GreatCall, formerly known as Jitterbug, is a cellular service provider focusing on simple handsets with simple rate plans. Their primary handset, the Jitterbug Plus, has come to be known as a great entry cell phone for less technically adept folks.
Pros: The service features a simple phone design and a number of service tiers.
Cons: They offer very few features beyond basic talk. Text messaging costs extra, and add-on minutes can be expensive.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.08 to $0.15
Jitterbug offers six different levels of service, all of which come with carryover service that makes unused minutes available the following month. The Basic 14 plan offers 50 minutes for $14.99 per month; the Basic 19 offers 200 minutes for $19.99 per month; the Premium 29 plan offers 700 minutes for $29.99 per month; the Premium 39 plan offers 1,500 minutes for $39.99 per month; the Premium 59 plan offers 2,500 minutes for $59.99 per month; and the Simply Unlimited plan offers unlimited minutes for $79.99 per month. A la carte add-on minutes cost 35 cents each, but customers can buy packages: 100 minutes for $16.99, 250 minutes for $34.99, 500 minutes for $59.99, or 1,000 minutes for $99.99. Customers can also add lines to share for $14.99 per month, compatible with the Premium plans. The unlimited plan can be shared for $69.99 per month for additional lines.
Read more about Jitterbug plans
Customer Service: Customer service can be reached via a toll-free number, email, or snail mail.
Free Nights: No
Credit Check: None
Free Weekends: No
Daily Access Fee: No
Payment Options: Jitterbug phones and minutes can be purchased online or at retail outlets.
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messages are available in four monthly packages: 300 texts for 3 dollars, 700 texts for 6 dollars, 1,250 texts for 10 dollars, and 2,500 texts for 15 dollars. Overages are billed at 10 cents each. Photo messaging is available for 25 cents per message, capped at 10 dollars per month.
Data Plans: No data plans are available at this time.
Downloads: Jitterbug offers no downloadables.
International Calling: International calling is available as an add-on service.
Text Messaging Available: Text messages are available in four monthly packages: 300 texts for 3 dollars, 700 texts for 6 dollars, 1,250 texts for 10 dollars, and 2,500 texts for 15 dollars. Overages are billed at 10 cents each. Photo messaging is available for 25 cents per message, capped at 10 dollars per month.
Roaming Charges: Jitterbug phones will not work while roaming.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: No
Calling Features: Voicemail is available for 3 dollars per month. It is free on yearly plans and with the 800 minute plan.
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: Yes
Activation Fee: 35 dollars.
Nationwide Long Distance: Jitterbug includes long distance at no extra charge.
Unlimited Plan Available: No
411 Calls: Operator-assisted calls cost 5 minutes. It is free with the 800-minute plan.
Earliest Minute Expiration: Monthly and Simply Share plan minutes expire at the end of the month. Add-on minutes expire one year from the date of purchase.
911 Calls: Yes.
Phones: GreatCall offers only two handset models. One is a basic candybar phone from Samsung that offers affordability along with simplicity. The other is the signature Jitterbug phone, the Jitterbug Plus, which costs 99 dollars and come in red and silver.
Standard Calling Features: Voicemail
Some Available Cell Models: The Jitterbug Plus (shown)
Cheapest Phone Model: The Jitterbug