Best Mobile Plans for Seniors

Whether you're a grey nomad looking for a phone to travel, or after a plan that will reduce your monthly mobile bill, we've got your best phone plan choices sorted.


As seniors, you’re of the generation that can remember a time when having a phone meant having a landline, or in some cases even an existence without phones at all. Mobile phones are a fact of life now, though, and they can give you a new lease on life whether you’re a grey nomad travelling Australia and the world, or simply enjoying your retirement years at home.

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    The mobile needs of seniors aren’t that much different to those of your younger counterparts, although it’s less likely that you’ll need high data plans, or be all that interested in a high-cost plan, especially if you’re living on investments or a pension as your primary income. You’re less likely to be impressed by the latest bells and whistles, instead preferring some solid value for your mobile plan buying dollar.

    As with any other demographic, there’s really no "one plan to rule them all", so it’s worth sorting out your needs and likely usage before choosing a few plans. Here’s what you should consider before choosing a plan.

    Pick of the plans: Which plans are best?

    As noted, there’s no one single plan that’s ideally tailored for the senior crowd, because your circumstances, budget and needs may vary quite markedly. What we’ve done here is identify several different types of seniors and their needs, matching up the best plans for them. You may fit in just one of these types, or several depending on your circumstances.

    Best plans for budget conscious seniors

    Rationale: Whether you’re just careful with your money or surviving only on a simple pension, you don’t have the money to splash around on high-end mobile plans. For you, a mobile phone is a calling tool first and foremost, with a strong focus on a lower overall cost of usage.

    Best choices: Amaysim As You Go, ALDImobile PAYG

    Amaysim’s As You Go and ALDImobile’s PAYG plans stand out for the simple reason that they have a very low barrier of entry in cost terms, with a simple upfront prepaid sum paid in that lasts for a full 365 days in either case. ALDIMobile’s services run on parts of Telstra’s 4G and 3G networks, while amaysim operates on the Optus 4G network. They’re ideal if you want a service for very intermittent calling out where a more fully fledged plan may be costly overkill, and naturally, anyone can call into your phone without it costing you a single cent.

    Best plans for talk-heavy seniors

    Rationale: You’re a social butterfly, always on the phone to your friends and relatives, whether it’s simply to stay in touch because of distance, or to catch up on the latest gossip. What you don’t want is to be hit with a hefty bill for your calling habits at the end of the month, so a plan with unlimited calling provisions is more important than anything else.

    Best choices: Hive Mobile 1GB, Belong SIM-only Small 1GB, Jeenee Mobile Small 1GB

    In the contract space, both Hive Mobile and Belong offer unlimited standard calls and texts for less than $10 per month, and they throw in 1GB of data to boot. These are postpaid contract plans, though, so if you inadvertently use up the entire 1GB, you could have to pay excess fees. If you'd rather avoid that, Jeenee Mobile's 1GB Senior Plan operates on a prepaid basis with no way to rack up excess charges.

    Best plans for grey nomads

    Rationale: The kids have long left home and hey – so have you! You’re part of the growing community of older Australians who love to travel, whether it’s across this wide brown land or to more far-flung foreign shores. As such, what you need is a much more full-service phone plan, because your phone isn’t just a communication tool but also potentially a research tool, camera and entertainment box all in one.

    Best choices: Telstra Go Mobile Plus BYO S, Vodafone $40 Combo Plus

    Telstra’s got the advantage for travellers within Australia that its regional coverage is second to none, as well as the ability to freely access Telstra’s Air network of public Wi-Fi hotspots. Wherever you see a pink top on a phone booth, that’s an Air hotspot, and Telstra customers can (for now) access them and use data from them for free, which should keep your mobile bills in check.

    If you’re more of an international jetsetter, Vodafone’s $40 Combo Plus plan is a good fit as Vodafone’s $5/day roaming deal makes it easy and (relatively) inexpensive to roam overseas using the provisions of your plan without paying the ludicrous flat roaming charges most telcos apply.

    Best plans for seniors who need a new phone

    Rationale: Your old phone has had it, whether it's an old 2G model or a newer handset with a flat-lining battery. Or maybe you just fancy treating yourself! In any case, you want a phone and a plan to go with it.

    Best choices: The issue here is that again there's no one "best" choice, because needs and desires differ a lot, as do budgets. But that's what we're here for! You can use our Mobile Phone Finder service below to find the ideal mix of phone and plan inclusion by clicking on "Filter results" below. We've preselected a handful of feature phones designed to be easier to use than a typical smartphone, but you can swap them out for any handset you like using the filter options.



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    Alex Kidman

    Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades, and enjoys breaking down complex topics into their component parts. He has written for just about every major Australian technology publication, and is a former editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, and CNET.com.au.

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    8 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      LuffyOctober 18, 2018

      what plan and Iphone would you recommend for my 83 yr old dad

      • finder Customer Care
        JohnOctober 19, 2018Staff

        Hi Luffy,

        Thank you for leaving a question.

        The plans that are offered to Seniors are of different categories. You may want to check first how to maximize the value of the plan you wish to take based on how you would be using it. Will you be using it more on data? Text and calls perhaps? Please include these factors when choosing a plan that suits your needs. As per the Iphone, Depending on your budget, you may want to check the newest flagship of Apple which is the iPhone X. But if you are not into getting the newest version, most of the older iPhones have most of the features present in the new flagship. Hope this helps!

        Cheers,
        Reggie

    2. Default Gravatar
      MaggieApril 26, 2018

      I have a 94yo friend and want to get her a very cheap (no data or internet) phone with large numbers – where can I find a comparison?

      • Default Gravatar
        JoelApril 26, 2018

        Hi Maggie,

        Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

        We have outlined everything you need to know in our article above. If your friend is careful with her money or surviving only on a simple pension, she does not have the money to splash around on high-end mobile plans. For her, a mobile phone is a calling tool first and foremost, with a strong focus on a lower overall cost of usage. She can check out Amaysim As You Go or ALDImobile PAYG

        You can also check out our homepage for mobile plans so you can personalize your needs when it comes to it.

        Cheers,
        Joel

    3. Default Gravatar
      RayJuly 5, 2017

      I am just on 64, almost retired & have a 2G mobile phone . I’ve received emails & texts saying that I have to upgrade to a 3G or 4G mobile phone by August 1st. I don’t use the phone very much. I usually get $30 Virgin credit & it lasts me for about 6 months. I would like to get a replacement (probably 4G) mobile with similar conditions. Can you advise a phone & will it still be possible to get the $30 credit so that I only get charged on the calls or texts that I make?

      Regards
      Ray

      • Default Gravatar
        JonathanJuly 6, 2017

        Hello Ray!

        Thanks for the comment. :)

        Please be advised that you have reached finder and we provide generic advice.

        As such, we recommend that you check out our list of feature phones, which are designed mostly for calls and texts.

        Whether buying it outright or checking your telco provider if they offer this on a cheap mobile plan is your choice. Getting into a plan may give you bigger calls and texts value, not to mention, you may qualify for some Senior’s Discount! :)

        Good Luck with your choice! I know you want this to keep connected to your loved ones.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

    4. Default Gravatar
      JuliaMarch 28, 2017

      I am about to transfer my number to another person and need a new number. Am I able to have a choice of numbers and pick a favorite?

      • finder Customer Care
        MayMarch 28, 2017Staff

        Hi Julia,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        There are providers that will let you choose a mobile number. In order to request this, please contact your chosen mobile plan provider directly.

        Cheers,
        May

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