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Best cell phone plans for seniors in 2021

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
2. Best unlimited plan for seniors - T-Mobile
3. Best exclusive senior discount - Verizon
4. The cheapest senior plan - Ultra Mobile 

The best cell phone plans for seniors ensure that your monthly phone bill be through the roof. Whether it's a plan specifically tailored to seniors or just a low-cost option that still delivers the right amount of talk, text and data, there's a plan out there to keep your wireless plan costs in check.

If you're willing to expand your search beyond big-name wireless carriers, you can find some very good plans — cheap options as well as ones that offer all the bells and whistles. And as we've noted, many of these plans are open to bargain hunters of all ages (though we have found a few plans specifically offered to anyone 55 years and older).

For example, 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. On the other hand, 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, 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

Black Friday deals and the best cell phone plans for seniors

These days, Black Friday deals are all the rage, and while many wireless carriers are offering Black Friday phone deals, seniors may have a difficult time taking advantage. Many of the best deals require you to sign up for a qualified unlimited plan to get the benefits of a lower phone cost, and some carriers may not include plans aimed at seniors in the list of eligible plans. Check with the carrier before you click on that deal.

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

Mint Mobile | 4GB | $15/month - All about the best value price
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. 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. In a Black Friday promotion seniors can take advantage of, Mint will give you three months of service for free when you pay for a three-month plan.

Pros:
Very affordable; Decent amount of data
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

Ultra Mobile | 100MB | $3/month - Best pay as you go plan
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. Should you run into situations where you need to add on data, you can pay $5 for an extra 500GB. Still, if you need more data on a regular basis, consider Mint's offer.

Pros:
Super cheap; Data add-ons are affordable
Cons:
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

T-Mobile Essentials 55 Plus | 2-line plan | $55/month - Best value unlimited senior plan
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. However, you are limited to SD streaming and if you're traveling in Mexico or Canada, you can only use 2G data. 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.

Pros:
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

Verizon | 55 Plus Unlimited plan | $60/month or $80 for two lines  - The best Verizon plan for seniors
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.

Pros:
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

AT&T | Unlimited 55 Plus | $60/month or two lines for $80/month - AT&Ts feature-packed unlimited plan
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 are also a great choice.

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

Best cell phone plan for seniors with AARP discount

Consumer Cellular | 3GB| $30/month - A plan with AARP discounts

Consumer Cellular | 3GB| $30/month - A plan with AARP discounts
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. (Tiers range from 500MB to unlimited.) You can also add up to two more lines of data to your plan, which 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

Boost | Prepaid Plan |  $35/month | 10GB data -
A good amount of data from Boost
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)

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.