Although a standard virtual cell phone operator running on Verizon’s network, Credo Mobile promises to put its money towards good, saying that it aims to create positive social change. The company has said that since 1985 it has donated more than $88-million, with the company giving users a chance to vote in the monthly ballot to help organise how funds should be donated to the chosen three organisations.
If you’re looking to help put your money to good use, Credo Mobile could be the company for you, although the relatively high fees for some plans may see it a better idea to go elsewhere and make charity donations of your own.
Credo Mobile review: Prepaid plans
- Prices from $43 a month
- Top end is $65 a month
Although Credo Mobile used to operate two-year contracts, the company no longer offers these and instead has separate device plans where you pay over a set period for your cell phone; network access is provided separately with a rolling plan.
All plans can be extended to multiple lines but start out with costs for a single line. The base-level package gets you 1GB of data, plus unlimited talk and text, although video streaming is limited to a resolution of 480p. At $43 a month for this, that’s quite expensive.
In fact, the base package is so expensive that it makes more sense to pay $45 a month for the same features but a higher 3GB data limit. This is particularly true given that all plans automatically charge you $15 a gigabyte for exceeding your agreed limit.
Next, there’s a 9GB data limit with all of the same features as the other plans, which costs $55 a month. Finally, the unlimited plan has the same restrictions as the other plans, and costs $65 a month.
That’s a rather mixed bag of pricing, going between the relatively expensive to about average for the industry. Certainly, if you’re a low user you may be better off looking at rival plans from Ting Mobile and Consumer Cellular.
It’s also a shame that none of the plans includes HD video streaming, so if you’re a mobile binger you’ll want to check out another operator instead.
Credo Mobile review: International calling
- Free calls to Canada and Mexico
- International rates for other countries
Credo Mobile includes free calls to Canada and Mexico as standard, which is handy if you’ve got family in either location that you want to call regularly. For other countries, there are international dialling rates chargeable per minute. If you regularly call abroad, there’s an International Calling Discount Plan ($3.99 a month), which heavily cuts call rates. For example, calling the UK is usually $1.49 per minute, but the International Calling plan discounts this to $0.07.
There are limited roaming options, with no data roaming available outside of the US. If you plan to travel abroad, you’ll need to get a local SIM card for your handset when you get to your destination. You can make and receive calls on your phone while abroad, with prices varying between $0.55 per minute and $5.99. Our advice is to check the call rate before you go and work out whether you’ll be better off opting for a local SIM instead.
Credo Mobile review: Cell phone options
- The latest Apple iPhones
Credo Mobile lets you buy phones outright, or can choose an instalment plan to spread the cost of a phone. The company carries the full complement of Apple iPhones but Android phones are limited to Samsung handsets and, at the time of writing, the latest flagship model, the Galaxy S20, wasn’t available. To get a wider choice of handset, you’ll need to buy a cell phone from elsewhere.
Credo Mobile review: Coverage and speed performance
- Data above 20GB is reduced in speed
- Excellent coverage
Credo Mobile uses the Verizon network, which is a good thing as it’s rated the fastest with the best coverage in many tests, including the latest RootMetrics and Speedtest.net benchmarks. Currently, you can only get 4G plans and there’s no option for 5G.
Credo Mobile is fairly generous when it comes to data usage, with the three limited plans (1GB, 3GB and 9GB) having no throttling. The unlimited plan is different, as once you exceed 20GB of data usage, speeds are throttled to 128Kbps until the end of the billing cycle. That’s very restrictive for high data users who will be better off with a different cell phone provider.
Credo Mobile review: What users say
- A+ BBB rating
- Very mixed user reviews
Although Credo Mobile gets a high A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, user reviews are far more mixed. The cell phone provider scores just one from the BBB, although its two-start rating from Trustpilot is slightly better.
The main complaints are around poor customer service, although some mention the comparatively high costs of the service pointing out that you could buy a cell phone plan from elsewhere and make a charity donation of your choice.
Credo Mobile review: Verdict
Using the excellent Verizon network and promising to do good with some of the money you pay can make Credo Mobile seem like an attractive option. Yet, for all that, the prices are comparatively high and there are quite a few restrictions, including intensive throttling past 20GB of data and no 1080p video streaming. This all adds up to show that if you go elsewhere you can get better cheaper deals for low users and faster, less limited deals for heavy users.
If you're undecided on the handset you want, check out our best smartphone guide, while we also rank the best prepaid cell phone plans. Take a look at our cell phone coverage map of the US to find out who has the best network in America.