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More Data, Minutes and Texts for All Consumer Cellular Customers


No contract postpaid AT&T MVNO Consumer Cellular has increased the amount of data included with all of its plans. For the first-time, Consumer Cellular is now offering unlimited voice minutes and texts on its top plans.

Customers will get the increased allotments automatically starting with their March bills without any action required on their part.

Consumer Cellular's base "Talk Plans" include voice minutes only. Customers who want data and or texts also need a "Connect Plan"

Here's what's changed with the Talk Plans:

  • $15/month talk minutes increased from 200 to 250
  • $20/month talk minutes increased from 600 to 750
  • $30/month talk minutes increased from 1200 to 1500
  • $40/month talk minutes increased from 2500 to 3500
  • $50/month talk minutes increased from 4000 to unlimited
  • $60/month, 6000 minute plan discontinued
Here are the Connect Plan changes:

  • $2.50/month texts increased from 200 to 300, data increased from 20 MB to 30 MB
  • $5/month texts increased from 1000 to 1500, data increased from 100 MB to 150 MB
  • $10/month texts increased from 2000 to 2500, data increased from 300 MB to 500 MB
  • $20/month texts increased from 5000 to Unlimited, data increased from 1 GB to 1.5 GB
  • $30/month texts increased from 15,000 to Unlimited, data increased from 2.5 GB to 3 GB
  • $40/month (new plan) Unlimited texts, 4 GB data
Prices do not include postpaid style taxes and fess which vary by state and add anywhere from 15% to 35% to the monthly cost of all plans. Plans can be shared by multiple users for an extra $10/month per additional line. 

Although it's never been the lowest priced AT&T MVNO, Consumer Cellular has many loyal users who rave about features like capable US based customer support, no extra cost off-network voice, text and 2G data roaming and the ability to change to a higher or lower priced plan at any time. The latest changes certainly make Consumer Cellular's pricing more competitive. Here's a table listing all of Consumer Cellular's current plans:

Voice Plans
 Monthly Fee 1 Included Minutes Price per Minute Additional Minutes
$10 none N/A 25¢/minute
$15 250 25¢/minute
$20 750 2.67¢ 25¢/minute
$30 1500 25¢/minute
$40 3500 1.14¢ 25¢/minute
$50 unlimited N/A NA

Text and Data Add-On Plans
 Monthly Fee 1 Included Texts/MMS Additional Texts/MMS Included Data Additioal Data
$2.50 300 10¢/ea 30MB 25¢/MB
$5 1500 10¢/ea 150MB 25¢/MB
$10 2500 10¢/ea 500MB 25¢/MB
$20 unlimited N/A 1.5GB 25¢/MB
$30 unlimited N/A 3GB 25¢/MB
$40 unlimited N/A 4GB 1.5¢/MB
Plus taxes and fees. LTE data is available on all plans.

For more about Consumer Cellular see PrepaidPhoneNews' No-Contract Operator Profile: Consumer Cellular.

Update 3/4: As several readers have pointed out in the comments, Consumer Cellular's coverage map no longer shows any roaming voice coverage, making it look like Consumer Cellular no longer offers roaming.

I suspect the map is wrong because it still shows data roaming in areas where it shows no voice service. Data roaming typically costs MVNOs much more than voice roaming so it doesn't make sense to drop voice roaming and keep data roaming.

Consumer Cellular confirmed to me on Facebook that they still offer voice roaming. I asked specifically about zip codes 69101 (North Platte NE), 82938 (Green River WY) and 89419 (Lovelock NV) which all used to show on the map as roaming and now show as no coverage. Consumer Cellular's Facebook representative confirmed that the map was wrong and that roaming coverage was still available in those three zip codes.

Update 3/5: Here's an official statement I received from Consumer Cellular press relations regarding roaming and the coverage map changes:
"Our coverage hasn’t changed as we still cover 97% of the country and we offer full roaming capabilities for those few areas in which our service isn’t available. We are actively working to fix the coverage map on our site, but rest assured, we still offer partner coverage as needed."
I think it's safe to say that Consumer Cellular still offers off network roaming.

Source, image: Consumer Cellular Blog

50 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. 'Times they are a Changing!' -- Finally competitive pressure is making all carriers improve their plans -- chalk-up one for the consumer

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    Replies
    1. $90 for unlimited talk, text, and 4GB of data. How is that competitive?

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    2. It is if you have more than one phone on the account. Plus, if you don't need unlimited talk, you can still get a good amount of data for a lower price.

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    3. Consumer Cellular is for light users --not for heavy users. . . . If you need lots and lots and lots of minutes, texts, and/or data, look elsewhere.

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    4. Before this, I would have never considered "Consumer" for low-end, low-use plans. Now, I would.

      Cricket would not be a consideration: they don't have offerings on that end.

