Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall: T-Mobile
"T-Mobile’s Magenta Unlimited 55 line is a standout deal offering unlimited talk, text and LTE data for $70 a month for two lines."
Best Emergency Plan: GreatCall
"GreatCall offers rate plans starting at $14.99 for 250 minutes, $3 for 500 text messages and $2.49 for 100MB of data."
Best Prepaid: Metro by T-Mobile
"Metro by T-Mobile is a one-stop solution that offers a $40 monthly rate that includes unlimited talk, text and 10GB of 4G LTE data."
Best Basic: Consumer Cellular
"Consumer Cellular startw with rates as low as $20 per month for 250 minutes, 250MB of data and unlimited texting."
Best Flexible: US Mobile
"Customers should look to US Mobile for a wireless carrier that provides a wide selection of buckets to help piece together the right plan."
Best Value: Republic Wireless
"If you don't need data, Republic Wireless offers a flat rate of $15 for unlimited talk and text without any data whatsoever."
Best Traveler: AT&T
"Customers enjoying their golden years by traveling should look to AT&T’s $40 monthly prepaid offering."
Best Data: Boost Mobile
"Boost Mobile offers an attractive solution that is no frills and includes taxes and fees directly in the rate plan."
Dubbed the rate plan for a “generation of rule breakers”, T-Mobile’s Magenta Unlimited 55 line is a standout deal offering unlimited talk, text and LTE data for $70 a month for two lines.
Without any taxes or fees tacked onto the bill, the $70 charge is the same number you should see every month making budgeting a whole lot easier.
Beyond the set rate, T-Mobile adds on unlimited video streaming at DVD quality (480p) and international roaming in both Canada and Mexico with 5GB of LTE data.
Additionally, retirees will take note of the 60 minutes of free in-flight texting and data while on any Gogo-enabled flight anywhere in the world. Customers can also turn their devices into a mobile hotspot without any extra charge.
With nearly 50% in savings compared to T-Mobile’s regular rates, world travelers and heavy data users should flock to this T-Mobile plan.
Best known by the Jitterbug name of its phones, GreatCall is an excellent option for older customers looking for a cell phone plan that’s good for very low monthly use.
Perhaps better described a cell phone for emergencies, GreatCall offers rate plans starting at $14.99 for 250 minutes, $3 for 500 text messages and $2.49 for 100MB of data. For non-seniors, 100MB may be a drop in the bucket but for seniors looking for a device that’s seldom used, GreatCall is a fantastic choice.
In fact, the reasons to select GreatCall get even better when you consider they add a 5Star Urgent Response button to all their devices for emergency assistance as well as 24/7 access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor as part of the plan.
Caregivers can also utilize GreatCall Link to receive updates regarding the health and wellness of GreatCall customers.
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 10GB of 4G LTE data.
Piggybacking off T-Mobile’s nationwide LTE 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 plan adds plenty of extras like Wi-Fi calling, data maximizer for streaming video and Scam ID to help prevent inbound telemarketers from reaching your phone all at no extra charge.
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.
Geared to the older crowd, Consumer Cellular is a simplified cell phone reseller that provides an easy-to-understand solution to selecting a cellular provider.
Individual users can start with rates as low as $25 per month for 250 minutes, 500MB of data and unlimited texting while a two-line plan sharing the same data and minutes raises the cost to $40 per month.
As an added bonus, Consumer Cellular has an established relationship with AARP to receive a 5 percent discount on monthly service for any existing AARP member.
Another highlight of Consumer Cellular is the opportunity to select a new plan every month so you can adjust your allotted monthly minutes and data in case you’re traveling or you find that you’re spending too much or too little for your monthly needs.
Customers can select from a host of new flagship devices as well as senior-oriented flip-phones with larger buttons for easier operation.
For a truly flexible solution, cell phone 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 $2.00 for 75 minutes, $1.50 for 50 texts, and $2 for 100MB 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 8GB of LTE data that piggybacks off T-Mobile’s LTE network. If you prefer unlimited everything, there's an unlimited talk, text, and data plan for $40 per month.
To help make things easier, US Mobile offers a 30-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 are required to supply their own device and purchase a US Mobile SIM card for a nominal $3.99 fee to activate service.
Offering an excellent combination of both value and service, Republic Wireless is a great solution for customers who want unlimited talk and text but not necessarily data.
For cellular customers who don’t see the need or value to pay for a data plan, Republic Wireless ensures that you don’t have to select one and their flat rate of $15 adds unlimited talk and text without any data whatsoever. If you do want to have some data available, the cost increase is negligible as Republic tacks on $5 for each GB allowing a 1GB plan to cost just $20 in total.
While Republic doesn’t offer international service, customers traveling overseas can piggyback on Wi-FI networks anywhere in the world with their Republic device and call to the US at no extra charge.
Customers enjoying their golden years by traveling should look to AT&T’s $40 monthly prepaid offering.
Right off the bat, the AT&T plan attracts attention as customers signing up for autopay automatically recieve a $10 per month discount to reach that $40 monthly charge before taxes and fees. For that price, AT&T customers receive unlimited calling in and between the US, Mexico and Canada as well as unlimited text, picture and video messages.
International travelers can also take advantage of international text messaging in Mexico, Canada, and from the US to over 100 countries worldwide. As for data, AT&T offers 8GB of 4G LTE data that’s good for use in all of North America and any unused data rolls over for one 30-day renewal period.
With nationwide coverage on one of the oldest LTE networks around as well as no-frills use anywhere in North America, AT&T’s prepaid option is a terrific choice for seeing the world.
For the mobile-savvy seniors among us, Boost Mobile offers an attractive solution that is no frills and includes taxes and fees directly in the rate plan.
Customers opting for the $50 unlimited plan receive unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data on parent company Sprint’s coast-to-coast LTE network. The plan highlights using unlimited data for mobile-optimized streaming, listening to music while on the go or watching on-demand videos through BoostTV. The inclusion of 12GBs of mobile hotspot adds even more value to Boost’s already great offering.
Customers looking for a family plan can grab the very same features as the individual line including unlimited talk, text, and data for $80 a month for two lines. Each additional line increases the monthly rate by $30 but maintains the unlimited features making Boost’s offering one of the best values around.