Jitterbug Flip

Jitterbug Phone Plans for Seniors

Editor's Rating:

4.2 / 5
Jitterbug Flip

While cell phones offer the same benefits to older adults as they do to younger users, many models come with barriers to entry for aging eyes, hands, and brains. Senior-friendly cell phones can greatly improve the connectivity, communication, and safety of those who use them. With this in mind, there are several companies who build phones that cater to the needs of seniors.

Launched by GreatCall in 2006, the original Lively flip phone offered basic call functionality, as well as senior-friendly features such as oversized keys, large displays, loud audio output, and a design that’s easy to hold in the palm of your hand. Another thing I loved about the original Jitterbug was its dedicated emergency button, which added an additional layer of protection not seen on most modern mobile phones.

Since its debut over a decade ago, the Jitterbug line has evolved to offer older users an ever-optimizing experience. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the two phones that comprise their current lineup, the Lively Flip and Jitterbug Smart2.

Lively Flip

Lively Flip
Lively Flip

At $49.99 (plus activation), the Lively Flip is the more affordable of Jitterbug’s two device options, and with its classic flip phone design, it’s also the more simplistic model. For the user looking to make calls, send text messages, and snap the occasional photo, the Lively Flip is ideal. Its large buttons, voluble speaker, and large screen, this phone is a breeze to use. Additionally, this phone boasts an M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility, which makes it a good fit for the millions of Americans with significant hearing loss.

Despite the Lively Flip’s simple appearance, it also is capable of some advanced features not seen from the average flip phone. On the outer edge of the handset, you’ll find a dedicated 5Star button. When pressed, this button will connect you to a GreatCall monitoring agent who will assess your situation and contact a loved one or emergency services if necessary.

FYI: To make use of the 5Star button on your Jitterbug device, you’ll have to sign up for one of GreatCall’s Health and Safety Packages.

The one downside of the Lively Flip would have to be its 2-megapixel camera. While it can certainly capture images in a pinch, it lacks the clarity and resolution of the camera featured on the Jitterbug Smart2. Still, as far as flip phone cameras go, this one is about par for the course.

In terms of plans, the Lively Flip can be paired with a variety of service plans starting at $14.99 per month. Here is an overview of the service options.

Lively Flip Minute Pricing

Monthly Allowance Cost
250 Minutes $14.99
1,000 Minutes $19.99
2,500 Minutes $29.99
Unlimited Minutes and Texts $39.99

Lively Flip Text Pricing

Monthly Allowance Cost
500 Texts $3.00
1,000 Texts $5.00
2,500 Texts $10.00
Unlimited Texts $15.00
Unlimited Minutes and Texts $39.99

Jitterbug Overage Charges

Unlike Consumer Cellular, who will automatically upgrade your service plan in the event that you go over your monthly allowance, GreatCall will charge you for the overage. Each additional minute will cost $0.35, and additional texts will be $0.10 each.

In terms of calls, users may make calls anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada for no additional charge. With that said, calls made to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Mexico will cost an additional $0.20 per minute.

Activation Fees: Although GreatCall does not require you to lock into a long term contract, both Jitterbug devices require a one-time activation fee, though this is waived with the purchase of a health and safety package.

Jitterbug Smart2

Jitterbug Smart2
Jitterbug Smart2

GreatCall’s response to the fact that more and more seniors are getting in on the mobile movement, the Jitterbug Smart2 features larger text and icons and is the company’s biggest smartphone. The phone comes with everything users know and love from the Jitterbug name—including the preloaded 5Star emergency app, as well as MedCoach and UrgentCare. And did we mention that the Jitterbug Smart2 also includes mobile internet access from anywhere at any time?

Starting at just $74.99 plus activation fees, the Jitterbug Smart2 is also one of the most affordable smartphones out there. Voice typing, a built-in camera, a handy usage meter, and a convenient long-lasting battery round out the list of reasons why this Jitterbug is a “smart” choice for today’s connected users.

As with the Lively Flip, users choose between GreatCall plans aimed at meeting their individual needs free of annual contracts, cancellation fees, and other unnecessary expenses. With the Smart2, plans start as low as $17.48 per month. You should note, however, that you’ll have to purchase at the least 250 monthly minutes and 100 MB of data.