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    5. Family of 4 on CC can have unlimited TnT and share 4GB. Extra MB = 1.5c each. $30/line is not bad given the overall value of postpaid coverage, perks and great CS.

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    6. Still way overpriced compared to H2O and Ptel.

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    7. Nope. A family of 4 with Unlim. TnT and 1GB on Ptel pays $140. They pay $130 on H20. Both give up all roaming and all postpaid perks like personal hotspot and no-interest phone financing. The H20 family also gives up excellent CS, call records, call forwarding, 3-way calling and AutoPay. Manual renewal is a PITA.

      Delete
  2. Where do find data roaming limited to 2G?

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    Replies
    1. Wouldn't that mean roaming off ATT to TMO, which is almost no where?

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    2. Roaming on regional GSM operators is probably more common and more useful than roaming on T-Mobile whose coverage mostly overlaps AT&T

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    3. I wondered that. Is the amount of territory covered by Sprint but not Verizon really significant?

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    4. GSM Consumer Cellular won't roam on CDMA Verizon or Sprint.

      It will roam GSM regional operators like Big Sky Mobile (MT), Choice Wireless (TX, OK), Cordova Wireless (AK), DTC Wireless (TN) Epic PCS (KS, OK), GGI (AK) i-Wireless (IA). IMMIz (PA). NEP Wireless (PA), OTZ Cellular(AK), Pine Cellular (OK), Union Wireless (WY, CO, UT, MT), Viaero (CO, NE, KS) and West Central Wireless (TX)

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    5. Another GSM regional operator who is a roaming partner is Indigo Wireless in northern PA.

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  3. That's what I've heard from Consumer Cellular customers.

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  4. I am surprised that they could not at least add some minutes to the $10, 100 minutes would have been nice.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree. It would be nice if they added some minutes to the $10 plan.

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  5. Dennis, perhaps adding the AARP discount info to these plans?

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  6. Dennis -- In your article, you state that CC is not the lowest priced AT&T MVNO. So, given your vast prepaid knowledge, what, in your opinion, would be the lowest priced AT&T MVNO?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. That depends on your needs. For very light use H2O and AirVoice's pay as you go plans cost $3.34/month. Cricket, though not a true MVNO, is the least expensive for unlimited talk and text and relatively large amounts of data. For some scenarios Consumer Cellular could be the least expensive. Overall I'd say that Cricket offers the best value for the most users.

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    2. Thanks, Dennis, for your prompt reply. Your input really helps! . . . Right now, CC still suits me. But, based on what you’re saying, when I need more data, then Cricket is what I should seriously take a look at.

      Thanks again! Appreciate it. :)

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    3. @ Catt: Also be glad that you're on the GSM network! Anytime you find a plan from AT&T, T-Mobile, or another one of their MVNOs you like, all you have to do to jump ship is purchase one of their SIM and pop it into your current handset (assuming it's already unlocked, & the frequency doesn't differ... which generally is not an issue). Be glad that you're not on the CDMA network (Verizon, Sprint, or one of their respective MVNOs), where handsets are generally not interchangeable.

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    4. My wife and I usually use less than 250 minutes and 500MB per month combined, on two CC lines. Some months we use more than 250 minutes. Our bill varies between $39-$45/month for two lines, including tax. I don't think we can get LTE data with AT&T or any of their MVNO for less than that, considering our usage. CC works well for couples and families as long as they do not need a lot of data.

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    5. Cricket does throttle their Data where CC does not, so that should also be a consideration.

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    6. As Dennis said, it depends on your needs. My family (two adults + one teenager) spends $62 per month with CC (including taxes). That's $15 for voice, $20 for data/txt, $10 for each of the two additional lines, and about $7 in tax. Cricket's cheapest three-line plan is $75. Certainly Cricket's plan gives you more for that money - unlimited voice, five times more data - but the CC plan covers our actual usage just fine and we save about $150 per year. CC also includes roaming and tethering/hotspot, both of which are worth more to me than voice minutes I don't use. But, it is easy to see how another family could find the extra $13 per month for Cricket to be very attractive.

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  7. I would totally consider switching if the $20/month unlimited text & 1.5 GB plan includes some minutes, or give me the option to pay for the minutes (at a rate of no more than $0.10/minute). But alas, that is not to be. Looks like my T-Mobile $30/month secret plan remains the best value for me, as it gives me 5 GB of LTE data (with 100 MB alloted for courtesy tethering), unlimited text, + 100 minutes with overage at $0.10/minute.

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    Replies
    1. tmo $30 5gb plan is NO SECRET.

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    2. Let's humor sdlock. If he wants to play James Bond with his TMO "Secret Agent Plans", and it makes him happy, its fine.

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    3. +1. Feed a cold, starve a fever.

