Serving wireless and mobile services to over 165 million people in the U.S.,1 AT&T is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. In recent years, there's been a growing need for more variety, efficiency, and affordability when it comes to cell phones and mobile plans for seniors. In response, AT&T has added senior-friendly plans to their offerings. And we're sure glad they did!
Something important to note is that AT&T does not manufacture phones that are specifically designed for seniors, like those offered by competitors we’ve reviewed, like Lively, but they do offer all the largest names in cellular technology, including Apple, LG, Samsung, and others. Read on to learn more about what AT&T brings to the senior wireless plan arena.
You can purchase an AT&T phone online or in one of the carrier's thousands of brick and mortar locations nationwide. Keep in mind, if you're interested in AT&T's Unlimited 55+ plan or Senior Nation plan, they can't be selected online. To purchase the Senior Nation plan, you'll need to chat with a representative via the online chat box, give them a call, or visit an AT&T store. The Unlimited 55+ plan has to be purchased in-store because you'll need to show your Florida ID to verify that you qualify for the plan.
If you purchase your AT&T phone online, you'll have several options to receive it:
FYI: AT&T charges a $30 activation fee for new lines of service. This is typical across the industry.
AT&T has a total of 45 phone models available on their website as of this writing. Talk about options! We'll cover our current favorite basic phone and smartphone for seniors below to help narrow down your search. For more details on the top phones for seniors, check out our best cell phones for seniors page.
Touted as exceptionally durable, the Sonim XP5s costs $339.99, and it's a great option for older adults who are a bit tougher on their devices. The waterproof, brick-style phone is compact and has sleek features perfect for seniors, like large backlit buttons; a loud, powerful speaker; and a drop-proof design. The Sonim XP5s also comes with a 5MP camera. Plus, with 25 hours of talk time, you won't have to charge your battery too often. For older adults who don't need or want a smartphone, this is a durable option that has just the right amount of user-friendly features. Plus, it comes with a three-year warranty and has a M3/T4 hearing aid compatibility rating.
More Tips From the Pros: If you're still unsure which cell phone is best for you, check out our in-depth cell phone buyer's guide for all the details on how to choose the right phone for your needs.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G is our current smartphone pick. Priced at $27.78 per month or $999 upfront, this model is ideal for older adults who may or may not be familiar with the use of a smartphone. It's large enough for older eyes and hands, but not oversized. Also waterproof, the Note comes with an S Pen for fun, easy screen-writing, along with a decent battery life. Plus, the camera quality on the Note will make you “ooh” and “aah.” Well, at least it did for us! If you want the next step up in phone technology without feeling like you're carrying around a tablet, this is a great choice for seniors, with an easy-to-navigate menu and so much more.
Keep in mind that the Senior Nation plan doesn't come with data, so you won't need a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G if you choose this plan.
If you already have a phone you love, you can keep that phone and switch to AT&T as your cell phone provider. The $30 activation fee will be waived, and you'll receive a $250 credit toward your future monthly bills.2 Score!
AT&T provides 5G and 4G LTE coverage depending on where you're located. The difference between 5G and 4G LTE is data transfer speed, as 5G is about 100 times faster than 4G. Unless you’re trying to watch videos or play games when you're not connected to Wi-Fi, you probably won't notice too much of a difference between 5G and 4G. To see if your area is covered by AT&T, you'll want to check their interactive coverage map. There are a few parts of the U.S. that aren't covered by AT&T, so it is important to check where you live and the places you travel to frequently to make sure you'll be covered.
To get started with AT&T's Senior Nation plan, you'll be required to enter into a two-year contract. We aren't big fans of contracts, but they are pretty standard in the cell phone industry. As long as the contract isn't a deal-breaker for you, you're still getting a great deal with the $29.99 per month AT&T price, not to mention the AARP discount if you're eligible for that too.
Wallet-Saving Perk: AARP and veterans discounts (which aren't a given with every carrier) can be applied to eligible AT&T wireless plans.
