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Best Prepaid Phone Plans for Seniors

We've researched the best prepaid phone plans on the market and narrowed the list down to our top six carriers for seniors.

Best Prepaid Unlimited Plans
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(844) 405-0980
Best Senior-Specific Prepaid Plans
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(866) 461-7793
Best Prepaid Plans for One Line
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855-929-4241
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Our Considerations When Choosing the Best Prepaid Phone Plans for Seniors

Choosing a phone plan, in general, is no small feat, but choosing a prepaid phone plan for seniors can get even trickier. We compared prepaid plans from regular and senior-friendly companies alike, narrowing down our top picks for you.
How did we do it? From pricing and discounts to contracts and medical alert features, we combed through the best prepaid phone plans out there to find the best choices for seniors. This is a list of our most important criteria:

  • Price: Most seniors live on a fixed income, so we focused our search on companies that offer a good mix of price points. We wanted our final list to have an option for everyone’s budget, no matter how small. Know that some of the carriers give a per-line discount if you buy more than one phone line.
  • Senior-Friendly Perks: Some of the choices on our list cater specifically to seniors. Of course, we had to list those providers! Perks include optional health and safety services and senior-friendly phones with assistance buttons, large screens, and large keys.
  • Coverage: For many seniors, a cell phone is a lifeline. It connects you with your family members, emergency services, and your doctors. That means reliable service is oh-so-important. Our top picks all boast excellent nationwide coverage from several cell phone carriers.
  • Contracts: Phone contracts might work for some, but they aren’t as senior-friendly as we’d like them to be. None of our top prepaid phone plans require long-term contracts. This keeps your phone plan flexible if your needs change, like if you move to an area with different coverage or into a care home where you no longer need your cell phone.

Overview of the Top Prepaid Phone Plans for Seniors

Top 6 Carriers T-Mobile Consumer Cellular AT&T FreedomPop Lively Verizon
1 Line for As Low As $15 per month $15 per month $30 per month $0 per month $14.99 per month $40 per month
Unlimited Text & Talk Available? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Data Options 2.5 GB to Unlimited 500 MB to Unlimited 5 GB to Unlimited 25 GB to Unlimited 100 MB to Unlimited 5 GB to Unlimited
Other Costs Taxes and Fees Taxes and Fees Taxes and Fees Taxes and Fees; Sim Card Taxes and Fees Taxes and Fees
Number of Lines Up to 5 Up to 3 1 1 1 1
Other Features
  • Wi-Fi Calling
  • Caller ID
  • Scam-blocking protection
  • Talk-only plans available
  • Senior-friendly phones
  • Fraud-call blocking
  • BYOP (bring your own phone)
  • Free, unlimited Wi-Fi calling
  • Flexible phone plans
  • Health & Safety packages
  • Senior-friendly phones
  • Loyalty discount
  • AutoPay discount
  • Mobile hotspot

*Prices do not include autopay, loyalty, or multi-line discounts.

  • 1. T-Mobile: Best Prepaid Unlimited Plans

    Overview

    T-Mobile is America’s fastest-growing 5G network. With award-winning customer service, a wide range of prepaid phone plans, and competitive pricing, T-Mobile certainly stands out on our list! Already have a phone that you love? You have the option to use your existing phone or upgrade to a new phone through T-Mobile. T-Mobile also gives seniors another perk we love: built-in scam-blocking protection. With T-Mobile’s Scam Shield, you’ll receive scam ID, scam block, and caller ID at no extra cost. Since phone scams do more financial damage to older adults than any other scam1, a service that blocks spam calls is a truly great feature.

    Plans and Pricing

    Prepaid T-Mobile plans start at $15 per month for T-Mobile Connect, offering unlimited talk and text with up to 2.5 GB of high-speed data. “Unlimited talk, text, and data” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? You can snag the Unlimited plan for around $50 per month. That means no need to keep track of your minutes or texts! You won’t have to worry about your family driving up your phone bill either — bring on the hourlong phone calls and daily grandkid photos.

    Money-Saving Tip: T-Mobile’s prepaid plans are great for families, as the price per line decreases with every new line you add. Be sure to ask for the prepaid multi-line discount!

