Best cell phone plans for seniors in 2022

Best cell phone plans for seniors
(Image credit: Halfpoint Images)
The best cell phone plans for seniors at a glance

1. Best overall value - Mint Mobile (opens in new tab)
2. Best unlimited plan for seniors - T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
3. Best exclusive senior discount - AT&T (opens in new tab)
4. The cheapest senior plan - Ultra Mobile (opens in new tab) 

To find the best cell phone plans for seniors, you don't necessarily need to restrict yourself to plans specifically designed for older users — though those options do exist. But if you look beyond seniors-only plans, you can find options that balance data, price and perks for an appealing package open to shoppers of every age.

After all, that's the point of tracking down the best cell phone plans for seniors — you want good value from a plan that's not going to take a big chunk out of your budget. With costs rising all around us, getting your monthly cell phone bill under control can help keep expenses down. And senior-focused cell phone plans certainly can tackle the high cost of talk, text and data.

That brings us back to the options at your disposal, starting with senior-friendly plans from the best phone carriers. But the pool of options expands if you're open to exploring the best prepaid phone plans.  All you need to do is figure out how much data you need from the best cell phone plans for seniors and what you're willing to pay.

To that end, we've lined up plans ranging from cheap options that give you just a few hundred megabytes to plans that provide unlimited data at surprisingly appealing rates. We also consider plans that keep you covered should you travel. (And if your retirement years include a lot of globetrotting, be sure to check out our review of the best international phone plans you can use on your travels.) 

Be aware that seniors-only plans at AT&T and Verizon have residency requirements — something T-Mobile has kicked up quite a fuss about. While AT&T and Verizon offer major discounts on wireless service to seniors, you must first prove you live in Florida and that you're over 55 to reap the benefits. In contrast, T-Mobile just requires you to be 55 or over; you can live anywhere to get one of T-Mobile's senior cell phone plan. 

Other plans we've looked at have no age or residency requirements, though Consumer Cellular does offer a discount off its normal rates to AARP members.

Let's dive into the best cell phone plans from seniors to find one that meets your needs.

The best cell phone plans for seniors

A great value prepaid plan for seniors

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Mint Mobile | 4GB | $15/month - All about the best value price (opens in new tab)

Mint Mobile | 4GB | $15/month - All about the best value price (opens in new tab)
Mint Mobile is a great way to go if you're simply after a cheap cell phone plan, wether you're a senior or not. Mint has no specific senior discount, but the carrier's 4GB plan only costs $15 a month. (There are also 10GB, 15GB and unlimited data plans available, too.) The catch is that you only get that price for three months. After that, you have to renew for either three, six or 12 months. If you renew for the full year, you'll retain that bargain $15 price tag, while the three- and six-month packages cost more. With this in mind, it's well worth committing to the full year with Mint if you can. And Mint now offers family plans where multiple lines get the same discounted price. Plus, a Black Friday promotion gives you three free months when you sign up for three months of service from Mint.

Pros:
Very affordable, decent amount of data, includes family plans
Cons:
Offer changes after three months

Best pay as you go plan for seniors

Ultra Mobile | 100MB | $3/month - Best pay as you go plan (opens in new tab)

Ultra Mobile | 100MB | $3/month - Best pay as you go plan (opens in new tab)
This is going to be a great option for seniors who don't frequently use their phones. Ultra Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan costs $3 a month and gets you 100 minutes and texts and 100MB of data. That is incredibly limited, but for those who rarely use their phones, this could be a great option. And if you do need extra data, you can pay 3 cents for each additional megabyte or just top-off with an additional 500MB for $5 extra; add-on options exist for talk and text, too. (You can get a single day of unlimited talk and text for $2 and a full week for $10 for those times when you're going to make a lot of calls.)

