What Do Seniors Want in Cell Phone Plans?
The best cell phone plans for seniors means much more than just low price. Most just want to make calls and receive calls. The very notion of a call dropping is something they don’t ever want to consider, much less deal with (landlines never had dropped calls). And with roughly 30% of Americans aged 65+ using a smartphone, it is no secret that many seniors want to know what their options are.
Seniors may not want to text, stream music, or browse the internet, but they certainly want to know that they have that option. There are many plans out there that can satisfy senior cell phone needs. Many are great pay-as-you-go setups, ideal for seniors.
The following aren’t specifically created for seniors but if your family is already with a carrier, it doesn’t hurt to check these options out:
T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+
This plan from T-Mobile is a serious deal worthy of the generation that created the mobile era. You get all the features of the ONE plan including unlimited talk, text & data, as well as unlimited tethering at 3G speeds and unlimited text & data roaming in over 140 countries at a discounted price with autopay, taxes & fees are included.
Only requirement for the T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ is that you are age 55 or older!
AT&T Go Phone
There are a few plans for the AT&T Go Phone but one of the better options for seniors is the $2 day plan. This deducts $2 from your prepaid upload amount when you use your phone to send or receive calls or to text. If you do that, you can talk as much as you want for the rest of the day, as you’ve already been charged $2.
Check out these two comparisons:
Big carriers aren't the only way to go for seniors
Consumer Cellular, Republic Wireless, Virgin, Cricket, and Tracfone all offer prepaid plans that could be attractive to anyone who uses their smartphones minimally, especially seniors. It's important to do some comparison so that you or the senior you're looking for gets a phone and service they really do love. Here are some alternative carriers below:
Just for Seniors
The above listed carriers and plans are options but we encourage you to check out carriers and phone plans created specifically with senior cell phone users in mind. Two carriers, Great Call and Senior Wireless have made plans with enough of the bells and whistles to stay connected and in the data speed lane without being overwhelming or too "busy". Additionally, there are medical response options that can be added to give you or your senior family member that sense of security and independence they need.
Along with offering simple cell plans aimed at seniors who prefer talking to data use, Great Call also carries the Jitterbug range of cell phones made for users who don’t need the razzle dazzle of high-end smartphones or who need medical alert buttons.
There is the Jitterbug Flip and the Jitterbug Smart phone. The Jitterbug Flip is a basic feature phone that includes a bright color screen and a powerful speaker for clear conversation: ideal for users who may not have the best eyesight or hearing. The large backlit keypad also includes the 5Star Medical Alert button, so users can request urgent help with a single touch. There is also the option of the Jitterbug Smart phone for users who want access to a larger screen with built in medical or safety apps.
At a glance:
- Great Call offers specialized cell phones, plans and health care services
- Easy-to-use Jitterbug smartphone and feature phones are available, with included Medical Alert button
- Unlimited plans start at $40 per month
- The 5Star service gives you 24/7 access to health advice and emergency assistance
- The Link app lets family members know you are safe and well
- Coverage is provided by Verizon's nation-wide network
Plans and features
Plans start at 200 minutes of talk for $14.99 and 300 texts for $3.00 – or you can sign up for the $49.99 per month Unlimited Talk and Text plan, which also includes 100MB of bonus data for the Jitterbug Smart phone.
5Star service and health care
A major add-on feature for Great Call users is the health and emergency apps that can be found on the Jitterbug Smart phone. These apps give customers access to unique apps not found on other phones such as check-in calls, MedCoach for medication management, and Urgent Care for 24/7 health and medical advice from registered nurses and board-certified doctors, as well as assistance in non-medical emergency situations. These health packages start at $19.99 a month.
Seniors Wireless is looking out for seniors are want technology that is easy to understand. Independence and freedom is easy with these guys. Here's what you need to know:
At a glance:
- Seniors Wireless combines cell plans and over-the-phone medical services
- You can bring your own compatible phone
- Unlimited plans start at $30 for 30 days
- Pay-as-you-need plans are available
- TeleMED Assist gives you unlimited access to doctors and health professionals at any time
- Coverage is provided by Sprint's nation-wide network
Plans and Features
Offering coverage through the Sprint network, the company allows customers to bring their own eligible devices, or buy a new or refurbished smartphone. Seniors Wireless customers can choose from either unlimited talk and text plans, or several pay-as-you-need options, all of which come with varying data amounts.
