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Most Affordable Senior Phone Plans for 2020

Our experts tested and researched 10 senior phone plans and narrowed the list to their top 5 recommendations.

Last Updated On: November 7, 2019
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Most Affordable Senior Phone Plans

Seniors have a lot of expenses these days, so it’s good to know about the most affordable senior phone plans. Of course, one senior may need only a small amount of talk minutes per month, while another senior wants unlimited talk, text and data. The companies listed below offer a mix of low-cost value plans to meet a variety of senior budgets and desires.

Here are the most affordable senior phone plans for 2020

  • GreatCall - GreatCall offers excellent value with plans for 24/7 emergency monitoring as well as talk, text and data.
  • FreedomPop - Seniors who use their phones infrequently should consider the free plan.
  • AT&T - The Senior Nation plan isn’t the most substantial, but it works on basic phones (not smartphones).
  • Republic Wireless - Seniors should explore Republic Wireless if they don’t use a huge amount of data every month.
  • Sprint - The Unlimited 55+ plan includes unlimited data but is for new Sprint customers only.

How We Chose the Most Affordable Senior Phone Plan

We identified the top 10 senior phone plans and narrowed it down to 5 of our favorites based on a number of criteria. We looked at affordability, service, ease of use, response times, and other factors to rank the most affordable senior phone plan on the market. Take a look at the senior phone plans we have deemed the best of the best.

15
Phones considered
05
Experts consulted
05
Plans selected
64
Hours of research
  • 1. GreatCall
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Excellent
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing

    Overview

    With GreatCall, you can get 24/7 emergency monitoring in addition to talk, text and data plans. Emergency monitoring is rare among senior plan providers, and you get your money’s worth. However, if you don’t want monitoring, you don’t have to get it. If monitoring does interest you, the highest-level plan offers personal and medical assistance, the GreatCall Link smartphone app for family members and caregivers, and product replacement.

    The talk, text and data plans come in unlimited versions as well as in chunks you pay for separately. Mix and match as you like. There’s lots of flexibility and freedom.

    Pros
    • Variety of talk, text and data plans, and emergency monitoring plans
    • Options for personal and medical assistance
    • Plans available on a smartphone and a flip phone
    • Phones run on the Verizon network
    • No long-term contracts and no cancellation charges
    Cons
    • Limited to two phone options

    Pricing

    The basic health and safety package costs $19.99 a month. It includes 24/7 5Star monitoring and brain games. A preferred package costs $24.99 monthly and features the GreatCall Link app and urgent care for medical answers anytime. The $34.99 ultimate package further includes product replacement and the personal operator service for help finding addresses, getting a Lyft ride and much more.

    A health and safety package gets you steep discounts on your phone plan. For example, unlimited talk, text and data cost $40 per month. However, if you use the phone infrequently, you might opt for 100 talk minutes ($5 a month), 500 texts ($3) and 100 MB of data ($2.49). If you subscribe to a preferred or ultimate health and safety package, you get unlimited texts.

    What if you don’t want a health and safety package? No problem. You get high-value service starting at $14.99 a month for 250 talk minutes. The cost for 500 texts is still $3, and the cost for 100 MB of data remains $2.49. Unlimited talk, text and data cost $59.99. There are many ways you can mix and match the different options. For instance, 1,000 minutes cost $19.99, 1,000 texts cost $5, and 1 GB of data costs $10 for a total of $34.99.

    The Bottom Line

    Seniors are limited to two phone choices, but that is so each phone has emergency alert buttons. The phones themselves are high-quality. GreatCall is an excellent choice for seniors who want high-value phone plans plus 24/7 emergency monitoring.

  • 2. FreedomPop
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Excellent
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing Excellent

    Overview

    Low-cost plans can be hard to find, so surely free plans do not exist, right? Not so fast. Seniors who don’t use their phones much can get a 100% free cellphone bill, thanks to FreedomPop. The company, also called Red Pocket Mobile after Red Pocket Mobile purchased FreedomPop, uses the AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon cellular networks.