Pros:
Super cheap, add-ons for talk, text and data are affordable
Cons:
Very limited on datam calls and texts, no extra features

Best unlimited data plan for seniors

T-Mobile Essentials 55 Plus | 2-line plan | $55/month - Best value unlimited senior plan (opens in new tab)

T-Mobile Essentials 55 Plus | 2-line plan | $55/month - Best value unlimited senior plan (opens in new tab)
T-Mobile has a fantastic offer for its senior customers (classified as 55 years and older). You can get two unlimited lines for just $55 a month ($27.50 each). This comes with unlimited data, calls, and texts with no speed restrictions, 3G mobile hotspot data and scam protection; you also get access to T-Mobile's 5G access at no extra cost. However, you are limited to SD streaming and if you're traveling in Mexico or Canada, your data will be slower. You can upgrade to T-Mobile's Magenta 55 Plus plan, where you get two lines of data for $70/month. (The regular Magenta plan costs that much just for one line, so that's a great bargain for seniors.) The 55-plus Magenta plan includes free Netflix, LTE mobile hotspot data, and more. Even better, taxes and fees are included in the $70/monthly rate, so you always know how big your bill will be.

Pros:
Affordable price, no annual contract, 5G at no extra cost
Cons: Limited to 2G in Mexico/Canada, only SD streaming

AT&T Unlimited 55+ senior plan

AT&T | Unlimited 55 Plus | $60/month or two lines for $80/month - AT&T's feature-packed unlimited plan (opens in new tab)

AT&T | Unlimited 55 Plus | $60/month or two lines for $80/month - AT&T's feature-packed unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
AT&T has an exclusive deal for seniors, but you've got to be over 55 and living in Florida. If you fit this criteria, you can get two unlimited data, calls, and text lines for just $80 a month or one for $60. You'll be able to use your plan in the US, Mexico, and Canada, and 5G service is included at no extra cost. You can also text to more than 120 countries for free, and you'll get spam and fraud call blocking. If you don't live in Florida, AT&T's regular unlimited plans (opens in new tab) give you some options (including one we list below) though most plans will cost you more than this discounted offer.

Pros:
Unlimited 5G data, discount for Florida residents over 55
Cons:
Expensive, not available in other states

Verizon's senior unlimited promotion

Verizon | 55 Plus Unlimited plan | $60/month or $80 for two lines  - The best Verizon plan for seniors (opens in new tab)

Verizon | 55 Plus Unlimited plan | $60/month or $80 for two lines  - The best Verizon plan for seniors (opens in new tab)
Like AT&T's plan above, this Verizon promotion is exclusively available to those over 55 and living in Florida; you also need to sign up for automatic payments. Yes, that's a niche group but if you fit into it, you can get a truly fantastic offer — one unlimited line for $60 a month or $80 for two lines. This includes unlimited 4G data, calls and texts, unlimited mobile hot-spotting, use when traveling in Mexico and Canada, and more. If you don't fit into this criteria, it isn't a huge jump up in cost for Verizon's unlimited plans (opens in new tab), which also include 5G — something missing from Verizon's senior plan but not AT&T's.

Pros:
Major discount, unlimited 4G data, unlimited hotspot
Cons: Expensive, requires autopay, residency requirement

AT&T's alternative unlimited plan

AT&T | Value Plus Plan | $50/month | Best AT&T plan for seniors outside of Florida (opens in new tab)

AT&T | Value Plus Plan | $50/month | Best AT&T plan for seniors outside of Florida (opens in new tab)
If you live outside of Florida, you've still got options for a low-cost unlimited data plan from AT&T. The carrier's Value Plus Plan costs just $50 a month, but offers unlimited data on top of unlimited talk and text. The catch is that AT&T only offers this option with one line of data — couples are out of luck. There are some other restrictions as well — namely no hotspot data — but you do get 5G coverage with this plan.

Pros: Unlimited data for just $50; No residency requirement
Cons: Limited to just one line; Limited perks

Verizon's alternative low-cost unlimited plan

Verizon | Welcome Unlimited plan | $65/month or $110 for two lines  - Verizon's alternative plan for seniors (opens in new tab)

Verizon | Welcome Unlimited plan | $65/month or $110 for two lines  - Verizon's alternative plan for seniors (opens in new tab)
You can still get a low cost unlimited data plan from Verizon if you live outside of Florida. The Welcome Unlimited plan is Verizon's cheapest unlimited option at $65 a month. You won't find the travel perks of the 55 Plus Unlimited plan. The appeal here is simply a low price and a discount on multiple lines, along with 5G coverage from Verizon's nationwide network.

