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15 Ways To Get Cheap Or Free Cell Phones For Seniors

15 Ways To Get Cheap Or Free Cell Phones For Seniors
Justin Stewart Feb 7, 2020
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If you’re interested in having your older family members connect with you and your children in more modern ways, it may be time to research ways to get cheap or free cell phones for seniors.

This guide will help you discover some different ways of going about this, as well as explore different companies with cheap or free cell phone plans.

15 Free and Cheap Phone Options for Seniors

These different plans and organizations are different options for your elderly family members to get free or cheap cell phones.

1. Government Lifeline Program

If you’re interested in a true free cell phone service for an elderly member of your family, then you can turn to the available government funded Lifeline programs.

These programs are put in place to help seniors get cell phone service when they otherwise would not be able to afford it or have interest in it.

Low income senior citizens can find themselves in a situation where they cannot afford to purchase a monthly cell phone service.

Elder citizens may find that they live alone or spend a lot of time on their own, and having a phone that allows them continuous contact with their family can be important.

Living alone isn’t anything more than commendable for many senior citizens.

The ability to live independently is important, and living unassisted can be impactful and important to their happiness.

That being said, the access to a phone service that allows them to maintain relationships with their family is still important.

If an emergency was to arise, having access to a cell phone in the case of needing necessary help is important.

It is true that there are senior citizens that need more help in terms of medical assistance, or have disabilities that affect their mobility or ability to live independently.

Having access to a cell phone in the case of a fall or accidental injury can be life saving, and the necessity for a phone in these situations should not be taken lightly.

Having access to a free phone can be the difference between getting help quickly and not getting help at all.

The Lifeline Assistance program is an essential tool when it comes to keeping your senior family members safe from harm.

These phones have been essential in being able to contact other people when in need of help quickly and can help your elderly family members too.

This is a great concern for people who have senior citizens living alone, but it isn’t the only important reason for having a cell phone as a senior citizen.

Having a cell phone can mean definite security, especially in your own home or about the town.

Being able to contact others in the event that something occurs not in relationship to their physical health, such as a burglar, can be essential in keeping your family safe.

Being assured that you can reach out for help can be anxiety reducing for many senior citizens, and not being concerned with a monthly cell phone bill can also help.

Another important reason for having a functioning cell phone is the need to have an outside social network for mental health support.

As people get older, they tend to experience a lot of loss, including family members, partners, and friends.

This can lead to living an isolated life, and it is a fact that this isn’t easy for anyone.

It is a common truth that many individuals over the age of 65 live on their own, and this can be problematic if they are not socially active.

If these individuals do not have children or grandchildren, it is possible that they have fewer family members than others.

This can mean that they do not have consistent emotional care, and they may have a hard time socializing or finding ways to stay connected to those who do care.

Having a cell phone service that allows them to reach out or be reached out to can make a world of difference when it comes to their mental health.

The ability to reach out for assistance, social involvement, or safety is an important part of living independently, and having a cell phone can help facilitate this.

How You Can Qualify for The Lifeline Assistance Program

To get your hands on a free cell phone through the Lifeline Assistance Program, you must meet certain requirements to be eligible.

To be able to qualify, you need to either have an income that is at or below the federal poverty line, or participate in a government assistance program.

If you participate in a government assistance program, you will be automatically eligible for the Lifeline Assistance Program.

The programs that are eligible are:

  • Food Stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Section 8 or Federal Public Housing
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • National Free School Lunch Program
  • Many Other Government Programs (varies by state)

You can only apply for the Lifeline Assistance Program for one member per household.

This rule does not apply to homeless persons or individuals who live in a nursing home.

People with temporary addresses may also be eligible for the Lifeline Assistance Program to receive a free cell phone for seniors.

If you’re curious about your eligibility, you can use this pre-screening tool to check if you qualify.

How Can I Prove That I’m Eligible?

To be able to apply for the Lifeline Assistance Program, you’ll have to prove that you are eligible by submitting documentation that shows your need.

You will be able to apply with these documents:

  • The current year or last year’s statement of benefits from any of the qualifying government assistance programs
  • Other official documents from the above government assistance programs, such as notifications of acceptance, information letters, etc.
  • Proof of your current income

Your proof of income could be last year’s tax return, paycheck stubs from your current job, or a statement of benefits from the Social Security Office.

You can also include veteran, retirement or unemployment benefits, child support documents, divorce documents, or anything that shows your financial stability.

You are also welcome to bring along any other documentation that provides current information about your income.

How To Apply To Lifeline Assistance

Having access to basic phone services is not something that should be considered a privilege.

The right to a phone can mean better mental health, better physical care, and better emotional care.

This should not be limited to just those who can afford a monthly cell phone service.

You can apply for the Lifeline Assistance Program by contacting a provider online.

