No-Contract Consumer Cellular Wireless Plans

How to decide which Consumer Cellular plan is best for you

Consumer Cellular pioneered the no-contract cellular business model for casual users, but in 2008, it partnered with AARP. Since then, the majority of Consumer Cellular's user base consists of people over 50. The company has been praised for the simplicity of its plans.

Selecting a plan is as simple as picking one Talk plan and one Connect (text and data) plan. Consumer Cellular offers two Talk plans and five Connect plans. Because there is no contract, you can change your plan whenever you want.

Person considering various cell plans
Lifewire / Luyi Wang

Nationwide Talk Plans

Every Talk plan includes nationwide phone calls, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and 3-way conference calling. You can add anyone else to your account to share the minutes, texts, and web data for $15 per month.

These are the available Talk plans:

  • 250 Minutes for $15 per month
  • Unlimited Minutes for $20 per month

Calls made between phones on the same Consumer Cellular account are free, meaning that they do not use up any of the minutes on your Talk plan.

Connect Plans

Add an optional Connect plan to your Talk plan for text and data capabilities. With a Connect plan, you get unlimited texting capabilities (including the option to send and receive images) and can browse the internet for news, apps, entertainment, social media, etc.

Your options for Consumer Cellular Connect plans are as follows:

  • 250 MB for $5 /month
  • 1 GB for $10 /month
  • 3 GB for $20 /month
  • 5 GB for $30 /month
  • 10 GB for $40 /month

If you happen to reach 18 GB of data during any billing cycle (which is the maximum amount of data you can use during any one month), your data usage will become suspended until the start of the next billing cycle.

Phones Compatible With Consumer Cellular Service

Consumer Cellular provides customers with a free SIM card for use with one of the company's phones, a phone previously used with T-Mobile or AT&T, or an unlocked GSM phone.

You can use the Consumer Cellular SIM card page to order a free SIM card. There are no activation fees and the SIM card works with nano, micro, and standard card slots.

If you choose to buy a phone from Consumer Cellular, you can select from extremely affordable budget phones or mid to high-end smartphones, including the most recent iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones.

Other Charges

Consumer Cellular plans are priced before taxes. Your bill will include any federal, state, and local taxes for your area. These can range from 15 percent to 35 percent of your bill depending on your locale.

Other charges can occur if you make 411 calls, international calls or texts, calls from cruise ships, or content downloads from the internet.

If you go over your current Talk or Connect plan, Consumer Cellular will automatically upgrade you to the next plan level. So, while there are no overage fees, you will automatically be placed into the next tier of that plan and will stay in that plan unless you downgrade at the start of your next billing cycle.

For example, if you're subscribed to the 3 GB Connect plan and use 3.5 GB of data that month, you will be placed into the 5 GB plan automatically and will be charged an extra $10 that month (since that plan is $10 more than the 3 GB one).

On a similar note, if you are using the 10 GB Connect plan and go over your data limit, you will be charged $5 for every additional gigabyte you use. It's possible that Consumer Cellular will also throttle your bandwidth thereafter, which will slow down your data speeds.

Perks for AARP Members

AARP members receive additional perks:

  • A 5% discount every month on your service
  • A 30% discount on select accessories
  • An extended (54-day) risk-free guarantee

If you're not currently an AARP member, you can always sign up on the Consumer Cellular checkout page to take advantage of the discounts.

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