Consumer Cellular offers seniors the opportunity to connect with loved ones, stay informed, and have peace of mind. It's no surprise that eight-in-ten adults ages 65 and older own a cell phone.1 The pocket devices have proven to be a “must-have” for everyday conveniences and connecting with friends and family, but choosing a cell phone and service provider can be overwhelming. With all the options and additional features, how can you be sure you're getting the best value? Below, we cover everything you need to know about Consumer Cellular––a leader in the wireless industry, offering no-contract plans and senior-friendly phones.
With award-winning customer service and all-around low-prices, we found Consumer Cellular's offerings to be a top choice for seniors, even when compared to Verizon and T-Mobile's 55+ plans. Consumer Cellular guarantees a risk-free trial and no contracts, so it's easy to give the network a test run if you'd like. The company boasts of its 100 percent U.S.-based customer service team, and rightfully so. Consumer Cellular was rated #1 in Customer Service by J.D. Power and Associates eight times in a row.2
When looking at device options, Consumer Cellular has a smaller variety compared to most major providers, but they offer devices that are simple and intuitive for individuals who may be new to wireless technology. When compared to similar senior-focused providers like Lively, Consumer Cellular has fewer safety options, but a larger selection of phones to choose from at a lower price.
Consumer Cellular has 20 cell phone options for consumers to to choose from, so you can almost guarantee you'll find one that fits your lifestyle and needs. We've detailed two of our favorite Consumer Cellular senior-friendly phones below.
If you already have a device that you would prefer to continue using, that's A-OK! Thanks to Consumer Cellular's “bring your own phone” option, you can keep your current phone and number. We all know switching phones and phone numbers can be a hassle, so this is a bonus. Plus, you'll save some money since you won't have to purchase a new phone.
With a free SIM card provided by the company, you can connect your current mobile phone to their service for free. Unfortunately, the Consumer Cellular SIM card usually only works with phones previously used on AT&T or T-Mobile service. If the SIM card isn't an option for you, Consumer Cellular has several phones to choose from at price points that are budget-friendly.
For many older adults who are wireless users, a good ol' fashion flip phone remains a practical choice. If you consider a smartphone to be overly complex for your lifestyle, Consumer Cellular's Link II flip phone offers simplicity at an unbeatable price of just $50. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to slide into a pocket or purse. The phone's large, high-contrast keys make dialing a breeze for older eyes. TWith FM radio capabilities, a simple camera, and hearing aid compatibility, the Link II gives older adults useful features without overcomplicating things.
In short, the Link II flip phone is well-suited for older adults who prefer a very simple device. If you want to use your cell phone for talking and texting, and can do without Internet features, the Link II is right up your alley.
It has been reported that 68 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds and 46 percent of 65-year-olds and up use Facebook.3 If you enjoy checking social apps like Facebook, video chatting with grandchildren, and emailing from your phone, the Motorola Moto G Power is a powerful smartphone that keeps you connected.
At just $150, the Moto G Power delivers smartphone features at a terrific value. Its large battery supplies the device with three days of battery life. No more worrying about charging your phone every day. The 6.4″ full high definition touchscreen makes tapping, scrolling, and swiping easy to do. Plus, video chatting with your friends and loved ones is enhanced thanks to the built-in triple camera equipped with digital zoom and a front-facing lens.
Did You Know: You can find Consumer Cellular devices and services at a Target store near you if you want to get your hands on the products before buying.
For those who have hearing loss, both the Moto G Power and the Link II are compatible with hearing aids, this means the devices fulfill FCC requirements and experience less interference when used with hearing devices than other cellular phones that aren't hearing aid compatible.4
Consumer Cellular offers customizable, flexible monthly plans. Whether you anticipate using your mobile phone frequently, or just for emergencies, Consumer Cellular has a plan that is right for you and your family.
Speaking of family, you may have up to three lines on a Consumer Cellular account. Additional lines are $15 per month, per line. Minutes, texts, and data are shared between lines. Keep in mind that you can change your monthly plan anytime without racking up fees or penalties! Below are the types of plans Consumer Cellular offers.
