There seem to be countless cell phone plan options available, most with complicated contracts and confusing terms. Finding the best cell phone plans for seniors isn’t easy. Those over sixty and retired have different calling patterns and needs than those in the workforce or teens and twenty-somethings. When shopping for a cell phone plan, consider its flexibility, the coverage, and the rates.
Do you travel a lot? If you’re hitting the road in your motor home or traveling the world in retirement, you’ll need a cell phone plan with significant national and international coverage. Be sure you ask about the coverage for wherever you plan to go. You don’t want to end up in a lot of areas where your cell phone plan doesn’t have coverage in case of emergencies or where your family can’t reach you. It can also be problematic for something as simple as making reservations as you’re traveling across the country from one state to the next, particularly in the Midwest.
Do you want a long-term contract, a pay-as-you-go plan, or a prepaid plan? Each of these has advantages and disadvantages, and some are more flexible than others. A contract can lock in your rates for a year or more, but getting out of it early will cost you. A pay-as-you-go plan is flexible and works if you don’t make many calls but can quickly rack up the costs if you use it more than you expect to. Pre-paid plans are inexpensive because they have no hidden fees. You can add text and data for an added cost if you like, and top of your minutes if necessary.
If you’re on a budget, it’s crucial to determine the best cell phone plan for seniors you can afford. Once you know how much you can spend, think about how and when you use your phone, what essential functions you need (voice, text, data), then start comparison shopping. Don’t assume that one kind of coverage is the right choice. Keep an open mind regarding the various types of coverage – you may be surprised to discover that the plan you have now isn’t the best fit for your new lifestyle.
We Choose Our Three Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
AT&T Mobility offers a wide range of plans that are affordable and offer a variety of features. Their website makes it easy to compare plans. Choose whether you’ll need one number, two, or more, then whether you’ll need national or international coverage. The AT&T website will suggest several plans with options like date and unlimited talk and text, showing you coverage areas and pricing options.
Through AARP, the AT&T Signature Plan gives seniors 65 and older a wide range of plans, including a voice-only option with various discounts. Other plans include international calling, unlimited and prepaid plans, the latest tech (or you can provide your own phone). If you’re looking for simple phone service, the basic version is inexpensive and has 200 anytime minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to other AT&T Mobility customers.
- Wide range of options
- Easy to navigate website
- AARP discount for seniors
- Offers low, low pricing for voice only
- Can use your phone or choose one through AT&T
- Great coverage in the U.S., Canada & Mexico
- Have to be AARP member for senior pricing
- Senior specific pricing doesn’t include data for the lowest price
For seniors who are looking for inexpensive phone service and don’t need data or text, AT&T offers excellent coverage across the country and in Canada and Mexico at a low cost. The wide range of package offerings is also impressive, so it’s worth your time to check out their website if you need data.
US Cellular, although not as well known as some other names, currently offers one of the best cell phone plans for seniors and delivers excellent coverage in areas that often aren’t covered well by other cell phone carriers. It’s particularly popular in the Midwest, an area notorious for spotty service coverage. Their clarity is excellent, and they offer a wide range of plans and lots of smartphone options, including iPhones, Androids, and Samsung Galaxy models, as well as more basic models if you’re on a budget. Because they have their own network, it works best for those in their focused coverage region of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Their bills are easy to understand, with no hidden fees or confusing terms.
- Lots of plan options, including prepaid and contracts
- Every phone option imaginable, including all major smartphone brands
- Can purchase phones outright or use a payment plan
- Good coverage in rural areas
- Great for the budget-minded
- Exceptional customer service and support
- No hidden fees
- East coast coverage isn’t as good
- Can get more expensive if you travel a lot
- Upgrades for data can be pricey
This is one of the best cell phone plans for seniors on the West Coast and Midwest looking for excellent call clarity and customer service at a reasonable price. US Cellular is a great choice, particularly if they like the latest phones but want straightforward billing. Very cost-effective if you’re not traveling and want basic coverage.
Verizon Wireless offers the Verizon 55+ Unlimited Plan for seniors, including unlimited talk, text, and streaming data. Their impressive coverage and outstanding customer support make this one of the best plans available for anyone who relies on their cell phone for more than just phone calls. This plan is limited, however, to Missouri, Illinois, Texas, or Florida residents.
There is a wide range of other Verizon Wireless plans with similar options at a slightly different price point for all others. You’re still getting the same great service and impeccable coverage, but not the senior discount. Verizon offers countless other ways to save, however, so you’re still going to save money by comparing their various plans using their easy-to-navigate website. Their basic unlimited plan is exceptionally affordable for unlimited talk and text.
- 55+ Unlimited plan includes unlimited streaming data
- Exceptional coverage
- Great customer support
- Basic Unlimited offers unlimited talk and text
- Prepaid and contract options
- Unlimited hot spots, so you’re never out of touch
- Fastest streaming service available
- 55+ Unlimited plan only available in four states
- Slower connectivity with prepaid, month-to-month plans
If you tend to watch videos of your grandchildren or download movies, Verizon is the way to go. Their download speeds are the fastest around, and you won’t find better connectivity with any other provider. If you prefer saving a bit of money, stick with their voice and text plans. You’ll still get fantastic coverage and dependability.
Our Top Pick
We really like Verizon Wireless for a couple of reasons. When we evaluated the best cell phone plans for seniors, the price was considered, but reliability and flexibility were also important. Verizon offers decent pricing packages that aren’t always the lowest in the industry but are still competitive. What makes Verizon stand out is the company’s dependable, crystal-clear quality. You won’t get dropped calls. You won’t be traveling and drop to no bars when you need to make a call. Finding a hot spot when you’re traveling is easy, and you can easily download and stream full-length movies. There really is no competition if you want full-service wireless.
AT&T Mobility gets high marks from a lot of review sites for dependability, a wide range of price points and options that fit the needs of seniors, and dependable customer service. If you travel a lot, AT&T’s coverage is excellent in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. If you’re looking primarily for phone service with some text, AT&T is a great choice. Their website is the easiest to navigate of all the ones we visited, making it easier to compare their many plans.
The best cell phone plans for seniors on a budget can is at US Cellular. The up-front pricing is easy to understand, with nothing added except taxes. No hidden fees or monthly charges you aren’t expecting that add up to higher costs. For the most savings, stick to their basic plan and don’t use a lot of data. If you don’t travel much, you can save significant money with US Cellular.
Is there one cell phone plan that is the best for seniors? Or course not. There are too many variables in lifestyles, where individuals live, how they use their cell phones, whether they need data, what they download, and countless other factors. However, by carefully considering the factors above and comparing the most proven cell phone service providers, you can find one that makes your life easier.