Cell phones are almost a necessity. You are never out of touch with loved ones and emergency services. The phone can always be with you. But the plans are confusing and often offer more bells and whistles than you may want.
If your phone is for phone calls, you can get some great deals on cell phone service. Some companies offer discounts for seniors. We’ll look at a couple of options that may save you money without sacrificing service.
Pay as You Go
These plans are for seniors who want a cellphone mainly for emergencies. Check out T-Mobile Pay As You Go. For $3 a month, you’ll get 30 minutes or 30 texts (or a combination for the two). Any usage over 30 minute/message is $0.10 per minute/message. If you only use your cellphone once a day on average, it’s a good deal. There is a $20 SIM Starter kit required.
ATT Go Phone Daily is $2 per day of use. During that day, you have unlimited texts and messaging. Your bill is paid through a prepaid balance that may expire if not used. If you don’t use your cellphone at all, this is a great way to go.
With flexible plans, you have a base usage fee with a tiered usage schedule. You are billed for the tier you use over the billing month. Ting cost $6 per month and minutes, data and texts are billed separately. Tiers start at $3 per 100 minutes or 100 texts or 100MB data.
US Mobile offers a similar plan, except the monthly base fee is $4. US Mobile’s tier billing starts at $2.50 for 40 minutes, $1.50 for 40 texts and $2 for 100MB of data.
Both use T Mobile or Verizon networks.
If you love all the features of your cellphone, surf the web, and send texts, there are plans for you. Boost Mobile Unlimited is $50 a month with unlimited talk, text and high-speed data. If you want HD video streaming, it is $10 a month. You also get 12GB of high speed mobile hot spot data a month.
T Mobile Unlimited 55+ offers two lines for $80 per month with unlimited talk, text and data. You get mobile hot spot access, international texts and data roaming. Video streaming is standard def. The plan includes 5GB of data for use in Canada and Mexico and there is text and data roaming in over 200 other countries.
Emergency Only Phone
If you only want a cell phone for emergency access, check out GreatCall. The two phones that are offered with GreatCall are specifically designed for seniors with big buttons, loud speakers, a extra bight screen and large display text. It is a prepaid service and costs $14.99 per month. You get 200 minutes but no text or data. You can add plans that include wellness calls once a day or week, a personal operator, and a 5Star Urgent Response that connects you immediately to a 911 operator.
In addition to Unlimited 55+, T-Mobile also offers a one-line plan. With these 55+ plans, you don’t get free Netflix. Data speeds are capped at 50Gb per month and hot spots speeds to 3Gb.
Sprint has several deals for 55+ available only to new customers. It is $80 for two lines or $55 for one line of unlimited talk, text, and data. Video streaming is capped at 3Gb, music streaming to 500kb, and cloud gaming at 2 mbps. If you need faster speeds, it is $10 more per month.
Verizon’s Go Unlimited is offered only to Florida residents.
ATT, Consumer Cellular and Cricket Wireless offer AARP discounts for those over 50 on lines for phone purchases.
Find A Carrier
When dealing with cell phone carriers, always understand what you are being charged for. Fees can add up quickly. Remember that cell providers constantly change plans, so read your bill to make sure that you are getting the plan you paid for. Always start by doing your homework online and take your time to uncover the best deal for yourself.
All information is current as of 2019