2. T-Mobile’s 55+ Plan

It may come as a surprise that T-Mobile is on the list because it is one of the major carriers that everyone knows, but T-Mobile is an excellent cheap plan option.

This phone plan gets individuals up to two lines with unlimited talk, text, and date for a mere $70 a month!

This is a cheap options for individuals who want to keep their elderly family connected to them, allowing them to join a network that is known for being reliable.

There are also other plan options you can select as a T-Mobile member.

You can choose their 55+ Plan, which is a great option if you’re looking for the basic minimum in a phone plan without having to pay crazy prices monthly.

This plan has unlimited minutes and texts as well as unlimited data.

This makes the Essential Plant a perfect plan for someone looking to have access to a all-inclusive plan without exceeding a reasonable budget.

T-Mobile has branded itself as the “Un-Carrier”.

This means that they have different plans for new customers that have some perks.

Being able to drop contracts with another carrier at no cost, subsidized phone choices, coverage fees for data, and early termination fees are all available from T-Mobile.

What this creates is the ability to change from a different cell phone company to T-Mobile without having to pay the termination fees out of pocket.

This is an easy way to make sure that you can transition into being a new T-Mobile customer easily, and you can easily add your elderly family members to your plan.

For $35 a month you can sign up for T-Mobile’s 55+ Plan, but this price is for a single line only.

You can compare this particular plan to Sprint’s Unlimited Basic Plan, which is another good option for seniors to use.

This may not be the cheapest service plan available from all the possible carriers, but for an unlimited plan, the price is worth it.

Without question, the best way to stay on top of your elderly family’s phone bill and keep the overall price low is to consider putting everyone on a family plan.

With the T-Mobile’s 55+ Plan, this benefit is no different, as well as the Essential Plan option they have available.

When you add lines for your family members to this plan, the cost breaks down accordingly and ultimately will be cheaper for everyone under one household.

The overall cost per phone every month is very affordable for groups of four or more, which means having your parents, yourself, and your kid on your plan is cost effective.

Having multiple phones on your T-Mobile plan, you’re bound to save around $40 a month for your family plan.

That’s a lot of money at the end of the year, and can mean having some extra funds to provide other means of care for your elderly family members.

Annually speaking, that is roughly $480!

To make the most of a T-Mobile family plan, you’ll want to have at least four lines on one account.

These savings will come through having a break down of your entire family’s different services, and you can tailor what is included in the event that someone needs less.

If there’s a lot of traffic on your phones data network, you will likely experience data speed slow downs, making it harder to download things or surf the web.

If you’re on the go, this can be an issue, but to save your data for when you’re out on the town, you can always connect to a wifi network.

Data speeds are around 480p for anyone using data directly from their phone service, but there are no streaming limits if connected to wifi.

This isn’t the best data speed, but it is pretty common for budget plans and will still allow your to access whatever you’d like on the internet.

Regardless of this minor detail, the T-Mobile Essential Plan is a great choice for senior citizens.

T-Mobile has an app that you can download to help monitor or change aspects of your plan and pay your bill.

You can easily take care of your phone bill or check your data usage on the go!

You can also expect T-Mobile to provide you with their stellar customer service.

You can easily call them, start a chat, or contact them by email without a hassle!

3. AT&T’s Senior Nation Plan

Another great senior phone plan comes from AT&T.

They don’t tell customers outright that this plan exists, nor do they really advertise it, but it does exist!

Individuals over the age of 65 can sign up for the AT&T Senior Nation that gives you 200 Anytime Minutes, and Unlimited Mobile to Mobile Minutes.

You also get 500 Nights and Weekends minutes, without roaming and long distance charges.

This plan is super cheap, it only cost $29.99 and works with all non smartphones.

What this means is your senior citizen will not be able to have the latest iPhone, but they will be able to contact you without any trouble.

You can easily hook up an old phone, such as a Nokia or a flip phone you haven’t used in ages.

This phone can be just for emergencies, or can be used as the mainline between grandparents, parents, and grandchildren.

If you’re interested in a smartphone for your senior citizen, you can also work this into your plan.

As the years go on, seniors are becoming more and more active on smartphones and the things that come with having one, such as social media.

This market is growing slowly but surely, which means getting a smartphone for a senior is an excellent idea.

Another thing to note is if you’re an AARP member, you get an extra 10% off of your overall phone plan.

You can expect waived activation fees and waived upgrade fees, as well as a smartphone such as the iPhone to be a mere $12 per month!

If your senior is not supe smartphone savvy, then you can look into AT&T’s prepaid Senior Plan.

This plan costs mere $35 per month, includes one gig of data, a $5 discount when you use autopay, and unlimited text and calling.

That’s a pretty great deal at that price!

