What a difference a decade makes! In 2010, just 16 percent of adults ages 55+ owned a smartphone. Today, the number has jumped to about 75 percent!1 Still, it hasn't always been easy for seniors to find cellular services tailored to their needs — until plans like T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ came along.
When we reviewed T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ plans, we gave their Unlimited 55+ plans 4.5 out of 5 stars. We found that T-Mobile's affordability, unlimited data, great perks, no contracts, and international options made the Unlimited 55+ plans a truly standout option for seniors on budgets who didn't want to compromise on quality.
In this T-Mobile plans and pricing guide, we'll drill down into just what makes the Unlimited 55+ a good choice for budget-conscious older adults and take a look at some of our top-ranked cell phones for seniors we think would make the perfect match for a new T-Mobile plan.
|Plan||Monthly price||Talk, text, & data||Streaming quality||Mobile hotspot data||International data (Mexico & Canada)||In-flight Wi-Fi|
||Unlimited||SD||Unlimited 3G||Unlimited 2G||None|
||Unlimited||SD||5 GB of 4G LTE||5 GB of 4G||1 hour|
|Magenta MAX 55+||
||Unlimited||HD||40 GB of 4G LTE||5 GB of 4G||Unlimited|
*Does not include taxes and fees
The Essentials 55+ plan is the most budget-friendly T-Mobile package for older adults. Prices start at $40 per month for a single-line plan, or $55 per month when you sign up for two lines ($27.50 per line). Just keep in mind that, unlike the Magenta plans (see below), pricing for the Essentials 55+ package doesn't include taxes or fees. Still, T-Mobile's stripped-down, entry-level plan is quite a deal. For comparison, AT&T's Unlimited 55+ plan costs $60 per line per month (and you're eligible only if you live in Florida), so T-Mobile will definitely save you money.
Quick Tip: The account holder (aka the guy or gal who pays the bill) is the only person that needs to be 55 or older on your plan. That means you can add family members of any age to your plan so everyone can save.
The Essentials 55+ plan comes with:
Unsure if the Essentials 55+ plan is enough for you? Think about how often and where you'll be using your phone. If streaming and picture quality are important to you or you're on the go a lot, you might be better off with one of the Magenta plans. While your data is technically unlimited with your Essentials package, you may see slower-than-average speeds once you hit the 50 GB mark. We'd also recommend looking into the Magenta plans if you want to add the whole family to your plan. While you're limited to two lines on the Essentials 55+ plan, you can add up to four lines on either Magenta plan. On the other hand, if you just want to keep things simple and affordable, the Essentials 55+ is the way to go.
The Magenta 55+ — T-Mobile's signature plan — costs $50 per month for a single line or $70 per month when you sign up for two lines ($35 per line). Want three or four lines? You're looking at $35 per line, which comes out to $105 per month for three lines or $140 per month for four lines.
Senior Savings Tip: Do you like free cash, prizes, and discounts on your favorite brands? Download T-Mobile's Tuesdays app and claim your special deals once a week on — you guessed it — Tuesday.
With the Magenta 55+ plan, you get more primetime data, faster speeds, and a bit of in-flight Wi-Fi. The only room for improvement on this otherwise very smart cellular option for seniors is standard definition (SD) streaming. We'd really like to see T-Mobile upgrade this soon, especially as 4K/Super HD streaming is becoming mainstream.
Enjoy the following benefits with the Magenta 55+:
Overall, the Magenta 55+ is an attractive option for older adults who are going to be using data for more than just the occasional trip or FaceTime session at the park. One thing to keep in mind with this plan: Your data is unlimited, but speeds may slow down after you've used 100 GB of data in a month.
The Magenta MAX 55+ plan is the gold standard of T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ plans. It's true: This top-tier package isn't cheap. The Magenta MAX will run you $65 per month for one line or $90 per month when you sign up for two lines ($45 per line). You'll pay $45 per line if you want three or four lines on your plan. But it's stacked with features that will make sense if staying connected away from home is part of your daily routine.
The Magenta MAX 55+ includes:
FYI: Download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app to take advantage of T-Mobile Tuesdays, where you can win free items, cash, prizes, and save money on your favorite brands. Don't forget to check the app every Tuesday to claim your deals!
The Magenta MAX 55+ is the best T-Mobile option for older adults who need to get the most out of their phones while they're on the go. Faster (2x) data speeds means no waiting to send large files when you're traveling. Unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi means you're connected virtually wherever you are. (If you spend any time north or south of the border, you're also covered with up to 5 GB of data in Canada and Mexico per month.) And with a Magenta MAX 55+ plan, you'll never see slower data speeds at peak times. Your data is truly unlimited.
T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ plans are deals all by themselves. That's at least what T-Mobile had in mind when they launched a trio of senior-friendly cell phone packages that weren't aimed at milking dollars out of the generation that “invented the internet,” but instead giving them better mobile experiences and smarter phones.
But then, in early 2021, T-Mobile took it one step further. T-Mobile's Magenta 55+ family plans got Netflix and unlimited data (with no slowdowns at peak times). Plus, you can now add up to four lines per account, meaning grandparents could put their kids and grandkids on their plans if they wanted. Even better, the more lines you added, the cheaper each line was.
So in terms of senior savings, that's in T-Mobile's DNA. But if you're looking for one-off, seasonal deals, for now your best bet is to download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Like the name says, every Tuesday T-Mobile announces new deals and promos to sweeten your T-Mobile experience even more.
These days, older adults aren't just looking for phones that are cheap and easy to use (though many are). Many seniors are also looking for smartphones with style and power (at least enough power to enjoy HD Netflix and download hi-res family pics). We've tested quite a few of T-Mobile's senior-friendly smartphones, and two of our favorites are the iPhone SE and T-Mobile's in-house REVVL V+ 5G.
