Although there are exceptions, the elderly aren’t very tech-savvy, yet still need to stay in touch with friends, family, and the community. What’s more, their dwindling income might not allow them to pay for their previous or current mobile phone plans. Therefore, a more affordable, yet better-suited plan can help them stay connected without overpaying. But with the constant competition and some shady marketing tactics, it’s increasingly hard to pick the right offer. To solve that, we’ll try to pit them against each other, and the best SIM card for the elderly should stand out from the crowd.
We’re starting with O2, a UK-based carrier whose pay-as-you-go SIM card offer is the most versatile. It’s cheap, only £10 to start, yet it has unlimited minutes and texts and 7 GB of data. The data rollover feature moves 100% of the remaining data to the next month, and, if you buy the SIM card online, you get a free £10 credit. In theory, with a minimal top-up every 6 months to prevent O2 from disabling it, the SIM card can last for years. Simultaneously, it’s among the best SIM card for seniors who need Internet access to use VoIP apps, read news, or make online appointments.
Three’s pay-as-you-go SIM card plan was nearly identical to O2 – 6 GB data, limitless calls, and texts for £10. To incentivize users, they doubled the data to 12 GB without raising the price. Additionally, they made the SIM card roaming-friendly and 5G ready. The data plan expires monthly, but the user can adjust the data plan or pause during months of no/low activity. In the latter case, the SIM card will switch to credit consumption at 10 pence per 1 minute/1 text, and 5 pence per MB. Three also has 2-year postpaid plans at £5 a month, with unlimited texts, minutes, and 8 GB of data.
Dodo is the top SIM card for the elderly, primarily in Australia, but also internationally. Let us explain. Dodo uses Optus’ network coverage in Australia. For AU$ 5 per month, seniors get unlimited national calls and unlimited national and international texts with no data. If they need to talk to friends and family outside of the borders or send media, two add-ons, both worth AU$ 5/month, get them 100 minutes to 35 countries or unlimited MMS. An AU$ 10/month plan nets 3 GB of data, in Optus’ 3G and 4G Network, with 5G available in select areas.
We’re going back to the United Kingdom to showcase Giffgaff, another carrier with affordable plans. All of their no-contract SIM cards come with unlimited minutes and texts and only depend on the 5G data. As an example, for £6 you get 500 MB, £8 nets you 3GB, and £10 gives you 10 GB. Like with Three, you can switch plans monthly, or take a break. In that case, you simply pay normal rates of 25 pence per minute, and 10 pence per 1 text or 1 MB of data. What’s more, Giffgaff runs on the O2 network, so you won’t suffer from limited coverage, even if it’s 3G or 4G.
5. iD Mobile
iD Mobile is the best mobile plan for seniors who keep up with the times. In other words, those who need lots of Internet data at cheap rates, available in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. They offer monthly, yearly, and bi-yearly plans, and the longer a pensioner commits, the more data they get, since each comes with limitless minutes and texts. The bottom-tier plan, for £6 per month, gets you 2 GB (monthly), 3 GB (yearly), and 4 GB (bi-yearly). Similarly, the mid-tier offer, £15 per month, gets you 20 GB or 100 GB, respectively, while the 2-year plan nets unlimited data for £16.
With T-Mobile, we’re moving to the United States. They are known for their plans dedicated to people aged 55+. For $27.5/line (2 lines minimum), you get unlimited talk, text, and data on their 5G network in the United States. Moreover, you get free texting abroad, a dedicated Customer Service team, free weekly gifts, and unlimited 2G data in Canada and Mexico. Furthermore, for only $35 per month (same requirement), you get unlimited data abroad, 5GB of 4G data in Mexico and Canada, free 1-hour in-flight Wi-Fi, and a Netflix Basic subscription, letting pensioners cut cable TV.
7. US Mobile
US Mobile is another US-based mobile network provider, popular for their 5G network coverage and letting users fine-tune their plans. The bare minimum is $2 per month, and you can manually select minutes, texts, and data numbers. What’s more, the unlimited Family plans start at $25/line (3 lines minimum). Not only is everything unlimited, but you get free subscriptions to music, video, and gaming services. That way, pensioners can cut cable TV to reduce monthly expenses, and simultaneously provide benefits to other friends and family members.
Vodafone is the leading SIM card for the elderly who travel and have environmental awareness. That’s because, since July 2021, its European operations use 100% renewable energy. The mobile network provider has 400+ stores in the global headquarters, the United Kingdom, but operates networks in 22 countries and is a network partner in 48 others. Furthermore, its roaming service is available in 168 countries, with 3G or 4G network availability in at least 74. We’d go for prepaid SIM card plans if you don’t need 5G connectivity. For example, £10 gets you unmetered texts and calls with 5 GB of data.
Lively, formerly known as GreatCall, is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that uses Verizon’s network. It also releases a line of devices for aging adults. They have big, bright screens, large font and buttons, loudspeakers, bonus audio and video cues, and pre-installed apps for medical emergencies, or talking with registered nurses, doctors, and Lively operators 24/7. The two plans are $14.99 monthly, for 300 minutes and 10 cents per text, and $19.99 monthly, for unlimited both. Data is purchased separately, as an add-on, from 100 MB to unmetered.
The last SIM card for the elderly takes us back to Australia; Amaysim is best-known for its unique short-term plan. For AU$ 10, for a 7-day period, you get unlimited SMS and minutes, both nationally and internationally (to 42 countries), and 10 GB of 4G data within the Optus 4G network. The carrier also won the Canstar Blue Telco Award for “Outstanding Value Prepaid Mobile Plans 2021”. It’s no surprise that their 28-day plan starts at AU$ 10 for 2 GB of data and unlimited texts and talk, and goes up to 80 GB to 200 GB with roaming benefits.