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The Best Senior Phone Plans

Our experts researched 15 cell phone plans and narrowed down the list to our top picks for seniors.

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The Best Senior Cell Phones Plans for 2021

Cell phones have become a vital part of everyday life. Cell phones allow seniors to connect with their loved ones and stay in touch with friends and family. Nowadays, seniors can easily find less complicated cell phones and cell phone plans so that they can stay in touch with those that matter most. For the more tech savy senior, smartphones provide tools, safety and entertainment on top of the standard communication functionality. Seniors can access their Facebook, pay bills online, text their friends and do so much more with a senior cell phone plan!

How We Chose Our Top List

We evaluated 20 of the best-known cell phone providers to find the best solutions for seniors. Our considerations included plan pricing, senior-friendly features such as health and safety services, discounts, coverage areas, and customer service.

Plans considered
Experts consulted
Plans selected
Hours of research

Top 7 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Senior Phone Plan

  1. Who are the cell phone carriers in your area? Your cell phone plan options will depend on which carriers provide coverage where you live. Ask your local friends, neighbors, and family which carriers they use and if they’re satisfied with their coverage.
  2. How will you use your phone? Will your phone be for just talking and texting? Or do you plan to use it for heavy internet surfing and video streaming? How you’ll use your phone dictates the type of plan you need.
  3. Do you already have a cell phone? If you’d like to continue using your current phone, be sure to ask if the plan and carrier you are considering allows you to do so.
  4. Do you need a health and safety package? Some carriers, such as Lively and Consumer Cellular, offer add-on health and safety packages that include urgent response and fall detection.
  5. Do you want a prepaid plan? With prepaid cell phone plans, you’ll pay upfront for the number of minutes, texts, and data you need.
  6. Are you eligible for a veteran discount or low-income plan pricing? Many carriers offer discounts on phone plans to seniors, veterans, and low-income individuals.
  7. Do you travel out of the country often? You can stay connected with family and friends, even when you’re out of the country, with a plan that includes overseas coverage.

5 Common Cell Phone Plan Fees

Deciphering cell phone plan pricing can be tricky! Before locking into your new plan, ask the salesperson to total up all of the plan costs, including taxes and fees, so you know exactly what to expect when you receive your monthly billing statement.

Here are the five most common fees to look out for:

  1. Activation fee
  2. SIM card fee
  3. State and local wireless tax
  4. Phone upgrade fee
  5. Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee (RCRF)

Money-saving tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for fees to be waived! You could snag some savings by simply speaking to a customer service representative.

Free to Low-Cost Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Many older adults living on a fixed income struggle to pay for a cell phone and service. And how much Social Security you get certainly plays a major role! Luckily, help is available through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifeline program.

Participants in Medicaid health insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), veterans pension and survivor benefits, and other federal and state assistance programs may be eligible for free or low-cost phone service.

The FCC’s Lifeline program provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone service, broadband internet service, or bundled voice-broadband packages purchased from participating wireline or wireless providers.

Best Phones for Seniors: How to Choose

As you shop for the best cell phone plan, you’ll need to make sure you have the perfect phone to go with it! With so many choices, finding the right cell phone can seem like a daunting task. These resources will help you make the most of your new cell phone and plan.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt