check out their range online or in stores.
Cost: Unlimited plans start at $40 mo./line.
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.
Ideal for: Seniors looking for unlimited usage with the largest selection of smartphones and related products.
- Get the latest smartphone tech
- Discounts offered for veterans and military families
- Unlimited, shared, and single device plans available
- Lots of options for cell phones, tablets, hotspots and more
- International coverage with TravelPass- 5 included each month with AboveUnlimited plan
- Monthly plans tend to be more expensive
Consumer Cellular primarily caters to the 55+ market and provides flexible cell phone service plans that let customers get what they need every month, and change their plan whenever they want to with no added fees and no long-term contracts. Additional discounts are available for AARP members.
Phones: Consumer Cellular has a wide range of flip and smartphones available, or you can simply use your existing unlocked phone.
Calls: Get 250 minutes of calls for $15 monthly, or unlimited calls for $20 monthly.
Texts: All data plans include unlimited texts.
Data: Plans range from $5 to $40 monthly, depending on how much data you need.
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-to-month.
- Discounts for AARP members
- Get data plans for as low as $5/month
- Choose between AT&T or T-Mobile network
- iOS, Samsung and Motorola phones available
- Two flip phone options for users looking for basic phones
- No unlimited data option
FreedomPop offers 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. Read the full FreedomPop review here.
Phones: FreedomPop works with the Alcatel Conquest LTE Smartphone, which costs just $49.99 (activation fee) when purchased through FreedomPop (regular retail price $149.99).
Cost: After purchasing the handset, the basic package is completely free for 200 minutes of calls.
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 bandwidth.
Ideal for: Budget-conscious seniors who need a low-cost cell phone option.
- Nationwide 4G LTE coverage
- Users report great customer service
- Great for users who don't need much data
- Phone is not senior-specific
- Data plan options are limited
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.