Consumer Cellular has updated its wireless plans. Most of the changes seem positive, although one plan did get downgraded. Dennis Bournique of prepaidcompare.net spotted and shared those updates with BestMVNO.com.
Consumer Cellular Plans, What Has Changed?
One major change with Consumer Cellular is that plans with 250 minutes have been eliminated. A plan costing $15/month used to be offered with 250 minutes but no text messages. The plan has been upgraded to include unlimited minutes with no pricing change. Previously, an unlimited talk-only plan was available for $20/month.
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Consumer Cellular also offered plans with only 250 minutes plus data and unlimited texts that started at $20/month. The plans with limited minutes were priced at $5/month cheaper than their unlimited minute plan counterparts.
Here's a summary of what has changed with Consumer Cellular's remaining plans for single lines:
- $20/month - 1GB of shared data, previously included 500MB and priced at $25/month
- $25/month - 3GB shared data, PRICE CUT, previously priced at $30/month
- $35/month - NEW PLAN, 7GB of shared data
- $40/month - 10GB shared data, no change
- $45/month - 15GB shared data, PRICE CUT, previously priced at $50
- $55/month - PRICE CUT and DATA INCREASE, now includes 50GB of high-speed data before throttling, previously included 35GB. Was priced at $60/month.
All plans described include unlimited talk and text. The only plan to include unlimited data is the most expensive plan. For all other plans, customers that go over their data allotments will automatically be upgraded to the next available plan that covers their data usage. So if you sign up for the $20 plan with 1GB of data and end up using 3GB of data, your plan will automatically get upgraded to the 3GB $25 plan. Data is shared between lines. Each line does not get its own separate data allotment. It is shared with the data from the primary line.
So the changes described thus far have all been positive. But there is some red tape to go over and things may not be so good now for multi-line customers depending on which plan they have.
One thing to take note of is that in order to get the prices shown above for each plan, you have to enable auto-pay billing in your account. Auto-pay billing gives you $5 per month off of each plan. Auto-pay billing discounts were not previously offered. Without auto-pay credits applied to each plan, the plan prices would be the same before, not $5 cheaper with the exception of the 10GB plan. The 10GB plan is actually priced at $5/month higher than before if autopay billing is not applied.
As far as multi-line discounts go, Consumer Cellular previously charged $15 for each additional line added to an account. Now Consumer Cellular is charging $20 for the first line added to an account, and $15 for additional lines. The net result though, thanks to the new auto-pay discount is that pricing is the same as before for all plans except for the 10GB plan. The 10GB plan is now $60 for two lines instead of $55, and three lines are now $75 instead of $69.99.
Consumer Cellular operates as both an AT&T MVNO and a T-Mobile MVNO. The brand has 4 million subscribers. Plans are available for purchase online through the Consumer Cellular website and also through Target stores. The provider was purchased by the Chicago investment firm GTCR in October of 2020, for $2.3 billion. These are the first major plan changes under new ownership.