The Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • We combed through cell phone plans across the country to find the best ones for senior adults. See our list of the best phone plans for seniors along with some additional information to help you choose. is not compensated when you click on a provider company's link on this page. Our reviews and ratings below are editorially independent. is not affiliated with any of the following companies.

The Pew Research Center reports 92% of U.S. adults age 65 and over own a cell phone, and 61% own a smartphone.1

Cell phone carriers have taken heed. Most of today’s leading companies have phones and phone plans specifically designed to suit the needs of an older user or at least have some of those desired features available.

But with so many competing carriers, it can be difficult to determine which one to lend your ear. And that’s precisely why we examined the offerings of each one and came up with our list of the 10 best cell phone plans for seniors.

Continue reading below for our choices of the best cell phone plans for seniors along with the best plans across a variety of categories.

1. Tello Economy

The Tello brand may not be as recognizable as some of the others on this list, but the carrier delivers every bit as much.

The company’s Economy plan costs just $10 per month per line and features no long-term contracts and comes with unlimited talking and texting, so you’ll never have to hang up on the grandkids.

The Economy plan comes with 1GB of data per month, which is enough for approximately 12 hours of internet browsing every month when not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Concerned about the quality of service and reception with a niche carrier? Not to worry. Tello uses T-Mobile’s network, so you can ride one of the nation’s strongest networks at a fraction of the price.

2. T-Mobile Essentials 55 Plus

T-Mobile built a cell phone plan specifically for users 55 and over.

The Essentials 55 Plus plan comes with two lines for $55 per month ($27.50 per line) and includes unlimited calls, texts and data along with scam protection with no annual contract in 2023.

If your phone is 5G-capable, you can even utilize the T-Mobile 5G network at no extra cost. 

The only real downsides to the plan are that video streaming is limited to standard definition and data will be slowed down when traveling in Mexico or Canada. But these are small sacrifices to make for many, making this plan one of our top choices for seniors.

3. AT&T and Verizon Unlimited 55 Plus

AT&T and Verizon are two of the leading cell phone carriers in the world, and seniors can get in on the value with the companies’ 55 Plus plan.

  • For $60 a month in 2023, you get unlimited talking, texting and data use for a single line.
  • For $80 a month, you get all of that for two lines.
  • 5G use is included at no added cost.

There is one downside to these plans, however. They are only available to seniors living in Florida. And while Florida has the largest percentage of older adults in the U.S., this exclusion keeps the plans from ranking higher on our list.

4. Consumer Cellular 1GB     

The Consumer Cellular business model is catered to older users, so all the company’s plans are good options for the 55+ demographic.

There are only three Consumer Cellular plans for seniors from which to choose, and all feature unlimited talking and texting. The only difference is how much internet use that comes with each plan. 

The lowest-cost plan is only $20 per month for one line in 2023. If you want more lines, you can pay $35 for two lines or $50 for three lines. Each plan includes 1GB of data per month for each line.

If you’re an AARP member, Consumer Cellular will knock off another 5% from those prices in 2023. 

5G use is included with the cost and the company also offers a wide variety of cell phones for use with its plans for as little as $2 per month. Consumer Cellular members can even choose top-of-the-line iPhones and Samsung Galaxy’s for use. 

5. Ultra Mobile PayGo

Some seniors just want a cell phone for occasional use and spending $40 per month on a pre-paid plan just doesn’t make sense. The PayGo plan from Ultra Mobile is perfect for this type of customer. 

With this plan, you’ll pay $3 per month for 100 minutes of talking, 100 text messages and 100MB of data. That’s not a lot of use, but it’s also not a lot of money.

If you do need more, you can pay for additional minutes, texts and data above those limits. And if there’s a day or week where you expect to use your phone heavily, you can even purchase a day of unlimited talking and texting for just $2 or a full week of unlimited use for $10. 

6.  Visible

Visible offers just two plans, the Visible and the Visible+.

The basic Visible plan costs $25 per month per line and includes unlimited talking, texting and data use on a 5G network. Visible uses Verizon’s network, so members benefit from one of the strongest and most reliable networks in the world. 

Seniors may appreciate the 24/7 access to live person customer service that Visible offers.

7. Mint Mobile 10GB

Mint Mobile’s 10GB plan includes 10GB of data along with unlimited talking and texting each month. Mint Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network and members can utilize 5G data. 

While Mint Mobile is cost-friendly, some seniors may be turned off by the “more you buy, more you save” pricing structure.

The 10GB plan outlined above costs just $20 per month for the first three months in 2023. After that, you can purchase another three months for $35 per month, six months for $25 per month or one year for $20 per month. 

8. Lively Unlimited Talk and Text

Lively is the same carrier that brought seniors the popular Jitterbug phone. The company’s Unlimited Talk and Text plan costs $19.99 per month for unlimited talking and texting. If you don’t need any internet use out of your phone, you can stop right there. Or if you’d like to add data as an option, you can choose from up to five different levels that start at just $2.49 per month for 100MB of data. 

Lively uses Verizon’s network and offers no long-term contracts and U.S.-based support. Plus, the company’s Jitterbug phones feature an urgent response button and users can add a subscription to Lively’s medical alert service.

9. Cricket Wireless 10GB

The Cricket Wireless 10GB plan comes with unlimited talking and texting along with 10GB of data per month for $40 including taxes in 2023. And you can lower your bill to $35 per month just by signing up for automatic payments.

The monthly amount per line also decreases when additional lines are added.   

5G data is included and Cricket Wireless uses the AT&T network. 

10. Snapfon Unlimited

Snapfon offers unlimited talking and texting for just $15 per month per line. There are no frills, and that’s precisely why Snapfon is such a good choice for older adults.