    For now, the free plan is through FreedomPop and uses just two cellular networks. Red Pocket Mobile aims to roll out a replacement free plan that may be the same other than expanding to four networks. The free plan is possible because FreedomPop uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Phone calls use data signals instead of regular cell signals.

    FreedomPop came under criticism for not being as transparent as users would like. For example, random, unexplained charges would show up on some users’ bills. Red Pocket Mobile has promised to be more transparent.

    Pros
    • Basic free plan for 200 talk minutes, 500 texts and 200 MB of data per month
    • Mix of affordable paid plans
    • No contracts and no credit checks
    Cons
    • Changes in ownership may lead to temporary uncertainty
    • Call quality can be lower wherever data signals are weak
    • Easy to exceed limits of free plan
    • No plan for unlimited data

    Pricing

    If you exceed the limits of your free plan, you’ll get a $15 “upgrade.” However, you can avoid the upgrade by turning off automatic top-ups.

    FreedomPop offers several paid plans as well as individual services such as Premium Voice ($3.99 a month). It enables you to make a traditional cellular call if you’re in an area with a weak data signal.

    Paid plans start at $24.99 a month for 2 GB of data and unlimited talk and text. You can pay for 12 months at once, which comes out to paying about $9.99 a month. The highest data plan is 10 GB, and paying monthly costs $59.99. Pay for 12 months at one time, and the monthly equivalent becomes $19.99.

    The Bottom Line

    FreedomPop’s free plan may be a smart choice for two groups of seniors. The first group has no use for cellphone data and doesn’t need much in the way of talk and text. Members of the other group do pretty much all of their phone use at home on WiFi networks. The free plan is mostly for “just in case.”

    The free plan isn’t for everyone, but it can serve as a valuable lifeline for many seniors. Meanwhile, heavy data users should avoid FreedomPop.

  • 3. AT&T
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Above Average
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing Excellent

    Overview

    AT&T consumers 65 or older can sign up for the Senior Nation plan. It’s for folks who use basic phones. They receive 200 anytime minutes, 500 night and weekend minutes, and unlimited calls to AT&T Mobility customers. That’s the only senior-focused plan AT&T has. It’s limited but means no fuss, no hassle.

    If you want a smartphone and talk, text and data options, you’ll find good deals with prepaid plans.

    Pros
    • Senior Nation plan includes roaming, nationwide long distance, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID and conference calling
    • Affordable prepaid plans for moderate data users
    • For prepaid plans, no annual contract and no credit check
    Cons
    • Can’t select Senior Nation plan online (but can call, use online chat or visit a store)

    Pricing

    The Senior Nation plan costs $29.99 a month before taxes, surcharges and fees. If you exceed your minutes allowance, each additional minute is 45 cents.

    Prepaid plans start at $30 a month with AutoPay. You get up to 1 GB of data, data rollovers from month to month, and unlimited talk and text. Another offering gives you up to 8 GB of data for $40 a month. For $50 with AutoPay, you can get unlimited data.

    The Bottom Line

    The Senior Nation plan may fit the bill for seniors who have basic phones they use for talking. It isn’t the best deal, but it is low maintenance. Otherwise, seniors who need (or want) AT&T service should explore the affordable prepaid offerings.

  • 4. Republic Wireless
    Ease of use Above Average
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Above Average
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing Excellent

    Overview

    The plans from Republic Wireless are flexible, affordable and convenient. They start at a mere $15 per month for unlimited talk and text, and you can cancel anytime. However, no unlimited data is available. Coverage is nationwide via Sprint and T-Mobile.

    Pros
    • No contracts, and you can cancel at any point
    • Add 4G LTE data from your phone anytime
    • Annual payment option is even more affordable
    • No surprise overage fees
    Cons
    • Not for users of heavy data

    Pricing

    Fifteen dollars a month gets you unlimited talk and text, though taxes and fees tack on a bit more to the bottom line. You can add 1 GB of data at a time for $5. This can be recurring or on an as-needed basis (like once every three months). If you want, say, 2 GB of data a month, you pay $25 ($15 for unlimited talk and text, and $10 for data). For 5 GB, you pay $40.

