Consumer Cellular vs Verizon

Our experts compared these two cell phone carriers that both offer multiple package options. See which one gets our recommendation.

Our favorite is Verizon

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Side-by-side comparison:

Side-by-side comparison: Verizon
Editor's Rating
2.8 / 5 stars
3 / 5 stars
Price Range $15 - $40/mo $30 - $60 per line/mo
Overage Fee No fee- automatic upgrade to next plan $15 per GB/data
Cancellation Fee N/A No
Contract Required No No
Contract Length N/A Up to 2 yrs of monthly pymts if buying ph from Verizon
Prepaid Plan Option Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Option Yes Yes
Family Plans Yes Yes
Nationwide Coverage Yes Yes
International Coverage Yes Yes
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*We recommend calling because representatives can sometimes offer special deals or pricing. We make every effort to provide and maintain accurate information on our site. However, the businesses reviewed on our site may periodically change their pricing, equipment, and packages and there may be a lag between the time they make such changes and the time we become aware of such changes. If you identify any outdated or inaccurate information, please contact us here.

Editors Recommendation

Generally, we recommend Consumer Cellular over Verizon Wireless if you are looking for less expensive monthly plans and no overage fees or contracts. However, if you need a good selection of the latest cell phones and smartphones and travel internationally, Verizon Wireless might be a better fit.

Consumer Cellular and Verizon are both rated as top of the line for the services they offer. Both companies offer nationwide coverage. Verizon is a stand-alone company, while Consumer Cellular is not considered an actual carrier. Instead, Consumer Cellular “piggy-backs” its service through T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon has a more expanded network with unlimited gigs for people who don’t want limits on their usage. Consumer Cellular also offers basic nationwide coverage but is somewhat limited on devices and the types of plans that are offered.

Consumer Cellular vs Verizon Differences

Consumer Cellular is not an actual cell phone service provider. Instead, it creates plans that are serviced through either T-Mobile or AT&T. The only prime cell phones they offer for their best plans are the newest iPhone models. They do offer high-speed data in an “unlimited” plan but once the maximum 4 gigs have been used, they will slow down or actually shut down your usage. Consumer Cellular is also a partner with AARP and offers discounts to its members.

Verizon is rated as one of, if not the best, wireless service provider in the country. They offer a wide variety of plans and a large selection of devices. One of the biggest differences between Consumer Cellular and Verizon is the price. Verizon is one of the more expensive service providers in the industry, but many people believe that the number of devices offered and the variety of plans available make it worth the additional expense.

Verizon vs Consumer Cellular Similarities

Consumer Cellular does not require contracts for any of their services, but they do require lease agreements for the phones they offer. Because they use AT&T/T-Mobile as a service provider, they can offer the same high speeds and 4G data option as Verizon and other major carriers. The offer nationwide coverage in all areas where AT&T and T-Mobile are available.

Verizon also has done away with two-year contracts. Like Consumer Cellular and most other carriers, they require lease agreements in order to obtain one of their phones unless the customer agrees to purchase it outright. Verizon offers nationwide coverage. Verizon offers multiple package options that are similar to Consumer Cellular.

Service Area

Because Consumer Cellular relies on AT&T and T-Mobile services, they have the same coverage areas. Both offer nationwide coverage throughout the United States with limited spots where service is questionable. AT&T does offer voice coverage throughout Canada and Mexico.

Verizon offers nationwide coverage as well as TravelPasses that allow for coverage in over 130 countries.

Phone Options

Consumer Cellular pushes the premier iPhone options, such as the iPhone X and iPhone Xr. They also offer several Android options with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as their top of the line. The other Androids tend to be more mid-tier and not as technologically advanced.

Verizon offers devices from multiple companies. They offer the top of the line in the iPhone collection as well as the elite of the Samsung Galaxies. They also offer the Google Pixel 3XL, the Motorola Moto Z, and the LG V40 ThinQ.

Costs and Contracts

If you choose one of the iPhones from Consumer Cellular, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 upfront and finish with their EasyPay program (or $700 to $900 out-of-pocket the day of purchase). In addition to the lease amount, you will pay $10 for a basic talk plan or up to $40 a month for their “unlimited” plans.

With Verizon, most phones can be purchased outright or you can pay $30 upfront to lease the device. Their plans range in price from $50 to $95 a month in addition to the monthly lease fee of the device.

Our Conclusion

Consumer Cellular offers plans to meet most people’s needs at affordable prices. It is a great choice for AARP members who want a top of the line phone with the option for unlimited talk/text/data options. Our Consumer Cellular review goes into more detail about their senior phone offering.

Verizon is a good choice if you don’t mind paying for their services. They are more expensive but offer a wider selection of devices and packages than other companies.