Best Prepaid: Metro By T
The Metro By T-Mobile logo.
For a no-frills solution on prepaid, look to Metro by T-Mobile for a one-stop plan that offers a $40 monthly rate that includes unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB of high-speed data.
Piggybacking off T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network, Metro by T-Mobile customers can rest easy knowing that all taxes and regulatory fees are already included in the bill, so $40 is the same rate each and every month.
The most expensive plan$60/monthadds plenty of extras like a Music Unlimited subscription, 15 GB of hotspot data, and an Amazon Prime membership.
As a prepaid carrier, customers do have to purchase the device outright, with prices varying depending on the device, though Metro by T-Mobile does offer a bring-your-own-device solution to skip past the upfront cost of a new phone.
Understand Your Usage Needs
Before you choose a plan, it’s important to distinguish between cell usage and data usage.
Cell usage: Talking and texting is cell usage, and just about every option offers you unlimited access .
Data usage: Once you start using Facebook, reading the latest headlines online, or listening to your favorite channel on Spotify or Pandora, you’re using data, and that’s where things can get expensive. It’s also where you’ll find that an inexpensive, old-fashioned cellular phone won’t work, and you’ll need to upgrade to a smartphone with apps.
As most cell usage is unlimited, you’ll want to focus on the data usage when comparing cell phone plans.
Cheapest Plan Vs Best Value
Cheapest doesn’t always mean the best value.
Sometimes just a couple of bucks more per month can get you twice as much talk time or data. If you want the biggest bang for your buck then we suggest you read our Best Cell Phone Plans guide. It’s updated several times a week whenever we find new deals. You can also browse our large selection of mobile carrier and smartphone guides to find the perfect plan for your needs.
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Can You Use Your Cell Phone In A Different Country
T-Mobile is known for very good deals on international coverage. Its Unlimited Magenta plans include free data and texting while abroad in more than 200 destinations. Both Verizon and AT& T’s 55+ plans, as well as the much pricier AT& T Unlimited Elite plan, have subscribers covered in Mexico and Canada, but if you’re traveling farther afield you’ll need to purchase international add-on packages, like AT& T’s $10-per-day International Day Pass.
With Lively, international roaming and calling abroad from the United States always incurs fees. Consumer Cellular also charges extra for all international services, and support articles suggest that service may not always be available when traveling. If you venture into the land of prepaid calling plans, pay extra attention to international options and costs. Some providers, like US Mobile and Republic Wireless, offer no international coverage at all.
Best Postpaid Shared Data Plan: Verizon Shared Data Plan 10gb$65 / Month
We think Verizons $65 per month 10GB plan provides the best bang for your shared-data buck compared to its 5GB plan and AT& Ts 4GB plan . Theres an important caveat, though: Verizons shared data plans are not available to new customers. If you have a mobile phone plan with Verizon that started before 3/5/22 then youre eligible to switch. Otherwise, youll need to look at the other options in this category or an unlimited plan if you want to switch to Verizon.
The 10GB plan typically costs $40 per month for account access and an additional $25 per month per line , adding up to $65 per month for a plan with a single line. However, if you buy a phone from Verizon on a two-year contract, that $25 fee per line per month goes up to $40 with or without autopay enabled so youll pay $80 per month for a single line. Plus, theres the cost of the phone itself, which varies depending on the model. If you prefer buying your phone through your carrier on a two-year plan, then an unlimited plan may make more sense.
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Unlimited Cell Phone Plans
For heavier cell phone users, particularly smartphone users, an unlimited plan is ideal. These plans put no limits on the monthly usage of talk, text, or data. Some of our favorite unlimited plans come from T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, and Cricket Wireless.
With that said, the name Unlimited is often a bit misleading, as most of these plans do place limits on data. However, you wont be charged with overage fees rather, your data speeds will be slowed or throttled.
The True Cost Of Mobile Devices
When shopping around, many sites and stores will list two prices for the phone.
The lower price is often a monthly payment plan which typically requiresa credit check and allows you to pay off the device over 2 years.
While this is great for getting a newer phone without impacting your budget upfront, it also means you must maintain service with thatcarrier for the next two years as well.
The window to get a refund orcancel your contract is only 14 days.
If you choose to go with this type of deal, be sure to use your new phone often to uncover any concerns or questions you might have before youre locked into the contract.
Paying for your phone upfront often removes this contract requirement. If the phone is also unlocked, you can switch between carriers if you do not like the service you receive.
