Cell phone plans made with seniors in mind.
GreatCall Cell Phone Plans Review
If you want a mobile service that includes 24/7 access to urgent care, a personal operator to help you navigate your phone, and an easy-to-use device, GreatCall makes a lot of sense. Oh, and it also offers plans as low as $32.99 a month and uses the country’s best wireless network.
Sure, there are some downsides to getting older, but hey, senior discounts ain’t one of them.
GreatCall data plans
- Variety of data plans
- Included health & safety add-ons
- No family plans
What we like
GreatCall doesn’t go with the one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to its cellular plans. You can choose an individual plan that makes sense for your individual needs. Whether you want unlimited data for streaming on the go or a cheaper plan without any data at all, GreatCall offers options. Plus, whatever plan you choose comes with senior-focused features for added safety and support.
Variety of data plans
GreatCall plans range from $32.99 to $59.99 a month with varying amounts of voice minutes, texts, and data. It’s up to you to decide how much of each category you want, but we would recommend avoiding the bargain-basement 750 Minute Plan at $32.99 a month. If you enjoy chatting on the phone, you’ll rack up minutes more quickly than you think, and it would probably be worth the few extra four bucks a month to double your minutes with the 1500 Minute Plan.
So, it really depends on what you like to do on your phone. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get an idea of what plan will work best for you:
- Do I like to check Facebook, Instagram, or read news stories while I’m out and about? If so, you’ll want to make sure you choose a plan with data included.
- Do I enjoy chatting on the phone frequently? If you have weekly calls with family and friends, you’ll probably want an unlimited call plan. The last thing you want while talking to your grandkids is to stress about how many minutes you have left.
- Do I commonly send out text messages? For some people, texting seems to be the only way to communicate *cough* teenagers *cough*. If you regularly text family and friends, you might want to think about unlimited texts.
Try to find a plan that supports what you enjoy doing on your phone. For most seniors, we would recommend a plan that covers all your bases like the Unlimited Talk & Text Plan for Jitterbug Smart.
With this plan, you don’t need to worry about overdoing it on your calls or texts, and you have enough data to occasionally check Facebook on the go if you like. You save about $18 a month by going with this plan instead of the Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data plan. But if you know you’ll be checking social media, shopping online, or playing Scrabble with the grandkids as you’re out and about, you might want to consider opting for the unlimited data plan.
Included health and safety add-ons
Along with your GreatCall cell phone plan, you also get the basic health and safety package included. The basic package comes with two things—5Star Urgent Response and Brain Games.
The 5Star Urgent Response support allows you to click a button and communicate with trained agents who can help in any situation. Did you just try to lift something and maybe threw out your back? Hit the button and get some help. Maybe you suddenly feel light-headed and want to make sure everything’s okay? You can click the button and get some help. Plus, children and grandchildren will be glad to know there's an additional set of eyes and ears looking out for their Nana.
You also get Brain Games installed on your device. These little games can help seniors with their brain health and keep memory sharp. Plus, it’ll give you something to do when you’re stuck in a grocery store line behind the person with a million coupons.
What we don’t like
It’s always nice when you can save a few bucks on your wireless plan, but GreatMobile doesn’t give you much opportunity to lower your bill. Case in point, you can’t bundle plans together with a family discount.
No family plans
If you were thinking of getting your spouse or your kids on your GreatCall plan, you unfortunately can’t bundle plans together and get a discount. Currently, GreatCall offers only individual data plans, so you’ll need to get a standalone plan for yourself and any other users.
If you know you want to bundle everything into a family plan, you’d be better off choosing a different cell phone provider.
Great Mobile coverage
GreatCall mobile uses the Verizon network to provide coverage for its customers. Lucky for you, Verizon covers 70% of the country and is the most reliable network available.1
GreatCall mobile operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Which is a fancy way of saying that GreatCall uses Verizon’s network instead of having its own network. Let’s cut out all the technical jargon and sum it up like this—GreatCall provides excellent service on Verizon’s network, so you shouldn’t have much issue making a call or sending a text (as long as you’re not from the remote areas of Alaska).
The only catch with having an MVNO is that your phone can be deprioritized. Since GreatCall is essentially borrowing Verizon’s network, you might run into a situation where your service drops out in a crowded area. This happens because Verizon gives priority to its own customers over GreatCall customers. Unless your church bingo games have hundreds of people present, you probably won't experience deprioritization very often.
What kind of download speeds can I expect with GreatCall?
Verizon’s network offers some of the fastest internet speeds around. The average download speed on the Verizon network is 20.9 Mbps.2 In other words, you shouldn’t have to spend much time waiting for things to load while streaming or browsing the internet.
GreatCall cell phones and devices
GreatCall created Jitterbug phones to work in tandem with its phone service. You have two Jitterbug devices to choose from: one is a simple flip phone, and the other is a smartphone.
Both phones are designed to feel easy and straight-forward to use. You can count on the 5Star urgent response button to be front and center on either device as well. You’ll just need to decide if you want the simplicity of a flip phone with no internet access or a smartphone with internet access and apps like Facebook.
Jitterbug Smart2 device
The Jitterbug Smart 2 is the smartphone version of the Jitterbug. It’s like an Android or iPhone device, but just a bit easier to navigate. You get a large 5.5-inch screen with simple, list-based menus and voice-typing features.
Jitterbug Flip device
For those of you who don’t want all the bells and whistles that come with a smartphone, you can opt for the super simple Jitterbug Flip. It’s got a big screen with large buttons, and for some elders, that’s what matters most. What good is a phone if you can barely read what’s on it?
Recap: Is GreatCall Mobile good?
GreatCall Mobile offers potentially life-saving features for senior citizens, so in that sense, it’s a pretty amazing wireless plan. The fact you can click a button when you feel like something is wrong certainly brings some peace of mind. Thankfully, GreatCall also offers solid coverage on top of everything else thanks to Verizon’s network.
- Plans: You can essentially build your own data plan with how many options you have. You can choose anywhere between a 750-minute plan or unlimited data, call, and text. The only issue is that you can’t bundle plans together in a family plan.
- Coverage: GreatCall uses Verizon’s mobile network, which just so happens to be the best in the country. You may run into deprioritization from time to time, but generally your coverage should feel reliable.
- Overall: GreatCall makes a lot of sense for older folks who want a simple device with lots of helpful features.
We want to hear your thoughts about GreatCall mobile. Do you like the Jitterbug phone device? Do you like the extra safety features? Let us know in the comments below.