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  8. About 100 very happy customers have already taken the time to write personal thank you notes on the announcement page. Pretty unusual for a cellular carrier to get that kind of positive response so quickly. Their last increases were in April 2014 and they have improved the plans every 8-9 months on average.

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  9. According to several posts on Howard Forums, Consumer Cellular apparently does not have voice/text roaming anymore.

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    Replies
    1. The coverage map on the Consumer Cellular site has been updated. It no longer shows any partner (roaming) coverage. I don't know if roaming has been discontinued or the wrong map was used. Customer support gives conflicting answers. I'm trying to contact Consumer Cellular for answers.

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  10. Data Map seems to match AT&T Post Paid though?

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    Replies
    1. That would be very strange if true. Typically, the MVNO and similar roaming maps have much bigger territory for text/talk roaming than for data. Not the other way around.

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    2. The data map matches the AT&T postpaid one but the voice map matches GoPhone's. Which doesn't seem right because data roaming is typically much more expensive for MVNOs than voice roaming. I think the map is wrong. The question is whether it's wrong in showing no voice roaming where there is roaming or it's wrong in showing data roaming where there isn't any.

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  11. I currently have Tm $30, 100 min. talk and 5G Data plan and would switch to CC but the map coverage looks so small that it concerns me.

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    Replies
    1. Larger coverage area than T-Mobile pre-paid?

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    2. Can't really beat T-Mobile's secret plan! For that price what I get, I'd gladly deal with coverage less than Verizon or AT&T, so long as I get coverage at home and places where I frequent. You also can't deny the fact that GSM (T-Mobile and AT&T) and the flexibility is the way to go!

      Delete
  12. All map errors aside, CC should show twice the coverage of TMO prepaid.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, but If the CC map is correct, which I'm starting to doubt, there's at least one significant place where T-Mobile coverage tops CC's.

      If you drive heavily traveled Hwy I-80 between San Francisco and Chicago, there are 100 mile+ gaps in CC's coverage in Nevada, Nebraska and Wyoming. T-Mobile Prepaid has native coverage on I-80 all the way across Nevada and has native or voice roaming all the way including the sections of the highway in Nebraska and Wyoming that show as no coverage on CC.

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  13. Posted on CC Facebook page
    Consumer Cellular: Hi Lincoln. We really appreciate your feedback. I was able to verify that our coverage has not changed and the current map is currently incorrect. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we are working on getting the coverage map fixed as soon as possible.

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  14. @Anon --Thanks for the update! Let's hope that CC's Facebook posting is accurate. . . . Still would like to know that Dennis receives a similar response from someone who is in charge at CC.

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  15. Dennis -- Did you know that Consumer Cellular is now sending out T-Mobile SIM cards in addition to AT&T SIM cards? I stumbled across a thread on Howard Forums about it:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1858794-Surprise-put-in-a-consumer-cellular-sim-in-my-phone-amp-got-T-Mobile

    I wonder what this all means -- first the coverage map showing no roaming and now T-Mobile SIM cards??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A number of AT&T, Sprint and even Verizon MVNOs have launched service on T-Mobile recently. Sprint MVNOs jumping ship isn't much of a surprise, but AT&T and Verizon based MVNOs turning to T-Mobile is. Consumer Cellular's prices don't make sense on T-Mobile's network.

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    2. I saw the Howard Forums post, I've asked Consumer Cellular to confirm if they are indeed distributing T-Mobile based SIMs.

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    3. I agree! If I wanted T-Mobile coverage, I certainly wouldn't go with Consumer Cellular.

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    4. Dennis -- Thanks for asking! . . . I noticed on CC's Facebook page that a fellow had been asking both about the coverage area map and the T-Mobile SIMs.

      The CC Customer Service who works the Facebook page responded to the T-Mobile SIM question with:

      "We work with two major nationwide carriers to provide our customers with the best coverage possible in their area, and will strive to connect our customers to the cell phone towers that will provide them the best signal strength."

      So, it will be interesting to see what response that you receive from CC.

      Delete
  16. Does Consumer Cellular support tablets? It looks like I could have 3 devices (2 phones and a tablet) sharing 750 minutes, unlimited texts, 1.5GB of data, all for $60/month. That would be perfect for my usage habits.

    Too bad taxes are not included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did email them about tablet support. This was their reply:

      "Thank you for your email. I apologize for the delay in our reply back to you. If your tablet will accept a SIM card, you can order the SIM and see if the tablet will work with our service. We can supply you with the settings you will need, however we do not support tablets beyond that. You would be able to have the 3 lines of service including the tablet."

      I actually ended up purchasing a tablet to use on Freedompop, so support on Consumer Celluar sort of no longer matters for me, but I figured someone else might have the same question as me.

      Delete
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