“Talk Only” plans start at just $15 per month per line for 250 minutes of talk time. If you use your cell phone just to talk a few times a week and for emergencies, the $15 a month plan would fit your needs at a very affordable price. If you're concerned you may talk more than 250 minutes a month, we recommend going ahead and spending the extra $5 per month to have unlimited minutes. Keep in mind that a “Talk Only” plan does not include texting or data. If that is something you want to utilize, take a look at one of the other two plans we detail below.
If you have just one phone line on your Consumer Cellular account, for just $20 a month, you can get 250 minutes of talk, unlimited text, and 500 MB of data. From there, it is easy to customize your plan. Say you want unlimited minutes of talk time? It is just $5 more per month. Also for $5 more per month, you can bump to 3 GB of data.
Consumer Cellular offers plans with 500 MB, 3 GB, 10 GB, 15 GB, or unlimited data. This makes it easy to customize your plan to fit your needs. You can even switch plans from month to month if you're traveling and may need more data or minutes while you're on your trip.
Helpful Tool: Consumer Cellular offers a feature on their website to help you compare your current cell phone bill to what you would pay by switching to Consumer Cellular, so you can see just how good of a deal you're getting.
If you're considering purchasing a smartphone, like the Moto G Power listed above, you definitely want to choose a plan with data to utilize all the benefits and features of your smartphone. Wondering how much data your plan should have? Well, when you are not connected to WiFi and using your phone to send emails, video chat, check social apps, and get directions with GPS, you are using data. So, if you find yourself pulling out your smartphone on the go to do any of the above tasks, you probably need a plan with some data.
The chart below can help you estimate how much data you may need on your Consumer Cellular plan. When comparing data plans, your phone habits, monthly budget, and how many lines will be sharing the allotted monthly data should be considered.
|Cost*||Data||Video call||Browsing web pages||Streaming video|
|$20||500 MB||2 hours||6 hours||1 hour|
|$25||3 GB||12 hours||36 hours||6 hours|
|$35||10 GB||40 hours||120 hours||20 hours|
|$45||15 GB||60 hours||180 hours||30 hours|
*includes 250 minutes of talk and unlimited text
If you go over your plan's limit of minutes or data during the month, Consumer Cellular automatically upgrades you to a plan that covers the amount of data or minutes you've used. This way, you are guaranteed to get the best possible rate for your monthly usage, without overage fees.
FYI: If Consumer Cellular automatically upgrades your plan due to overages one month, you'll need to manually change back to your previous plan. Otherwise, Consumer Cellular will continue to charge you for the upgraded plan in the future.
If you're looking to add multiple phone lines, Consumer Cellular has that option as well. As we mentioned above, you can add up to three lines to an account for $15 more a month per line. Plus, adding lines to your account will get you a better deal on service. For example, one line with unlimited talk, text, and data is $60 per month. For two lines of unlimited talk, text, and data you'll pay $37.50 per line per month ($75 total per month), and three lines cost $30 a line per month ($90 total per month). So, if you have friends or family who also need a phone plan, it's worth it to add them to your Consumer Cellular account!
When comparing Consumer Cellular to other senior-centered wireless providers in our reviews over the years, we've found that Consumer Cellular remains the most budget-friendly but lacks health and safety features. Besides access to 9-1-1 like any other cell phone, their phones don't offer any senior-specific features like those that can be found on Lively’s Flip. If you want a senior-safety-focused device with robust features we would recommend giving it a look. At $99.99, the Lively Flip is much more expensive than Consumer Cellular's Link II. But, the price is justified since the Lively Flip can be equipped with additional health and safety features such as the ability to chat with an operator or live nurse on demand for an extra $34.99 per month.
When it comes down to it, if safety features are not what you're looking for in a cell phone and you desire a wireless provider that offers value, Consumer Cellular is the better choice.
