Consumer Cellular is an AT&T and T-Mobile-based MVNO providing service primarily targeted to the retired demographic. They offer flexible monthly smartphone plans that do not 'officially' include the ability to tether according to their Terms of Service. However, Consumer Cellular representatives will inform you that tethering on these plans is permitted - just utilize your phone's mobile hotspot feature.
Consumer Cellular used to offer data-only plans that could be used on a mobile hotspot device that you purchased through them. Data-only plans are currently in retirement.
They also offer a multifunction device called a GrandPad that acts as a simple phone, photo, and tablet device for seniors with caregiver remote-management features.
Which carrier they assign you to is dependent upon the home zip code used, and which carrier provides the best coverage there.
They offer a 5% discount to AARP members.
Currently Available Plans:
The prices noted are with autopay.
- 10GB - $40
- 15GB - $45
- Unlimited (50GB of highspeed data) - $55
- Carrier Networks Used: AT&T, T-Mobile
- Carrier Relationship: MVNO
- Plan Types Available: Phone - all plans include voice, text, and data.
- Device Types Permitted: Phones, GrandPad (Tablet)
- Unlimited: Yes, but with a high-speed data cap of 35GB
- High-Speed Mobile Hotspot Use: Yes, up to plan limit
- Throttling: Yes, after 50GB on the unlimited plan
- Network Management: Always prioritized behind native T-Mobile or AT&T postpaid plans.
- Video Streaming Resolution: 1080p
- 5G Access: Yes, with a 5G compatible device and in an area where 5G service is available
- Device Purchase Required: No, but can purchase a device
- Plan Period: Monthly
- International Roaming: Yes, with roaming fees.
- Domestic Roaming: Yes, with roaming fees.
- Data Roll Over: None
- Overage Charges: Yes. If you use more data than is on your plan, you will be automatically upgraded to, and billed for the next larger plan. After 50GB (their largest plan), your access to high-speed data will be reduced, and you will experience slower speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle.
- Lines permitted per account: Up to three
News, Videos & Status:
- Consumer Cellular Offers New 'Unlimited' Plan With Mobile Hotspot Capability for $60 - But It's Really a 35GB Plan Posted on: May 7, 2020
- Cellular Carriers Add Extra Data in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Posted on: March 24, 2020
- Consumer Cellular Adds Data To Plans - Without Price Increase Posted on: October 6, 2019
This Review Contains Additional Member Exclusive Content!
We are Honored to be Member Funded! No ads, no sponsors, no selling (but may contain affiliate links)
Our members fund our in-depth independent reviews.
This entry may contain additional member exclusive content such as testing notes, field testing data, user interface tours, comparisons to alternatives, analysis, tips, videos and discounts.
Members also get interactive guidance, alerts, classroom and more.
Links Provided for Convenience
We do not sell any gear or equipment. These links are provided to make your shopping easier, and we do not endorse any specific vendor. Unless otherwise disclosed, only Amazon links are affiliate links (see our disclaimer).
Here's our video going over ways to get LOTS of data for use in your travels:
But a data plan alone will not keep you online. You also need the right gear, signal enhancing strategy and planning your travels around the options you carry with you. Head on over to our collection of guides:
Top Data Plan Picks
Our constantly updated list of the BEST data plans.
Which Carrier is Best?
Is Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint best for your travels?
Selecting Data Plans
Our deep dive into understanding data plans and shopping for them.
Data Plan Pricing Grid
Our always updated spreadsheet comparing all data plans suitable for mobile internet.
Unliimted Data Plans
Learn about the limits on unlimited data plans (or rather: "unlimited").