Cell phones have become necessary for people of all ages, especially senior citizens. But cell phones and cell phone plans can be pretty expensive, which may put you off getting one. But you can learn how to get senior citizens’ cell phone plans free!
Enroll in the government-funded Lifeline program if you fulfill the criteria. Alternatively, you can use different MVNOs or other cell phone plans for seniors. There is also the option to go for free apps.
Even if you don’t qualify for free cell phone plans, there are several ways to bring down your costs. Whether the phone plan is for yourself or your loved ones, you don’t want to pay more than you have to!
The federal-funded Lifeline program is a dream come true for senior citizens. Once you’ve proven your eligibility, you can enroll in the program and get a cell phone plan for no charge at all. Moreover, they’ll also give you a cell phone.
While it sounds too good to be true, the program is the real deal. All eligible participants will receive a free cell phone that comes equipped with a monthly service of 350 minutes, 1GB of mobile data for internet browsing, unlimited text/picture messaging, and it’s all for free! You may also have heard its name as ‘free government phones.’
As it’s free, many users may try to exploit it. So, the government has set up eligibility criteria that you have to pass to apply to the Lifeline program.
First of all, you can enroll in the program if you have an income level of 135% or below the federal poverty guidelines. If that’s not the case, you can apply for eligibility if you’re already a participant in any of the following programs:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Food Stamps (EBT or SNAP)
Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
Veterans Pension Benefits
Depending on which state you live in, the list of public aid programs that can state your eligibility can vary.
The government has also opened the Lifeline program up to the citizens of tribal lands. Or, if you’re a participant in the tribal assistance program, you can apply for the federal-funded Lifeline program too.
After you’ve confirmed your eligibility for the program, you’ll need to find out the service provider in your state. You can easily do it by visiting the Lifeline support website.
The website will let you check the local providers of the program in your area. Moreover, you can also find out what documents you’ll need to register for the program.
You can also seek information to change your provider if you aren’t content with your current one. And if you require technical support, you can simply refer to the website for any information.
Phone Plans for Seniors
Some major cell phone service carriers offer plans that are the most suitable for the older generation that use their phones more sparingly. Just ask around for cell phone plans specially designed for seniors. Here are a few examples.
T-Mobile’s Unlimited 55+ Plan
You can get the unlimited plan for two lines at only 55 USD/ month. The plan offers unlimited text, talk, and data on their network. Moreover, you can text abroad at a substantial discount.
GreatCall’s basic plan offers 200 minutes per month for only 14.99 USD. You can also text at an affordable price, and there’s always the option to upgrade your plan if necessary.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
Don’t worry, even if you find out that you’re not eligible for the free phone program. There are other ways you can bring down your cell phone costs, and one of the best ways to do that is through MVNOs.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are wireless service providers that work through the major carriers, such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile. The MVNOs use these carriers’ networks to provide cell phone services to their clients at the most nominal price. Basically, they act as resellers of cell phone services.
Most senior citizens don’t use flashy smartphones, and they tend to stick to basic calls and texts. That’s what makes them perfect customers for MVNOs since they don’t offer the most extensive data, call, and text plans.
These are some of the most popular MVNOs for senior citizens:
FreedomPop has a pretty straightforward working mechanism. You can either use your own cell phone or get one at a discounted price from FreedomPop and then apply for the cell phone service without any contracts. However, note that if you bring your own device, it has to be eligible for their services.
Their basic monthly plan is entirely free of charge. This plan includes the following privileges:
500MB of data
200 minutes of talk time
Of course, this isn’t the only plan they have. You can always upgrade your plan for minimal cost. And if you’re age 55 or up, you can redeem special offers from this service provider.
For example, their Alcatel Conquest LTE plan, valued initially at 199.99 USD, is available to senior citizens for only 29.99 USD.
Moreover, if you purchase one of their phones, you’ll receive a trial membership for their premium service for the first month. The premium plan includes unlimited talk time and unlimited texts. You’ll also receive 2GB of data for surfing the internet!
Another popular MVNO service is Republic Wireless. It’s a cellphone company that uses a combination of traditional mobile phone tower services with Voice-over IP technology. That way, you can make Wi-Fi calls any time you like!
You can quickly bring down your costs by switching to Republic Wireless service from your standard phone service. That’s because Wi-Fi calls are so much cheaper than their cell tower counterparts.
While it does have its benefits, the phone service isn’t without its flaws. For starters, you need to have a data connection to make calls through Wi-Fi. Moreover, the cell phone service is only available to Android phone users.
So, if you’re an iPhone user, you need to look for other plans.
If you aren’t comfortable with the MVNO plans, there’s always the option to go with call and texting apps. You can find countless free apps that allow you to send text messages and call your loved ones for free.
You may have heard some of their names, such as Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and many more.
While these will let you make both audio and video calls for free, there’s a catch. You can only call the other person as long as they also have the app on their phone.
However, some apps will provide you with an option to pay for a phone number through which you can use the standard calling services, such as Skype.
Skype allows you to make and receive calls through the unique phone number you’ve been provided with. You can even make international calls without putting too much pressure on your wallet.
While the older generations rarely tend to adapt to newer technology, it’s imperative that they all have access to the cell phone in this era of connectivity. And by knowing how to get senior citizens’ cell phone plans free, you can get yourself or your loved ones the best service they can for the lowest or no cost at all.
So, explore the options we’ve talked about and see which plan suits you the best. All the best with your venture!