Cell phone plans come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and there’s a surprisingly robust selection that caters directly to seniors. Here’s everything you need to know about senior cell phone plans before signing up.
What Is a Senior Cell Phone Plan?
Senior cell phone plans are exactly what they sound like—cell phone plans that are marketed and built specifically for the 55 and up crowd. Details vary by plan and carrier, but more often than not you’ll find that senior plans are simply standard plans that come with a slight discount.
For example, T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX plan typically costs $140 per month, but the discounted Magenta MAX 55+ offers the same service for just $135 per month. There are others, such as Verizon’s 55+ Unlimited plan, which is only available to residents of Florida but costs just $60 per month.
Then there are some plans that change the age requirements, such as AT&T’s Senior Nation plan, which requires account holders to be at least 65 years of age.
Like their standard counterparts, senior cell phone plans are remarkably diverse. The commonality throughout them all, however, is a discounted price for those of a certain age.
Is a Senior Cell Phone Plan Better Than a Family Plan?
Determining whether a senior plan is better than a family plan isn’t as simple as you’d think. Many senior plans require just one person on the account to be aged 55 or older—but some also come with strict limits on how many lines can be on a single plan. That means you’ll first need to determine your monthly budget, total line requirements, and data limits before making a firm decision.
In general, large families might be better served with a standard family plan. These tend to have fewer restrictions than senior cell phone plans, and you can easily sign the whole family up without worrying about additional costs or data limits.
Families that don’t require much data or are limited to just two people are great contenders for most senior cell phone plans. Regardless of family size or data needs, it’s still important to compare all plans and decide which is best for your family. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to cell phone plans, and a senior plan could very well be the best option for a large (or growing) family.
What Plans Are Offered by Today’s Top Carriers?
After you’ve perused the best standard cell phone plans on the market, here are a few great senior plans to consider next. Senior cell phone plans are offered by most major carriers, although the options listed below tend to be the most popular, offer the largest discounts, and run on networks that cover most of the nation.
T-Mobile Essentials 55+
At just $27.50 per month per line with two lines, this is one of the best (and cheapest) senior plans on the market. You’ll gain access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, along with unlimited talk, text, and data—although you’ll be limited to standard definition streaming.
T-Mobile Magenta 55+
This mid-tier plan runs $35 per month per line with two lines and offers a few nice perks compared to the Essentials plan. For example, you’ll benefit from 5GB of mobile hotspot data (compared to 3GB in Essentials), along with data and texting coverage while abroad.
T-Mobile Magenta MAX 55+
Running $45 per month per line for two lines, this is the only senior plan from T-Mobile that offers 4K UHD streaming. You’ll also get a massive 40GB mobile hotspot data allotment and unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi.
Verizon 55+ Florida Plan
You’ll need to be a Florida resident, but you can get unlimited 4G LTE data, talk, and text for $60 per mo per line. The plan is limited to two lines, but also comes with an unlimited mobile hotspot and DVD-quality streaming. It runs on the massive Verizon network, so you’ll get coverage from just about everywhere in the country.
AT&T Senior Nation Plan
It’s not technically a cell phone plan, but AT&T’s Senior Nation Plan is a unique option for seniors. This costs just $30 per month and is restricted to basic phones only (that means no smartphones or tablets). However, it does come with unlimited nationwide calling to AT&T Mobility customers, along with 200 Anytime Minutes and 500 Nights and Weekend Minutes.
Does Your Loved One Need a Senior Cell Phone Plan?
Truth be told, a senior cell phone plan isn’t a necessity in today’s competitive market. With so many excellent promotions for standard family and unlimited plans, there are tons of ways to save money without cashing in on a senior discount. Of course, if you don’t mind running the numbers and jumping through a few hoops, you could save yourself a few bucks every month with a 55+ plan.
The best way to figure out if a senior plan is right for you is to compare the above options with your current plan. Compare your needs to the coverage provided by the best senior plans, then compare your monthly bill to the cost per line of your favorite senior plan. If you notice a big discrepancy, then maybe it’s time to sign up for a discounted senior cell option.