    No matter which plan you choose, T-Mobile has you covered. As you shop for the best cell phone plan, take a look at pricing for T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ senior postpaid plans. For more details on traditional postpaid plans, head over to our latest T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ plan review.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Above Average Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Can keep current phone and number
    • Flat rate monthly plans
    • Unlimited texting and data and 1 hour on Gogo-enabled flights
    • Senior-friendly phone models available
    Cons
    • Data may slow down during peak times for high-level users

    T-Mobile’s Prepaid Plans are Great for:

    • Seniors who love to talk, text, and search the web
    • Couples or those with families who want to share a phone bill
    • Older adults who live in an area with reliable T-Mobile service
    • Seniors who want scam-blocking protection
  • 2. Lively: Best Prepaid Plans With Medical Alert Features

    Overview

    Lively prepaid phone plans were made for seniors! Enjoy the flexibility your budget needs and the safety features your health requires. Choose from monthly phone plans starting at less than $20 per month for value talk, text, and data.

    To take advantage of Lively’s senior plans, you’ll need to purchase one of their cell phones, so if you already have a phone that you like, you may want to consider another provider. Both of Lively’s phones, the Lively Smart and the Lively Flip, made our list of the best cell phones for seniors, so you can’t go wrong with either! In our Lively phone review, our experts put both phones to the test and were impressed with the results. With a Lively Health & Safety Package, the phones transform into personal safety devices.

    Plans and Pricing

    If you’re budget-conscious like us, you’ll love only paying for exactly what you need. With no long-term contracts, you can switch Lively plans anytime! Lively’s plans start at under $20 per month for talk and text. If you want to add data or upgrade to an unlimited plan, prices will increase.

    What sets Lively apart are their phone offerings and Health & Safety Packages. Whether you want an emergency response service or to check in on Mom or Dad, Lively Health & Safety Packages have you covered. Here’s a breakdown of what the three packages include:

    • The Basic plan includes urgent response service with 24/7 emergency assistance.
    • The Preferred plan adds urgent care with 24/7 access to a doctor or nurse over the phone and the Lively Link app, which keeps caregivers informed.
    • The Ultimate plan adds unlimited access to a personal operator who can help you find addresses, look up phone numbers, or call a Lyft ride.

    These Health & Safety Packages are optional, starting at around $20 per month. If you’d prefer to stick with a standard cell phone plan and skip this add-on, the choice is yours!

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Above Average Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    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

    Lively’s prepaid plans are great for:

    • Seniors who want an easy-to-use phone with affordable service
    • Those who want added health and safety features like urgent response and urgent care
    • Budget-conscious older adults who want to pay only for what they’ll use
    • Seniors who don’t already have a cell phone from another brand
  • 3. AT&T: Best Prepaid Plans for One Line

    Overview

    Serving nearly 100 million subscribers, AT&T is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the United States.2 AT&T truly goes the extra mile to protect its prepaid customers. AT&T Mobile Security and Call Protect are two free mobile apps that reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud. These apps detect and block calls from likely fraudsters and alert you of telemarketers and suspected spam calls.

    Plans and Pricing

    AT&T’s low monthly pricing and wide range of data options for prepaid and traditional plans is impressive! AT&T offers data plans with 5 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, and unlimited data. Their budget-conscious plan, priced at $30 per month, includes unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB high-speed data. Or you can go for it all with the top-of-the-line Unlimited plan, priced around $65 per month.

    Money-Saving Tip: Leaning toward AT&T’s Unlimited plan? Sign up for AT&T AutoPay and save up to $25 per month!

    Another way to save some cash with AT&T is to pay in full for a certain number of months. For example, if you pay the 12-month cost for AT&T’s 8 GB plan upfront, you’ll pay just $25 per month.

    Do you have kids, siblings, or grandkids living, studying, or stationed abroad? Every AT&T prepaid plan includes unlimited texts to more than 200 countries. There’s no need to download a separate messaging app just to talk to your loved ones.

    Note that most of these prepaid plans are only available for one line, so we recommend them for older adults who don’t also need coverage for a spouse or other family members. To learn more, visit our AT&T phone plan review.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Senior Nation Plan available for 65+
    • Unlimited prepaid and international services available
    • AARP discounts and AT&T Rewards
    • Can bring own unlocked phone
    Cons
    • Long term contracts are costly to cancel
    • Senior plan doesn’t include data or texts

    AT&T’s prepaid plans are great for:

    • Seniors on a budget who want a data plan
    • Older adults with loved ones in other countries
    • Those who already have a phone to bring onto the network
    • Seniors living in an area with excellent AT&T coverage
  • 4. Consumer Cellular: Best Senior-Specific Prepaid Plans

    Overview

    Consumer Cellular’s commitment to helping older adults use technology and save money landed them on our list of the best prepaid phone plan providers. With this senior phone carrier, you only pay for exactly what you need. No wasted talk, text, or data here, and no long-term contracts either. You’ll be able to mix and match talk, text, and data if you want. If a cell phone — or a particular phone plan — isn’t a good fit for you, you can cancel at any time. That’s a win for us!

