Prepaid Faceoff: Consumer Cellular vs Simple Mobile

Consumer Cellular Logo VS


With the massive number of prepaid MVNOs and carrier options, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of it all and even harder to compare and decide which company is the right one for you. So, every Friday we’re going to go through and do a Face-off of two popular companies, comparing plans and services to help you better decide. Today, we’ll look at Consumer Cellular, a popular AT&T MVNO, and Simple Mobile, a T-Mobile owned prepaid brand. Here’s how they compare:

Plan Prices  Price range? What is included?

Consumer Cellular – Plans range from $2.50 – $90

Consumer Cellular allows customers to personalize their plans by selecting the number of minutes they want, and then adding a text/data package to it, so the options are pretty endless here, and the price and service ranges are extremely varied. You can really tailor things to your usage, although the company is obviously aiming at lower usage customers. The company offers a 30-day risk free trial an has discounts for family plans as well. Check out the plan options here.

Simple Mobile – Plans range from $25 – $70

Simple Mobile offers a handful of monthly unlimited plans. All plans include unlimited talk and text as well as unlimited international text. There are also several plans designed for customers who want to earn upgrade credits to upgrade phones faster, much like postpaid companies. Check out the plans here.

Unlimited Talk/Text  Is it offered? What is the lowest price?

Consumer Cellular – Yes, unlimited talk is $50 and unlimited texts start at $20

Simple Mobile – Yes, unlimited talk/text with no data is $25; if you want data, then $40 is the lowest.

Data Ranges  What is the most and least data available?

Consumer Cellular – Data and texts are bundled together, but you can choose to not have either. The lowest text/data bundle includes 30 MB and 300 texts. The highest option is 4 GB and unlimited texts.

Simple Mobile – While there is a plan with no data, the lowest data plan starts at 2 GB of high speed. The most high speed available is 10 GB. All plans with data include unlimited throttled data as well.

Pay-As-You-Go Rates  What are the pay-as-you-go per minute rates?

Consumer Cellular – There is a $10 plan that offers pay-as-you-go, however consumers are charged around $0.25 per minute which is pretty insane. You’d probably be better off going with a plan that actually has minutes (unless you want an emergency-only device).

Simple Mobile – Simple Mobile does not offer paygo for regular service.

International Calling  What options are available? What does it cost?

Consumer Cellular – International calling is available to everyone without an add-on. International calls use plan minutes plus an additional fee per minute which varies by country. Direct dial is available to Canada and the Caribbean, but other countries require 011 + country code prior to dialing. Read more about International Calling.

Simple Mobile – There are several international options, depending on what consumers need. The $40 and up plans have an optional international add-on, which allows customers to call various international locations on a pay-by-the-minute basis. Rates vary from country to country. Alternatively, there are three unlimited international calling plans which provide unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes to Mexico and several other locations as well as unlimited international texting. Read more about international options.

Activation Fees  How much do they cost?

Consumer Cellular – No fee

Simple Mobile – No fee

BYOD  Can you activate your own device?

Consumer Cellular – Yes, provided it is an AT&T, T-Mobile or unlocked GSM device.

Simple Mobile – Yes, provided it is a T-Mobile phone or an unlocked GSM device.

Network/Coverage  What network does it use?

Consumer Cellular – AT&T | Coverage Map

Simple Mobile – T-Mobile | Coverage Map