T-Mobile’s onslaught of promotions is continuing with a new plan for an often overlooked demographic: seniors.
This week, T-Mobile will roll out a deal for Americans over the age of 55. The One Unlimited 55+ plan, which launches Aug. 9, includes two lines for $60, including taxes and fees, if you set up autopay. For that price, you’ll get unlimited everything — talk, text and data — plus benefits like unlimited texting and an hour of free Wi-Fi while flying and unlimited text and data roaming overseas.
To put that price in context, two lines of unlimited data at T-Mobile currently cost $100 a month, and that reflects a promotional discount. T-Mobile One, the company’s unlimited plan, costs $70 a month for one line of unlimited data.
Other carriers cater to seniors with ultra-basic plans and flip phones, but T-Mobile is clearly taking a different approach. In a statement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the new Unlimited 55+ plan “recognizes how boomers and beyond actually use their smartphones.”
The company points to some data to back up this strategy. Of the more than 93 million people in the U.S. who are over the age of 55, 74 percent own a smartphone. Older smartphone owners spend almost as much time on their devices as millennials (149 minutes vs. 171 minutes, according to Nielsen).
At $60 a month for two lines, T-Mobile’s new plan seriously undercuts its rivals — even carriers who specifically court seniors such as Consumer Cellular. That carrier lets you mix and match talk and text/data plans to get the right ratio of features you need, which is useful. If you barely use your phone, a Consumer Cellular plan of 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 500 MB of data will only run you $25 a month.
Consumer Cellular doesn’t offer unlimited data; for unlimited talk and text with 5 GB of data, you’ll pay $75 a month for one line. Extra lines cost $10 a month at Consumer Cellular, with users drawing from the same pool of talk, text, and data.
Consumer Cellular’s strength comes with its AARP affiliation, as it offers a 5 percent discount on monthly bills to AARP members. Even then, T-Mobile’s unlimited plan pricing for data-hungry seniors is a better option.
T-Mobile’s direct competitors also offer plans targeted toward seniors, but they’re incredibly limited. AT&T’s Senior Plan (opens in new tab) for people over the age of 65 doesn’t even apply to smartphones — for $30 a month, you can get a plan for a basic phone that includes unlimited calling to other AT&T users and 200 anytime minutes.