TracFone vs Jitterbug

Our experts compared these two cell phone providers that both offer multiple options. See which one gets our recommendation.

Our favorite is Jitterbug Smart2

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Side-by-side comparison:

Side-by-side comparison: GreatCall Trafone Logo
Editor's Rating
4.8 / 5 stars
Rating coming soon
Phone Number* 833-695-0501
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*We recommend calling because representatives can sometimes offer special deals or pricing. We make every effort to provide and maintain accurate information on our site. However, the businesses reviewed on our site may periodically change their pricing, equipment, and packages and there may be a lag between the time they make such changes and the time we become aware of such changes. If you identify any outdated or inaccurate information, please contact us here.

TracFone and Jitterbug phones and plans are designed to work well for seniors or anyone who wants the convenience of a cell phone without all of the hassle associated with long-term contracts and big name carriers who charge a lot of additional fees. Both offer a basic flip-style phone for “old school” users and smartphones with all the bells and whistles for those who want to be able to access the internet. The smartphone option also offers a calendar that can be set up to remind the user when to take medications or when their appointments are.

TracFone vs Jitterbug Differences

TracFone does not offer any unlimited plans at all. They do offer a variety of plan choices that allow you to customize your service so that you pay for only what you know you will lose. There are no hidden fees and you don’t have to worry about paying a monthly rate. Although you do have to purchase minutes on a regular basis to maintain connectivity, the amount you purchase is completely up to you.

Jitterbug phones use GreatCall’s cellular service. The plans they offer are extremely affordable and meant to fit into the budget of those who are on fixed incomes. The Jitterbug phones are also reasonably priced starting at just over $70 for a flip phone. The Jitterbug smartphone’s start at approximately $110. Jitterbug’s phone offerings are also designed for seniors. The Flip has an emergency button located on the back of the phone that can be programmed with a family member’s phone number or 9-1-1 for a quick response.

TracFone vs Jitterbug Similarities

TracFone offers reliable nationwide service to subscribers. Towers owned by Verizon, US Cellular, Spring, T-Mobile, and AT&T are available to TracFone users. Data speeds are fairly quick but reception can be spotty, especially in rural areas where towers are scarce. Instead of plans, you can purchase the minutes and data that you want per month so you aren’t locked into the same monthly fee as you would be with other providers. You can choose the phone you want so it is easy to use and will meet your specific needs.

Jitterbug also offers affordable fees and reliable devices. GreatCall also offers nationwide service with the exception of Alaska. Jitterbug phones are easy to use and offer features that can be beneficial for seniors. The smartphone’s calendar app allows individuals to set alarms that will let them know when to take their medication or when their next appointment is scheduled. Jitterbug offers both a Flip phone and a smartphone option.

Service Area

TracFone does not use just one carrier. Because a person buys minutes and can upload them on their own without contacting a customer service rep, the subscriber does not have to access a single carrier. Instead, TracFones connect to multiple towers allowing connectivity throughout the country. The phones use towers that are owned by Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, AT&T, and Verizon, just to name a few.

Jitterbug’s primary carrier of choice is GreatCall. The general coverage area is nationwide with the only exception being Alaska. GreatCall has specific plans and packages that are designed specifically for seniors and their individual needs. Jitterbug’s phones can also be used with other carriers if a person already has an established plan already in place.

Phone Options

TracFone offers several phone options. Basic flip-style phones are offered for as little as $20 for an Alcatel GO FLIP or a BLU Zoey Flex for $25. TracFone also offers name brand smartphones as well. The LG Rebel can be purchased for $30 or the Moto e5 for up to $120. You can also buy Galaxy and iPhones as well for relatively affordable prices. Most of the phones offered by TracFone are easy to use and include many of the most popular features including a camera and easy to adjust volume controls.

Depending on where you shop for your phones, you can get a Jitterbug Flip for approximately $60. If you go through GreatCall, you can get the Jitterbug Smartphone for just under $75. It can be found in other places for up to $115. Spend some time shopping around and you will be able to find these and other phones that can be used with GreatCall service for affordable prices. Jitterbug phones are designed for seniors. They are easy to use, include a camera, and have multiple features designed for convenience.

Costs & Contracts

There are no contracts or service agreements with TracFone. With TracFone, you pay as you go, buying minutes in groups that span a specific period of time such as 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, or a year. Prices for airtime or texting start at $19.99 and increase in price the more time you add.

Jitterbug’s phone plans that use GreatCall cell service range in price from $19.99 to $34.99 per month. You can use the urgent care button for $4 per phone call. If you choose to use another carrier, you will need to see if they have pricing options for senior plans. Most carriers have plans designed for senior needs.

Our Conclusion

TracFone has a long-standing reputation for being one of the best “pay as you go” options. It’s a great choice for seniors who want the convenience of being able to pay for only what they need, not a month to month obligation.

Jitterbug offers a variety of benefits for seniors who would rather have a contract but still have a plan designed specifically for their needs. Read our review of Jitterbug to learn more about their phone options for seniors.