US Cellular Logo
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Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 27th, 2022

US Cellular is a regional cellphone carrier with the fifth-largest wireless cellphone and data network in the United States, behind Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The provider has over 4 million customers in 426 markets in twenty-six states. When a customer wants to use their phone service outside of their home area, the service is “handed off” to another carrier. 

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The Good

  • Wide Array of Phones Available
  • Cell Phone Plan Options
  • Coverage Area Networks 
  • Customer Service
  • Rebates & Rewards

Wide Array of Phones Available

There are many good things about US Cellular's products and services, starting with the availability of a wide array of phones. The carrier supports and sells iPhones, Android smartphones, Windows phones, and Blackberry products.

Us Cellular also offers iPads, Android tablets, cellular modems for laptop computers, and accessories that can be used on the road.

Cell Phone Plan Options

US Cellular has several different plans and services available for customers. The company's Shared Connect plan forms the core of its contract services. We like the simplicity of Shared Connect, which includes unlimited minutes and texting. With non-contract phones and some other contract carriers, the user is often strapped to a certain number of minutes or text messages if they go with a "lower" service level. 

US Cellular offers several different features that go along with contract phone service. For example, there is overage protection, which is free. However, the overage protection is in the form of a text message that is sent to the customer.

US Cellular also offers no-contract phones, tablets with data connectivity, and other services. 

Coverage Area Networks 

US Cellular's "Shared Connect" and 4G LTE plans work in all fifty states. You can go outside of your "home" area and still enjoy great service without being subject to roaming charges. This is an important feature for those who want to use their phone while they are on the road.

Customer Service

US Cellular offers phone, email, and live chat support options. 

Rebates & Rewards

US Cellular occasionally offers rebates as an incentive to purchase a phone or plan. The company also has a good rewards program that involves referring customers or attending device workshops to earn points. These points can be used towards phone upgrades and accessory purchases. 


The Bad

  • Service Area Stipulation 
  • Two-Year Contracts
  • Cancellation Fees
  • Data Price Scale

Service Area Stipulation 

Included in the fine print is a service area stipulation. US Cellular reserves the right to terminate a client's contract if they use 50% of their coverage outside of their "home area." This is because US Cellular brokers some of its coverage from other network providers. We felt like this is not true nationwide coverage.

Two-Year Contracts

US Cellular offers two-year contracts on most of its basic and smartphones. The smartphones are subject to a heavy cancellation fee in order to ensure that the customer keeps the phone. US Cellular also offers "penny" phones, the most basic of phones for the user that wants to keep their service simple.

Cancellation Fees

Cancellation fees for contract phones with US Cellular are on the pricey side. Basic phone contracts come with a $150 cancellation fee and smartphones come with a $350 cancellation fee. We felt that this cancellation fee policy straps the customer into a contract for a long period of time.

However, if a contract is a concern for a customer, there are "no-contract" options available.

Data Price Scale

Another thing that isn't ideal is the exponential price scale for higher-level data plans. The recommended data plans on Shared Connect often lock a family into a higher-end service level, but ensure that the family does not go over their data limit. There are also options on the phone that allow a parent or a decision maker to "lock" the data if they find that one particular line is being abused.

Customer Complaints

Some customers have reported issues with billing as well as promised discounts that were not honored. Overall, US Cellular generally responds to customer complaints reasonably and fairly, making sure that the customer receives credit when necessary if billing issues arise.


The Bottom Line

US Cellular has some good qualities and some bad ones. Ultimately, we hesitantly recommend US Cellular under certain conditions and after reading the terms and services carefully to avoid expensive fees. In order to avoid having your contract canceled, you need to monitor your usage closely and primarily stay in your home area. 

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76 Reviews

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LaTonya Manley Eureka, CA

Idk who to really complain to about this but here I am. U.s. cellular has poor service and doesn't like to work even when u have full bars. MY MAIN COMPLAINT is the fact that there are constant phone updates that I'm sick of. I dint trust them and for good reason. You are BREAKING our phones!!!! I just bought this freaking thing right before Christmas and there have been so many unnecessary updates and they ha e done nothing but cause problems and changed my phone settings, downloaded apps without permission and glitches out my phone. I'm so sick of it and whoever is in charge of them NEEDS TO GET THEIR HEAD OUT OF THEIR BUTT AND LEAVE THINGS BE. My phone worked fine and DID NOT need an update so stop messing with the phones they work fine without you messing with crap and being nosy. 🤷‍♀️ I said what I said. I pay for this service and I want what I'm paying for not more issues. If these updates continue to mess with my phone I will be dropping this service and not returning. I'll just go get a burner phone or something and say bye Felicia 👋

11 months ago

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They use to care about there long time customers, I have been with them over 20 years, there coverage is great in the US and I mean all over the US. What I don't like is they give new customers better deals on phones to switch while there old time customers pays full price on new phones and have a track record of staying useing there services, The company needs to be competitive with other companies as to the type of service they provide , like traveling, being able to use there own net-work and paying a high price just to use there phone service abroad.

3 years ago

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Dianna Winston, OR

As soon as I paid my phone off I started having problems with it and that is not all in my head, my mom thought it was funny that it started acting u p as soon as it was paid for

2 years ago

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Rhonda R.

Because they have no offices in my state and because the price is higher than I think it should be

4 years ago

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Bill Stavenger Cedar Island, NC

Good where we are (rural) It's the only cell service that works here.

2 years ago

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They have always had great coverage compared to other local prividers

3 years ago

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Charge less and to have to pay a fee on top of your monthly charges.

3 years ago

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Eric Green Bay, WI

Deals are good but do not hold up. Reception is fair at best.

3 years ago

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Greg Newkirk

Good coverage, good customer service, decent rates, low long-time loyalty.

4 years ago

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Berlin Funk

I like the phone's and service and the,prepaid cost

2 years ago