Consumer Cellular Cell Phone Plan Review 2022

SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.

20+ Years in Business
5% AARP Discount
Overall Rating:
4.0 of 5
Are you sure Consumer Cellular is right for you?
45-Day Guarantee
$15/mo. Starting Price

More Cell Phone Recommendations

Looking for more options? Our team picked a few more favorites.

Overall Rating:
4.7 of 5
Overall Rating:
4.0 of 5

Back in 1995, Consumer Cellular — then a tiny Pacific Northwest startup — understood the need for seniors to stay connected in order to experience a better quality of life. Based on that mission, an economical cell phone service was born.

From my experience, Consumer Cellular provides older adults with flexibility, affordability, and excellent customer service. I'm a big fan of their no-contract policy and senior-focused devices. Keep in mind that if you live in a rural area, Consumer Cellular may have spotty service. Continue reading for my full thoughts on Consumer Cellular phones and plans!

Pros and Cons

What We Like About Consumer Cellular

  • No contracts or cancellation fees: If you need to cancel your plan for any reason, you’ll get a prorated charge for the amount of minutes and data you used that month, and that's it!
  • Use your own phone: You can use your old phone (as long as it's unlocked and compatible) on the Consumer Cellular network.
  • Additional AARP discount: Consumer Cellular already offers low rates, so that extra 5 percent discount on monthly plans from AARP is the cherry on top. Members also get a discount on accessories and an extended 45-day risk-free guarantee.
  • Mix and match plans: Consumer Cellular offers plans that let you mix and match your talk, text, and data so that you can pay for exactly what you want — no more and no less.

Things to Keep in Mind About Consumer Cellular

  • Spotty coverage: For users in urban areas, Consumer Cellular should do just fine. If you live in or frequent a rural area, you may not have the best coverage.1
  • No medical alert features: While some providers we've reviewed, like Lively, offer phones with built-in medical alert features or add-on services, Consumer Cellular does not.

Extra Protection: For just $3 per month per line, you can add roadside assistance to your monthly plan. Partnering with Allstate Roadside Services, Consumer Cellular offers subscribers assistance if they get locked out of their car, need a jump or tow, run out of gas, or have a flat tire.

The Buying Experience With Consumer Cellular

Consumer Cellular makes it easy to purchase a plan and phone that fit your needs. I found their website to be informative and user-friendly. If you want to make a purchase online, you can do so. Here's how I did it:

  1. Click on the “Plans” tab at the top of the home page.
  2. Select how many phone lines you need.
  3. Select the amount of text and data you think you'll use.
  4. If you only want minutes, select “I Don't Need a Data Plan” to view the company's Talk Only plan.
  5. Click “Add to Cart” for your chosen plan.
  6. Finally, select your device or bring your own.
  7. Choose if you want to add a protection plan or roadside assistance.
  8. Enter payment information and check out.

Good news: Shipping is free! If you prefer to make your purchase in person, most Target stores carry Consumer Cellular products. You can also make a purchase by calling the customer service number listed on the Consumer Cellular website.

When I called the number, I waited about two minutes before Angel in Phoenix came on the line. She was willing to answer all of my questions without asking me for any personal information. After providing me with important details, she did update me on some promotions, but she kept it short. All in all, I was pleased and didn't feel like I was being pushed into anything. I felt I was given the right tools to make an informed decision.

Choosing a Cell Phone

With nearly 20 device options that are all senior-friendly, it's hard to go wrong with a device from Consumer Cellular. Whether you're hunting for the best smartphone for seniors with all the frills or a bare-bones flip phone, you can get the phone you need from Consumer Cellular. You can also bring your own phone if you already have a device that you prefer to use on a Consumer Cellular plan.

Here are a couple of phones (and a tablet) that stand out to us:

Consumer Cellular Link II

Consumer Cellular Link II

Link II Flip Phone

The Link II is one of the basic, senior-focused phones that Consumer Cellular offers. This flip phone's large keys are easy for texting and dialing, it's hearing aid compatible, and it has a well-lit display. These features are tailored to the needs of older users, without any bells and whistles, so this phone is a great option if you're looking for simplicity and value. Plus, the Link II costs just $59, which is one of the most affordable phones we've seen on the market.

Pro Tip: Visit our list of the best flip phones for seniors to compare the Link II to other user-friendly devices.

Galaxy Note20

Galaxy Note20

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 offers versatility and quality for users interested in a smartphone. With elevated camera quality, a super-bright screen, and an easy-to-operate S pen (ideal for note taking, hence the name), this smartphone surpasses others with lots of memory and a longer battery life, which means less charging and worrying about a dead phone. It's hearing aid compatible and just the right size for older hands to grasp with ease. Priced at $1,299, this is on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, compared to other leading smartphones on the market, it's comparable. Consumer Cellular also gives you the option to put down a $27 deposit and pay $53 per month for 24 months if that's better for your budget.

FYI: None of the Consumer Cellular phones come with an extra activation fee, unlike most of their competitors.

