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Best Cell Phone Plans For 55 And Older
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor with a special focus on the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecommunications, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter for USA Today.
Jitterbug Cell Phone Plans, Cost & Pricing For Seniors
As worries about a possible recession continue, you may be looking for ways to save money. And while most people can't give up their cell phone, you may be able to get a better price by switching to a budget-friendly carrier.
There are many ways to do so in 2022, from prepaid carriers like Mint Mobile to cable companies' mobile efforts like Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile. All of these could be cheaper than an unlimited plan from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Cheap phone plans today have many of the same features that traditional cell phone plans offer, including unlimited plans.
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While there are dozens of phone plan options available, I've listed a few that you should consider, as well as other ways to save on your bill. This area can get overwhelming quickly, so as with other wireless carriers, I'll focus on single line options and those looking for four lines.
A 2022 Buyers Guide To Cell Phones & Mobile Phone Plans For Seniors
To get the best deal, you need to make sure you have the coverage you need. Cutting costs won't help if it means the service won't work.
Complex geographic variables in the US make it difficult to make a general recommendation about any carrier. T-Mobile service in New York may be great, but if you're in rural Iowa, Verizon may be more reliable.
While your mileage may vary, the good news is that these networks are constantly growing and improving, especially as the three biggest players continue to race to roll out 5G in the US. It's entirely possible that ten years ago it went off the grid because of complaints about poor service, but now it's intensified due to competition to acquire customers.
If you know friends or family in your area who already use the carrier you're considering, ask them about their experiences. You can also go to a user store and see if they offer free ways to try service before switching, such as a T-Mobile network card. With a program similar to Visible, you can try out Verizon's parent company's network, and AT&T's Cricket just added its own version that lets you enjoy its service for two weeks.
Our Best Unlimited Data Cell Phone Plans: Compare Low Deals
When it comes to prepaid carriers and mobile options from cable companies, you should check which networks they use. For example, Mint Mobile operates through T-Mobile service, while Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile use Verizon. In those cases, downloading one of the two apps above can be a quick and easy way to test T-Mobile or Verizon coverage before making the switch.
Here's a list of the top alternative providers and the networks they work with. Now to choose.
Boost Mobile has added an unlimited plan that offers new users unlimited talk, text and data for $25 per month, including taxes and fees. Unlike Mint Mobile's 12-month plan, our previous pick in this slot, the Boost plan doesn't come with 12-month increments. However, you must be a new Boost customer to receive the offer.
The plan includes 5G access and 30GB of high-speed data per month (if you miss it, your data will be throttled until the start of the next billing month). It also includes a site that pulls data from your high-speed allotment. One thing to keep in mind: You have to set up automatic payments to get the $25/month rate.
Verizon Cell Phone Plans Review 2022: The Best Wireless Coverage
Verizon's Visible recently restructured its unlimited plans, dropping the price of its base offering from $40 to $30 per month. In doing so, it also improved some features, perhaps most notably by removing access to Verizon's faster Ultra Wideband 5G network (for which you'll have to pay $45 per month for the Visible Plus plan). The carrier also removed an option like its Party Pay family plan, which allowed monthly rates as low as $25.
But unless you need the fastest speeds and want to stay on Verizon's network, it's hard to beat that price. You still get unlimited hotspot (5 Mbps cap) and unlimited talk, text and data in the US.
Ryan Reynolds' phone company has made a name for itself with its quirky advertising, but it also has one of the best unlimited data deals we've seen. You can get unlimited talk, text and data for $30 per month per line for 12 months. On T-Mobile's networks, you get 35GB of high-speed 5G and 4G LTE data every month, but if you use up the 30-day period before it resets, your speed will drop to "3G speed."
Google's mobile phone service has undergone a price change that makes it a much more attractive alternative to the major providers. For a family of four, you can now get your Simply Unlimited plan for $80 per month ($20 per line per month), which not only includes unlimited talk, text and data, but also a 5GB mobile hotspot. Canada and Mexico also have free roaming, though taxes and fees are not included in the sticker price.
Cell Phone, Unlimited Data & Family Phone Plans
Google Fi works on the T-Mobile and US Cellular networks, and its service includes 5G access, though note that Google Fi-enabled iPhones can't use 5G.
Running on the respective networks of US Mobile, T-Mobile or Verizon, it costs $80 per month ($20 per line) for four lines with the Basic Unlimited option. For that price, you get 30GB of high-speed data, including 5G, but no perks like international roaming or hotspots. Like fi, taxes and fees are not included in the sticker price.
AT&T's prepaid brand has a decent deal if you're looking for four lines: $25 a month for unlimited talk, text and data. A single line costs $55 per month, but Cricket gives a hefty discount if you want to add multiple lines to your account.
However, unlike Visible, it's a traditional-style family plan where one person pays for all the lines, so if you want to stick with people you know and can trust to pay on time. Although almost identical in terms of price, Visible's plan includes unlimited hotspot data, giving it an edge over Cricket. As visible, the price of Cricket includes taxes.
Best Cell Phone Providers For 2022
Cricket's T-Mobile rival Metro has an unlimited four-line deal for $100 a month, but you have to buy a plan in store and switch providers to get the deal.
If you're looking for service for an infrequently used replacement phone, TextNow has a free plan. T-Mobile's web-based service offers free talk and text, though its app puts ads on what you use to call and text people. This option does not include data, and removing ads without adding data will cost you $10 per month. If you want to YouTube, FaceTime or surf the web, make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi.
Text messages are also sent through the company's TextNow app instead of iMessage or WhatsApp, which makes sense since those services require data.
Getting 1GB of high-speed mobile data starts at $9 a month, and the company kicks you up to "2G speeds" if you use it before the billing cycle resets. If you mostly use Wi-Fi, this might be a good choice. 2GB costs $16 per month, and the company offers 5GB of high-speed data for $28 per month.
Best Cheap Phone Plans 2022: Affordable Alternatives To At&t, T Mobile And Verizon
US Mobile is a good choice at $15 per month for 5GB of data, beating out comparably priced deals from Mint ($15 per month for 4GB of data), Boost Mobile ($15 for 2GB of data), and others.
However, Boost has a $100 offer for new customers that offers 1GB of data per month for a whole year. That drops to $8.33 per month. Boost currently offers service on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks, although Dish is building out its own wireless network.
If you don't have Boost, use Wi-Fi mostly (but still want data) and price is the biggest driver, then this is your best option for a new service.
Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and Optimum Mobile could be options depending on where you live. Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile use Verizon's network, Optimum uses T-Mobile.
Switching Phone Carriers In 2022: What To Know Before You Switch Providers
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