Just keep in mind that you don't need to buy a new phone to switch to T-Mobile. Like Mint Mobile's budget prepaid plans and Xfinity Mobile's pay-as-you-go packages, T-Mobile is now fully on board with the idea of new customers bringing their own phones. If you do decide to bring your own phone, just visit the T-Mobile website first and run your make and model through their phone compatibility checker to see if it's possible.
Did You Know: Older adults' mobile screen time has gone off the charts in the past year. In 2020, seniors spent 30 percent more time on their mobile phones than they did in 2019.3
In the old days, “senior” phones were ones with large buttons and no touchscreen. These days, practically any phone can be adapted for accessibility if needed, so style and the latest tech are major considerations for older buyers, too. The iPhone SE offers the best of both worlds.
The SE doesn't have as big a screen as some of the newer iPhones. However, it's the SE's ease of use — swiping is low impact for arthritis sufferers — that makes it one of our top-ranked phones for seniors. At $16.67 per month with no down payment, it's also ideal for anyone on a budget.
Other benefits of the SE include Apple's always great accessibility features (zoom, magnification, text-to-speech, and Touch ID). If you bank via your phone or regularly access apps that require a password, Touch ID will save you tons of time and keep your personal info more secure.
The more time we spend on our phones — and we're spending more time than ever these days4 — the quicker our eyes become fatigued. The fact that some smartphones were designed to be as compact as possible doesn't help. Smaller screen size also equals more eye strain. This is one reason the eye-friendly REVVL V+ 5G with its super large 6.52-inch HD+ display is a great pick for older adults who like stylish phones but don't want to trade their eyesight for the privilege.
Pro Tip: If you'd rather pay your phone off as you go, you can finance the REVVL 5+ at $8 per month for 24 months.
At $199, the REVVL V+ 5G is also a very budget-friendly option that doesn't skimp on essential features. You get great battery life (20 hours talk time in between charges), plenty of storage (64 GB), and fingerprint and face ID unlock. While Apple is still the king of accessibility, the REVVL V+ 5G comes with text-to-speech and is fully hearing aid compatible.
FYI: Dealing with hearing loss? Check out our list of the best cell phones for seniors with hearing loss to compare other top options.
T-Mobile is passionate about serving older adults. So much so that former T-Mobile CEO John Legere gave a pretty awesome speech about how most carriers patronize adults aged 55 and over with their jacked-up prices and dumbed-down features.5 Legere rightly points out that most older adults actually do want a smartphone and not a “brick with large numbers.” So how do competing brands hold up against T-Mobile's challenge?
Verizon's Unlimited 55+ plan is aimed at seniors, but it's available only in Florida, making it inaccessible for most residents of the United States, whereas T-Mobile's 55+ plans are available in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. If you do happen to reside in Florida, Verizon's Unlimited 55+ plan offers unlimited calling, texting, and data for $60 per month (one line only), or $80 per month for two lines ($40 per line), which is almost double the price of T-Mobile's entry-level plan.
As with Verizon, AT&T's 55+ plan is also restricted to Florida residents. And like Verizon, AT&T's entry-level plan also starts at $60 per month (single line only), or $80 per month for two lines ($40 per line), which is almost as much as T-Mobile's Magenta MAX 55+ plan.
FYI: Taking your first steps in the cell phone market? Check out our 2021 seniors cell phone buyer's guide for the full scoop on the best plans and phones.
AT&T does offer additional discounts to older adults with an AARP membership: 10 percent off monthly service charges and 15 percent off eligible accessories.
Compared to rival brands, T-Mobile's 55+ Unlimited plans are impressively affordable (starting at $40 per line and dropping as low as $27.50 if you purchase two lines). T-Mobile also delivers solid speeds, data allowances, and coverage across the board, especially when it comes to 5G.
With unlimited calls, texts, and data across their network, T-Mobile's Unlimited 55+ lineup has a plan for every customer, whether you use your phone once in a while or you don't leave the house without it. Most importantly, T-Mobile doesn't dumb down its plans for subscribers over 55. You get real smartphones (chosen for their accessibility features) and real perks, like HD video, Netflix, and data transfer speeds that are as fast as anyone else's.
This makes the T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ plan a good option for older Americans looking for sophisticated cellular service without the extra fees of traditional seniors plans.
T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ plans start at $40 per month for a single line or $55 per month for two lines ($27.50 per line).
Anyone over 55 qualifies for a T-Mobile senior plan (proof of age is required). The easiest way to sign up is to visit one of T-Mobile’s 5,300 stores with a government-issued ID. A driver’s license or passport will do.
No! The good news is that only T-Mobile account holders need to be age 55 or older to be eligible for a T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ plan.
Yes. All three T-Mobile Unlimited 55+ plans (the Essentials 55+, Magenta 55+, and Magenta MAX 55+) come with single-line options. Just keep in mind that the more lines you purchase, the cheaper each line is.
Yes, they are. Unlike Verizon’s Unlimited 55+ and AT&T’s Unlimited 55+ plans, T-Mobile’s seniors plans are for older Americans anywhere with T-Mobile coverage and a compatible phone.
Marketing Charts. (2018). Almost Three-Quarters of Americans Over 55 Now Own A Smartphone.
T-Mobile. (2021). Press Release Details.
AARP. (2020). Older Adults Keep Pace on Tech Usage.
Forbes. (2020). We've Spent 1.6 Trillion Hours On Mobile So Far In 2020.
Youtube. (2020). T-Mobile.