Did your parents finally retire and decide to take that 50-state vacation they’d promised to do? Or have your grandparents finally bought that beach house in Florida they’d always wanted? Whichever the case, you’re probably going to need a reliable way to contact them. Of course, everyone’s got a budget they have to keep. Giving your non-tech-savvy grandma a new phone with a cellphone plan from the big three (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) would probably be a waste if they can’t use all the features. Don’t worry, though — that is where Affinity Cellular, a senior-friendly mobile provider, can give you a hand!
Also read: Best Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
Compared with the big three, Affinity Cellular isn’t that big of a company, and this may even be the first time you’ve heard about it. As one of Verizon’s mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs, they don’t own any cell sites or towers that their network operates on. Instead, they have an agreement to use Verizon’s nationwide CDMA wireless network for their consumers.
The company prides itself on being a simple, practical, and affordable company. Affinity Cellular targets its products specifically to seniors who aren’t heavy phone users and just want a cellphone available when they need it.
Affinity Cellular offers plans with monthly bills starting at just $10 due to “volume discounts” they receive from partnering up with organizations. The AAA (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) is their exclusive organization and discount partner since 1993. This partnership gives AAA members a lot of perks like free calls to AAA for roadside assistance and additional savings with the network.
So, what plans and options can you get from Affinity Cellular? Considering their clientele, all of their offers are quite cheap and start at just $10 and slowly go up in price. Their most expensive plan is still at just $60 a month for a single line, though. Their non-contract offers can easily be split into two types: plans with data and plans without data.
While all of their plans do come with an optional phone purchase, Affinity Cellular also has a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) feature that lets you use your current phone with their network instead. We’ll talk about this and the phones available for purchase with the plans in the features part of this article.
Affinity Cellular’s no-data plans come in two monthly payment tiers (as of July 2022). These are the $10/line/mo and $15/line/mo options. This is a change Affinity adapted recently and dropped its former offerings that included $12.99, $15, $20, and $24 options. The first option comes with 350 minutes worth of calls and 350 text messages. Their second option is $15 and gives you 500 minutes worth of calls and 500 text messages.
Additionally, the $10 option comes with a special discount that is applicable for the first three months of the subscription.
Compared to their non-data plans, Affinity Cellular’s data plans are a bit more varied and come in five tiers. These tiers are priced at $20, $25, $35, $45, and $55 respectively. This entire new tier of Affinity with data plans is a revamped set as well. A major change on all of these tiers is making talk and text unlimited across the board. The main difference between these options is the amount of data you could use, starting with just 1 GB for the $20 and 3GB for the $25 options. That limit then slowly goes up to 7GB for the $35 option and 15GB for $45. The high-end $55 option is the only one that comes with unlimited data which can be shared.
Affinity Cellular’s data plans are at least 4G compatible due to their agreement to use Verizon’s network. While 5G connections are also available, that would depend on whether your current area is covered by Verizon’s network or not.
As with any type of fixed data plan, you should be mindful of your call, text, and data limits, as it could lead to overage rates. For Affinity Cellular, their rates are $0.03 per MB of data, $0.10 per minute of calls, and $0.02 per overage text. Once you’ve signed up for Affinity Cellular’s service and created an account, you can see your current limits and actual usage on their customer account page.
As with any network provider, MVNO or otherwise, they’ll offer phones, features, and discounts alongside their plans. For Affinity Cellular, their features and phones are specialized for seniors and AAA members.
The company has also revamped its offerings in terms of mobile phone brands (as of July 2022). Affinity’s current phone brands include Motorola, ZTE, TCL, Schok, and Apple. All of these phones are M3, M4, T3, or T4 compatible and help those who use hearing aids. Below are the updated phone brands and units Affinity is offering as of this writing:
You should also know that all phones on offer are “Certified Pre-Owned” phones, meaning they’re second-hand and refurbished models. This is due to the company’s environmental promise where their “certified green phones take the environment into consideration.” Affinity Cellular does offer a lifetime guarantee for these refurbished phones, so long as you continue to be their customer.
Affinity Cellular has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. It lets you bring in a third-party phone from your previous cellphone provider to your new plan. Other third-party phones can also be activated for Affinity Cellular’s network. This program won’t apply to phones reported as lost, stolen, or whose payments are in arrears. You can find more information on their BYOD program page.
The Keep My Phone Number program lets you keep your cellphone number from your previous carrier. This process has to be started from your end through your My Account taskbar on the Affinity Cellular website. The entire process of porting your number from your former carrier to Affinity Cellular may take from 24 to 72 hours. More information can be found on their Keep My Phone Number page.
Affinity Cellular also offers increasing discounts depending on the number of lines you’ll take per account. This is besides the $2.99 discount on the first tier of their talk and text plan. The discount differs per plan and can only have a maximum of five lines per plan. Sadly, this discount doesn’t cover the $60 unlimited call, text, and data plan. More information can be found on the Affinity Cellular plans page.
Since AAA is Affinity Cellular’s primary partner, AAA members have several perks if they avail of Affinity’s network. One of them includes the waiving of the phone activation fee. The biggest perk, though, is having no charge for Roadside Assistance phone calls to AAA. Aside from that, AAA members also get a 30-day return policy. There is a caveat for those wanting a return. You should do it within 30 days of purchase, before using 30 minutes of call time, before receiving or sending 30 text messages, or before using 30 MB of data.
Since Affinity Cellular uses Verizon’s CDMA nationwide network, they cover at least 98% of all US households. If you want to know if your area is covered by Affinity Cellular’s network, you just have to go to their coverage webpage and input your zip code. A green or red message will appear under the text box. This will tell you if your area is covered or not.
With any service, there will be a few hiccups. When those happen, you have a few ways to contact Affinity Cellular. One of which is through dialing 611 on Affinity Cellular phones to contact their US-based customer support. You could also reach them via 833-679-1090 or by emailing email@example.com. Affinity Cellular also keeps a handy frequently asked questions list on their website for common questions and problems.
If you’re in between plans or if it’s for your grandparents, you should sign up for Affinity Cellular’s plans. At least until you’ve settled down and learned what the best network on the market is for your area.
Although Affinity Cellular has a pretty good set of offerings, it still might not be to your taste. This is especially true if your area isn’t under their network coverage. If your area is better covered by AT&T, you may want to look at our article on the best AT&T MVNOs. On the other hand, if you’re looking for alternative plans for seniors, you can take a look at our best cellphone plans for seniors instead.