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 to keep up 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 GreatCall, Consumer Cellular has fewer safety options, but a larger selection of phones to choose from at a lower price.
Consumer Cellular has nearly 20 cell phone options for consumers to purchase, 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 great! Thanks to Consumer Cellular’s “bring your own phone” option, you can keep your current phone and number. With a free SIM card provided by the company, you can connect your device 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 wireless users who are in their golden years, a good ol’ fashion flip phone remains the most practical choice. If you consider a smartphone to be overly complex for your lifestyle, Consumer Cellular’s Doro 7050 flip phone offers simplicity and great value at 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. The 3.0MP camera with a built-in flash is great for snapping cute photos of grandkids and pets! With safety in mind, Consumer Cellular has provided an assistance button on the back of the phone. When pressed three times, the button will immediately dial your pre-programmed emergency contact.
In short, the Doro 7050 flip phone is well-suited for seniors who like a very simple device without many Internet features and mainly want to use their phones for talking and texting.
It has been reported that 68 percent of 50 to 64-year-olds and 46 percent of 65-year-olds and up use Facebook. If you enjoy checking social apps like Facebook,3 video chatting with grandchildren, and emailing from your phone, the Motorola Moto G Power could be the smartphone to keep 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 navigating the phone easy to do. The built-in triple camera is equipped with a digital zoom and a front-facing lens––perfect for video chatting with loved ones!
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 Doro 7050 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 for 250 minutes. 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 great 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.
Starting at just $20 a month, you’ll get 250 minutes of talk, unlimited text, and 500MB of data. From there, it is easy to customize your plan. Say you want unlimited talk? It is just $5 more per month. Also for $5 more per month, you can bump to 3GB of data. Consumer Cellular offers plans with 500MB, 3GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited data.
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 may want to choose a plan with data. Wondering how much data your plan should have? It is important to keep in mind that when you are using your phone while not connected to WiFi, you’ll need data for pretty much everything other than calls and texts. The chart below can help you estimate how much data you may need. It is important to keep in mind your phone habits and how many lines will be sharing the allotted monthly data.
|Cost*||Data||Video Call||Browsing Web Pages||Streaming Video|
|$20||500MB||2 hours||6 hours||1 hour|
|$25||3GB||12 hours||36 hours||6 hours|
|$35||10GB||40 hours||120 hours||20 hours|
|$45||15GB||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.
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. On the Doro 7050, there is an emergency call Assistance Button on the back of the phone. When pressed three times consecutively, it will call your programmed emergency contact. Otherwise, there are no additional senior-focused safety features on the device.
A phone from GreatCall, like the Lively Flip, might be a better fit if you want a device with robust safety features. At $99.99, the Lively Flip is nearly double the cost of Consumer Cellular’s Doro 7050. 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. If safety features are not what you’re looking for in a cell phone and you desire a wireless provider that offers value and the ability to stay connected, 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 the past year, major wireless carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile have begun offering discounted unlimited plans for those 55 and older. The larger companies may have a bigger selection of devices and features on their plans, but when it comes to price, Consumer Cellular will still save you money with no activation fee or hidden charges. Not to mention their superior, award-winning customer service and senior-friendly phones. 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 has 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 Verizon and T-Mobile.
|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
Consumer Cellular has a robust library of videos on their YouTube channel and manuals on their website that were crafted with seniors in mind. Whether you want to learn how to use your new Moto G Power phone or are troubleshooting your Doro 7050, there is a video or manual to assist you. Of course, their compassionate customer support team is available by phone as well.
The majority of cell phone companies 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 10 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 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 account are free! A phone call to your spouse or another family member will not use up your minutes as long as they are on your Consumer Cellular account.
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 with 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 wireless plan and cell phone that fit 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 great 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 them 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.