4. GreatCall

GreatCall is another phone company that provides cheap cell phones for senior citizens.

These phones aren’t cheap, some of them can be as much as $100 or more, but they are special and an excellent choice for senior citizens.

These phones are equipped with software that is designed with the potential need for medical assistance or other kinds of help in mind.

This means that the person who has this phone will be able to contact and access emergency services as well as use the normal phone and texting functions.

They do have a smartphone available, and for those who are new to smartphones, they provide tutorials on how to use one.

This means that they’ll be able to navigate around the phone, play games, send texts, and call all on their own!

There are various plans available, some of which have substantial minutes, texts and data plans included for a lot cheaper than regular phone services.

In particular, you can get unlimited talk, text, and data for $40 a month.

You can choose a health and safety package for an additional amount each month, ranging anywhere from $20 to $35.

These health and safety packages are put in place to help protect your elderly family members from having no way of getting immediate assistance should they need it.

The GreatCall health and safety features are all available through an app that is downloaded to their smartphone.

Individuals with this app can then share information with family members to help keep them safe.

The smartphone app will alert individuals who are connected to the senior’s phone by sending them notification if they call emergency services.

You will also be able to keep track of your senior family member’s location, know when their phone battery is low in case of an emergency, and check their daily activities.

Although it is a bit of an investment outright, these phones are specially designed to keep track of your senior family member’s health and safety.

That makes these phones part of the overall care process for each senior citizen who has one, and splurging to ensure that you stay connected with them is worth it.

When someone presses the button for emergency help on these smartphones, they’ll be connected to an agent who can help or call emergency services for them.

Learning how to use this function along with the entire phone is simple thanks to the online tutorials for those who need them, too!

All in all, this is a great option for those looking for a cheap smartphone and some added safety features to keep your elderly family safe.

5. Hand Me Down Phone with Calling and Texting Apps

When it comes to calling and texting, there are a bunch of ways that you can get in contact with seniors without having to have a phone plan!

A lot of messaging apps that exist are completely free to use, and you can easily download them on to an old unused iPhone or Android phone.

This is a good place to start if buying a device is out of your budget.

Having a phone can be the easy part, you can simply give an old phone to an elderly family member, and then add an app that will help them call or message.

They don’t necessarily need to have a phone plan to use these different apps, just a solid wifi connection!

That can make this process free, and this is especially useful if financial ability is limited when it comes to buying a new phone.

Using messaging apps can help lower the overall cost of connecting with other people for seniors, and these listed below are free to download and free to use!

Skype

Skype is a company that has been around for a long time, and it is a very useful application that has changed the way people communicate.

This app is great, especially if you have family members living internationally, because it is free!

You can download this app from the Apple app store or Google Play for free and use the software free of cost.

This means you can easily install this application and make a call or send a message to a loved one.

The people you message through Skype need to have their own Skype account.

If you want to make a call to someone off of the Skype network, you can, but you’ll have to pay for minutes to access someone’s phone from the network.

This doesn’t have to happen though, you can remain a free user just as long as anyone you’d wish to speak to has their own profile and the app downloaded to their phone.

Skype is known for being a video chat service, so you can expect to be able to do that too.

This is a great way to keep the cost of a phone down and only use services that are free to help seniors communicate with their loved ones.

This platform is great if your elderly family members live in different countries or they simply do not want to pay for a phone plan connection.

Google Hangouts

Another great messaging, calling, and video chat platform is Google Hangouts.

This one comes equipped with your email address, so if you’re a GMail user, you can expect to already have an account.

This means you can chat via the mobile app that you can download to your phone by simply using your email login credentials.

Google Hangouts works a lot like Skype, but does not allow users to call off platform.

You need to know the email address associated with someone’s account to be able to message them.

Set up is extremely easy for Google Hangouts and can be a good alternative to having to join a network cell phone plan.

Its perfect for international family to stay connected, and can mean the difference between balanced mental health versus loneliness for many seniors.

That all being said, Google Hangouts doesn’t allow users to call others directly by their phone numbers.

Users of Google Hangouts will have to download the application to be able to make and receive calls.

This app works over a data network, but if you do not have a plan, then it will only work on wifi.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is known for being the app of choice for people who communicate internationally.

This app can be downloaded to any phone and allows users to add members using actual phone numbers.

This app requires an active working number to be able to use because callers call from their app to a cell phone, but there are no international calling charges.

This is a great way to circumvent having to pay large fees for trying to keep in touch with senior family members living in other countries.

You’ll be able to use this application to chat, call, or video anyone who has been added to your application’s contact list.

This app and the ones listed above are great alternative ways to keep your family connected without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money!

6. FreedomPop

When it comes to getting free phone service for seniors, you could have an excellent cell phone service without having plan costs involved for real!

FreedomPop offers free phone services to people who want them.

