Consumer Cellular is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that operates on two major networks: T-Mobile and AT&T. MVNOs are smaller wireless operators that run on the big four carrier networks—AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.
Consumer Cellular plans are basic, letting you choose the amount texts, call minutes, and data that you can use each month. If you use more data or minutes than your plan allows, Consumer Cellular will upgrade your plan to cover the service used, but won’t charge you overage fees. The great thing about their plans is that they don’t have contracts, so you can come and go as you please.
Consumer Cellular Plans
Consumer Cellular plans are simple and senior-friendly. However, they’re are not solely for older generations. For instance, if you don’t use much data or want a simple plan they are a great provider. And because they piggyback off of AT&T and T-Mobile, their service and coverage are hard to beat.
Additional line: $15
|250 minutes: $15/mo
|Unlimited Talk and Text Plans
Consumer Cellular doesn’t have any “unlimited everything” plans—you can choose to have unlimited talk, but they don’t offer unlimited data. In fact, the most data you can buy is 20GB per month, which is actually more than enough for most people. When it comes to texting, if you want it you need to buy a data package. Texts are only offered with a data plan and are always unlimited.
Their plans are customizable so you only pay for what you need. You can choose between different tiers of call minutes and data packages that suit your lifestyle, and you can change your plan at any time.
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Consumer Cellular Family Plans
Consumer Cellular is an approved AARP provider. Because of that they offer members special benefits, including 5% off monthly service and usage.
Consumer Cellular only allows you to add one additional line to your account, for a total of two lines. Your second line will share the amount of talk, text, and data you have on your plan. For instance, if you have 250 call minutes on your account, the added line will share those minutes and won’t receive 250 minutes of its own. However, a great benefit to adding a family member to your account is that calls to your second line will be free.
You can add a family member or friend to your account for just $15 per month extra and the process is simple. Just call Consumer Cellular’s customer service number or log into your account online. A great benefit to adding lines to your account is that calls between the two lines will be free.
Consumer Cellular Billing
With the exception of unlimited calling plans, Consumer Cellular will charge you based on how many minutes and how much data you use each month. Minutes are calculated by the length of both incoming and outgoing calls but won’t be charged for if the call isn’t answered.
Calls to other People on your family account are free
If you go over the minutes allowed on your plan, Consumer Cellular will automatically upgrade your plan to cover the service used. The same thing will happen with your data usage. Each time an upgrade occurs, you will be notified and you will stay on this new plan until you go into your account settings and change it manually. On the flip side, if you find you’re not using all the data or talk time allowed on your plan, you may be overpaying and can switch to a less expensive plan anytime.
Buy a Cell Phone From Consumer Cellular
There are a few ways to buy or use a phone with Consumer Cellular:
- Buy a phone via monthly installments (EasyPay)
- Buy it outright
- Bring your own phone
With Consumer Cellular’s EasyPay program, you pay for a new phone over time by making smaller monthly payments. This is a great option for those who want a new phone but can’t afford to pay for one upfront.
This is an interest-free program, and you won’t end up paying more or less money by the time you own the phone.
When you start this program you’ll need a downpayment for the phone which will depend on your credit rating. You’ll then pay a monthly cost on top of your regular bill until the phone is fully paid off. You will have to have an active Consumer Cellular plan for the duration of the EasyPay program. If you ever want to leave and switch carriers, you’ll have to pay the remaining balance of your phone. With EasyPay you will also have to enroll in their AutoPay program where you will be charged each month automatically. You can make early payments, or you can buy the phone outright anytime by paying the remaining balance on your phone.
If you don’t want an added monthly payment, you can buy the new phone outright. Just go online, pick the phone you want, and pay the full retail price at checkout. Once you receive the phone, you can insert a Consumer Cellular SIM card and start using it.
Bring Your Own Phone
If you already own a phone, you can bring it to Consumer Cellular as long as it is compatible and unlocked. Contact their customer service to check whether your phone is compatible with one of their plans.