Believe it or not, over 90 percent of seniors send a text message regularly, and over 80 percent use their cell phones for email and web browsing. So, like plenty of other products and services, many cell phone carriers offer senior discounts. One example is the T-Mobile senior plan.
This plan is very similar to T-Mobile's standard plan, but it's cheaper and specifically for older adults. And that's great if you're looking for an affordable way to stay in touch with family.
But is the T-Mobile senior plan worth it?
What Is the T-Mobile Senior Plan?
As you may already know, many companies offer senior discounts. And cell phone plans are no exception. After all, aging must have some benefits.
Like other cell phone service companies, T-Mobile has a plan specifically for customers aged 55 and older. The T-Mobile senior plan comes with a decent discount, and it still has the features you need to stay in touch with your loved ones.
But cell phone plans can be confusing. There are a lot of terms you may not be familiar with, and it can be hard to know if extra features are worth it. To add to that confusion, the T-Mobile senior plan actually has two options.
The first T-Mobile senior plan is called Magenta Unlimited 55+. This plan is an excellent choice for most people because it has all of the standard features you would want in a cell phone plan.
Like other T-Mobile plans, this one includes unlimited talk, text, and smartphone data. That means you don't have to worry about using too many minutes of calling or sending too many text messages.
You can also use your unlimited data to check your email or browse the internet, even when you don't have a Wi-Fi connection.
The Magenta plan also offers data and texting in select countries outside of the United States. The exact cost for this service varies per country, and Mexico and Canada have a faster connection than other countries.
As with other T-Mobile plans, this T-Mobile senior plan includes taxes and fees in the listed price, and you have access to a customer care team. You can get free rewards each week, and you can even stream videos.
If you have a tablet or laptop, you can connect it to your smartphone with what's called a hotspot. This turns your smartphone into an internet router. The standard T-Mobile senior plan includes 3GB of hotspot data.
Finally, if you fly a lot, you can use up to one hour of in-flight Wi-Fi. The Magenta plan can support up to two phone lines, and you can add a tablet or other device for an extra cost.
If the Magenta Unlimited 55+ isn't enough for your needs, you can upgrade to the Magenta Plus Unlimited 55+ plan. The advanced T-Mobile senior plan has all of the features you can get from the regular plan.
However, there are some extras thrown in. One of the biggest perks to Magenta Plus is its faster data in other countries. If you have loved ones living abroad or just like to travel, you can use data while visiting, and it will run faster and more smoothly.
When it comes to streaming videos, the standard T-Mobile senior plan offers streaming for standard definition video. However, the Magenta Plus plan allows you to stream high definition video. That way, the picture is clearer.
You also get a total of 20GB of hotspot data compared to 3GB on the standard T-Mobile senior plan.
Other added bonuses include unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi and a standard Netflix account for free. You can also see someone's name even on phone calls from unknown numbers, and you can read your voicemails as well as listen to them.
If you have a hard time hearing, it can be helpful to read your voicemails instead of having to listen over and over.
As expected, the Magenta Plus does cost a bit more than the standard T-Mobile senior plan. And like the other plan, the Magenta Plus can support up to two phone lines. Adding devices like tablets and smartwatches costs extra.
What others have to say
Unfortunately, T-Mobile doesn't list customer reviews on their site, so finding other perspectives was a bit tricky. However, we were able to find some other reviews and reports on the T-Mobile senior plan.
According to Senior Living, the T-Mobile senior plan is a great deal with a lot of features. You can choose from a variety of cell phones to use with the plan.
And since T-Mobile doesn't have extra taxes and fees, you know how much you'll have to pay.
Tom's Guide mentions that you can switch to the Magenta or Magenta Plus plans as a new or existing T-Mobile customer. So your current cell phone carrier doesn't matter.
Finally, Consumer Reports notes that if you only need one phone line, you can do that. Two lines may be standard, but it's not required. One customer did comment on the article saying that senior plans don't seem like such a great deal since the cost isn't much less than regular plans.
The T-Mobile senior plan sounds impressive, but you might wonder if you really need an advanced cell phone plan. After all, tons of prepaid plans exist, and they offer calling. And most even let you send text messages.
