In 2020, everyone wants to have a cell phone. After all, cell phones are a convenient way to communicate with others, particularly during emergencies. However, cell phones can be expensive when it comes to both the initial purchase price and the ongoing monthly rate. This cost dissuades many people, especially seniors on a fixed income, from getting a cell phone. Yet, there are many senior discounts for cell phones that people simply are not aware of.
Below, we explore some of the best discounts for cell phones that are available to seniors.
The first thing to keep in mind is that different cell phone providers define what a senior is differently. Often, people think of seniors as people over the age of 65. In fact, many cell phone providers set a lower age for discounts, starting to offer them at the age of 45. And other discounts are based on AARP membership. People can start belonging to AARP at the age of 50. So, even if you don’t think you are a senior, you may be surprised at the discounts that are available to you. Let’s explore the discounts offered by some of the largest cell phone providers.
AT & T offers several different discount options for seniors, depending on their cell phone usage and needs. It is important to remember that some seniors want to use a cell phone as their primary communication device. However, it’s not uncommon for others to have one as a back-up in case they have a medical or auto emergency. AT & T’s discount options are good at taking these differences into account.
AT & T’s most reasonable payment option is the $29.99 AT & T Senior Nation plan. Under this reasonably priced plan, seniors get 200 anytime minutes and 500 minutes that can connect them with another AT & T customer. However, there are some limitations to this plan. For example, it will only work with a regular phone. You cannot use it with a smart device, which many people have. So before choosing this option, think carefully about what you may want. Also, you cannot select this pricing package online. You need to visit an AT & T store in-person for this choice.
But, for people who use their phones more, AT & T offers another choice. This offer is exclusive to AARP members. Under this option, an AARP member receives a 10 percent discount on the AT & T Unlimited Elite plan, which usually costs $45. As an added perk, customers may also receive a credit if they switch to AT & T or buy a new phone.
Unlike its large competitor, AT & T, Verizon has limited discount opportunities available for its senior customers. It is not entirely clear why Verizon ended its one discount program for seniors, the Nationwide 65 plan. At the moment, its only discount option is for seniors living in the state of Florida. This discount plan offers a $60 monthly unlimited talk, text, and Internet service. It can be an excellent option for regular cell phone users, especially if they use the Internet to access information on their phones.
Also, Verizon offers the nationwide Lifeline program for low-income individuals, irrespective of their age. To see if you qualify, you need to fill out the application that is available on Verizon’s website. Verizon guarantees that all participants will receive a discount of at least $9.25 per month, but the amount of the discount depends on a person’s individual income.
T-Mobile offers a generous discount option for its customers who are over the age of 55. There are three plan options that recognize that seniors may use their phones in very different ways. The cheapest option is only $27.50 per line and is called the Essentials Unlimited 55. This offers unlimited talk, text, and 3G data.
For people who want more 4G data, they may want to consider upgrading to the Magenta Unlimited 55. For a price of $35 per line, a user gets 3GB of 4G LTE data. And, there is one more option: the Magenta Plus Unlimited 55. This option costs $45 per month and offers 20GB of 4G LTE data, which is quite useful for people who stream movies and other content using their cell phones. It’s also great for those who may not have other Internet sources at home.
There is an additional perk of the T-Mobile discount plans. Under the T-Mobile program, users can get two lines per discount plan. Even better, only one of the users has to be over the age of 55, so technically a parent could qualify their child for a discount plan. The only downside is that you do need to visit your T-Mobile office and show proof of your age with a government-issued ID.
US Mobile does not always get as much attention as some of its larger competitors, but it can be an attractive choice for many seniors. It’s especially important for those seniors who do not use their cell phones a lot. However, even if you do regularly use your phones, there are still great US Mobile packages available for you. For example, you can get unlimited talk, text, and data for only $20 per month. US Mobile also recognizes that not everyone uses their phone in the same way and because of this, they offer a unique build-your-own monthly package.
There are many great features that go with the US Mobile packages, including the fact that there is no fixed contract. Another plus is that US Mobile allows users to have a free trial of their services. Therefore, if you don’t like it, you can cancel at no charge. In addition, there are a wide range of phones at different price points that you can purchase to use on the US Mobile network. These range from basic phones for talking and texting to smart phones. The cheapest phone in their online shop is currently $75 and prices go up to $599 for an iPhone 11.
Consumer Cellular is another low cost cell phone service provider that may be attractive to price-conscious seniors. Consumer Cellular offers a wide range of packages, depending on how much data a person needs each month. The lowest priced option is only $20 per month for unlimited talk and text. This package, however, only offers a limited amount of data, 500 MB. For people who need more data, there are also bundles that offer unlimited data. This package is $37.50 per month.
A person choosing Consumer Cellular can either bring their own cell phone from a previous plan or they can purchase one of a range of phones offered by Consumer Cellular. These phones can either be purchased outright or consumers can pay via a monthly payment plan.
Making Consumer Cellular pricing plans even more attractive, the company offers a 5 percent discount to anyone who is an AARP member.
Great Call is another company that is well worth checking out for seniors, as well as for their loved ones. Great Call recognizes that many older Americans struggle with new technology, and when they struggle, they may be less likely to use it. As a result, Great Call offers the Jitterbug Smart 2 and the Lively Flip. The Jitterbug Smart 2 is designed to be a user-friendly smartphone option that allows seniors to be connected with the world around them, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. One great feature of this smartphone is that its battery has an extended life. This can be beneficial for seniors who may forget to charge their phone.
Great Call offers other technology options that help keep older Americans safe in their homes, including a Mobile Plus medical alert device.
There are numerous cell phone discount plans available for older individuals, and some plans offer discounts to individuals starting at the age of 50. However, other programs may not apply until the age of 55 or 65. Plans vary dramatically from cell phone provider to provider. Therefore, think carefully before deciding on your next cell phone plan. Lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out to the companies with questions you may have and for additional information.