    Money-Saving Tip: AARP members enjoy a special 5 percent discount on any Consumer Cellular service plan! Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member in our guide to AARP membership.

    Consumer Cellular’s prepaid plans work with the carrier’s senior-friendly phones too. The Doro 7050 has high-contrast keys, a bright screen, and an assistance button. We even included it in our list of the easiest-to-use phones for seniors.

    Plans and Pricing

    Consumer Cellular’s plan pricing is affordable, and their service is notably reliable. With Consumer Cellular, you can choose the budget-friendly Talk Only plan or mix and match with minutes and data. Pricing ranges from about $15 per month for talk only up to $60 for unlimited talk, text, and data. As with T-Mobile, your price per line will decrease as you add more lines to your plan, so Consumer Cellular is excellent for spouses or small families. For an in-depth look at the plan options, head to our Consumer Cellular review.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Above Average Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Low cost, no contract plans
    • Users choose between T-Mobile or AT&T networks for service
    • Basic flip phones and iOS phones available
    • Easy to change plans anytime
    Cons
    • No unlimited data option

    Consumer Cellular’s prepaid plans are great for:

    • AARP members
    • Older adults who want to share a phone bill with their spouse or partner
    • Those who want one of Consumer Cellular’s easy-to-use cell phones
  • 5. FreedomPop: Best Free Prepaid Plan Options

    Overview

    FreedomPop offers free prepaid phone plans for seniors. Talk about a steal! This company’s free plan, Freemium, lets you make free unlimited Wi-Fi calls. A Wi-Fi call uses the wireless network in your home (or wherever you are) to call another person’s phone number. It’ll feel just like making a regular call. The free plan also includes some data, regular texts, and calls. It’s perfect if you’re connected to Wi-Fi most of the time. The Freemium plan has just one upfront cost: You’ll need to purchase a $10 SIM card kit.

    Plans and Pricing

    If you want to upgrade from the free plan, you have prepaid options as well. FreedomPop makes it easy to build the best prepaid cell phone plan. Pricing starts at around $15 for a basic plan. If you need more minutes and data, you have the choice of several plan bundles priced from around $17 to $55. FreedomPop customers can have it all with an unlimited talk, text, and data plan. Talk to your kids and grandkids for hours without running out of minutes — they’ll love hearing from you!

    Important Info: To maintain your no-cost Freemium plan, you will need to renew it every month.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Absolutely free plan
    • Upgradable if more minutes, text or data is needed
    • Low cost Alcatel Conquest LTE Smartphone
    • Nationwide 4G LTE coverage
    Cons
    • Phone options are limited and are not senior specific
    • Limited data plans are available

    FreedomPop’s prepaid plans are great for:

    • Seniors who are on a tight budget and have Wi-Fi
    • Those with Wi-Fi who don’t have a landline at home
    • Older adults who mainly use data for maps, emails, and the web — not gaming or streaming videos
    • Seniors looking for their first wireless plan
  • 6. Verizon: Best Prepaid Plans With Loyalty Discounts

    Overview

    Verizon, the third of the country’s major phone carriers to make our list, rewards loyalty with their prepaid phone plans. We chose this company because we love finding ways to save money (who doesn’t?). In fact, our Verizon senior plan review featured three of Verizon’s prepaid phone plans!

    Plans and Pricing

    Verizon has a range of prepaid plans to meet your data needs. If talk and text are the main ways you use your phone, Verizon’s Talk & Text Only plan or the 5 GB plan is an excellent option. If you love to stream videos, post heavily on social media, and don’t want to worry about overage charges, Verizon’s Unlimited plans have you covered! All of Verizon’s prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text in the U.S. Before you lock into a plan, ask what other options it includes, such as a mobile hotspot or calls to Mexico and Canada.

    Did You Know: You can bring your old phone with you or choose one of Verizon’s senior-friendly phones; it’s your call!

    Verizon’s prepaid plan pricing ranges from around $40 to $75 per month. However, there are quite a few ways to save some cash. After three months of continuous service, you’ll save $5 per month, and after 10 months, you’ll knock $10 off your monthly bill. If you enroll in autopay, you’ll save another $5 a month! Be sure to find out which plans offer a loyalty discount. In some cases, you can save even more money over time by choosing a data plan!

