GreatCall may be the only wireless carrier that’s known more for its phones than its service. The Jitterbug, an easy-to-use cell phone with big buttons and a bright screen, was designed with seniors in mind.
Jitterbug phones now come in two versions: a smartphone and a flip phone. Both give users access to a network of health and safety services, including 5Star Urgent Response, which connects callers to a 911 operator with the push of a button. Those services, combined with the Jitterbug’s user-friendly design and GreatCall’s affordable prepaid plans, make it one of the best cell phone plans for senior citizens.
AT A Glance
- Plans start at $14.99 for 200 minutes
- Notables: Top-rated customer service; health and safety services available; no features included; plans can be expensive with add-ons
GreatCall cell phone plans
GreatCall’s prepaid service lets you customize your plan. You can choose a talk, text and data plan or a health and safety service plan — more on that below.
When you pick a talk, text and data plan, you can select the number of minutes you want and add optional messages or megabytes if you opt for the Jitterbug Smart smartphone. The base plan costs $14.99 for 200 minutes. This is different from other prepaid cell phone plans, which typically bundle a data package with unlimited minutes and texts. GreatCall does offer one plan that fits that bill: unlimited talk and text, plus 100 megabytes of data for $49.99.
|Minutes||Texts||Data (Jitterbug Smart)|
|200 for $14.99||300 for $3||40MB for $2.49|
|600 for $19.99||700 for $6||100MB for $5|
|1,500 for $29.99||1,250 for $10||200MB for $10|
|3,000 for $39.99||2,500 for $15||500MB for $15|
|1GB for $20|
|2.5GB for $30|
GreatCall health and safety services
You can also build your GreatCall plan around a health and safety package. There are three options — Basic, Preferred and Ultimate — to which you can add minutes, texts and data. Here’s what those packages include:
- 5Star Urgent Response: One-touch emergency response service
- MedCoach: Medication reminders and refill assistance
- Wellness call: A weekly call from a wellness expert
- Daily health tips: Text message tips on exercising and healthy living
- Check-in call: A daily automated check-in call, personalized to ask about pain, appetite, etc.
- Brain games: A suite of games to exercise memory and improve focus (only on Jitterbug Smart)
- All services included in the Basic package
- Urgent care: 24/7 phone access to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor
- GreatCall Link: An app that gives family members and caregivers updates and emergency alerts
- All services included in the Basic and Preferred packages
- Personal operator: A live operator, available 24/7, to help with tasks like placing calls and looking up phone numbers
- Handset replacement: A maximum of one replacement per year for lost, stolen or damaged phones
You can also buy health and safety services a la carte with a talk, text and data plan. If you do opt for a health and safety package, though, you have different minute packages to choose from than if you have a talk and text plan.
- 50 minutes for $5
- 600 minutes for $10
- 1,000 minutes for $15
- 2,000 minutes for $20
GreatCall is a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, which is a fancy way of saying the company doesn’t own its own network. Instead, GreatCall contracts with Verizon Wireless, so GreatCall customers use Verizon’s top-rated nationwide network.
GreatCall’s signature phone is the Jitterbug, a user-friendly device designed for seniors. Think big buttons, a loud speaker and large text on the display screen. There are two Jitterbug models: the Flip and the Smart.
- Regular price: $99.99
- Dimensions (closed): 2.2 inches x 4.3 inches x 0.7 inches; weight: 4.7 ounces
- Memory: 1GB built-in storage
- Features: GPS, Bluetooth, speakerphone, camera with flash
- Regular price: $149.99
- Dimensions: 3.1 inches x 6 inches x 0.4 inches; weight: 6.1 ounces
- Memory: 8GB built-in storage and up to 32GB expandable storage
- Features: GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, speakerphone, touch screen, main camera with flash, front-facing camera
Updated July 11, 2017.