This is an awesome way to get your senior family members a phone without having to worry about expensive phone plans.

There is a bit of a catch though, because these plans do not include data.

When it comes to talk and text only, this service is a superb alternative to major name brand phone companies.

There is a hitch if you want data though, as there is not a lot included but can be bought.

When you come to FreedomPop for your cell services, you’re going to need to have your own phone in hand.

You can easily purchase one from the internet or you can use an old phone.

Your phone can be a GSM or CDMA phone.

Depending on what kind of phone you have, the data packages are different.

For GSM phones, you get 200MB of data per month.

For CDMA phones you’ll get 500MB of data.

If you want more than that, you’ll have to spend some money, but it won’t be too much of it.

  • 1GB of data – $20 per month with unlimited talk and text
  • 2GB of data – $25 per month with unlimited talk and text
  • 3GB of data – $30 per month with unlimited talk and text
  • 4GB of data – $35 per month with unlimited talk and text

These prices only apply if you pay month-to-month.

If you purchase a prepaid plan for 3 to 12 months, you can expect these rates to decrease significantly.

The more data you pre-pay for, the cheaper they overall cost will be for your data packages.

Despite these small charges for data, you’ll still pay way less for a phone service that includes internet rather than going to a big name company.

Suffice it to say, FreedomPop doesn’t offer unlimited data plans.

That being said, it’s a free service, so you can easily take the pros with the cons.

How is FreedomPop able to offer phone services to people free of cost may be a question that you have.

It’s a good one, and the answer is shockingly straightforward.

FreedomPop uses a technology called VoIP.

What this means is that any calls you make or texts you send on a FreedomPop phone uses “Voice over Internet Protocol.”

Other companies that use this technology include Skype, which essentially makes calling and messaging over a computer or smartphone possible.

What this means is that your phone calls or texts are digitally transmitted over a data signal.

Most cell phone companies have cell phone towers where the signal from your phone hits the tower and then is bounced from tower to tower until your call reaches who you call.

Because of this alternative choice in how your call signal is transmitted, VoIP is very cheap.

By far, voice over internet protocol is much cheaper than using a traditional phone plan service.

The other thing is that using this method to communicate uses a lot less data than other types of data transmissions.

Thanks to this alternative method of connecting users, FreedomPop is available.

You can easily set up a free plan with FreedomPop for an elderly family member!

The only major problem you’re going to find with using this service is if you do not have a strong internet connection.

What you’ll end up with is a crappy call that sounds crackly or faint.

This happens when you use a weak internet connection to make phone call on a platform like Skype.

To use FreedomPop’s phone services, you don’t have to be on a wifi connection, but it does help greatly if you do.

The little extra boost will make it easier for your phone call to go through and be heard well.

If you want better phone service without having to guess whether your call will be heard well or not, you can always upgrade.

For a premium voice service from FreedomPop, you can pay $4 a month which will eliminate the possibility of shoddy calls straight away.

If you want to guarantee that your phone calls sound great and you have data for surfing the web, spending a little money every month on FreedomPop is worth it.

The basic services offered are just as good an option for the most frugal shopper, but they are exactly that: basic.

If you buy their 200MB and 500MB data plans, you get 200 minutes and 500 texts along side that.

This depends on if your phone is GSM or CDMA.

This phone service is an excellent option for senior citizens who need a basic phone to communicate and they can get one for free or just a few bucks a month!

If you’re coming to FreedomPop with no phone, then you can expect to be able to buy one from this company, but the options are limited.

If you’re looking for smartphones, you’ll be able to find them at FreedomPop but they are bound to be used or refurbished items.

If you don’t mind this, these items are worth the buy because they’ll be cheaper.

FreedomPop won’t have the latest iPhone or Android phone models, so if you’re interested in the newest devices, you’ll have to get them from different companies.

You can expect the different phones offered by FreedomPop to change periodically, but on the rare occasion they do have premium devices for sale, although not new.

If you just need a phone that does the basics like talk and text, then you’ll be able to buy one from FreedomPop for next to nothing!

When it comes to dealing with FreedomPop as a company, you should know that expecting 5-star customer service is not gonna work out in your favor.

This company does not surpass any company in customer service standards.

As a provider of a free cell phone service, they’re not particularly concerned with resolving issues, especially ones dealing with any charges made.

When it comes to your data, if you go over, they automatically charge you to get more.

You can’t stop it from happening unless you closely monitor your data usage or deactivate the function.

Dealing with the transaction history for your account can become a headache if you aren’t careful, so its not suggested that this service be used if you’re heavily online.

Deactivating these features can take some patience, but doing so can protect you from unwanted charges.

If you don’t, you may find yourself with some fees that you may not be able to reverse easily, so doing your due diligence can save you from a migraine later.

