What a difference a decade makes. In 2010, just 16 percent of adults ages 55+ owned a smartphone. Today, it’s right around 75 percent!1 Being able to keep in touch with friends and family helps prevent social isolation, especially if loved ones do not live nearby. This is just one of the reasons why cell phones are proving popular among the older generations. The key to getting the most out of your cell phone regardless of age is choosing the right plan. T-Mobile is one of many cell phone providers who offer senior plans, along with the likes of Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon.
While cell phones are primarily used for calling and texting, seniors are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. As a result, having plenty of data is important to be able to download and stream content. Those who are aged 55+ can sign up for one of T-Mobile’s unlimited senior plans. There are three plans to choose from, with costs ranging between $27.50 and $45 per line, per month. Each plan has varying levels of data, as well as other perks that might make one plan more favorable than the other.
As with most senior cell phone plans, T-Mobile offers tailored services that differ from regular plans. If you are unsure which T-Mobile senior plan is right for you, the good news is that the company offers a transparent breakdown of all the features and perks. We’ve awarded T-Mobile a 4.5 star rating for their 55+ Unlimited plans. This rating is based on their wide variety of affordable senior plans, international options, unlimited data, great perks like hotspot data and in-flight WiFi, and no contracts. For all the details, below is everything you need to know about T-Mobile’s unlimited 55+ senior plans, so you can make the best purchase decision for your needs.
T-Mobile was founded in 1990 in Germany by Deutsche Telekom AG. The company is one of the only cellular carriers that operate on a global scale, with headquarters in Europe, The United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. At present, they are the 3rd most popular cellular provider in the United States, with 86 million customers2 in total.
|Plan Type||Monthly Cost (Per Line)||Talk, Text & Smartphone Data||Streaming Quality||Mobile Hotspot Data||International Data (Mexico & Canada)||In-Flight WiFi|
|Essentials Unlimited 55||$27.50||Unlimited||SD||3G||2G||None|
|Magenta Unlimited||$35||Unlimited||SD||3GB of 4G LTE||5GB of 4G||1 Hour|
|Magenta Plus Unlimited*||$45||Unlimited||HD||5GB of 4G LTE||5GB of 4G||Unlimited|
*Two lines required for this plan
Essentials Unlimited 55
The Essentials Unlimited Plan is the cheapest senior plan offered by T-Mobile, costing $27.50 per month per line when you sign up for two lines. Though, unlike the Magenta plans, the price does not include taxes and fees. However, T-Mobile states users can receive 50 percent worth of savings compared with basic competitor plans. A quick glance over at the AT&T senior plan shows prices start at $40 per line (and is only for Floridians),3 so their claim certainly holds up as far as the most popular network is concerned.
A big plus of Essentials Unlimited 55 is that, as the name suggests, you’ll get unlimited calls, texts, and smartphone data on the T-Mobile network, which is exactly the same across all other plans. Another helpful aspect this plan has in common with the others is a dedicated customer service team, no annual contracts, and as they put it, “free stuff every week”. This refers to their T-Tuesday offers which release different prizes every week on the T-Mobile app.
There’s only $7.50 between the Essentials and the Magenta plan, so is it worth upgrading? If streaming is important to you, then yes. That’s because you’ll only qualify for SD with the Essentials plan, meaning the picture quality will not be as crisp. Just for reference, HD is considered anything above 720p. Plus, you only get 3G for mobile hotspot data, and this is reduced to just 2G if you visit Mexico or Canada. To sum up, if you have excellent WiFi and don’t travel outside the US very often, you could still find Essentials acceptable.
Dubbed their ‘signature plan,’ Magenta Unlimited costs $35 per month per line when you sign up for two lines. The Magenta plan also exists within the regular plans T-Mobile offers, so is it worth switching to the senior version if you qualify? The answer is absolutely! For the non-senior Magenta plan, you’ll be paying $60 per line for two lines. That means the senior plan will save you $25 per month. The only other main difference in plan features is that Netflix is not included with the senior version, though it can be added on by switching to the Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 plan with Netflix Standard.
A Heads Up: T-Tuesdays allows customers to win different prizes every Tuesday, from around 20 well-known brands. Past prizes have included gift cards, cash, and even vacations for customers.
The Magenta Unlimited 55 plan sees an increase in your data and texting abroad, which is limited to just texting on the Essentials Unlimited 55. It will also give you 3GB of 4G LTE, and 5GB of data to use in Mexico and Canada. This is in addition to 1 hour of free in-flight WiFi, which is perfect if you live close to either border. Though, disappointingly streaming is still in SD. Hopefully, T-Mobile will upgrade this soon, especially as technology moves towards 4K/Super HD streaming.
Overall, Magenta Unlimited 55 is a good option for seniors who want to stay connected, especially those who do occasional or light travel. If you don’t send a lot of picture messages and prefer to simply text while away, then you might be better suited to the Essentials Unlimited 55 instead. It all depends on whether you’d like that extra 6GB of combined data or not.
Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 is the gold standard of the T-Mobile senior plans. It comes in at $45 per line for two lines, and, similar to the other T-Mobile senior plans, also features unlimited calls, texts, and smartphone data across the network. So, what do you get for the higher price tag?
Not only do you get texting and data abroad, but the data is 2x faster versus the other senior plans. If you travel often, then data speed matters—especially if you are trying to work or frequently enjoy streaming videos and sending pictures. After all, nobody wants to sit there for hours waiting for images to send properly while on vacation! The increased data speed is backed up by HD streaming, making the Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 the only T-Mobile plan to offer this.
Did You Know: 5G is the next generation in mobile data. It allows for signals to reach further than ever before, creating better speeds and network coverage compared with previous generations.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 plan for seniors is the inclusion of Name ID, which identifies calls and texts from unknown numbers. Knowing who is trying to speak to you could help prevent you from falling victim to a scam, especially as seniors are unfortunately targeted often.4 There’s also voicemail to text, allowing your voicemails to be transcribed should you be too busy to answer, or have any problems with your hearing.
Another perk of Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 is that it includes Netflix or Quibi. Combined with 20 GB of 4G LTE data per month, that makes it perfect for streaming your favorite shows. You’ll also get unlimited in-flight WiFi which is ideal if you regularly travel, though could be overkill if you don’t.
In the old days, senior-friendly phones were anything that had large buttons and didn’t involve a touch screen. These days, practically any phone can be adapted for accessibility if needed. That being said, there are some cell phones that T-Mobile sells that cater to being easier to use for seniors more than others. Out top two picks include:
Posted on the company’s YouTube channel,5 T-Mobile’s CEO gave an impassioned speech about how other companies patronize seniors with their mobile offerings. He rightly points out that the majority of seniors do want a smartphone and not a “brick with large numbers”. So how do competitor brands match up to this?
AT&T senior plans sstart at $29.99 though they don’t include data, which is quite limiting for anyone who enjoys streaming. Data plans start at $40, which is almost as much as T-Mobile’s top senior plan. Also, AT&T requires in-person verification to qualify for senior plans, which may not suit older customers with mobility problems. However, one advantage with AT&T is that customers can use their existing unlocked phones.
Sprint’s senior offering comes in the form of the Sprint Unlimited 55+ and costs $35 per month with an additional $30 activation fee. One downside with Sprint is that plans can only be activated in-store, and early cancellations will incur a $350 fee. The biggest perk with this plan is the unlimited calls, texts, and data.
The Verizon Go Unlimited 55+ plan is only available in six states, making it inaccessible for most of the US. However, if you do qualify you’ll get unlimited calls, texts, and data for $40 a month. There are also special perks for veterans and military families, and Verizon as a whole has a much larger selection of smartphones to choose from.
All of T-Mobile senior plans offer unlimited calls, texts, and data across the network. For any seniors who prioritize communication first, that’s perhaps one of the biggest advantages especially as plans start at just $27.50 per line, making this far cheaper than rival brands.
That being said, the T-Mobile senior plans do focus more on the travel side of things, which is great for older adults or couples who vacation often, but not specifically for everyday use. If you are looking to travel internationally, opting for a cellular company that operates globally can offer some reassurance. That’s because many cellular companies do not operate outside the US, making it trickier to contact them should you run into a problem with your phone while abroad.
The 3G data coverage is pretty average, and you’ll only receive 4G with the Magenta plans. Though, as 5G is currently being rolled out, it’s likely this will improve in the future. On that note, HD streaming is only available on Magenta Plus Unlimited 55 plan. While this ties in with the free Netflix, for anyone streaming videos on the other plans, you may be disappointed with the picture quality. In peak times, T-Mobile states streaming can be reduced to 480p, and 1080p on Magenta Plus Unlimited 55.
Overall, T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Senior Plans are impressive, not least because they don’t exclude Netflix and data perks altogether as some rival companies do for older customers. Their customer service also spans phone, email, social media, and live chat, making it very easy to get help should you need it. While it favors the travelers, T-Mobile’s senior plans are certainly worth considering.
Depending on the package you choose, plans start from $27.50 per line per month. The most expensive plan, Magenta Plus Unlimited is $45 per line per month.
Anyone who is over 55 qualifies for a T-Mobile senior plan, although proof of age is required. The easiest way to sign up is to visit a T-Mobile store with a government ID.
No. The good news is that only the account holder needs to be over 55 to be able to get a T-Mobile senior plan. Though, this only applies to Magenta senior plans, and not the basic senior plan.
Yes, however, as Magenta single line plans start at $50 it could work out more expensive if anyone in your household is paying for a separate line.
Marketing Charts. (2018). Almost Three-Quarters of Americans Over 55 Now Own A Smartphone.
Wikipedia. (2020). List of mobile network operators of the Americas.
AT&T. (2020). 55+ Senior Discount.
SeniorLiving. (2020). Common Elderly Scams.
Youtube. (2020). T-Mobile.