The best phone plans for seniors look a lot like the best phone plans in general. With all three of the major carriers offering coverage for the majority of people, the most important aspect for most seniors is finding a plan that fits their needs. With all things considered, T-Mobile’s Essentials Unlimited 55 plan has everything most people need for a reasonable price, including unlimited talk, text, and data on up to two lines.
Best Overall: T-Mobile Essentials 55+
T-Mobile has a few distinct advantages for seniors. First of all, there are T-Mobile stores all over the country, so you can talk to an actual human being to set up your phone and service. The next is that it offers a discount for customers 55 and over and has the wisdom not to make customers refer to themselves as seniors if they don’t want to.
T-Mobile has three tiers of plans available to 55 and older customers starting with the Essentials Unlimited 55 plan. As the name would suggest, it comes with all of the basics like unlimited talk, text, and data, so you don’t need to worry about going over. You also get access to T-Mobile’s ScamShield service, designed to identify and eliminate annoying scam calls before they reach your phone. All plans include access to 5G data as well.
If you need two lines, it only costs $55 per month and includes all of the same features. You can also upgrade to the Magenta or Magenta Plus, which simplifies things a bit with taxes and fees included in the sticker price, and upgrading some features like a mobile hotspot with high-speed data over 3G speed included with the base plan. Magenta Plus also includes Netflix service as well as unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi if you travel frequently.
Just about any unlocked phone will work on T-Mobile’s network, whether it’s a simple flip phone, an Android, or even an iPhone. If you want 5G, you’ll need a compatible phone but don’t worry if you don’t, T-Mobile has a reliable 3G and 4G LTE network to fall back on.
The best way to sign up is online or in a T-Mobile store, but if you want to call T-Mobile, customer service can be reached at 855-407-2618.
Best Prepaid: Cricket Wireless 5GB
Prepaid has a lot of appeal for those who don’t want to participate in any credit check or don’t want to be on the hook for a service they don’t use. Cricket has a solid range of plans ranging all the way up to unlimited data with mobile hotspot data, but for many people, the 5GB plan is quite enough and comes in at a great price. Not only that, it includes unlimited talk, and text (including picture mail) so you don’t need to think about minutes, local or long distance.
The 5GB plan starts at $30 per month and comes with 5GB of high-speed data with speeds slowed to 2G if all of the data is used during the billing period. This slow data won’t be good for streaming or browsing but will let you send and receive Facebook messages and emails if you’re a bit patient. If you find that you go over your data frequently and want more of it, the 10GB plan is $10 per month more, and if you’re willing to sign up with autopay, your bill comes down to $35 per month.
Cricket doesn’t offer specific senior discounts, but its simple structure makes it an easy choice either way. Another good thing about Cricket is that it has stores all over the country, so if you need help with your device or service, you can talk to someone in person. Cricket is owned by AT&T, one of the oldest names in communication, and works with that network. That means that pretty much any unlocked phone will work, including flip phones, Androids, and iPhones.
If you find you need to contact Cricket, you can chat online or in-store. If you want to call, Cricket customer support is available at 800-274-2538.
Best Value: Ting Flex
If you’re looking for simple and cheap, Ting is the first name that should come to mind. Ting keeps things simple with an entry-level Flex plan starting with unlimited talk and text for $10 per month. If you need data, that’s $5 per gigabyte. Ting uses T-Mobile’s network and has access to its full 4G LTE and 5G network so you get great coverage in the areas T-Mobile covers. That also means that Ting is compatible with the same wide range of phones as T-Mobile.
Ting’s value doesn’t scale as well to larger data plans. If you need 5GB or less, Ting is a good choice. But for larger plans, getting an unlimited deal from T-Mobile or Visible below will work out better. Still, it’s nice to have the option in case you want to add more lines to your account with greater needs.
One thing to keep in mind about Ting is that it doesn’t operate physical store locations. If you need support, you can chat with a representative and any time from your phone or a computer, but you will need to be a bit more confident with your equipment. Still, if you can get over this hurdle or have someone that can help you, the saving can be immense.
Ting Mobile allows you to set up an account online or by phone at 855-999-7266. You can contact support at 855-846-4389.
Best with a Tablet: Visible
Visible redefines simple with just one plan and no limits. Well, no limits as long as you have a modern phone and only need to use it in the United States. Built on Verizon’s network, Visible is a prepaid carrier with a single $40 unlimited plan including talk, text, and high-speed data. While many carriers will say unlimited with a hard cap on high-speed data, Visible does not. If you use an excessive amount of data, your connection could be made a lower priority on a crowded tower, but it isn’t specifically slowed.
Visible also includes unlimited hotspot data, though limited to just 5Mbps, for your tablet or laptop when you’re on the go. This can be great if you are on a road trip and want to browse the web on a large screen or just want the peace of mind of a backup internet connection.
Though Visible is based on the Verizon network, phone compatibility is limited to a specific set of Android phones and most newer iPhones. You can bring just about any iPhone after the 6 to the carrier as well as the most popular Android devices like the Galaxy S22 series. If you’re ready for a new phone, Visible has a solid selection available on its web store. However, Visible has no physical store locations. So if you aren’t comfortable managing your account online, it may not be a great choice.
Visible also has a feature that allows you to join a party to get a Party Pay discount. This can be done on Visible’s website in just a few minutes but you will need to be comfortable going online to set it up. One thing to keep in mind with Visible is that there is no international roaming, so you will need to find a different solution if you travel.
Best unlimited plan for families: US Mobile
If you need to bring three or four lines of service to your plan, US Mobile is a great option. With coverage available on the Verizon LTE network or T-Mobile network, you’re more than likely covered regardless of your phone. US Mobile allows you to customize a plan if you’re alone only to get what you absolutely need, with the option to upgrade to unlimited.
US Mobile’s family plans make a lot of sense for a lot of families because you can save on unlimited service with high-speed data. The second line you add to your account gets a $10 discount, while lines three and four are $20 less than the first line. US Mobile used to speed limit its unlimited plans, but has since removed that restriction.
US Mobile also will include a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Disney Plus, Spotify, or even PlayStation Plus with three lines. If you add a fourth, you can add another subscription. US Mobile makes it easy to get a ton of value with a lot of lines connected.
If you need to call US Mobile customer support, that number is 878-205-0088.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you already have AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, you can already get access to each of their unlimited 55+ plans. Though they only support up to two lines, you can save some money compared to the standard unlimited plans. If you already have one of the best Android phones, you can save a lot of money with a prepaid carrier. You also still have the option to take care of multiple people with US Mobile’s great unlimited plans.
For seniors, getting a plan that is accessible and simple enough to understand easily is key. T-Mobile’s Essentials Unlimited 55 has everything you need in a plan with great compatibility for phones. T-Mobile also has some great features for usability thanks to ScamShield and simply having physical stores available. You can’t underestimate the value of being able to talk to someone face-to-face if something goes wrong.