Money-Saving Tip: When you refer a friend to Consumer Cellular, they will credit you and your friend $10 apiece after they sign up!
In recent years, major wireless carriers have begun catering to older Americans. That’s right, Verizon and T-Mobile have begun offering discounted unlimited plans for those 55 and older. We’ll admit, these larger companies may have a bigger selection of devices and plans with various features. But, when it comes to price, Consumer Cellular will save you money thanks to no activations fee or hidden overage charges. Not to mention, their superior, award-winning customer service and senior-friendly phones make the provider harder to compete with.
Verizon and T-Mobile also limit their senior plans to two lines and require a proof of ID to access their discounted plans. Consumer Cellular, on the other hand, gives customers the option to add a third line and you won't ever have to hassle with providing a proof of ID. If you’re desiring simplicity, value, and straightforward pricing in a wireless provider, Consumer Cellular quickly rises above major competitors. Below is a quick comparison of these providers.
|Consumer Cellular||Unlimited Data, Talk, and Text||2 Lines||$75 per month|
|Verizon 55+ Plan*||Unlimited Data, Talk, and Text||2 Lines||$80 per month|
|T-Mobile Essentials Unlimited 55||Unlimited Data, Talk, and Text||2 Lines||$55 per month (plus taxes and fees, which could be up to $18 more per month)|
*Currently only available to residents of Florida
Crafted with seniors in mind, Consumer Cellular has a robust library of videos on their YouTube channel and manuals on their website that can assist customers with setting up their phones, updating plans, and more. Whether you want to learn how to use your new Moto G Power phone or are troubleshooting your Link II, there is a video or manual to show you exactly how it’s done! Of course, their compassionate customer support team is available by phone if you would prefer to speak to a representative.
The majority of big-name cell phone service providers charge activation fees to offset the cost of activating and programming your phone, but Consumer Cellular does not charge these typical fees.
Consumer Cellular has been an approved AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) member for over 12 years. Members get exclusive discounts with Consumer Cellular, including a five percent discount on service and usage every month, a 30 percent discount on accessories, and an extended 45-day 100 percent risk-free guarantee.
With all of Consumer Cellular's data plans, unlimited texting is included.
For those who choose a phone plan with 250 minutes of talk per month, it is important to note that calls between phones on the same Consumer Cellular account are free! So, as long as they are on your Consumer Cellular account, a phone call to your spouse or another family member will not eat up your minutes.
Whether you're a tech-savvy senior or prefer to stay away from all the bells and whistles, Consumer Cellular can meet your mobile phone needs. Where the company lacks in device variety and safety features, they easily make up for it in their knowledgeable customer support team, senior-friendly phones, and flexible wireless plans that keep you connected without breaking the bank. With talk, text, and data plans starting at just $20 per month and phones for as little as $50, you're sure to find a Consumer Cellular plan and cell phone that fits in your budget.
Consumer Cellular uses AT&T towers to provide customers with excellent service coverage. With 99 percent of the U.S. population covered by Consumer Cellular’s service, you can rest assured you will have optimal coverage wherever you are.
Consumer Cellular offers several options for you to keep track of your usage. You can sign up to receive email and text alerts or, if you have a smartphone, you can download the company’s My CC app. In the app, you can view your data and minutes usage, pay your bill, and change your monthly plan.
Thanks to the company’s risk-free guarantee, if within 30 days of your activation you are unhappy with the service, you can cancel your service with Consumer Cellular without having to pay any fees.
If you’re a world traveler, you can still use your Consumer Cellular phone at international roaming rates. This will be $0.30 per minute and $0.10 per text message.
By partnering with a popular ride-sharing company, Lyft, Consumer Cellular offers a convenient and reliable transportation service called CC Go. For seniors who no longer drive, this can be a perfect solution for running errands and getting to appointments. All customers have to do is dial (888) 750-2246 to schedule a ride.
Pew Research. (2017). Technology use among seniors.
Pew Research. (2019). Use of different online platforms by demographic groups.
Federal Communications Commission. (2020). Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireless Telephones.