Unlimited plans start at $30 for a 30-day recharge, which includes 500MB of data and unlimited voice calls and text messages. A 90-day recharge with 1.5GB is $88, and 180 days (3 months) with 3GB of data is $169 – less than one dollar each day.
If you or a family member aren’t big talkers, texters or data users, Pay As You Need plans may be a money-saving option. Plans start at $10 per recharge, and include credit for talk and texting, as well as a small amount of data just in case. You can choose to recharge every 30 or 60 days, with the Large plan offering 60 days’ service and $30 credit, with 500MB of data, for $30.
TeleMed Assist - 24/7 Health Care and Advice
What sets Seniors Wireless apart from other prepaid services and MVNOs is the TeleMED Assist service, which gives customers access to doctors and medical advice anytime, any day.
If you opt for the TeleMED service, you’ll get unlimited calls (either by phone or video chat) to emergency trained and board-certified physicians, who can advise on symptoms and conditions and - depending on your location - prescribe medication and have it delivered to your pharmacy of choice.
Seniors can add unlimited TeleMED access to their plan, or just pay for calls as they’re needed. Unlimited access costs singles $1 per day, with a couples plan costing $40 per month and pay-as-you-go consultations $48 each. So added on to your Seniors Wireless plan, you’ll pay an extra $30 or $40 per month for unlimited TeleMED Assist.
Cricket is now offering a new deal for AARP members. Current AARP members can get a $20 rebate Cricket Visa card when they purchase a Cricket phone.
At a glance:
- Cricket line must be activated OR
- Current Cricket customers can upgrade to new phone and get rebate
- Available for up to 5 lines on one AARP membership
- The discount is for new Cricket devices only
Cricket runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network. Anyone on Cricket will experience the same great coverage that AT&T MVNOs offer. With this offer, seniors who have AARP have two choices for getting their rebate.
The first option is to activate a brand new line of service on Cricket.
If you are an existing Cricket customer you just have to activate a new line. This can be a partner, a friend, a sibling - anyone who needs Cricket. If you have AARP, you get to take advantage of the rebate offer. The catch is that a second service payment must be made with 45 days of activation, first. Once this is done, you can mail in your rebate offer.
The second option is to take advantage of the mail-in rebate offer one a phone upgrade every 24 months.
If you're already a Cricket customer and have no intention of adding a line, you can still get a Cricket rebate. Once you are eligible for a phone upgrade (every 24-months) you can mail in your rebate form with proof of AARP membership.
The AARP Rebate
The mail in rebates must be postmarked within 60 days of device / line activation. The limit is one rebate per line. AARP memberships must be active at the time of rebate processing.
It will take about 8 weeks to get your $20 Cricket Visa Promotion Card.
Cricket Phones & Plans
Seniors looking for a simpler way to own cell phones at better pricing will like what Cricket has to offer. Unlimited data, talk, and text are the three things that cell phone users want in their plans so let's start there.
The going promotion is Unlimited data, talk and text for $50 a month. To take advantage of this, you need to sign up for auto pay. Autopay does not mean contract. In fact, there are no contracts anymore so you don't have to worry about that. This plan is for those who don't mind data streaming at a slower speed. If you're a senior who loves data and wants the best, you can always enjoy the Unlimited high speed data option at $60 a month. And, of course, if you wish to enjoy talk and text and have no desire to use data, $25 a month will get you this without any problems.
As far as phones go, you can choose a smartphone or a basic phone. Basic phones are best for those who don't want to use data. Smartphones will suit those seniors who need to browse the web or check emails on a regular basis.
Whichever plan or phone you choose, know that you can enjoy the benefits of being an AARP member and get a nice little discount card to reward you for your membership.
More Information for Senior Cell Phone Plans
We've compiled this information to help you or your senior family member find the best possible plan. If you still haven't found what you're looking for, check out the pages we've got ready for you with more information. See which low-cost cell plans will give you budget-friendly access to Verizon's LTE network here. We've also put together a guide to taking your cell number to a new carrier, and all the info you need on unlocking your phone and moving to a new network.