Jitterbug Smart2 Minutes Pricing

Monthly Allowance Cost
250 Minutes $14.99
1,000 Minutes $19.99
2,500 Minutes $29.99
Unlimited Talk and Text (data plan required) $39.99
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data $59.99

Jitterbug Smart2 Text Pricing

Monthly Allowance Cost
500 Texts $3.00
1,000 Texts $5.00
2,500 Texts $10.00
Unlimited Texts $15.00
Unlimited Talk and Text $39.99
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data $59.99

Jitterbug Smart2 Data Pricing

Monthly Allowance Cost
100 MB $2.49
250 MB $5.00
1 GB $10.00
2.5 GB $15.00
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data $59.99

Jitterbug Health and Safety Packages

Available on both the Lively Flip and Smart2 are GreatCall Health and Safety Packages. For the user looking to expand the functionality of their device, these packages provide you with the assistance and peace of mind normally confined to medical alert systems. Starting at $19.99 per month, these plans allow you to make use of your dedicated 5Star button (built into both phones), which gives you 24/7 access to one of GreatCall’s trained emergency specialists.

Here is an overview of GreatCall’s Health and Safety Features:

  • 5Star Service: With this service enabled, you’ll have 24/7 access to IAED-certified agents. When contacted, one of these agents can use your phone to track your location, assess your situation, and get you the help that you need, whether this means contacting a loved one, emergency services, or simply giving you directions to the bus stop. This is a great way for older adults to remain safe even while on the go.
Jitterbug 5 Review - 5 Star Service
5Star Service from GreatCall
  • Urgent Care: With GreatCall’s Urgent Care feature, you get access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor who can give you on-the-spot medical advice, no appointment required. What’s more, you can even use this service to fill common prescriptions over the phone.
  • GreatCall Link: A handy feature for caregivers, the GreatCall Link app can be downloaded on a smartphone. In use, it will give you access to updates from your loved one’s phone, notifying you whenever they use the 5Star button, in addition to allowing you to check their location and status of their phone.
  • Personal Operator: For the user tired of having to look up phone numbers, the personal operator feature gives you unlimited access to a friendly operator who will assist you in looking up addresses and connecting you to any number in the United States and Canada.

Jitterbug Health and Safety Packages

Basic Preferred Ultimate
Monthly Cost $19.99 $24.99 $34.99
5Star Service Yes Yes Yes
Urgent Care No Yes Yes
GreatCall Link No Yes Yes
Personal Operator No No Yes

Bundle & Save: If you purchase a health and safety package, you’ll receive a discount on your monthly talk, text, and/or minutes. For example, a plan with unlimited talk, text, and data will cost you $40 per month as opposed to $59.99.

Jitterbug Recap

While modern cell phones have a reputation for being beyond the capabilities of older adults, the Lively Flip and Smart2 prove that this is not the case. With their combination of simple devices, wellness features, and affordable service plans, each Jitterbug device is tailored to keep seniors connected to their loved ones with little hassle.

Jitterbug Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is 5Star different from similar medical alert services?

    Much like a mobile medical alert system, a 5Star-enabled Jitterbug gives you peace of mind anywhere you go. Unlike a medical alert system, however, this service is not confined to medical emergencies, as it can also be used to contact roadside assistance; however, this service does not include fall detection on Jitterbug phones.

  • What makes the Lively Flip so easy to use?

    Through a combination of large buttons, a bright screen, and intuitive menu design, the Lively Flip is designed to have no learning curve whatsoever. Additionally, it’s accessible to people with vision and hearing impairments.

  • Is the Jitterbug Smart2 hearing aid compatible?

    The Smart2 has a hearing aid compatibility rating of M4/T4, the highest rating possible. This ensures that nearly any hearing aid can continue to work without static while using the Smart2.

  • Do I have to sign a contract for GreatCall service?

    The longest commitment you’ll have to make with GreatCall is for just one month. Paying for your service on a monthly basis, you will never be asked to lock into a long term agreement.

  • Are roaming and long distance calls included with my Jitterbug?

    Regardless of your GreatCall service plan, you will never be charged extra for long distance calls or roaming.