If you pay for your device in full and it isnt already unlocked, most carriers will unlock the phone for a small fee once you meet their requirements.
For more information on the benefits of buying an unlocked phone, consultour guide.
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Traveler Cell Phone Plans For Seniors
Travel packages are most suitable for snowbirds and others who regularly leave Canada. Whether its to go to your secondary residence in the United States to escape the winter, or simply to discover new horizons this package will allow you to make real savings by helping you save on roaming charges.
As a reminder, roaming charges are the charges that operators can apply when you use your cell phone abroad. So, depending upon the duration of your travel or where youre going, you can either choose to put your line in suspension or choose to carry your phone and plan with you. If you do choose to take your phone with you and you travel regularly and for short durations, here are a few options that might serve you best:
Summary of the offers :
- Fido : $10 per day or $14 per day , normal use of your plan
- Rogers : $10 per day or $14 per day, normal use of your plan
- Telus : $11 per day or $14 per day ,normal use of your plan
- Koodo : $11 per day or $14 per day , normal use of your plan
- Bell : $10 per day or $14 per day , normal use of your plan
How Much Data Do I Need
In this day and age, most people are using their cell phones to check social media, stream video content, or simply browse the internet. If you think you’ll be doing any of those, then it’s definitely worth paying a bit extra to get a data allowance on your cell phone plan.
If you need a bit of help determining how much data you’ll need, here’s a quick guide on how much data TechRadar recommends, based on common uses:
- Emailing and messaging – under 5GB of data a month
- Social media and web browsing – 5GB a month
- Streaming music – 10GB a month
- Streaming HD video – 10GB+ a month
Of course, if you see yourself simply calling and texting only, then you can forgo the data allowance altogether and opt for a cheaper plan – a few of which we’ve included on our best cell phone plans for seniors list above.
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Best Plans By Network
If you know you have good coverage with a specific network, you may want to stick with a phone plan that runs on that networks towers. Still, that doesnt mean that you pay the full price of a phone plan directly from that company. Instead, you could consider an MVNO that works with the same service. Below, youll find my top picks for each network including affordable MVNOs and plans available directly from the service provider:
Best International Phone Plans
If youre shopping for an international phone plan, youll want to look for unlimited international data. Most plans include Wi-Fi calling that can be used internationally, and many plans offer international roaming at an additional cost. If you plan on traveling only once or just calling internationally, consider these options before switching your phone plan. If you are a frequent traveler, here are my top picks for the best international phone plans.
|Data Cap Overage||Data slows after 15GB.|
When it comes to traveling abroad, Clark says Google Fi has great international features. Google Fi offers unlimited calls and texts beginning at $20 monthly for a single line. This plan includes data at $10 per GB and no charge after 6GB for one person with the Bill Protection feature. Unlimited international data plans begin at $50 per month for a single line. If youre switching to this plan, you can likely bring your own phone with you to save extra money. Check your phones compatibility here.
- 2nd Place: T-Mobile Magenta is available for $70 per month and includes unlimited talk, text and data in more than 200 locations.
For more options, check out our full list of the best international phone plans.
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Senior Cell Phones: Do You Need One
A senior cell phone plan will give you extra discounts and savings from major wireless carriers if youre over the age of 55. And with an AARP membership, you can also save on phone plans if youre over 50 years old.
If youre unsure whether a senior cell phone plan is right for you or are too young to qualify, there are plenty of other affordable cell phone plans that can still give you the features you need at the price you wanteven if they arent designed specifically for seniors.
Understanding whats important to you and how you use your cell phone will get you one step closer to choosing the best phone plan for you.
At& t’s Alternative Unlimited Plan
AT& T | Value Plus Plan | $50/month | Best AT& T plan for seniors outside of Florida 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 requirementCons: Limited to just one line Limited perks
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What Is The Cheapest Cell Phone Plan For Seniors
Among the many discounts offered to seniors, there are significant savings to be had on monthly cell phone bills. Every major carrier AT& T, Verizon, and T-Mobile offers special deals for older subscribers, and some are better than others. Providers like Consumer Cellular and Lively are also worth a look for their senior-friendly phone selections and customizable plans .
The best plan for you may not be the least expensive cell phone plan for seniors overall, but it may offer the biggest savings on the minutes, texts, data, and extra services you need. It’s worth noting, also, that discounted service for seniors may not include a few of the perks offered with standard plans like free Netflix, Hulu, or music streaming, for example.
