Do you need a senior mobile plan for your loved one?

Seniors on a beach with a cell phone.
Syda Productions/

Cell phone plans come in all shapes and sizes these days, and there’s a surprisingly robust selection that will suit seniors right away. Here’s everything you need to know about cell phone plans for seniors before you sign up.

What is a senior mobile plan?

Cell phone plans for seniors are just what they sound like: cell phone plans that are specifically marketed and built for the over-55s. Details vary by plan and provider, but more often than not you’ll find that senior plans are just standard plans with a small discount.

For example, Magenta MAX from T-Mobile plan typically costs $140 per month, but the discounted Magenta MAX 55+ offers the same service for just $135 per month. There are others like Verizon’s 55+ Unlimited plan, which is only available to Florida residents 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 old.

Like their standard counterparts, senior cell phone plans are remarkably diverse. However, the commonality of all these products is a discounted price for people of a certain age.

Is a senior mobile plan better than a family plan?

Determining whether a senior plan is better than a family plan isn’t as easy as you might think. Many senior plans require only one person on the account to be 55 or older, but some also have strict limits on the number of lines on a single plan. That means you need to determine your monthly budget, total line requirements, and data limits before making a final decision.

In general, large families may be better served with a standard family plan. These usually have fewer restrictions than senior cell phone plans, and you can easily sign up the whole family without worrying about extra charges or data caps.

Families that don’t need a lot of 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 one is best for your family. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cell phone plans, and a senior plan may very well be the best option for a large (or growing) family.

What plans are offered by today’s best airlines?

After you’ve gone through the best basic cell phone plans on the market, here are some great senior plans to consider. Mobile phone plans for seniors are offered by most major carriers, although the options below tend to be the most popular, offer the greatest discounts, and work on networks that cover most of the country.

T-Mobile Essentials 55+

At just $27.50 per month per two-line, this is one of the best (and cheapest) senior plans on the market. You get access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, along with unlimited calls, texts, and data, although you’re limited to streaming in standard definition.

T-Mobile Magenta 55+

This mid-tier plan costs $35 per month per two-line plan and offers some nice benefits compared to the Essentials plan. For example, you’ll benefit from 5 GB of mobile hotspot data (compared to 3 GB in Essentials), along with data and SMS coverage abroad.

T-Mobile Magenta MAX 55+

At $45 per month per line for two lines, it’s T-Mobile’s only senior plan to offer 4K UHD streaming. You also get a massive 40GB of mobile hotspot data allocation and unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi.

Verizon 55+ Florida Plan

You must be a Florida resident, but you can get unlimited 4G LTE data, calls, and texts for $60 per month per line. The plan is limited to two lines, but also comes with unlimited mobile hotspot and DVD-quality streaming. It runs on the huge Verizon network, so you get coverage from just about anywhere in the country.

AT&T Senior Nation Plan

It’s not technically a cellular plan, but AT&T’s Senior Nation Plan is a unique option for seniors. This costs just $30 a month and is limited 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 mobile plan?

Frankly, a senior cell phone plan is not a necessity in today’s competitive market. With so many excellent promotions for standard families and unlimited plans, there are countless ways to save money without redeeming a senior discount. Sure, if you don’t mind counting the numbers and jumping through a few hoops, you can save yourself a few bucks each month with a 55+ plan.

The best way to find out if a senior plan is right for you is to compare the options above with your current plan. Compare your needs with the coverage of the best senior plans, then compare your monthly bill with the cost per line of your preferred senior plan. If you notice a major discrepancy, it may be time to sign up for a low-cost senior cell option.

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