Take a look at U.S. Cellular’s coverage map before you settle on them as a provider. Although it may appear that most of the U.S. is covered, be aware that 4G data coverage is limited to the Midwest and small segments of the East and West Coasts. If you are located elsewhere, your data speeds and call reception will likely be compromised. You can toggle between voice coverage and data coverage, and type in your address to get specific coverage information.
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U.S. Cellular Postpaid Plans
U.S. Cellular has a few postpaid plans that all come with unlimited talk and text, but there aren’t any unlimited high-speed data plans. However, they do have data plans with 4G speeds until you reach 22GB or 25GB, which is generally plenty of data for anyone. Thereafter, speeds are slowed to 2G speeds.
One HUGE perk for some of the U.S. Cellular postpaid plans is the ability to get paid for the data you don’t use. Any person with a 22GB or 25GB plan that uses less than 3GB will get $10 back each month. That’s a potential savings of $120 a year, and those savings could double or triple depending on the number of lines on your account.
U.S. Cellular Prepaid Plans
U.S. Cellular has a few prepaid plans, all of which come with unlimited texting and calling. With these plans, you can choose between no data, some data, or a lot of data. Rather than charging data overages, they will reduce your data speeds when you exceed your data allotment.
With these plans there are a few perks:
- No contracts: Cancel your service whenever you want.
- No credit checks: Get the phone and service you want.
- No activation fees: Get started without paying more than the cost of your service plan.
- Smartphone mobile hotspots: Connect with capable devices on the go.
U.S. Cellular Family Plans
All U.S. Cellular family plans offer unlimited talk and text while only two provide unlimited data. If you’re choosing a plan without unlimited data, data will be shared across each line on the account. For instance, if you have four phone lines and 8GB of data, each line will get 2GB. Both unlimited family plans offer $10 back each month for every line that uses less than 3GB of data. With four lines, you have the capability to save nearly $500 each year.
U.S. Cellular Phones
There are more than 30 phones currently compatible with U.S. Cellular’s network. To use these phones you can buy them outright, lease them on a monthly installment plan, or you can bring your own device if it’s compatible with their network.
U.S. Cellular’s installment plans allow you to pay off your cell phone in smaller monthly payments (vs paying for the phone upfront). Installments are available for a 30-month period, and you can always pay off your remaining installment balance early with no fees or upgrade to a new phone after 24 consecutive monthly payments. You need a wireless plan with them to qualify for the installment plan, so if you want to cancel your service you will have to pay off your remaining balance on your phone.
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Certified Pre-owned Phones
If you want a new phone but don’t want to pay top dollar, U.S. Cellular offers pre-owned certified devices that you can only buy through their installment program. These phones go through rigorous testing so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality product. On top of that, you have a 90-day limited warranty to test out your pre-owned phone, and if it breaks or is faulty you’ll get a new device. You’ll also have 15 days to test out the device—if you don’t like it, you can return it and get a new one.
If you don’t want to pay monthly installments, you can always buy your new phone outright. Before you check out, just click the prepaid option and the phone will be yours.
Bring Your Own Phone
If you already own an unlocked phone, you can take it with you and switch to U.S. Cellular. However, keep in mind that not all phones are compatible with their network. To see if you can use your phone with them, type your IMEI into their compatibility checker.
U.S. Cellular Coverage Map
As we stated above, U.S. Cellular’s standard coverage map is a bit misleading. According to the map, there are very few spots throughout the country that don’t have coverage, but if you read the fine print, it says that 4G LTE is not available in every area. This makes a huge difference if you are someone who relies on high-speed data to stream videos or music. If you want a more accurate representation of their data coverage, you’ll want to look at the voice and data maps. There you can see that 4G LTE data coverage is rather sparse compared to other carriers, such as Verizon and AT&T.