Founded in 1995, Consumer Cellular prides itself on simple and low-cost service. They offer a refund within the first 30 days of service or 30 minutes of usage for unsatisfied customers.
Pros: Rates are relatively low, even on their lower-tier plans.
Cons: Minutes on their Casual plans and overage minutes are very expensive.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.10 to $0.25
Consumer Cellular offers seven different monthly plans. The first is 10 dollars per month and provides all minutes at 25 cents each. For 15 dollars customers get 150 minutes. For 20 dollars customers get 350 minutes. For 30 dollars customers get 750 minutes. For 40 dollars it's 1,500 minutes. For 50 dollars customers get 2,000 minutes, and for 60 dollars customers get 4,000 minutes. Overage minutes are 25 cents each except on the 60 dollar plan. Overages are 10 cents per minute for that plan. Customers can add 10 dollars per month to add a shared line to any plan, up to two additional lines.
Read more about Consumer Cellular plans
Customer Service: Support is available via a website form, email, or by calling a toll-free number.
Free Nights: No
Credit Check: None
Free Weekends: No
Daily Access Fee: No
Payment Options: Payment can be made by credit card or check on the website.
Data Plans: Consumer Cellular offers three levels of wireless data. 2MB is 5 dollars per month, 15MB is 10 dollars, and 30MB is 20 dollars.
Downloads: Ringtones, wallpapers, and games are available for varying fees.
International Calling: Direct-dial international calling is available. See website for rates to specific countries
Text Messaging Available: Text and picture messaging costs 10 cents for both incoming and outgoing messages. Customers can also buy bundles of message. A bundle of 100 messages costs $2.50, 500 costs 5 dollars, 1,000 costs 10 dollars, and 2,000 costs 20 dollars.
Roaming Charges: There are no roaming charges with Consumer Cellular.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: $0.10
Calling Features: Voicemail, callier ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, and call forwarding is available.
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: No
Activation Fee: There a 35 dollar fee to activate your Consumer Cellular phone.
Nationwide Long Distance: All calls from the US and to the US are charged as normal airtime.
Unlimited Plan Available: No
411 Calls: Directory assistance costs $1.50 per call plus normal airtime.
Earliest Minute Expiration: All plans are monthly with Consumer Cellular, and minutes do not roll over.
911 Calls: Yes.
Phones: Consumer Cellular offers a number of simple, clamshell phones that go well with their stripped-down service. These come from both Motorola and Nokia, and are all 50 dollars or under.
Standard Calling Features: Voicemail, callier ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, and call forwarding
Some Available Cell Models: Samsung A177 (shown)
Cheapest Phone Model: varies