Finding the best cell phone plans for seniors needn't be a hassle - it can actually be relatively simple thanks to our handy guide. We've tirelessly researched all the nation's favorite carriers (and a few up-and-comers) to determine which ones, in our opinion, offer particularly strong options for older citizens.
Like all phone users, the requirements of older folks differ widely from person to person, so we've made sure our best cell phone plans for seniors takes into account a wide array of differing requirements. Just need the basics? We've got you covered with some fantastic, easy-to-use plans. Alternatively, if you're interested in getting a plan with unlimited data then you'll also find the best value options rounded up here.
Firstly, here's a very quick summary of our top choices.
- Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) - best all-rounder
- Tello (opens in new tab) - best for flexibility
- Ultra Mobile (opens in new tab) - best pay as you go
- T-Mobile (opens in new tab) - best unlimited data plan
We're deep-diving into why these are the best cell phone plans for seniors just down below and you'll find plenty more options to consider as well. Before we do that, however, here are a few top tips to help you find the right plan for you as well as a quick explainer on the jargon that's commonly used with senior cell phone plans. If you'd like to see a run-down of the market as a whole, head on over to our main best cell phone plans (opens in new tab) article to see our top contenders this month.
best cell phone plans for seniors: top tips
5G: the latest, fastest phone network connection
Data allowance: how much internet you can use
Prepaid: no-contract plan renewed each month
Postpaid: contracted plan paid for in installments
Pay as you go: only pay for what you use
Coverage: how good cellular service is near you
1. Determine budget
Set an upper limit to how much you're willing to spend
2. Determine data usage
More data equals higher bills, so cut out what you don't need
3. Check if you're covered
Check to see if you're best covered on AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile
4. Compare the market
See who offers the cheapest rate possible for your requirements
best cell phone plans for seniors
1. Best overall cell phone plan for seniors
Mint Mobile | T-Mobile network | 3-12 month contract | 4 - 15GB data | $15 - $25 per month (opens in new tab)
For sheer value on cheaper prepaid plans, it's really hard to beat Mint Mobile right now - especially if you're looking for just a single line. With this carrier you buy your plan upfront for a set amount of months - three, six, or twelve to be specific - with the longer plans averaging out to the lowest monthly rates on average. Starting at just $15 for a plan with a 4GB data allowance, unlimited talk and text, and also 5G access makes Mint Mobile a great 'all-rounder' pick for the best cell phone for seniors.
Click here to head straight to Mint Mobile (opens in new tab)
2. Best plan for flexibility
Tello | T-Mobile network | 1 month contract | 0Mb - unlimited data | $5 - $39 per month (opens in new tab)
Tello is a carrier that operates a rather unique 'build-your-own' plan system that sounds complicated, but in reality is really simple. Using the easy-to-use slider you can decide exactly how much data, texts, and monthly call minutes you need, and the monthly rates are really competitive too. What makes Tello really great is that you can easily modify your plan too, so you're not locked into a low-data plan for ages, or you can easily cut extras out should your circumstances change.
Click here to head straight to Tello (opens in new tab)
3. Best pay as you go cell phone plan for seniors
Ultra Mobile | T-Mobile network | 1 month contract | 100Mb data | $3 per month (opens in new tab)
If you need the basics - and we mean just the basics - then you could consider Ultra Mobile's pay-as-you-go service. With this prepaid plan you'll pay an entry fee of just $3 a month for 100Mb of data, 100 texts, and 100 minutes of calls - pretty much the cheapest on the market right now. Note, after your allowances are up, you'll pay 3 cents per minute for calls, 1 cent per text, and 3 cents for every MB of data usage. That's not much, but you'll definitely rack up extra costs if you're planning on using your device a lot.
Click here to head straight to Ultra Mobile (opens in new tab)
4. Best unlimited data plan for seniors
T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ | 24 month contract | unlimited data | $55 per month (2 lines) (opens in new tab)
T-Mobile is unique among the 'big' carriers in the way it operates a fantastic plan for seniors specifically. Its Unlimited 55+ plan offers up completely unlimited data, talk, text, and full 5G access - making it the best choice for those data-hungry seniors. You can also get great perks like free Netflix accounts, international roaming, and even HD streaming if you opt for one of the more expensive plans. All in all, this is easily one of the strongest cell phone plans for seniors on our list, especially if you're tech-savvy.
Click here to head straight to T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
5. Best non-data plan
US Mobile | Verizon & T-Mobile networks | 1 month contract | unl. talk & text | $10 per month (opens in new tab)
We love US Mobile's no-nonsense no-data plan. There are no lengthy contracts, you get pretty much the best coverage possible, plus unlimited talk and text for just $10 a month. You can, of course, upgrade your plan later down the line too if you decide you'd like to have some data thrown in. Note - to see this plan, you need to scroll down to the 'build your plan' section and select unlimited talk and text from the minutes or text allowance drop-down list.