    If you opt to pay for one year at a time, unlimited talk and text costs $150, the equivalent of $12.50 per month. Two GB of data is $250, or the equivalent of $20.83 a month.

    The Bottom Line

    Republic Wireless is a great option for seniors who enjoy talking and texting along with some data usage. However, you can purchase up to 15 GB of data per month. That’s bound to get costly for heavy data users. These seniors are better off looking elsewhere for unlimited data plans.

  • 5. Sprint
    Ease of use Above Average
    Equipment Above Average
    Service & Response Above Average
    Features & Tech Above Average
    Pricing

    Overview

    Sprint has the Unlimited 55+ plan for seniors. It’s a good deal but is only for new customers. You must visit a store to enroll, and the offer might be available for just a limited time. Customers using this plan also need to enroll in e-billing. Prepaid plans are another option, and these plans with data start at 2 GB a month.

    Pros
    • Unlimited talk, text and data with Unlimited 55+
    • Save even more money with two lines
    • Global roaming in more than 185 countries
    • Prepaid phone plans available
    Cons
    • Unlimited 55+ for new customers only
    • Credit checks required
    • Activation fee of up to $30
    • Limited-time offer

    Pricing

    Unlimited 55+ costs $50 a month for one line. For two lines, it’s $70 ($35 per line). The prepaid plan with 2 GB of data and unlimited talk and text starts at $40 a month with AutoPay.

    The Bottom Line

    Unlimited 55+ is a smart option for seniors who use a lot of data and who enjoy streaming video. Of course, if you’re already a Sprint customer, you won’t be able to enroll. Otherwise, $40 a month is still a decent deal for Sprint service and up to 2 GB of data a month.

What Is an Affordable Senior Phone Plan?

Phone plans come in many variations, some more affordable than others. Senior plans tend to cost about $10 to $30 less than equivalent plans for younger people.

Affordability also means getting value for your money. Some seniors prefer to have a bare-bones plan with a small amount of talk and text, no data needed. Other seniors want unlimited everything. Bare-bones seniors might make do with a free plan such as that offered by FreedomPop. Otherwise, seniors can get a bare-bones plan for no more than $15 to $20 a month.

Seniors who want lots of data (or unlimited data) may have to pay up to about $60 to $65 a month before taxes and surcharges. Some carriers offer discounts for multiple lines.

Affordable senior phone plans may be for either smartphones or flip phones. Meanwhile, prepaid plans aren’t senior plans per se, but they offer no surprises at a low cost. You can usually bring your own phone, purchase one or lease one.

What Benefits Can You Get with Affordable Senior Plans?

Companies such as GreatCall offer health and safety packages, but they are not the default with phone plans. If you do opt for this type of plan, you can get 24/7 emergency monitoring along with standard callphone service.

Many affordable plans include unlimited talk and text. Plans that are even cheaper cap how many minutes you can talk and how many texts you’re allowed to send. Some plans include certain amounts of data or unlimited data. These plans cost more but are still relatively affordable.

What Costs Factor into an Affordable Plan?

First, there’s the phone itself. A simple flip phone can be had for a pretty low price, perhaps $35 to $100. A smartphone, especially a new one, can run into the hundreds of dollars. However, it’s possible to buy a used or refurbished smartphone for $200 or less. GreatCall even sells new senior-friendly smartphones for about $150. Its flip phone costs $100. If you decide on a pricey smartphone, you can usually make monthly payments to make the cost more affordable. Optional phone insurance is another possible charge.

Most senior plans don’t require contracts or charge cancellation fees. Do expect activation fees, though. You may also be charged if you exceed your caps on talk, text or data.

As touched on above, some carriers let you add a second line for a low price. Seniors such as a married couple looking for two individual plans should explore options such as Sprint’s Unlimited 55+.