  1. trying get jitterbug phone, have read your info and do not want texing, only talking and internet. can i have this.
    1. Hi Ed, From what I have read on help forums, the phone will work in Canada, but must be purchased in the US, or at least have a US address for the subscription. Hope that helps! Amie
  2. I will place my order next week I was. Told I could get the $35 to activated waived due to my income want the 5 star emergency button unlimited talk text and dada how much a month please am on social security get $1200 a monthy rent is $1000
  3. Can you actually get a jitterbug phone for $15 a month for 250 minutes? For loss of hearing people is volume loud enough? After receiving the phone do you then call and get it activated? Does plan include texting? How many days does it take to receive phone after ordering?
  4. i am a little frustrated with billing. this pandemic making things difficult. since everyone was calling me more, i called to increase minutes. i think it went from 500 to a 1000. that is a struggle to pay on my disability. i asked if there was in between, she said no.i remember reading a plan that was 750 + 10 for text. did you eliminated this?.
  5. Can I use my home phone number for the jitterbug smart2 that I have had for 30 years? Who can activate this for me if I purchase one
    1. Hi Betty, You may be able to use your existing number with Jitterbug. The best way to find out is to call GreatCall (the makers of Jitterbug) and they can let you know. Hope that helps! Best, Amie
  6. My mom has a jitterbug flip phone is there anything available with unlimited minutes to talk she does not text
  7. I have a Jitterbug 2and had a couple problems and didn’t have to ask, they suggested and replaced phone quickly. It’s the only smart phone I can use, I am not technically adept. The instructions are the easiest book I have ever seen. I did look up the executive office and wrote my problem. Very helpful and good. I am 77years old and highly recommend them.
  8. Me too Anna… Thanks for at least being honest enough to save others something that others have already suffered I have att and while they too have serious issues at least they are able to deal with just costing way to much. My search continues.
  9. I have a Apple / Verizon phone. Thinking about purchasing something a little simpler to operate. However, after reading the comments above, I guess I will keep my Apple. I realize it has so many features that the Jitterbug doesn’t. Thanks for being transparent with the comments.
    1. I have AT&T but can I switch my number to the jetter bug phone because I would like to keep my phone number?
  10. My father in law has a jitterbug flip phone . It does not seem to be working. On the front of the phone there is a small blinking light that will not stop, and the phone is not turning on even after it has been charged all night . Is there a store or someone that can look at the phone. Thank you
  11. Thank you for all these reviews. I take care of a senior who is starting to have problems using her normal Android smart phone. She is unable to find her contacts or dial her important contacts. Confusion is one of the first problems of a phone. I think the necessity of four or five people on a contact list (selected by importance first), where they are able to make a call just by seeing their name and pushing that button. By reading these reviews, having my own 30-35 hour(s) of time spent dealing with another major cell phone provider, it has come to my attention that these companies are not looking at the needs of the seniors and the importance of what they need out of an emergency phone. if I can think of a phone that is simple enough to use for a senior, big keys, ten people on a speed dial list that the customer can initiate either by number or name, easy hang up, back lit key pad and screen. Ring tones that are simple, understandable and easy to hear. Volume that can be turned up when necessary and a light that shows when there is low or no volume selected. It’s pretty simple to figure out what is important. Why can’t a company ask regular people what they need, not ask the newer generation to be involved because they are looking for the “Bigger and Bad Ass Best” to be the envy of the crowd. I will keep looking, I won’t be choosing a Jitter Bug because I too have serious issues with taking to foreign people on the phone regarding problems I am having. (Especially when I should not have had to be calling them in the first place!) Good Luck and Best Wishes
  12. I was excited about GreatCall’s new Jitterbug smartphone and this wonderful article made want to sign up right away. But after reading many user comments elsewhere on trying to activate the phone and their awful technical support, I’ll keep looking. The typical scenario is a 55+ year old child buying the Jitterbug for their 80+ year old parent. The child, who is tech savvy and an experienced smartphone user, tries to activate the phone and setup for their parent. Many can never get it to activate and if they do it took days to do so because of the abysmal tech support. If the child was able to get the phone activated using it is too complicated for an older person to comprehend. Apparently it takes 5 different buttons to send a call. Also cellphone coverage is abysmal too. Many children with excellent Verizon coverage say their parents get zero to one bar signal in the same city sitting side by side with their parents. I can attest to Verizon’s excellent coverage as I have been a Verizon Customer for the past 13 years and have gotten coverage in many remote areas in the US including Alaska It has to be the phone not Verizon’s cell towers. I’ll note that many of these same commenters say their parents got excellent service with the Jitterbug Flip phone. I have a love hate relationship with Verizon. Excellent coverage but very expensive service