Click here to head straight to US Mobile (opens in new tab)
6. Best coverage overall
Verizon Unlimited | 24 month contract | unlimited data | $70 to $90 per month (1 line) (opens in new tab)
Data-hungry seniors could also consider checking out Verizon - a carrier that has pricey plans, but with some of the best perks and coverage in the country. While expensive, you can get savings here by adding multiple lines, and you can also mix and match individual plan tiers if you'd like to have varying levels of priority data on each one. Note - Verizon does actually have its own 55+ Seniors Plan (opens in new tab) that's worth checking out, but it's currently available for Florida address holders only.
Click here to head straight to Verizon (opens in new tab)
7. Best prepaid for two lines
Simple Mobile | T-Mobile network | 1 month contract | unlimited data | $75 per month (2 lines) (opens in new tab)
For senior couples looking for a no-contract plan that doesn't break the bank, we recommend Simple Mobile. This is another carrier on the wider T-Mobile network, but it has a really great rate for its two-line unlimited data plan specifically. Unlike most carriers which feature progressive savings on each line depending on how many you add, with Simple Mobile it's a flat rate of $25 for each additional line. Subsequently, it's fantastic value if there are just two of you.
Click here to head straight to Simple Mobile (opens in new tab)
8. Best for peace of mind
Great Call | Verizon network | 1 month contract | 0Mb - unlimited data | $19.99 to $34.99 per month (opens in new tab)
If you're looking for complete peace of mind then consider Great Call - a service that operates exclusively for seniors and offers 24/7 emergency response with all its plans. With plans ranging from a Basic package all the way to a fully-featured Ultimate plan, this carrier also offers a range of exclusive senior-friendly smartphones too. Note - you'll get unlimited talk and text with either the Preferred or Ultimate packages, but you'll have to pay extra for your data allowance, if you need any at all that is.
Click here to head straight to Great Call (opens in new tab)
9. Best cheap AT&T alternative
Pure Talk | AT&T network | 1 month contract | 2GB - unlimited data | $20 - $55 per month (opens in new tab)
We've featured a lot of T-Mobile and Verizon sub-carriers on this list for the best cell phone plans for seniors, so here's a great pick for those who get the best coverage on the AT&T network. Pure Talk is a prepaid carrier that offers a flexible array of options from simple low-data plans all the way to unlimited data plans for extremely competitive rates. It also offers a 10% to 20% discount for multiple lines, depending on how many you add, so there are potential savings for couples here.
Click here to head straight to Pure Talk (opens in new tab)
Best cell phone plans for seniors: FAQ
Finding the right senior cell phone plans
Determine your budget
The easiest and simplest criteria to consider when shopping around for the best cell phone plans for seniors is how much are you willing to spend? As with most things you get what you pay for with cell phone plans but being strict with your costing will be the best way to narrow down the field of choices. As a rule of thumb, we'd recommend spending no more than $25 a month per line if you're a light user.
Determine your usage
Generally speaking, higher data allowances mean higher bills - even for phone plans for seniors. Subsequently, the easiest way to cut your costs is to cut out any of that unneeded data and instead use the local Wi-Fi connections where possible. Note, you can also cut out minutes and text allowances too, although the savings don't tend to be as good there. If you need help working out how much data you'll need, simply scroll down to the next section.
Find which carrier has the best coverage in your area
Nearly all carriers, including the ones featured on our best cell phone plans for seniors list above, use the three major nationwide networks for service - Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to be specific. Before you commit to any one plan, you'll definitely want to know whether you're well covered in your area. It's also worth asking around your friends and family to see who gets the best service and to find out what plans they're on. You can check your local coverage just below.
Compare the market
Finally, you'll want to thoroughly compare all carriers which fit within the criteria you've already set above. You'll probably find a good two to three different companies that fit the bill, so do a bit of further reading on each one or simply go with the one that looks to be the best value overall.
How much data do I need?
In this day and age, most people are using their cell phones to check social media, stream video content, or simply browse the internet. If you think you'll be doing any of those, then it's definitely worth paying a bit extra to get a data allowance on your cell phone plan.
If you need a bit of help determining how much data you'll need, here's a quick guide on how much data TechRadar recommends, based on common uses:
- Emailing and messaging - under 5GB of data a month
- Social media and web browsing - 5GB a month
- Streaming music - 10GB a month
- Streaming HD video - 10GB+ a month
Of course, if you see yourself simply calling and texting only, then you can forgo the data allowance altogether and opt for a cheaper plan - a few of which we've included on our best cell phone plans for seniors list above.
Who has the best coverage?
Nearly all carriers, including the ones on our best cell phone plans for seniors list operate their own network or under a big network. There are essentially three main networks at the moment - Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile - and they all have nationwide coverage of varying quality, depending on your location. If you want to see how good coverage will be in your area you can follow these links just below to visit each network's coverage check pages:
- Verizon - check your coverage (opens in new tab)
- AT&T - check your coverage (opens in new tab)
- T-Mobile - check your coverage (opens in new tab)
Follow the links above and simply enter your ZIP code to see if your local area is covered. Note - 4G coverage is pretty widespread now, but 5G (the latest and fastest network type) is still mostly confined to urban areas. If you want the fastest connection possible, then you should see who gives you the best 5G coverage in your area - but you'll also need a 5G-enabled device to use it.