Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive. Researching cell phone plan options is a good first step to getting the most for your money. With most prepaid plans you buy a phone (some are even free) and minutes (typically 10 to 20 cents each) at the same time. Think of a shared plan as family-style dining: The provider dishes up a heaping bowl of minutes, messaging, and, if you choose, data (Internet) for everyone to split.
Many shared plans also offer an inexpensive texting option (200 to 300 texts a month for $5).
Best for: The chatterbox who likes to keep the family connected, but is still budget-conscious. Though maddeningly complex, these plans are the most cost-effective way to bundle talk, text, and data.
Before you even buy a phone or sign up for a plan, you need to figure out which cell phone company has the best coverage where you live, work, and travel, says Jen O'Connell, author of The Cell Phone Decoder Ring and a wireless expert. If your heart is set on a tricked-out smartphone although your budget favors a plain Jane, consider a refurbished model.
If you lose your phone or send it through the washing machine, it's gonna hurt to buy a new one. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that helps people 50 and older improve the quality of their lives. In an unstable economy, where prices of goods, commodities and utilities move like a yoyo, choosing cheap cell phone plans for seniors seem to be the wisest decision.
But with so many cell phone providers that offer cell phone plans for seniors, which should you choose?
The best cell phone plan for seniors must have a user-friendly website where you or your loved one can get more information and assistance.
Because we want to give you honest reviews, we scoured far and wide not just for the advantages but more importantly, the disadvantages of each cell phone plans for seniors featured here. According to users, Consumer Cellular Anywhere is among the cheap cell phone plans for seniors that really work. T-Mobile boasts of 3-way calling, basic voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting; caller ID and caler ID blocking, unlimited video and photo messaging and unlimited text messages. If your parent is not a heavy cell phone user, then the TracFone 50 Value Plan may be the right one for him.
Now if your loved one is glued to the phone most of the time, the Verizon 65 Plus Plan might be the best senior mobile cell phone for him. Either you pay too much for services you don't use, or use too many services and get socked with extra charges," says Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports. There are three main types of payment plans for cell phones — we break down each below so you can find your best match.
Extra lines can cost under $10 each, so you can piggyback onto a plan already used by a spouse, siblings, or children.

Someone who likes to make frequent calls, both local and long distance and may be ready for text messaging. Providers set flat fees for specific amounts of minutes, text messages, e-mail, and Web browsing. Plus, if you covet a smartphone to run the latest apps, you can find big discounts — with some plans you pay as little as $50 for a $300 phone — since providers subsidize phone prices to entice you to sign on the dotted line. You get locked into a two-year contract — and bailing before it expires could cost up to $350 in penalties. Ask neighbors if they are happy with their service; maybe even place calls from your home using friends' phones.
If you ask, sympathetic sales staff will sometimes cancel the fee — especially to seal the deal. Unless you have an unlimited-data plan, switch off your data feature if you won't be using the phone for a while. With just their pensions and a little help from their loved ones, seniors have to limit their expenditures – from food to phone bills. Clearer cameras, wider coverage, faster downloads, better functions with some models almost replacing the computer. This means that your parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relatives will get stuck with a super-expensive yet low-yielding plan that might give them more headaches and worries in the long run. Take a glimpse at nine of the major and not so major cell phone plans for seniors in the country today. This may seem cliche, but honest reviews from real-life users can make or break your decision to buy a plan. If they have cell phone plans for seniors with good to excellent coverage, they can call you anytime, especially during emergencies. It’s also affordable at $29.99 which include 200 minutes that you can use anytime plus 500 minutes which you can use at nights and weekends. For a monthly fee of $29.99, he gets as much as 5,000 messages and unlimited messaging to same network user. Most major carriers — including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile — offer prepaid plans, as do independents like Cricket, Net10, and metroPCS.
Compare that with a contract-based plan (see below), which may charge $60 to $80 a month even if you use the phone for only five minutes. Even if you haven't a clue as to how to send a text message, odds are your kids and grandkids do. Signals are easily blocked by everything from cell-tower obstruction to your home's building materials. If you are considering the first, make sure that the phone that comes with it is handy, lightweight and easy to use. Sure, cell phone manufacturers can send you as many PDFs that carry their plan’s information, but chances are, those are all pros with no cons. Especially the fine print because those may contain conditions that your seller doesn’t want you to know – extra charges, hidden rates, etc.

It also has caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, 3-way conference calling and voicemail. The phone that comes with the plan has an easy-to-locate button at the rear which your loved one can press anytime he needs assistance. But here’s the caveat: T-Mobile does not have good reception outside the Washington area and phone choices are limited to old-looking models.
The phone providers were neglecting the fact that the things the seniors value are completely different than that of the younger generation.
If he is a frequent user and loves to stay on the phone, then plans like AT&T Senior Natl 200, Sprint Basic, T-Mobile Classic 500 Talk or Verizon 65 Plus Plan which are all cell phone plans for seniors, may suit his needs.
Actual users, on the other hand, tell you their experience while using the plan – glitches, disadvantages, range of coverage and so on.
It also has a user-friendly website where you can easily find basic product information and FAQs.
However, you have to pay a one-time activation fee of $35 and unused minutes cannpt be rolled over to the next month.
Or skip the absolute latest cell phone model (which may have only minor tweaks to button shape or color) in favor of last year's and save a bundle. But make sure that your parent does not exceed the limited 50 minutes because the overage can really be a pain. A final tip: All four major carriers let you return a phone, no questions asked, during a 14- to 30-day trial period.
For us, and we guess for thousands, even millions of elder people out there, the best cell phone plans for seniors are the ones which provide good value at a reasonable price. When it comes to cell phone plans for seniors, the less complicated the plan is, the better. They also complain about the unused minutes which cannot be carried over to the next month. And in case you no longer want the service, you can cancel anytime, at no extra cost – seems like the company is so confident with their plan that they can brave a no-cancellation fee, huh? How much will it cost in the event that you are not satisfied with the service and need to get a new one?
So, if your senior forgets to use his cell phone for one month, your monthly fee goes into thin air. Read more about specific safety and health management services and apps available for cell phone plans for seniors here.
To avoid bill shock, ask a sales rep to show you not only what your first bill will total but second and third months, too. Users also complain about slow customer service and limited styles of cell phones to choose from.

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