5 Ways to Get Low-Cost & Free Cell Phones for Seniors

HomeBudgeting5 Ways to Get Low-Cost & Free Cell Phones for Seniors

Want to Score Cash For Free?

  • Survey Junkie: Earn up to $50 per survey with one of the highest-paying survey sites on the web. Join Survey Junkie Now
  • SoFi Money: Earning money for unlocking better features sounds like a dream. But this free banking app really pays you $100 with you switch your direct deposit to SoFi Money. Get SoFi Money.
  • Aspiration: This mobile banking app lets you do everything for free and takes no fees — ever. Better yet, if you join through this link you can get $100 in your new account.

Wondering about the different ways seniors can get free cell phones? Here are the most reliable ways you can get free cell phones.

Having a phone these days is a necessity especially when you need to make emergency calls. This is especially true for seniors, some of whom might be financially challenged and not able to afford the cost of a phone or its upkeep. The good news is that obtaining free cell phones for seniors is available for those who qualify.

There are many ways a senior can get a free smartphone but the most reliable is through the Lifeline program, a government federal program that provides mobile phones to low earning citizens with a view of availing telecommunication services to all Americans so as to improve access to education, jobs, and other opportunities.

Even though this program is not specifically targeted at providing seniors with free phones, many senior citizens can qualify for it and get free smartphones. Let’s learn about more ways that seniors can get free cell phones.

1. Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services.

The criteria to qualify may differ from state to state but you qaulify if you are on a fixed household income that is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line or a part of the following programs:


Want Free Money?

  • Aspiration: Want to get spotted a $150 for free? Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $150 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps (SNAP or EBT)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • Veterans Pension Benefits
  • Low Income

This Lifeline program can also be accessed for citizens who live on recognized tribal lands or participate in a tribal assistance program.

The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC is responsible for data collection and maintenance, support calculation, and disbursement for the low-income program. USAC’s website provides information regarding administrative aspects of the low-income program, as well as program requirements.

2. Get Free Cellular Coverage

Don’t qualify for the Lifeline program? Don’t worry just yet. You should know that there other options out there for you.

If you are tired of overpaying every month, consider using a mobile phone service called FreedomPop that is disrupting the smartphone game by providing free cell phone service. Seniors can start saving hundreds of dollars a year on phone service if they are not covered under the Lifeline program.

In fact, data has shown people who ditch their expensive smartphone giants save about $1,400 annually. So what is FreedomPop?

FreedomPop is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that relies on towers from big players like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to ensure reliable nationwide coverage and offers it for free.

With Sprint service, people are paying $60 per month for unlimited service. With the same nationwide coverage as Sprint, people are saving big when switching over to FreedomPop’s $19.99 per month, unlimited talk, text, and 1GB data plan.

Disrupting the mobile phone space means more than cutting the cost of service. There are also no lengthy contracts, generous 90-day warranties, and a completely free monthly service for people who prefer smaller plans. This is one of the most generous plans for people who are looking to access the internet legally for free.

Other cheap cell phone providers include Tello Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Republic Wireless, Credo Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Ting.

3. Phone Plans Designed for Seniors

The good news is that you can also consider using cell phone plans made specifically for seniors.

At the time of these writing, these are the most frugal plans plans that still allow seniors to stream shows, FaceTime grandkids, and search the web:

ProviderBest ForOur Plan PickPrice
Consumer CellularValueUnlimited Talk & Text + 2 GB Data Plan$30/mo
VerizonFamily plansUnlimited Plan for 55+$80/mo
TracFonePrepaid plansUnlimited Talk, Text & 1 GB Data Smartphone Plan$20/mo
GreatCallSenior-friendlinessUnlimited Talk & Text Plan for Jitterbug Smart$50/mo

You can also shop around for other deals or call up your current cell phone provider and see if they offer any deals for seniors.

4. Switching Service Providers

If you are on the quest for a free cell phone then you can also consider switching service providers.

Many cell phone companies are popular for offering free cell phones like the latest iPhone 12 or the Samsung Galaxy S21 (during promotions) for making the switch.

Currently, Metro by T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless and Text Now are all offering free phone deals with eligible plans.

Games That Pay You To Play - Yes, We're Serious

These 3 apps will PAY YOU to play games on your mobile device:

  1. Blackout Bingo - You can download this app and start getting cash rewards for playing bingo.
  2. Solitaire Cube - Earning money by playing games on your phone sounds like a dream. But this app really pays you for playing solitaire with cash rewards.
  3. Pool Payday - Earn up to $50 per month playing billiards with one of the highest-paying gaming apps on the web.