Consumer Cellular GrandPad

Consumer Cellular GrandPad

GrandPad

Though it's not a phone, I still think the GrandPad is worth mentioning. Reviews often mention just how helpful the GrandPad can be for older adults who might struggle with sight and the hassle of complicated tablets but wish to stay in touch via technology.2 Thanks to a high-definition display and dual speakers, this intuitive 8-inch smart tablet can keep families connected with syncing and real-time updates. The 5MP camera also does a great job with video calling and entertainment. The GrandPad costs $299, or you can pay an $11 deposit followed by $12 monthly installments for 24 months.

Nationwide Coverage

Consumer Cellular uses AT&T and T-Mobile towers to provide nationwide coverage. They provide 4G speeds in most rural areas and 5G speeds in most urban areas. This is pretty typical of most major telecommunication providers. Keep in mind that tall buildings, weather, and terrain can all affect cellular coverage, so it is best to test out your phone in places you frequent the first month you have it to make sure Consumer Cellular can deliver ideal service in your area.

Contracts and Warranty  

Contracts

Consumer Cellular ditches all contracts to offer customers the best in flexibility and reassurance. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you want to return anything. We reviewed AT&T’s plans and Verizon plans and found that the two big guns impose contracts of up to two years in length. When you’re selecting a Consumer Cellular plan, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you won't be locked into a long-term contract and you can cancel service at any time.

Warranty

New phones from Consumer Cellular come with a one-year manufacturer's warranty. When purchasing a phone, you can add a protection plan for around $2 to $8 per month depending on the phone you select. The plan covers repairs to your phone if it is damaged or malfunctions. If you purchase an expensive phone and you're accident-prone, the protection plan may be something to consider.

Consumer Cellular Senior Phone Plans at a Glance

Plan type Number of lines Cost per month Minutes Data Text
Talk Only 1 $15 Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $20 Unlimited 1 GB Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $25 Unlimited 3 GB Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $35 Unlimited 7 GB Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $40 Unlimited 10 GB Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $45 Unlimited 15 GB Unlimited
Unlimited Talk and Text 1 $55 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Consumer Cellular Plan Details

There is no designated “senior plan” from Consumer Cellular since every plan is designed to benefit older adults. After all, the most basic unlimited talk plan is $15 per month, which is very affordable compared to other major carriers. Below, we'll take a look at some of my favorite plan options.

Unlimited Talk Only Plans for Basic Cell Phone Users

If you're new to cell phones, need one for emergencies, or want to be reachable when you’re away from your home, an Unlimited Talk Only plan is ideal. When paired with the Link II flip phone, this is a great bundle if you're just getting started with a cell phone and want to keep it simple. At $15 per month, it is an affordable way to keep you just a phone call away from your loved ones no matter where you are.

Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3 GB of Data for Smartphone Users

For older adults with a smartphone, purchasing a plan with data is not necessary. But it's a good idea if you want to get the full value and functionality out of your device. A plan with 3 GB will most likely be enough for one person to send emails, browse social media, and view web pages. If you have multiple lines with smartphones on your account or want to stream video on your phone when you're not connected to Wi-Fi, then look at bumping up to the 10 GB or 15 GB plan.

Pro Tip: Still not sure which type of plan is right for you? Visit our senior cell phone buyer's guide to learn more about how to choose a plan and cell phone.

No Overage Fees

No matter which plan you choose, you can change it at any time without an extra charge. If you accidentally exceed the minutes or data on your plan, Consumer Cellular will automatically upgrade you to the next-highest plan. So you're still getting the best deal without unexpected overage charges. I appreciate this transparency in pricing!

Save Even More: AARP members can receive a 5 percent discount on their monthly bill and 30 percent on select device accessories.

Cost

Honestly, it's easy to see that compared to other plans out there with long-term contracts, hidden fees, and overage charges, Consumer Cellular is all about creating useful options, not pulling wool over your eyes! Depending on the plan you choose, prices range from $15 to $55 per month. You're getting a great deal if you're using your phone for talking, texting, and light data usage.

Quick Tip: Want to easily compare plan costs from top providers? Visit our list of the best cell phone plans for seniors.

Consumer Cellular allows you to add up to three lines to your plan. The first additional line is $20 per month, and the third line is $15 per month. For example, let's say you're paying $55 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data. If you'd like to add your spouse to your plan, your bill will go up to $75 per month.

The Bottom Line on Consumer Cellular

There is no doubt that Consumer Cellular heavily values customer satisfaction. The proof is in its long-standing no-contract plans, affordable monthly rates, and money-back guarantee. Another area where they really shine is customer service. In terms of my own personal experience, I found a friendly, patient voice on the other end of line.

Because the average Consumer Cellular customer is in their mid 60s, their representatives are trained to guide and teach, instead of robotically selling. The buying and user experiences are relatively painless, even for those who may be uncomfortable with technology. Older adults can keep their independence and have fun with their device, knowing that Consumer Cellular is there to help along the way.

To compare Consumer Cellular to other carriers, check out our review of the best cell phones for seniors.

Frequently Asked Questions About Consumer Cellular

Citations
  1. Consumer Cellular. (2021). Wireless Coverage Map.

  2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (2020). 6 ways for seniors to keep in touch with family.