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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.

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Best Prepaid Unlimited Plans
Call for best price: Call to Order: 855-914-3412
Best Senior-Specific Prepaid Plans
Call for best price: Call to Order: 833-513-1397
Best Prepaid Plans for One Line
Call for best price: Call to Order: 877-959-5144
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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. Below 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 $10 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 1 GB to unlimited No data or up to unlimited 5 GB to unlimited 25 MB  to 10 GB No data or up to unlimited 500 MB 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.

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 landlines3, 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 Jitterbug Smart3 for $149.99.

FAQs for Prepaid Phone Plans for Seniors

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.