The phones include the LG Stylo 4, the Samsung Galaxy J7 and J3 Prime, the Motorola E5 Play/Cruise, and a number of other Samsung and LG cell phones.

To take advantage of these deals you’ll need to sign up for an eligible plan.

5. Call and Texting Apps

When all else fails you can simply use calling and texting apps to keep in contact with your loved ones.

Many apps simply require an internet connection and you are all set to reach out to anyone using Skype, Viber, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

These apps also allow voice and video calls — and you can even get your own phone number by using Skype.

More Seniors on Smartphones

In conclusion, you’ll want to go through all of these steps to see what options are best in order for you to get a free cell phone.

I would suggest seeing if you qualify for the Lifeline program and then go from there.

To summarize the Lifeline process, you can qualify for Lifeline through a government assistance program or your income.

Next, you’ll have to choose a company that offers it. Use this tool to find a company in your area that offers Lifeline. Ask if your company for a Lifeline application.

You will need the following information to apply:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (or Tribal identification number)
  • Address

You should also show at least one of these items:

  • Unexpired ID such as a Driver’s License
  • Social security card
  • Medicaid card
  • Prior year’s tax return
  • Other documents that prove your identity

Your company will process your application and may ask you to fill out additional forms.

Lastly, you’ll just sign up. If approved, you will receive your Lifeline discount toward your bill. Your company can also apply your discount to an existing service.

GoDescription
aspiration

Want Free Money?
Aspiration

Simply sign up for Aspiration, and the free banking app will give you cash for free, you just relax while it gives you $100 just for opening a new debit card. There’s no catch. This bank account is legit and only takes two minutes to sign up for an account.

Learn more


The Best Apps to Save You Real Money

We are on our phone a lot, right? Wouldn't it make sense to save money with the best money saving apps?

AppAt a glancedownload
aspirationAspiration
★★★★★
Get a $100 bonus at Aspiration when you open and fund an account with $10 or more. Then use your Aspiration debit card to make at least $1,000 worth of cumulative transactions within 60 days of account opening.
CLAIM $100 BONUS
robinhoodRobinhood
★★★★★
Open a new account in the next 24 hours and you could get up to $200 in free stock.
CLAIM FREE STOCK
Truebill reviewTruebill
★★★★★
This free app delivers on its promise to save you money effortlessly. You can use it to lower your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and bill negotiations.
SLASH YOUR BILLS

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

On a similar note...

Explore More On

7 Best Bank Bonuses and Promotions of April 2021

ImageDescriptionlearn-more
aspiration★★★★★This Company Will Give You $100 for Opening a Free Account
Boost your savings and earn up to 1.00% APY interest on your savings. Get up to 10% cash back on your purchases. Get $100 bonus when you spend your first $1,000 with your new Aspiration Plus Card.
COLLECT $100 BONUS
personal capital★★★★★
The First and Only Interest Earning Crypto Account
Receive up to $250 Bitcoin bonus when you make qualifying deposits over the first 30 days. Receive up to 8.6% annually on your crypto. Join the most trusted financial services for crypto investors on the market.
CLAIM $250 BONUS
personal capital★★★★★Get Up $200 in Free Stock for Joining
Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades. Get a free stock worth up to $200 when joining (must complete application). Simple, easy to use investor platform with no account minimums.
GET FREE STOCK
sofi★★★★★All-In-One Investing That's Easy to Use
Tired of Robinhood? Invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, or automated investing in all one app. No commissions for stocks and ETFs. Complimentary access to SoFi Financial Planners.
INVEST NOW
personal capital★★★★★The Smart and Free Way to Manage Your Money
Take control of your finances with the perfect union of technology and highly personalized service. Get access to free online financial tools, including retirement planner, investment checkup, net worth calculator and more. Digital-first wealth management advisor with 24,000 clients in 50 states.
SIGN UP FREE
blooom★★★★★401K and IRA Management
Start your free 401k and IRA management now. Find and reduce hidden fees. Improve your diversification.
GET FREE CHECKUP
cit★★★★★Enjoy the Benefits of a CIT Bank Money Market Account
A CIT Bank Money Market Account helps you get more from your savings with interest rates for maximum growth. Earn over 7x the national average with high-interest rates. It now pays to open a money market account with CIT Bank.
OPEN ACCOUNT
My Millennial Guide