Since 1995, Consumer Cellular has been bridging the gap between older adults and the latest in cellular technology. Through a combination of low prices, flexible contracts, and easy-to-use devices, they’ve built a reputation as one of the leading cellular providers for older adults.
In this rundown, I’ll tell you just about anything you’d want to know about Consumer Cellular. We’ll take a walkthrough of the purchasing process, and I’ll tell you all about Consumer Cellular’s phones, plans, and other unique features.
Technology aside, what separates Consumer Cellular from other providers is their dedication to customer service. Their customer support team is entirely based in the U.S., and they’re available 24/7 to field any of your questions. This company is also privately owned, ensuring that their loyalty is to you, their customers.
This care is what makes Consumer Cellular such a popular option for older adults. While it’s tempting to assume that older adults just want simple cellular devices, many of them use smartphones. And what better way to begin using this modern technology than with a company that simplifies the entire process, both in terms of customer care and straightforward pricing. For more detailed information please check out our reviews of Consumer Cellular.
FYI: 5G coverage is now available to all Consumer Cellular customers nationwide.
Purchasing Consumer Cellular
Consumer Cellular can be purchased in person, either at Target or other independent retailers; however, I’d recommend using their website, as this will allow you to take a comprehensive look at each of their products and services. Here you can easily select a phone, add it to your cart, select a monthly plan, and complete your transaction using a credit card. Consumer Cellular also has the option to pay for your phone using Easy Pay, a service that stretches your payment out into multiple interest-free installments, a great option for more expensive devices.
Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.
Consumer Cellular Phones
Consumer Cellular offers an impressive array of cellphones, tablets, and smartphones. If you want the latest from Apple, Samsung, and Motorola, then they’ve got you covered. They also have a great option for older adults who prefer flip phones, such as the Consumer Cellular Link II, which has a one-time payment of $59 for 8GB.
Here’s a list of their phone and tablet offerings.
Consumer Cellular Phones and Tablets
Consumer Cellular Link II
ZTE Wireless Home Phone Base
ZTE Avid 579
Motorola Moto G Stylus
Samsung Galaxy A12
Motorola Moto G Play
Motorola One 5G Ace
Apple iPhone SE
Apple iPhone 11
Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
BYO Device: With a free SIM card from Consumer Cellular, you can bring your own device to your Consumer Cellular service plan.
Consumer Cellular Grandpad
In addition to phones, Consumer Cellular also offers a caregiving device that they call the GrandPad. For $299, in addition to a $38 monthly service plan, the Grandpad is a great way for your loved one to make calls, browse the web, and stay connected with family members.
Using the GrandPad’s smartphone app, a caregiver can create a private circle of family and friends in order to facilitate communication. Together, all of you can send alerts, messages, and important dates, all shared in one single place. With the required service plan, you’ll get unlimited data, music streaming, video calls, and traditional calls. The GrandPad is a great option for a loved one who remains primarily at home.
Consumer Cellular Service Plans
Consumer Cellular offers a variety of different service plans. Unlike other cellular providers who require lengthy year-long contracts, each Consumer Cellular plan is subscribed to and paid for on a monthly basis with no long-term commitments. Talk-only plans start at only $15 per month, and unlimited plans can go up to $60 per month, which is comparable to T-Mobile plans for older adults. Additional phones can be added to any plan for only $15 per month, which is a great option for couples and families.
FYI: If you plan to purchase a smartphone, then you’ll definitely want to sign up for a plan with a data allowance in order to make the most of your phone’s features.
Consumer Cellular’s services are powered by AT&T’s 4G LTE network, one that is frequently ranked as one of the fastest mobile operators in the U.S.
Let’s take a closer look at Consumer Cellular’s service plans and their pricing.
Consumer Cellular Plans
Talk, Text, and Data
250 Minutes, Unlimited Texts, 500MB
250 Minutes, Unlimited Texts, 3GB
250 Minutes, Unlimited Texts, 10GB
250 Minutes, Unlimited Texts, 15GB
250 Minutes, Unlimited Texts and Data
Unlimited Talk, Text, and 500MB
Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB
Unlimited Talk, Text, and 10GB
Unlimited Talk, Text, and 15GB
Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data
Talk Only, 250 minutes
Talk Only, Unlimited minutes
Another add-on service feature with Consumer Cellular is their roadside assistance. For $3 per month, billed to your service plan, you can have access to help in the event of roadside emergencies. Available services include towing up to 10 miles, fuel delivery, jump starts, lockout service, and flat tire service.
FYI: If you’re a member of AARP, then you’re eligible for significant discounts on your Consumer Cellular Plan. To learn more, read my guide: Is AARP Worth It?
Activating Your Consumer Cellular Phone
Once you get your hands on your Consumer Cellular device, all that’s left to do is plug your device into an outlet, using the included charger, and call the number listed on your manual in order to activate it. A Consumer Cellular customer care specialist will confirm your information, and from there you’re all set to start making calls, sending messages, and browsing the web.
Consumer Cellular Warranties and Return Policy
Every Consumer Cellular device is backed by their 30-day risk-free guarantee. With this guarantee, you’ll have 30 days to try out your device and see if it’s a good fit for your needs. If you have second thoughts, then all you need to do is call up Consumer Cellular, cancel your plan, and return your device for a full refund.
With that said, many of our readers have reported troubles with returning their devices for a refund. While we did not have these issues, it’s important to note that this may pose problems.
Currently, Consumer Cellular does not offer a standard warranty on its devices. What they do offer, however, are protection plans. Starting at $2 per month (though the cost varies based on the device), you can purchase a SquareTrade protection plan, which covers your phone against drops, spills, and other accidental damage. Especially with the more expensive devices, this type of protection plan is a relative steal.
In our increasingly connected world, it’s essential for older adults to keep in touch with their loved ones, and smartphones provide a handy solution to achieve this. And what Consumer Cellular does better than major cellular providers is they provide straightforward service with superb customer care.
If you’re looking for a cellular provider with more advanced medical alert technology, then you might want to check out my Jitterbug Flip2 review. On the other hand, if all you need is a solid cell phone with billing that’s both simple and affordable, then look no further than Consumer Cellular.
To learn more about our favorite phones and plans, check out our helpful guides:
Whereas other cellular providers will charge you overage fees for minutes and data used beyond your plan, Consumer Cellular will automatically upgrade your allowance to the next service plan and charge you for that price. From there, you will automatically remain on the upgraded plan unless you call their customer service line and request a change.
While Consumer Cellular does not offer an official “Family Plan,” they do allow you to add existing phones to your plan for only $15.00 per month, per line. Just keep in mind that these additional phones will be sharing the number of minutes, messages, and data offered in your plan.
When you hear the call waiting signal, which varies depending on the device, you can put your first call on hold and answer the second call. Usually, this is done by pressing the green call button. You also have the option to not accept the second call, in which case the second caller will be routed to voicemail.
Consumer Cellular offers a wide range of cellphones, from the most recent devices from Apple and Samsung to a selection of easy-to-use flip phones, which include large screens, backlit keypads, and a vibrating ringer that lets you know when you have a call or message.
With Consumer Cellular’s “Risk-Free” guarantee, you can return your phone, cancel your service, and pay nothing, provided you do so within 30 days of the activation of your service.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here