Consumer Cellular is a carrier that doesn't really ring a bell to many ears. That is because, like the provider GreatCall, the service's focal demographic is senior citizens. It might be right for you, but it's best to explore all of the services Consumer Cellular has to offer.
Consumer Cellular Wireless Plans
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Consumer Cellular offers monthly talk plans, as well as text and data (otherwise known as "connect") plans. Once you select a talk plan, you must then select a connect plan (or simply choose no connect plan). The cheapest plan is the Billed Per Use plan, which begins at a cheap fee but contains no included minutes. You must pay for minutes as you use them. Unfortunately, it's 25 cents per minute, which can rack up if you're a talker. In that case, it's best to opt for a more stable plan.
The services that are included with every plan are text and picture messaging, web browsing, altering services, and the option for sharing (family plan).
Consumer Cellular Monthly Plans
Consumer Cellular offers prepaid, no contract plans. The talk plans, which feature nationwide calling, run between 250 minutes and 4000 minutes, though you can always select the unlimited talk plan, which is less enticing for tech savvy users hoping for a more extravagant unlimited data plan.
You can change your plan at any time without penalties or surprises. So if you need more minutes, simply switch plans. Need fewer minutes? Downgrade! However, if you manage to exceed the minutes, the service will automatically upgrade you to the next level plan, eliminating the need for overage fees.
As far as Connect Plans go, text and data amounts range from 300/30MB to Unlimited/4GB. Once you exceed the maximum amount of data, you will be charged an additional $10 for every GB used. What is unique to the service is that the maximum amount of data in any billing cycle is 10GB, so if you reach the amount, your data use will be automatically suspended until the beginning of the next billing cycle.
Read More: MoneySavingPro also features a guide on the best cell phone plans among the four major networks, if you're interested in comparing Consumer Cellular's plans with any of the big four's.
Consumer Cellular Family Plans
Somewhat similar to the family plans belonging to the big four networks, you can share your minutes, text, and data through their Family Share plan. The plan is flexible and low-cost, complete with free calls between all phones on the same account. Family members can be added for just $10 per month per line to any plan.
Consumer Cellular Unlimited Plans
Consumer Cellular does feature unlimited talk and text plans alongside its limited plans, but there is no unlimited data service.
Consumer Cellular Cell Phones
So what all does Consumer Cellular offer in its device arsenal?
Consumer Cellular sells its own simple flip phones, dubbed the Consumer Cellular 101 and Doro PhoneEasy 626, for cheap prices. While the Consumer Cellular 101 bears simple-to-use features, the PhoneEasy 626 takes convenience a step further, featuring a bright and colorful main display screen, big, easy-to-read and raised buttons with large print, and high volume levels and speakerphone.
On a surprising note, Consumer Cellular also offers the latest iPhone - you can view the specs of the latest iPhone here - and Galaxy phone (not Edge). That being said, the provider also allows consumers to pay using EasyPay, which is simply a finance option.
Related: Compare the Best Smartphones
Consumer Cellular Phone Insurance
Is cell phone insurance worth it? Whether or not you're interested in phone insurance, you should know that Consumer Cellular features two types of protection plans - SquareTrade for flip phones and Android phones and AppleCare+ for iPhones - which vary in price depending on the phone.
SquareTrade ranges between $2 per month to $6 (+$50 deductible) per month. SquareTrade covers phone drops, spills, mechanical failures, and electrical failures. You must add the SquareTrade protection plan to the device within 30 days of a new device purchase. After filing a claim, you'll receive your replacement device within two business days.
The AppleCare+, on the other hand, extends repair coverage and technical support to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone. It also adds coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage. That being said, you will face a service fee of $29 for screen damage or $99 for any other type of damage. However, you will receive 24/7 priority access to Apple experts via chat or phone through Apple's support page.
Consumer Cellular Phone Activation
To activate a phone with Consumer Cellular, you can access the site's activation page. You must have your activation code on hand, which is located on the back of the box of your phone.
If you need help with activation, you can always dial Customer Support at 888-533-6942.
Consumer Cellular SIM Card
Sometimes you may need another SIM card, which contains your subscriber data (you can learn more about the SIM card here). However, you may want to simply bring your own phone to Consumer Cellular, which is completely possible.
Fortunately, you can obtain a Consumer Cellular SIM card for free, which is compatible with an AT&T, T-Mobile, or unlocked GSM phone. If you're unsure of how to unlock your phone, we can walk you through the steps with our guide to unlocking your cell phone.
Consumer Cellular Deals, Promotions & Discounts
Consumer Cellular doesn't have the most glamorous rewards program, but it does certainly have some deals. For instance, it might promote $20 of Joy - this promotion provides customers with a $20 invoice credit when you sign up with Consumer Cellular between November 15 and December 31.
Consumer Cellular also features discounts for AARP members, as well as a Referral Rewards program. With Referral Rewards, customers need to refer a friend to the service and you'll both receive $10.
Consumer Cellular Coverage
Consumer Cellular covers 99 percent of the nation, utilizing all four big networks. You can learn more about the coverage of the big four networks here. In other words, the service has got you covered.
Consumer Cellular Customer Support
Consumer Cellular offers great and friendly customer service, capable of answering both basic and more complex questions. There are several ways to contact support:
- Contact support by phone
- Send the service an e-mail by filling out the provided form
- Connect via social media
- Visit Consumer Cellular in nearly all Target locations and several AAA stores
Consumer Cellular is a great option, providing affordable talk options. However, it becomes a little pricey once you add the connect options to the plan (depending on the plan). Furthermore, once you exceed the 10GB cap, your data will shut off for the billing cycle. Unfortunately, while Consumer Cellular may have fantastic coverage and the latest phones with affordable finance options, the service is oriented toward the senior demographic.
Curious about what the other phone carriers may offer for plans? Then be sure to check out our cell phone plans series.