Regardless, if you simply need a basic phone plan, or one that costs nothing or next to nothing, then FreedomPop may be the solution for you.

Seniors will be able to call, text, or even go online, and the cost of these services will be much cheaper than most budget phone companies.

7. Cricket

Having a dependable phone service that matches the vivaciousness of a larger company can be tricky when you’re trying to aim for a budget phone service.

Thankfully, Cricket Wireless exists to help achieve this!

This company is affordable, concise, and perfect for anyone looking to get their hands on a free or cheap phone plan for a senior family member.

This company uses the same towers as AT&T because Cricket happens to be owned by this major cell phone company.

What this means for their users is that you can expect the same perks of being an AT&T member, but at a more reasonable price.

Although being a name-brand phone company user has its pros, the biggest con is how much one of those plans costs monthly.

For senior citizens, the fanciness of a big deal company may seem wasteful to them, so finding a budget alternative with a lot of the same vibes can help.

If your elderly family member is on the fence about getting a phone, you can share these details with them!

You won’t have to worry about paying an exorbitant amount of money, but you’ll definitely have access to a great cell phone service.

To join Cricket Wireless, there is no credit check necessary to switch to this carrier.

You’ll also be happy to know that there are no long-term contracts to sign.

You are welcome to come or leave this service at your leisure, which can be a great way to get your elderly family members to try being connected without stress.

You’ll also be happy to know that there are no hidden fees with Cricket wireless, their prices are reflective of all the nuanced taxes and fees upfront.

As with other phone companies, you can expect your data speeds to slow once you’ve powered through the amount credited to your account, but it won’t stop completely.

When it comes to the different phones you can select from, there are limited options as well.

Considering that having a phone is more important than having a nice phone, you may find that your elderly family is perfectly fine with this.

To be a member of Cricket Wireless, you can expect to get one line with just talking and text for a minimum of $25 per month.

If you want data, you can expect to pay $30 for 2GB of data.

For 5GB of data, you’ll pay $40 a month or $35 a month if you set up auto-pay!

As for $55 you can get Cricket Core, which includes unlimited data at 3 Mbps, with the ability to pay $50 per month with auto-pay.

And for $60 a month, you’ll get Cricket More which offers unlimited data at the fastest 4G LTE speeds with the ability to set up auto-pay, dropping your bill to $55 per month.

There is also the ability to set up a family plan with four lines for $100 a month, which can allow you to drop the overall cost of your monthly bill and give a phone to a senior.

There are free phones available through Cricket Wireless.

To get eligible for a free phone, you’ll need to have a plan that is at least $55 per month.

If you have your own device that you’d like to use with Cricket Wireless, you may be able to transfer the device to a new plan.

You’ll have to make sure the device is compatible with their services.

You can check this by searching for your compatibility on their website.

If you’re interested in purchasing a smartphone for your elderly family member, you can do so directly from Cricket Wireless.

This includes iPhones and the latest premium Android devices.

If fancy smartphones aren’t what your senior family member is interested, you can shop for a budget phone from Cricket Wireless.

These devices start as low as $0.99 for certified pre-owned devices.

You’ll be able to get your hands on a device for very cheap if that is what you wish!

Also, thanks to coverage in Canada and Mexico, you won’t have to worry about losing your ability to contact your loved ones if they reside in either of these countries.

If you’re looking for a great budget phone option, Cricket Wireless is a perfect place to start.

8. Boost Mobile

For another low cost option, you’ll be able to count on Boost Mobile.

The plans available through this company are low cost monthly plans with light data packages.

These plans are perfect for senior citizens as they provide the necessary means to be able to communicate with friends and family at a low price.

This cell phone service provider is one of the best known, top tier prepaid companies available today.

This company has the same coverage area and uses the same cell phone towers as Sprint.

One thing to note is that there aren’t many phones that Boost Mobile accepts, so bringing your own device might be tricky.

You’ll have to expect to purchase a new phone from Boost Mobile, which means splurging a bit to get started with one of their plans.

If you’re looking for a single line with Boost Mobile you can expect to pay around $35 per month for talk, text, and 3GB of data.

As for unlimited data on a single line, you’ll pay $50, and for unlimited everything, you’ll see that price increase to $60.

For senior citizens, high data packages may not be necessary, so the basic package of $35 per month may be ideal.

If you’d like to incorporate an elderly family member in a family plan, you can get four lines with unlimited everything for about $180 per month.

This family plan is slightly more expensive than others monthly, so that is something to consider as well.

All of Boost Mobile’s plans are technically unlimited.

You won’t have to worry about incurring a fee once you’ve reached your data limits, but your data will slow down substantially once you’ve reached your high speed limits.

If you want, you can pay for data boosts if you wish.

Data boosts can cost between $5 and $10, but a light user of data won’t necessarily need this.

