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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 - Verizon (opens in new tab)
4. The cheapest senior plan - Ultra Mobile (opens in new tab) 

The best cell phone plans for seniors mean you won't feel the pinch from rising wireless service costs even if other prices are on the rise. That's why it makes sense to shop for a plan that delivers the right amount of talk, text and data at an attractive price you can lock in for a while.

Fortunately, you'll find senior-friendly plans at the best phone carriers — AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon — though two of those carriers limit plans to specific states. Smaller carriers offer affordable wireless plans, too, if you don't mind committing to the best prepaid phone plans

Whichever service provider you turn to, you'll need to figure out how much data you need — the plans we look at range from just a few hundred megabytes to an unlimited pool of data — and whether you need perks for travel. (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.) Once you've settled on those options, picking one of the best cell phone plans for seniors becomes much easier.

You don't even have to be 55 years or older to enjoy some of the plans featured below. Deals from Mint Mobile or Ultra Mobile's pay-as-you-go package, are two plans that, while not aimed at seniors, perfectly fit the needs of many in this category. The same thing goes with Consumer Cellular (though seniors who belong to AARP qualify for a discount on their plans.)

Be aware that when it comes to senior cell phone plans specifically designed for older age groups, many have residency requirements. Both AT&T and Verizon can offer major discounts on wireless service, but you must prove you live in Florida and that you're over 55. T-Mobile requires you to be 55 or over, though you can live anywhere to reap the savings from its senior cell phone plan. 

With all that said, 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

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. While there are no specific discounts for seniors, the carrier's 4GB plan will only cost you $15 a month. (There are also 10GB, 15GB and unlimited data plans available, too.) However, the catch here 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 $12 price tag, but 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.

Very affordable; Decent amount of data; Now includes family plans
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)
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 500GB 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.)

Super cheap; Add-ons for talk, text and data are affordable
Very limited on data 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 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.

Affordable price; No annual contract; 5G at no extra cost
Cons: Limited to 2G in Mexico/Canada; Only SD streaming

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)
This Verizon promotion is exclusively available to those over 55, paying with auto payments, and living in Florida. 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.

Major discount; Unlimited 4G data: Unlimited hotspot
Cons: Expensive; Requires AutoPay for best price; Residency requirement

AT&T Unlimited 55+ senior plan

AT&T | Unlimited 55 Plus | $60/month or two lines for $80/month - AT&Ts feature-packed unlimited plan (opens in new tab)
Like the Verizon promotion above, this deal is exclusively available for those who are over 55 and live 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) are also a great choice.

Unlimited 5G data; Discount for Florida residents over 55
Expensive; Not available in other states

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)
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

Best cell phone plan for seniors with AARP discount

Consumer Cellular | 3GB| $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. We've highlighted the $25/month 3GB plan for low data users, but the 7GB plan just costs $10 more each month. (Consumer Cellular's plan range from 500MB 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

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 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.

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.