Warranties vary depending on the device you purchase. Apple devices typically come with a one-year warranty. Other devices from AT&T, like the Sonim XP5s, come with a three-year comprehensive warranty. If you're nervous about damaging or losing your device, you can add on a protection plan when you purchase your phone. That typically costs between $8.99 and $15 per month depending on the tier of coverage you select.
|Senior Nation||$29.99 per month||+200 anytime minutes
+ Unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling nationwide
+ 500 night-and-weekend minutes
|+ No roaming or long distance charges (nationwide only); additional minutes $0.45 each
+ Eligible for basic phones only
+ Includes voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, conferencing, and caller ID
|AARP Discount||Save 10% on monthly service charges on qualifying wireless plans||+ Save 15% on eligible accessories||+ Some of their unlimited data plans for smartphones might be eligible for this discount|
|AT&T Unlimited 55+ (Florida residents only)||$60 per month for one line or $80 for two lines||Unlimited talk, text, and data (in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada)||+ Free texting to 120 countries
+ Auto fraud-blocking and spam-risk alerts
+ Must verify Florida residency and age eligibility in store only
AT&T's Senior Nation plan is ideal for seniors who are on a budget and don't plan to use a smartphone. At $29.99 per month, it's priced very competitively. The plan comes with a set number of minutes, and any overages are $0.45 per minute. So if you're on the phone a lot and plan to use your cell phone as your main line of communication, you may want to look into a plan with unlimited talk.
Designed for those 65 and older, the Senior Nation plan caters to older adults who want a simple phone plan at an affordable price. Here are the features to expect with the Senior Nation plan:
Unlike senior plans from other carriers we've reviewed like T-Mobile that don't require contracts, AT&T's Senior Nation plan does require a two-year contract. Also, this plan is compatible with basic cell phones only, not smartphones. With over 40 percent of seniors owning smartphones today,3 AT&T's limiting its senior plan to basic phones is not ideal, but their senior-friendly discounts make up for it!
At $60 per month for one line or $80 per month for two lines, the AT&T Unlimited 55+ plan is a good deal. To compare, the AT&T Unlimited Starter plan for one phone is $65 per month.4 Over the course of a year, that's $60 in savings if you opt for one line. You can save even more if you're an AARP member, with up to $45 off in activation fees and a 15 percent discount on accessories.
Unfortunately, this plan is available to Florida residents only. Plus, you'll have to visit an AT&T store in person to verify your eligibility to qualify for this plan by flashing your driver's licence or state ID. Here are some features you can expect with AT&T's Unlimited 55+ plan:
With unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling, AT&T's Senior Nation plan is perfect for older adults who simply want reliable cellular service at an affordable rate that covers their basic mobile talk needs. Due to the increasing number of seniors who use smartphones, it would be nice to see AT&T offer a more widely available senior plan that includes discounts on data. Currently, their Unlimited 55+ plan is only available for seniors in Florida.
Nonetheless, it is easy to see that AT&T strives to help older adults connect with family and friends without breaking the bank. For instance, the unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling element is a solid perk with the Senior Nation plan. Overall, the company is affordable, fair, and competitive, all for the sake of supporting seniors and giving them the opportunity to embrace technology without too much hassle.
AT&T’s Senior Nation plan starts at $29.95 per month.
No, but you can find a model that works best for your age and your level of mobility, as the company does offer an excellent selection. However, many medical alert systems do operate on the AT&T network.
Yes, only the original/main account holder needs to show proof that they are 65 or above. That’s good news for spouses who are younger.
Unfortunately not. AT&T’s Unlimited 55+ plan is currently available to Florida residents only.
Statista. (2020, March 10). AT&T number of wireless subscribers 2007-2019.
AT&T. (2021). Bring your phone.
Pew Research Center. (2017, May 17). Technology use among seniors.
AT&T. (2021). Unlimited high-speed data with 5G at no extra cost.