The Best Unlimited Cell Phone Data Plans for Seniors
The Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors Who Don’t Need a Lot of Data
Seniors who sign up for Consumer Cellular service don’t get any special savings unless they’re AARP members, but the senior-centric brand’s low-cost plans are very affordable even without discounts. An unlimited talk and text plan hold the data costs as little as $20 per month . That’s as much as 37% cheaper than AT& T’s “cut-rate” Senior Nation plan and Verizon’s “even-better” basic phone plan, and you never have to think twice about exceeding your talk time.
Special Senior Service Plans
Other Ways to Save on Cell Phone Bills
Best Multiline Phone Plans
If you have four lines of service, you can pay as little as $25 per month per line with a multiline plan. If youre shopping for four lines, these plans are worth checking out.
|Data Cap Overage||100GB shared at high-speed, then speeds slow to 2G.|
Total Wireless offers shared family plans for two, three or four lines. With four lines, you can get unlimited talk, text and data for $95 per month with autopay . With this plan, youll get 100GB of shared high-speed data on Verizons network followed by unlimited data at 2G speeds. Youll also get up to 10GB of hotspot per line. You can bring your own phones to save even more simply visit Total Wireless website to check your phones compatibility online.
- 2nd Place: Cricket Wireless offers four lines for $100 per month with unlimited data .
- 3rd Place: H2O Wireless offers four lines for $100 monthly with unlimited data .
- Other Plans To Consider: Spectrum Mobile offers 2+ lines for $29.99 each to existing Spectrum customers. Boost Mobile offers three lines for $90 monthly with unlimited data.
For more options, check out our full list of the best family plans. If you need only two phone lines, you can see my top picks for the best phone plans for two here.
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Who Has The Best Coverage
Nearly all carriers, including the ones on our best cell phone plans for seniors list operate their own network or under a big network. There are essentially three main networks at the moment – Verizon, AT& T, and T-Mobile – and they all have nationwide coverage of varying quality, depending on your location. If you want to see how good coverage will be in your area you can follow these links just below to visit each network’s coverage check pages:
At& t Senior Cell Phone Plans
AARP members who are AT& T Wireless customers can save up to 10% on their talk and data plan monthly charges, as well as save 15% on eligible phone accessories. AARP members get:
- 10% off voice and data plan monthly charges.
- Up to $45 waived for activation or upgrade fees.
- Up to 15% off eligible phone accessories.
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Best Flexible: Us Mobile
For a truly flexible solution, cellphone customers should look to US Mobile for a wireless carrier that provides a wide selection of buckets to help piece together the right plan for you.
With prices starting as low as $2 for 75 minutes, $1.50 for 50 texts, and $2 for 100 MB of data, it’s easy to see right off the bat just how flexible and inexpensive US Mobile can be. Alternatively, prices can go as high as $8 for unlimited minutes, $6 for unlimited texts, and $26 for 15 GB of 5G data. If you prefer unlimited everything, there’s an Unlimited Basic talk, text, and data plan for $35 per month, which drops to $30 per line for two lines, $25 per line for three lines, and $20 per line for four or more lines.
To help make things easier, US Mobile offers a 14-day risk-free trial to make sure you’re on the right plan and with the right provider, with the promise of a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied.
Customers who select US Mobile can supply their own device but are required to purchase a US Mobile SIM card for a nominal $3.99 fee to activate the service.
Best Individual: Google Fi
With a base rate of $20 per month for unlimited U.S. calls and texts, Google Fi is an inexpensive option with plenty of highlights. Unlike the more traditional carrier model that offers set plans, Google Fi’s Flexible plan bills you $10 per GB used at the end of the month, so you’re paying only for the data you use. It’s easy to calculate your bill right from the start, so expectations are comfortable, and budgeting is a breeze.
If you want an unlimited plan, Google Fi’s Simply Unlimited tier starts at $50 per month for one line, $40 for two lines, $25 for three lines, and $20 for four to six lines. The Unlimited Plus offering, which adds perks like free international data, starts at $65 per line for one line, $55 for two lines, $45 for three lines, and $40 per line for four to six lines.
There’s only a small selection of Android-based phones available, so iPhone fans are out of luck, but if you’re OK with the device selection, Google Fi runs on both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks for nationwide 4G LTE and 5G coverage.
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