But there are some things you just can't get from a prepaid plan, like web browsing or video streaming. Sure, those things aren't necessary, but they can be useful when you're out and about.
Why do you need a cell phone plan?
Today, cell phones are a necessity. Even if you don't use your cell phone much, it's still a vital tool. If your car breaks down or you get lost, you can call for help.
And because many other people use cell phones, using a cell phone yourself makes it easy to stay in touch. While calling is still a great way to communicate, texting and video chatting are more ways to connect with the people you love.
What should you look for in a plan?
You don't need the most expensive plan with every last possible feature. However, you don't want to go super cheap either.
If you want to stay in touch with your family members, you want a cell phone plan with talk and text. With our busy lives, it can be hard to find time to call. Texting is an easy alternative when you can schedule in a phone call.
And if you have family on the other side of the country or the world, you should look for a plan with a vast service network. That way, you can still use your phone when you visit.
How can you use it to communicate?
Of course, you can use your cell phone to call others. You can also use it to send text messages. If you have a smartphone, you can video chat with someone who also has a smartphone.
And if your home internet connection isn't reliable, you can utilize your phone's data to check and send emails.
The Right Plan
Like most things in life, the T-Mobile senior plan has its fair share of competition. Other cell phone carriers offer similar plans with similar features.
We found a few competing plans to compare so that you can choose the best one for you.
Connect with what matters
Technology can be frustrating, especially if you're trying to call a loved one. You want to keep in touch with family and friends, and a good cell phone plan can help you do that.
To see if the T-Mobile senior plan is worth it, we looked at the features and compared it to similar plans from other companies. Of course, no two plans are the same, so it's up to you to determine which plan is best for you.
One of T-Mobile's biggest competitors is Sprint, and Sprint has its own senior plan for those over 55. Their Unlimited55+ plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data.
You can even send text messages and use basic data in other countries around the world. Like T-Mobile, Sprint's senior plan also includes basic video streaming and the ability to use your phone as a hotspot.
Unfortunately, Sprint is only offering their senior plan to new customers. However, it does offer up to two phone lines based on your credit results.
According to Senior Living, you can't take advantage of other discounts from Sprint when you're on the Unlimited55+ plan. However, the coverage is good, and the price is affordable.
Verizon is another popular cell phone carrier, and they too have plans for seniors. You can get one or two lines on Verizon, and the plan offers unlimited talk, text, and data.
Like its competitors, Verizon also includes video streaming and hotspot, though the hotspot is unlimited. You can also use your phone in Mexico and Canada at no extra charge.
However, Verizon is a bit more expensive, and they don't include taxes or fees in their pricing. Verizon has fantastic coverage, which can be useful if you or your loved ones live out in the country.
Senior Living states that Verizon's senior plans require a contract, and they're only available to residents of Detroit, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. It's also simply a discount rather than a specific plan.
Here we venture away from senior plans into strictly a senior discount. Consumer Cellular lets you build your cell phone plan based on the number of lines, number of minutes for talking, and more.
The features and costs can add up quickly, and the senior discount isn't the best. First, it's only available to AARP members, rather than people over a certain age. And that discount is only 5 percent.
If you want that extra flexibility with your plan, Consumer Cellular is a good choice, but it's not as popular as some other options. It also doesn't offer unlimited data as the maximum amount you can get is 20GB. As such, you can't use your phone as a hotspot.
As shown in Tom's Guide, this plan is more restrictive than the competition, and it's not any cheaper or easier to use. You also can't use your phone abroad or for streaming videos using data.
To Talk or Text?
If you want to stay in touch with your loved ones, we think the T-Mobile senior plan is an excellent choice. It offers tons of features, but it's still fantastic for the most basic functions.
You can make calls, send text messages, and even browse the internet. The plan offers a data connection in certain countries, so you can stay in touch with family even if you like to travel.
So now all you have to decide is whether you'll catch up with family with a phone call or text message.
Have you tried the T-Mobile senior plan? What are your thoughts on it? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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