    Like some of the other carriers on our list, Verizon only offers prepaid plans for one line, so we wouldn’t recommend them if you want to add anyone else to your plan.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Average Excellent Above Average Excellent
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Greater coverage areas and service than competitors
    • Unlimited, single device and shared plans available
    • Impressive array of phones and devices available
    • International coverage is available with a TravelPass-5 Above Unlimited Plan
    Cons
    • Monthly plans are more expensive than competitors
    • Contract plans are challenging and costly to cancel

    Verizon prepaid plans are great for:

    • Seniors who live in areas with reliable Verizon service
    • Those who already own a Verizon cell phone
    • Older adults who plan to stay with one carrier for the long term

How Do I Choose Between a Prepaid Plan and a Postpaid Plan?

Above, we laid out our best picks for prepaid cell phone plans for seniors, but those aren’t your only options. Did you know there’s also such a thing as a postpaid phone plan? Well, there is! We’ll sort out the differences for you to make the choice between the two a cinch.

What’s a Postpaid Plan?

With postpaid plans, you pay for your service at the end of the month. The main networks (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) all offer postpaid plans. Most postpaid plans include unlimited text and talk. How much you pay at the end of the month depends entirely on your data usage; if you use a lot of data, you’ll have a larger phone bill.

Are Postpaid or Prepaid Phone Plans Better for Seniors?

The answer to this question really depends on the user. Most seniors, especially the 56 percent who have cell phones and landlines,3 don’t need unlimited talk and text. With prepaid plans, you only pay for what you use. What a great way to cut costs! However, many of the major carriers offer senior discounts for their postpaid plans, so it’s best to consider both options and pricing models before making a final decision.

Important Questions to Ask as You Decide Between Prepaid and Postpaid Plans

Let us help you figure out what plan makes sense for you. Ask yourself the questions below to see which type of plan fits your situation.

How Much Data Do You Think You’ll Use?

Data makes up the bulk of a cell phone plan’s costs these days. Most postpaid plans include large amounts of data or even unlimited data. Prepaid plans let you pay for as few as 25 MB of data a month. If you’re not sure how much data you’ll use, ask your family how much they use. Odds are, you’ll use less than they do.

Also, consider what you like to do online. If you just want to send a few emails and check Facebook, you won’t need a ton of data. If you’re going to stream videos or music, use GPS navigation, or be on the internet every day, you’ll probably want at least a few gigs.

Will You Be Getting a Single Phone or a Family Plan?

Some prepaid and postpaid plans offer discounts if they’re used as family plans. Ask your family what phone plan they have. Adding your phone to their plan — whichever kind it is — might be your most affordable option. If you want your own plan, prepaid plans may be better, as they give the lowest rates to single users.

Pro Tip: Still having trouble deciding what type of phone or plan you want? Visit our cell phone buyer’s guide for more important topics to consider!

Do You Travel a Lot?

If you travel a lot internationally, even just to Canada and Mexico, postpaid plans are great. Many providers offer free international texting and calling.

Do You Want ‘Free’ Entertainment Included?

Some postpaid wireless plans include “free” entertainment like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney Plus. If that interests you, and the numbers make sense, consider going with a postpaid plan.

Do You Need a New Phone?

If you need a new phone, what kind do you want? Do you want a senior-friendly phone or one of the latest smartphones?

Postpaid plan carriers let you pay for a new smartphone in monthly installments. Each month, you pay for a portion of the phone plus the monthly service fee. Prepaid phone plans don’t let you do that — or, if they do, you usually owe interest.

Paying for a new phone upfront is also an option. Some of our favorite prepaid phone carriers sell our favorite cell phones for seniors! And they’re affordable too — like the Lively Smart for $149.99.

Prepaid Phone Plan for Seniors FAQs

Written By

Taylor Shuman

Senior Tech Expert & Editor

For over five years, Taylor has been writing, editing, and researching products and services covering topics such as senior care and technology, Internet and the digital divide, TV, and entertainment, and education. Her research on media consumption and consumer behavior has been… Learn More About Taylor Shuman

Citations
  1. Federal Trade Commission. (2019). Protecting Older Consumers.

  2. AT&T. (2021). Our Purpose.

  3. National Center for Health Statistics. (2019). Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From theNational Health Interview Survey, January-June 2019.