Consumer Cellular Review—Anywhere Plan

My rating:
four stars

I’m not one of those people who talks and texts on a cell phone constantly. In fact, I resisted getting one for years. But after working for a dog playgroup company and deciding to start my own, I realized I needed one.

I was really anticipating barely spending 100 minutes per month and I wanted the absolute cheapest plan possible.

First I tried Virgin Mobile Pay-as-you-go plan because they are the absolute cheapest if you really don’t use very many minutes. You can read my review.

But I found that I do use at least 200 minutes per month, so it was time to upgrade.

I went searching on the internet and one of the first companies I found was Consumer Cellular.

Never heard of them before, but I poked around their website. The first thing that struck me was their website was very clear and non-buggy, unlike Virgin Mobile.

So I tried them. They have a plan that gives you 250 minutes for $20/month. (They also have a $10/month plan where you pay for your minutes, but that wouldn’t have served my need.)

Here’s what I found:


  • Coverage

    They use the AT&T network which is not as good as Verizon but better than Virgin Mobile. I found that I could receive calls in 2 places the Virgin Mobile didn’t have coverage.

  • Website is Easy to Use

    Not only was setting up my account extremely easy, but now that I am a customer, I can log in and see how many minutes I have used up.
    Consumer Cellular screen

  • Free Phone

    When you sign up, you can choose a phone, unlike Virgin Mobile that made me run out to Target to buy one. I could have gone with the freebie, but I decide to pay $20 for a better phone that has an external viewer so I can see who is calling without opening the phone.

    This phone also takes pictures and videos, and came with a case, wall charger, and car charger.

  • Can Keep my Phone Number

    Transferring my existing cell phone number over from Virgin Mobile was extremely easy, and it meant I didn’t have to tell phone a new number. Maybe this is standard; I’m new to the whole cell phone thing. But it certainly was convenient.

  • Discount for AARP and AAA Members

    I am neither, but thought I’d mention it.

  • Free Trial

    You can try it for free for 30 days. I’ve found with other companies that a free trial is usually an indication of good service; they are that confident that you will like them.


  • Activation Fee

    They charged $50 for an activation fee. But since I got a free phone with charger, it all evens out.

  • Web Site didn’t ask me for account number

    I know this is a stretch, but I have to put something negative, right? When I filled out the form to transfer my phone from Virgin, it asked for either my account number with them or my phone number, so I put my phone number. But later I discovered they did need my account number.
    I guess if this is the worst thing I can find to say about them, they’re doing alright.

  • Coverage

    As I mentioned above, their coverage is better than Virgin Mobile but not as good as Verizon. I do still have times that the person I am talking to starts to cut out.

I’ve used them for 2 months now and have no complaints.

So my recommendation is for someone who uses at least 200 minutes per month and wants a pay-as-you-go plan but can’t afford Verizon’s prices, Consumer Cellular is the one to get.

If you want to try them out, here is their link:
Consumer Cellular.

Update: I’ve been using them for about 3 months now and I have no complaints.

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