You can use your own phone or buy one from Snapfon and the company makes it quick and easy to sign up with a plan, purchase a phone and be on your way.  

How We Chose the Best Phone Plans for Seniors 

We based our list on three pillars valued by older adults: affordability, simplicity and value. Each of the metrics below were considered when forming our selections for the best phone plans for seniors. 

  • Price. Older adults know the value of a dollar, and we felt it was important to choose plans that offered a fair tradeoff between what you pay and what you get.

  • Coverage. Many seniors are on the go visiting relatives or taking vacations, so coverage area and network strength were considered when making our list.

  • Data. Older adults are using the internet from smartphones at increasing rates, and we felt this metric was important to consider in our plans.

  • Minutes and text messages. Overage charges can be high and not using your phone because you’re running out of minutes defeats the purpose of having the phone in the first place.

  • Senior-friendly devices. Many carriers that provide plans also offer their own selection of phones and we took into consideration the ones designed with features that seniors may find beneficial.

  • Contracts and commitments. While not every plan on our list features a month-to-month arrangement, the freedom of having no long-term contract tied to the plan was something we considered when comparing one plan to another.         

Best Phone Plans for Seniors: Affordability

Our pick: Tello 

$10 per month for unlimited talking and texting is tough to beat, and Tello’s Economy plan offers just that. The plan even comes with 1GB of monthly data to top it off.

Tello also has a plan for just $5 per month for 100 minutes of calls and free text messages. If affordability is your priority, Tello Economy is your phone plan. 

Best Phone Plans for Seniors: Freedom

Our pick: Consumer Cellular 

No contracts, no penalties or fees for changing plans, no overage charges and a diverse selection of phones: Consumer Cellular is our choice for seniors who want to buy a cell phone plan but not sell their freedom. 

Best Phone Plans for Seniors: Simplicity

Our pick: Snapfon

Choose your number of lines, your plan and your device and then checkout. Snapfon makes purchasing a plan and a phone as easy as possible with a straightforward and easy-to-navigate website.

If you find cell phone plans complicated and intimidating, look to Snapfon for a solution.   

Best Phone Plans for Seniors: Limited Use

Our pick: Ultra Mobile

If you just want to keep a cell phone handy for emergency use or when traveling, Ultra Mobile offers the perfect option with its PayGo plan. Choose this plan if you don’t want to pay for features or minutes that you don’t use.

Best Phone Plans for Seniors: Internet Use

Our pick: AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile

If you anticipate social media and video calls with the grandkids to be a big part of your phone use, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are all tied as our leading choices.

The “big three” carriers have the largest and strongest internet signals in the U.S. and each feature affordable plans with unlimited 5G data and discounts for those 55 and up. While many of the other carriers utilize one of the big three’s networks, the partnering smaller carriers are deprioritized during times of heavy traffic.

If you’re looking for the best internet experience from your phone plan, sticking with one of the big three is your best bet. 

Phone Plans With Best Phones for Seniors

Our pick: Lively

Lively is responsible for the popular Jitterbug smartphone and flip phones and also provides service for medical alert systems, smart watches and Alexa devices.  

Best Phone Plans for Seniors with Memory Loss

Our pick: RAZ

RAZ makes phones with large buttons, braille, a picture-based menu and photos of each person in your contact list along with a 911 button.

The phone is designed for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and can be used on several different networks. And if you use it with Mint Mobile, you’ll get your first three months of service for free.

Frequently Asked Questions About Phone Plans 

There’s a lot to know about cell phones and cell phone plans. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions from seniors.  

What is a Smartphone?

Put simply, a smartphone is a cell phone that can access the internet and run cloud-based software applications. In other words, it’s more like a handheld computer that also makes phone calls, sends text messages and takes photos. 

A cell phone that is not a smartphone has no internet capability and can only be used for the basics like calling, texting and taking photos.

What is 5G?

You’ll often hear the terms 4G or 5G when describing data and Wi-Fi signals. 5G is the fifth generation (hence the name) of technology standards for broadband cellular networks. 4G is the fourth generation standard. 

5G technology is still in the early stages of its evolution and while it’s technically much faster than 4G, the difference can be hard to notice when performing simple tasks like web browsing, sending emails or using social media.

Unless you plan to use your phone for high-bandwidth activities like video streaming or gaming, 4G will suffice.

How Much Is 1GB of Data?

Another term you’ll hear when discussing data is GB (and its cousins MB and TB).

A GB, or gigabyte, is a unit of measure that describes how much mobile data you have available on your phone plan each month.

If your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network (like one you would find in your home, an office or some public settings), you will not be using any of your plan’s data. Only when you are using the internet on your phone while not connected to a local Wi-Fi network will you begin using up your allotted data. 

So how much is 1GB of data? It’s enough to last a month if you’re just emailing and doing some light web browsing. But if you’re streaming a movie on your phone, you might burn through 1GB of data before the closing credits. 

T-Mobile has a handy calculator that allows you to estimate the amount of data you would need for your phone internet use. Just select how much time you spend doing the listed activities on your phone while not connected to a Wi-Fi service to see how much data would be comfortable for your plan.

Verizon and AT&T have similar calculators you may use for an estimate regardless of which phone carrier you have.

Is There a Free Cell Phone Plan for Seniors?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a “Lifeline” program that offers free or deeply discounted cell phones and phone plans to eligible seniors. Visit the FCC’s Lifeline page for more information about the program and to see if you’re eligible.

  1. Pew Research Center. (Apr 7, 2021). Mobile Fact Sheet.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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