Although Boost Mobile doesn’t have a huge carry-over program for old devices, you can expect them to have a very good selection to choose from.

Premium devices are available, but a smartphone may not be what an elderly family member needs.

If they are interested though, you can expect to be able to purchase iPhones and premium Android devices.

You can also expect to receive good customer service from Boost Mobile, making it easy to manage any problems and change your plan if needed.

You are able to call and speak with a customer service representative or reach out to them via their chat feature directly on their website.

9. Ting

Ting is a very different budget cell phone service provider.

Their plan pricing structure is unique, and you only pay for what you actually use.

At the end of the month, all of the data, minutes, and texts you use or send are tallied up and you pay for them at the end of the month.

You won’t pay for services or things you don’t use, so for an elderly family member who isn’t bound to spend hours online, this is a great way to pay for a phone.

If you know that your senior citizen is going to spend just a few hours a week online, texting, or calling people, then this is a plan that will give you exactly what you want.

Because of this company’s structured way of charging their customers, this is not the kind of service that is ideal for heavy internet users.

Ting starts at $6 per line flat out which is a very low starting point.

After that you pay for talk, text and data separately per line.

For one line, you pay $3 for 1-100MB of data, $10 for up to 500MB, $16 for 1GB, $20 for up to 2GB, and then $10/GB for every GB after that.

If you expect the person with this device to exceed 2GB of data per month, then this is going to become a very costly plan.

Their minute rates are not as high, so if calling is going to be a main part of the use on this plan, you can expect a good return on your investment.

With Ting, you can get 2,100 minutes and pay only $20 for these minutes monthly.

If the person who will use the device is not big on talking on the phone, you can get up to 100 minutes for $3, up to 500 minutes for $10, or up to 1,000 minutes for $16.

Pretty good deal, right?

Text messages follow a similar structure.

You can receive 100 texts for $3, up to 500 texts for $5, 1,000 texts for $8 and up to 2,000 texts for $11.

For heavy texters, you’ll pay $35 for up to 4,800 texts, and 25 cents per text after that.

There are overages possible, but you can control how you are informed about coming close to meeting your limits.

Ting will send you text message alerts letting you know that you’re coming close to reaching your desired limit.

Again, this plan is best for light phone users.

Spending a lot of time on the phone with this plan can mean high prices at the end of the month.

If the main user of this device on the Ting plan is mindful of how they use their phone, then the result will be an astronomical phone bill.

Ting also has devices available for purchase.

This includes the latest premium smartphone devices, including Samsung, iPhone, and many others.

If you have your own device to bring and it’s compatible with their company, you can get a sim card for $9 and the instructions to set up your device for use.

You can also expect to get better customer service with Ting than you would with a lot of other companies.

Ting customer service can be reached via their website chat feature.

You also have the option to call for help with any issues you might discover with your phone’s plans.

Overall, Ting is a great option for the elderly with the expectation that they do not use their devices as much.

10. Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is yet another cheap service provider with plans that start as low as $15 per month.

The base plans include unlimited talk and text, but you will pay for data according to your need.

Their data plans are pretty basic.

They are designed for those who are light data users, which most senior citizens tend to be.

For unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data a month, the plan will cost you $20 per month.

For 2GB of data plus unlimited talk and text, it will run you $25 per month.

Essentially, you’ll pay $5 per every extra gig of data.

If 5GBs are used, the prices aren’t as competitive because the dollar amount really begins to add up.

This makes this service truly useful for those who are light data users.

Republic Wireless plans are all monthly prepaid plans.

You’re able to pay in advance for your plan for up to a year.

Choosing to pay for your cell phone plan a year in advance means you get two months free with this company, which is a good deal and lowers your annual cost!

Republic Wireless is a company that uses the cell phone towers of other big phone companies, which increases their coverage area substantially.

Republic Wireless uses the cell phone towers of T-Mobile and Sprint, allowing users of this service to increase their ability to get a good signal nationwide.

That being said, users will not be able to get access to both sets of cell phone towers.

The company whose towers you’ll be using will be determined by Republic Wireless when you sign up for a new plan.

The will determine which cell phone towers will be used for your phone based on your location and the type of phone you have.

Bringing your own device to Republic Wireless is possible, but they do not accept all phones.

To be eligible, the device must be unlocked.

What this means is that your phone should be able to be used by any service provider.

If you need a compatible device, you can purchase one directly from Republic Wireless.

11. Good2Go Mobile

Another option for senior citizens in need of a phone is Good2Go Mobile.

Good2Go Mobile runs on AT&T’s networks.

This means you’ll receive some of the best network coverage available in the USA or around the world.

AT&T does not have many other networks on their coverage area, so having Good2Go Mobile can be good for people who live remotely.

