There's no one perfect cell phone service option that fits everybody, and senior cell phone plans are no different.
Whether you're in your golden years or have a loved one who is, no doubt you've found your way here because you're trying to figure out exactly which device and plan will work best for the mature person's specific needs. Consider this: 78% of adults ages 65 and over are cell phone owners, so it's a decision we're all bound to face!
Don't worry - there are plenty of senior mobile options ranging from ultra-basic to the most advanced. Maybe you want the latest smartphone, or just a pay-as-you-go phone with a simple call plan so you can get help quickly in emergencies.
The bottom line is that the best cell phone plans for seniors come in all shapes, sizes, and budgets. In the following guide, I'll outline the range of available options and where to get them.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors? - In This Guide
Key Considerations When Choosing a Senior Phone Plan
Now: let's get down to the basics - what factors are most important when choosing a mobile phone plan for an older individual?
According to the NCOA (National Council on Aging), a third of senior households have no expendable income left at the end of the month, or are even further in debt. For many senior citizens, finding the cheapest cell phone plan is crucial. Later in this guide, I will detail various low-cost cell phone plans for seniors, and even how you may be able to get a free phone.
One of the main concerns of many older Americans and their families is that they need access to help if something should happen, such as a fall. On the other hand, some seniors use their cell phones to keep up with news and email. The level of service you need will depend on the range of tasks you perform with your phone.
Even the best senior phone plans aren't helpful if you or your loved one doesn't have the right device. Features to look for include a bright, easy to read display, a voice command option, a senior-friendly keyboard, and emergency number presets. You may also want to consider a phone with a one-touch SOS button so that it's even easier and faster to call for assistance.
One of the easiest ways to keep mobile service costs under control is with a prepaid, or pay-as-you-go, cell phone plan.
A mobile phone is a personalized choice at any age. Use these tips as a guideline to choose the right one for you or your family member.
Pay-as-You-Go Phone Plans
One of the easiest ways to keep mobile service costs under control is with prepay phone service or a pay-as-you-go phone plan. This option is ideal for the low-use elderly person who simply needs a way to communicate with family and friends as well as call for help in an emergency. The major carriers offer solid pay-as-you-go options that are ideal for older adults.
When it comes to the cheapest pay-as-you-go phone plans for seniors, T-Mobile is at the top of the list. For $3 per month, you get 30 minutes to use as you please, in the form of talk or text messages. This is a great way to avoid overage charges. You can bring your own device, or choose from a selection of phones starting at $40.
If you end up needing more minutes than you planned, no problem. Buy additional texts or talk minutes for .10 each. If you're a smartphone user, you can prepay phone data as well. The only downside is that if you want a flip phone, as many seniors do, you'll need to purchase that somewhere else as T-Mobile does not offer them.
If you use your phone to talk for longer periods of time, AT&T's GoPhone Daily plans are a great choice for you. You pay $2 a day, but only on the days you use your phone. On days that you use your device you'll enjoy unlimited talk time as well as text, picture, and video messages. Not only do you get unlimited text messages within the U.S. but to over 100 countries worldwide as well.
As far as devices, you can use your own compatible device by purchasing a SIM card for about $5. Or you can buy a phone from AT&T, starting under $20. There is a flip phone option for those who prefer not to use a touchscreen, and there are no activation fees. If you want internet access on your phone you can purchase data separately for $1 per 100 MB.
Read More: Prepaid Cell Phone Plans are great for seniors and budgeters.
Republic Wireless, which sports some incredibly affordable plans, operates on a unique concept called Adaptive Coverage™. What it means is that your service switches between WiFi and cellular depending upon whether WiFi is available.
Due to this technology, Republic Wireless is able to offer some of the cheapest cell phone plans for seniors on the market. Rates start at $15 per month for unlimited talk and text, plus data while on WiFi, and go up to $60 with 6 GB of cell data included. You can bring your own compatible phone, or buy one from Republic starting at about $180.
Cricket Wireless offers an affordable prepaid plan at $30 for unlimited talk, text, and data, including 1 GB of high-speed access. You can bring your own device, or buy one starting at $30 for a basic flip phone.
Boost Mobile also has a great deal on its prepaid services. For $35 a month Boost Mobile gives you unlimited everything, including 2 GB of high-speed data. This service provider also carries a flip phone, with device prices starting at $20 (or bring your own).
Consumer Cellular offers no-contract plans with monthly fees ranging between $10 (pay-as-you-go phone plan) and $30 (unlimited call