  13. I like your flip phone very much. I would like to recommend (for future phones) that you add a calendar feature. I would certainly like and expect other “seniors” would like it too. A calendar feature would be very helpful for everyone. Seems every time a group is trying to schedule future events, they pull out their smart phones. I do not have a smart phone so I would really love a calendar feature on my flip phone.
  14. I was told when I ordered the Jitterbug flip a week ago that my SIM card could be transferred to the Flip. Phone came today; I called to activate. Found out SIM card not transferable (Tracfone). So, phone can’t be activated and I have paid bill for the phone and ad-ones. Service people of no help and difficult to understand with their foreign accents.
  15. I purchased and activate a jitterbug smart on 2/10/2018. On 2/12/2018, I received my first monthly bill dated from 1/10/2018 to 2/10/2018. I am being charged for a month that I didn’t even have the service. I called customer Service (CS) and asked to speak to a manager. I was hung up on. A manager did call me back about 20 minutes later. They claim they bill a month in advance. However their billing indicates they bill in arrears. Before the manager called me back I made a second and third call to CS. They claim it is the billing and they couldn’t do anything about it. I asked if they could put through my complaint. They said they would. But I expect nothing from low level CS. Maybe a manager will do something. If this is your billing practice, then you are incorrectly charging all of your customers. It appears you’re preying on the elderly, thinking they will accept whatever you tell them. I don’t. Also you website will not let me see my full bill. I get the following error message whenever I click on View Statement. “We’re sorry, but there seems to be a problem displaying you bill. Please come back and try again later.” If you are billing a month in advance, like many other companies do, then your statements should have the dates in advance, not in arrears. Many other companies have the correct dates in advance, you should too.
  16. for my 83 yr old father who lives with us. I know there have been mixed reviews about the customer service, but we had an issues this month with the bill being $99 instead of the normal $32. I called GC and spoke with Nicole in Customer Service. In reviewing the bill, we realized that the charges were from an international number that had been reported to FTC for scam phone calls. My dad had answered a call from a number he did not know (a BIG no-no) and it was someone claiming that he had won $750 million from Publishers Clearing House. The charges for all the phone calls back and forth (until I found out what was happening and put an end to it) totaled $56. Nicole was able to confirm the scam phone number and requested from her supervisor that my dad’s account be credited with the full $56. In just a few minutes, she was able to get the credit, which showed up immediately on his account. She was so nice and helpful and we were so appreciative since my dad is on a fixed income. We had reported the scam phone number (876-508-9250) to the FTC and we had a case number which Nicole documented in my dad’s account. She also said that they have regular meetings to talk about things like this and her supervisor said it would definitely be on the next meeting agenda. Beware of that phone number – according to the FTC, they are targeting Veterans (my dad served in Korea). What a shame that there are evil people in the world trying to rip the elderly and vets off! Thank you to Nicole and GreatCall for helping through this!
    1. Thank you for sharing your story JD, I agree, it is absolutely shameful that there are scammers out there taking advantage of older adults and veterans. And kudos to GreatCall for making it right for your dad. Best,

  17. I really loved my old Jitterbug flip phone and am disappointed that it is no longer supported The new Jitterbug flip phone is a total disaster. Aside from annoying noises all the time, it doesn’t pick up calls half the time, and at times, the phone takes five to ten seconds to respond to a key touch and won’t accept the next key touch until then. It is useless to me.
  18. The new Flip Phone is a step backward, the Jitterbug 5 had the perfect size and user friendly functions, dialing could be easily done with one hand AND the speaker stayed off until you told it to turn on. The Flip has the annoying feature of having the speaker on for frequently used functions, including the annoying dial tone when you open it up. Even more annoying are the “beeps” you get when sending text messages, there’s no way of turning that off except dialing the volume all the way down, an extra unnecessary step. After that you have to remember to turn the volume back up so that you can hear calls. What you are doing can clearly be seen on the screen so why are the beeps necessary? Here’s a radical idea: Engineer the phone so that you only have the speaker on when you want it on. Fixing the beeps and dial tone issues would make the phone better, but one would still be stuck with an unnecessarily big bulky phone. My fantasy is that a Jitterbug 5 type phone would make a comeback with new features like more symbol choices such as $, &, %, ” and be able to send a text message with a phone number that you have in hand and not have to go online and enter it into your phone book list to send.

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