There are no long-term service contracts with Good2Go Mobile, unlike AT&T, which means you can move from this company at your convenience.

The one big downside to purchasing a phone from Good2Go Mobile is that they do not allow you to do monthly payments.

What this means is if you need a new device, you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket.

Republic Wireless provides you with a free SIM card.

There are no credit check needed to sign up for their services, either.

They also offer unlimited talk and text with every plan available, making it simple to steer clear of overages.

One downside to this carrier is that there is no unlimited data plan, but senior citizens won’t necessarily need this.

To pay your bill for this service, you are unable to download an app to your phone to do so.

You will have to use their website to update features, change your plan, or pay your bill.

Despite there not being an unlimited data package, you can get a plan with high data limits.

You can get up to 10GB for $40 per month.

Being that senior citizens do not tend to spend as much time online, this will probably not be necessary.

For just talk and text, their plans start at as little as $10 a month.

This is a great price, especially for senior citizens who don’t spend a lot of time talking on the phone or texting!

For the 3GB data plan with unlimited talk and text, a plan will cost about $20 per month.

That is a really good price, on a really good network, with the most important features included.

Although Good2Go Mobile offers the coverage areas of AT&T, Good2Go Mobile doesn’t provide coverage in Canada or Mexico.

If you have a compatible device, you will be able to bring it to the plan.

Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for a new device in its entirety up front.

If you’re planning to buy a new phone, you can expect to find premium smartphone devices like Samsung and Apple for sale on their website.

If you bring a phone, you can port an old phone number from another provider and you won’t have to purchase a new device.

For senior citizens who don’t have a high monthly budget for a phone, this company is worth the coverage and the perks you get for your dollar.

12. Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular is another company with a good coverage area that includes cell phone towers from AT&T and T-Mobile.

As with other companies that have two different towers available, you won’t have access to all of these towers.

Consumer Cellular determines which will give you access to the towers that cover the area where you live the most.

When it comes to their plans, Consumer Cellular gives you the option of choosing to pay for 250 minutes at $15 per month, or unlimited minutes for $20.

They have different data prices dependent on the user’s needs.

Options range from 500mb at $5 a month to unlimited data at $40 a month.

One phone line is included in every available plan.

Any additional lines are $15 per month.

If you’re an AARP member, you receive a 5% discount off of your monthly plans and usage fees as well.

Worrying about overages may not be a thing for your senior family member, but in the event that it happens, you won’t be charged overage fees.

Instead, Consumer Cellular will upgrade your data package automatically.

This will become the new monthly maximum for your data usage, but you can always lower it back if you discover it was a fluke.

Instead of paying for the service at the beginning of the month like a traditional prepaid plan, you pay your bill at the end of the month.

That being said, you don’t have to sign a contract with Consumer Cellular, which means members can choose to leave the company without a termination fee to pay.

If you’d like to bring an old device to Consumer Cellular, you can choose to do this or purchase a device directly from them.

Consumer Cellular has a downloadable mobile app.

This simplifies how you manage your account by allowing you to have an app on screen if you own a smartphone.

Getting the attention of customer service representatives is also easy with Consumer Cellular.

You can call them or chat with them directly on their website via their chat box.

For anyone looking to purchase a straightforward plan with no fuss or frills, this is it.

13. Total Wireless

On this network, all of the available plan options offer unlimited talk and text.

The different pricing available for users of this provider’s plans are based on the data allotment.

You will be able to choose the amount of data you think you’ll need without worrying over the cost.

Total Wireless allows you to bring your own device to their plans, which means you can bring an unlocked phone from another carrier.

Total Wireless uses Verizon’s network and cell phone tower.

You’ll want to make sure ahead of time that your phone is compatible with their company.

You’ll need a CDMA phone to use with Total Wireless.

For $25 per month, you can acquire a plan that is just talk and text, no data.

For $35 per month, you get 5GB of data,

You can also choose the big data option of 25GB of data for $50 per month.

These are particularly great prices for heavy data users, but individuals who need basic services like senior citizens may need can choose to pay less for the basics.

For those who want to shave a few dollars off the top of their bill, setting up auto-pay can help this.

You’ll be able to lower your bill and you won’t have to worry about paying every month since the funds are taken out of your account automatically.

For senior citizens who don’t need a data plan, this is an excellent phone company option to give them the basics for cheap!

14. Metro

Formerly known as MetroPCS, Metro is one of the few very well known budget cell phone services available.

Being a company that has provided cell phone service for many for years, this is a company you can definitely rely on, and at a good price too.

T-Mobile is the parent company of Metro, and it uses the same coverage area and has the same reliable customer service policies.

For individuals who are looking for a cell phone provider for a senior citizen, this company will deliver exactly what you need.

To get started with Metro, you can begin the process by going to their website and signing up for one of their plans online.