Pros: Verizon's cheapest unlimited plan, no residency requirement
Cons: No travel perks, data speeds can be slowed if network is congested

Best cell phone plan for seniors with AARP discount

Consumer Cellular | 5GB | $25/month - A plan with AARP discounts (opens in new tab)

Consumer Cellular | 5GB | $25/month - A plan with AARP discounts (opens in new tab)
Consumer Cellular offers low prices for everyone regardless of age, but it's especially adept at catering to seniors with flexible data plans where you can chose exactly how much data you want. Recent changes to Consumer Cellular plans have added more data while keeping prices the same. We've highlighted the $25/month 5GB plan, but doubling that to 10GB costs just $10 more each month. (Consumer Cellular's plan range from 1GB all the way to unlimited data.) Your plan can cover a total of three lines — additional lines cost extra — and your coverage includes 5G coverage with a compatible phone. AARP members get a 5% discount on top of the low rate.

Pros: Monthly discount for AARP members, flexible data plans
Cons: Less savings with big data plans

A great choice for travelers

Google Fi | Unlimited Plus Plan | $65/month | Best plan for globe-trotting seniors (opens in new tab)

Google Fi | Unlimited Plus Plan | $65/month | Best plan for globe-trotting seniors (opens in new tab)
At $65 a month for just one line of unlimited data, Google Fi's Unlimited Plus is one of the more expensive offerings among the best cell phone plans for seniors. And while Google offers discounts on additional lines, a two-person household would still pay $110 each month (or $55 for each line). But if you're spending your latter years exploring the four corners of the earth, that high price could be worth it, as Google Fi lets you use your plan when you travel to more than 200 countries. (You can make calls from the US to more than 50 countries for free, as well.) With Google Fi optimized for Google's own Pixel phones, this is an unlimited data plan that might appeal to a very specific set of seniors.

Pro: Talk, text and data available when traveling, optimized for Google phones
Cons: One of the more expensive options

An excellent value promotion without the contract

Boost | Prepaid Plan |  $35/month | 10GB data - A good amount of data from Boost (opens in new tab)

Boost | Prepaid Plan |  $35/month | 10GB data -
A good amount of data from Boost (opens in new tab)
Boost sits somewhere in the middle of all of these plans, offering a decent data cap at an affordable price. This is very similar to the Mint Mobile offer further up. It's a prepaid plan with no contract, using either AT&T's or T-Mobile's network. (Boost in the process of migrating from latter to the former.) While Boost's plan is quite a bit more expensive than other options, it does offer more than double the data of many tiered data plans listed here.

Pros:
Mobile hotspot; 5G-enabled in some cities; No contracts
Cons: Not the cheapest plan

How to pick the best cell phone plans for seniors

best cell phone plans for seniors

(Image credit: 10'000 Hours)

We found the best cell phone plans for seniors during the course of our research for the best cell phone plans overall. As a result, we've learned that there are a few factors to consider when choosing a cell phone plan aimed at seniors. Most of these plans tend to be more affordable with lower data caps, more flexible, and often offer special benefits.

Some brands, such as AT&T and Verizon, offer discounted prices for seniors or packages specifically designed for people over a certain age. However, these can require you to live in the state of Florida. T-Mobile is unique among the major carriers in having no residency requirement for its best cell phone plan for seniors.

If you don't live in Florida, your best bet is to focus on what you need. Do you need something with a minimal amount of data and low costs? One of the best cell plans for seniors from Mint Mobile, Tello, or Ultra Mobile should be a good fit for you.

Or, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, T-Mobile offers up unlimited data plans. However, these are going to cost you a fair bit of cash to get. Consumer Cellular has an unlimited plan, too, but at $60 a month, it's one of the pricier options.

Alex is an editor at Future with a focus on phones and broadband. With an eye on the best prices across both of these areas, Alex is bringing you the must-have bargains right now.

  • beansaretasty
    The cheapest service that I've found and currently use is Tello (a former Sprint MVNO). Unlimited text/calls + 1GB data is $10/mo. the plan can be changed on the fly, and no commitment. Downside is you need to bring your own compatible device or purchase one of Tello's refurbished models. The Moto G series works well enough on the Tello network.

    I actually get the 500MB plan and only use about 100MB/mo. Turning on Data Saver in Android, disabling nearly all background networking except for essential system services, and sticking primarily to WiFi avoids using network data.

    Seniors are generally on a fixed income and therefore can't afford to spend too much per month. So cheap phone plans and cheap phones are a must. I recommend Tello's lower end plans as a middle ground option between Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile.
    Reply