This is a great place to start, but to set your device up to be used you will have to physically visit one of their many store locations.

There are plenty of locations available to do this, so this won’t be a hassle if you can physically get there!

Metro includes all fees and taxes in their prices, so you won’t be surprised with extra charges when you start your monthly billing cycles with them.

To set up the services on a new device, you’ll have to pay $25 to get brought in to their network.

If you live in a metropolitan area or near a lot of T-Mobile cell towers, then you are bound to have a good amount of coverage.

More rural locations tend to have issues with phone connection, but if you don’t live in the middle of nowhere, then you should be good!

For those who want a plan with unlimited everything, you can expect to pay $50 per month.

Metro does not have contractual agreements, which means you’ll be able to leave their company at your leisure if you so choose.

Their unlimited data speeds stay strong up through 35GB, but after you’ve reached this amount of data the speeds start to slow down.

Even for the most adamant internet user, that’s a lot of data!

Senior citizens aren’t bound to reach these limits if they’re not glued to their phones like younger people can be, so there’s nothing to worry about.

For those seeking a prepaid plan, Metro is an excellent option with good coverage and even better prices.

Although Metro is a prepaid service, you’ll be happy with their phone selections.

For users who desire a premium smartphone, there are iPhones and Android devices available to help keep your elderly family member connected.

With Metro, you may also find that their phone prices are lower than some other companies.

This means purchasing a premium device may cost you less with this company, helping to facilitate a life with the top technology at your fingertips.

Metro also offers various promotions at any given time that tend to work out in favor of their customers.

These promotions can include a lot of perks!

Usually they include getting multiple devices for the price of one, rebates if you bring your own phone, or bonuses like free Amazon Prime memberships.

That makes signing your elderly family members with Metro an easy no brainer!

15. MintMobile

MintMobile is another budget-friendly cell phone service provider.

Plans for individual phone lines with this company start as low as $15 per month.

MintMobile used to be known as MintSim, but after being bought out by T-Mobile they changed their name.

That being said, MintMobile is another company that uses T-Mobiles phone towers, making it a good company to sign up with.

MintMobile is a phone company that offers low prices for basic plans.

As with other companies, you will pay for data amounts that suit you, and then after the limit has been reached, there is unlimited data available at slower speeds.

They way MintMobile works is that they do not offer monthly payment options.

Instead, they sell their services in package increments of 3, 6 or 12 months at a time.

Their most basic plan of 3 months for $45 breaks down to being $15 per month.

With this particular plan, you’ll get 3GB of 4G LTE data speeds.

After the 3GB have been used, the data speeds will slow.

There are larger data packages ranging from 8GB for $60 or 12 GB for $75.

These data allotments may be too high for a senior, but even still, when broken down, these rates are low compared to most other companies.

With this plan, you have to pay for your services a few months in advance, but this can be a good way to not have to worry about the responsibility.

If you have your own device and it is a GSM phone, then you can easily transfer the device to MintMobile’s network.

The phone must be unlocked to use with these phone plans, but using an older device can mean saving a lot of money up front.

You are also able to purchase a device directly from MintMobile if it is necessary.

Although it may not be a requirement, you will be able to buy a premium device for your elderly family member if you so wish.

The only downside to purchasing a premium device with MintMobile is that you have to pay for the entire thing up front.

This is a no-contract service, so you won’t be billed monthly or have the ability to pay it off as you go.

You’ll have to be ready to buy a device the same day as beginning your contract.

Bringing your own device can be a lot more cost effective.

When it comes to managing the phone account, you can count on MintMobile to be readily available to assist with any issues.

Their phone and email support is notably helpful, and you won’t likely deal with too many headaches when communicating with them.

For elderly citizens who need a phone that allows them to forget about bills a few months a year, MintMobile is great.

This service is ideal for those who live in the T-Mobile coverage area.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to taking care of your elderly family members, you may not always be able to be physically present.

This presents a whole slew of problems on its own, including being unable to know if an emergency has arisen when it’s immensely necessary.

With the different services listed in this article, you can find free or cheap options for cell phone plans that help keep your family connected.

Being responsible with the important aspects of communication that surround senior citizens is a good way to stay ahead of the curve in emergency situations.

The importance of maintaining close relationships with the elderly is also important, as isolation can lead to depression and deteriorating mental health.

Being able to pick up a phone and call friends or family whether close or far can make a huge difference in the lives of our senior citizens.

Seeing as our world today is more connected than ever thanks to the advent of social media and all the different platforms we communicate on, seniors deserve a place too.

Making a point to get elderly family members to learn how to use smartphones can be a beneficial way to increase their connection with the outside world.

If you have any other ways to get free cell phones for seniors, please let us know in the comments below.

Justin Stewart

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