This is why the popularity of MVNOs has skyrocketed in the past few years. MVNO, a term that stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator, is a type of phone provider that does not own their own coverage network. Instead of owning one, the service purchases coverage at a wholesale rate from mainstream operators, then allowing them to sell it back to customers at a discounted rate.
What this means for most people is the same service as many of the mainstream companies but at a severely cut rate, something that allows somebody to enjoy the consistency and reliability of a major telephone service without having to pay as much. Given that MVNOs are mostly pay-as-you-go and don't require you to sign on for a long-term contract, they're also very convenient plans for those who find themselves wary of committing to a service they don't truly know yet. This also makes MVNOs incredibly useful for those who are frequently traveling, allowing them to not worry about turning their phone service on or off depending on the month.
How are MVNOs able to operate alongside mainstream companies? Well, they have significantly less advertising budgets, making their reach less strong than more notable companies. This is why they're not as well-known as they should be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing—for example, having MVNOs not have to compete with major cell phone service providers forces them to be in competition with each other, something that helps greatly reduce the prices of their services overall.
Because there are currently over 300 MVNOs active in the USA right now, you'll often find different types of deals and offers that are constantly trying to one-up other competitors. This can be incredibly useful for the user, as there are so many deals to choose from, but it can become overwhelming when it's difficult to know exactly where to start or what to look for.
How it Works
To help you understand this process better, in this review I'm going to share my experiences with CREDO Mobile so you can have a better idea about whether or not it's worth the money you're paying.
CREDO Mobile is a MVNO from San Francisco that is particularly notable for its incorporation of charity into its business model. For example, CREDO Mobile donates 1% of its annual earnings to various charities each year, something that is refreshingly transparent in a business that isn't always easy to understand.
CREDO Mobile also utilizes the network of Verizon, meaning that they sport some of the best 4G LTE coverage that you can find in the US alongside also being able to give you an extensive network to call from as well.
Before I begin my review, I want to explain in more detail the different plan options that CREDO Mobile offers so you can get an idea of the price to service ratios.
The best phone plans available via CREDO Mobile are slightly on the pricey side as far as MVNOs are concerned, but are small in comparison to the amount of benefits you get that are on the same level as major carriers without the obligation to stay within a contract. For example, all of the plans include unlimited texting/calling, but the data prices are as follows: $20 for 25MB, $45 for 1GB, $55 for 3GB, $75 for 6GB, and $85 for unlimited.
For some, this may be cost prohibitive, but understand that you're paying mostly for the convenience of the service you receive. That being said, the potential price you can get is certainly not worth it if the service you actually receive isn't good enough.
So, let's get right into the review:
Credo Customer Service
One of the standout features in CREDO Mobile's customer service is the possibility of receiving $350 in credit if you cancel your current phone contract early. This credit is meant to go towards the costs associated with early termination, something you will receive once you're able to provide proof that you did indeed cancel your phone plan early. This is a huge benefit that I haven't seen ay other companies do and it definitely serves as a reminder that CREDO Mobile truly cares about their customers and the business practices that they use. I did not need to use this benefit as my contract with AT&T expired just before switching to CREDO Mobile, but I thought it was worth mentioning because of how unique of a gesture it is.
In contrast, a negative feature of the service is that you can't bring a phone to the service; CREDO Mobile requires you to purchase a phone from them, which can certainly be a drag if you're not in the market for a new phone. However, despite this, the service does offer some good deals on smart phones, including the most recent Android and iPhone models along with places to finance the phones in the event that you don't want to pay upfront. Though this commitment is definitely a lot, it doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world.
What you sacrifice in price by using CREDO Mobile you certainly get back in coverage—one could complain about the increased price with the service you receive, but it's undeniable that the quality of the coverage you get is simply unparalleled among USA phone providers at the moment. The Verizon coverage network is huge and gives you access to a largely consistent and reliable 4G LTE network nationwide. Not only this, but there are also almost no missed calls, something that I believe to be emblematic of the intense quality of the service itself.
The customer service is also very good, something that I believe can be attributed to their overall interest in providing a truly quality experience to their customers. I personally love the prompt responses that you get when contacting the company by phone or online. The only downside to this is that there are no physical locations to voice your concerns, but this wasn't a problem for me, seeing as I prefer to not have to leave my home and drive out of my way to get to a specific store if I just have a simple question about my phone coverage.
No matter how much I emphasize the great things about CREDO Mobile, though, I feel it's important to reiterate that it is pretty expensive. This doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world, but it is surely the most pricey MVNO I've come in contact with through reviewing phone services.
The main draw of CREDO Mobile, then, is the convenience of the service itself. This is a type of phone plan built for people who explicitly like the benefits and reliability you get with the bigger phone companies but without the commitment required by signing a contract. Because of this, I can see it being used frequently by businessmen and other people who are frequently out of the country, allowing them to use or not use their phone at their leisure.
Overall, I felt that CREDO Mobile definitely provides a good plan. There's just no way around it; CREDO Mobile gives you the quality of Verizon, arguably the nation's best major cell phone provider, while also giving you the flexibility to be able to pick and choose when you start and end your plan. In terms of MVNOs, the amount of features and benefits you get when using CREDO Mobile greatly make it the most efficient MVNO of its kind that we've seen.
The biggest drawback, though, is the price. This is a truly premium service that is meant to be utilized by those who are not bound by budget. For myself, this wouldn't be a sustainable plan and this is why I eventually stopped using CREDO Mobile after my trial month with the provider.
The truth is, it was really great when I used it, but I don't find myself using my phone as frequently as the price would warrant. I would much rather find the cheapest unlimited data plan and not unlimited texting/calling plans as it is much more likely that I will use the data on my phone as opposed to the other features.
This is why I would not necessarily recommend CREDO Mobile if you're somebody who is wary of dropping too much on a phone bill. It just isn't justifiable unless you require the flexibility, at which point I would say it's definitely worth your money.
Something that can't be overstated and that constantly surprised me when using CREDO Mobile, though, is the transparency of the overall business. The responses that I got from customer service were almost instant within operating hours, something that I definitely have not come to associate with the phone provider industry as a whole. I was incredibly impressed as well by the 1% of annual profit that the service donates to nonprofit organizations as it was a really wonderful way for me to feel like I was contributing to social causes by just paying my phone bill.
In fact, I know this because the company is also transparent about the organizations that they donate to, such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Watch. This was a huge plus when analyzing the company's business practices, as it felt good to see a corporation taking a direct stance and being transparent with their actions.
Another highlight that should be re-iterated is the potential $350 bonus that can go towards early contractual termination fees, something that no other MVNO does (to my knowledge) and something that sets CREDO Mobile apart from the competition. For people who are locked into contracts that they're worried about leaving, this can make the jump to a new service all the more easier.
I think that CREDO Mobile is a fantastic service; CREDO Mobile is reliable, consistent, and incredibly flexible in its plans. However, I don't think it's the most accessible service in terms of price and you should definitely keep this in mind when in the market for a new phone service.
Who is Credo Mobile and what do they do? With over 5 million activists in their client base, Credo Mobile is somehow still a well-kept secret. Most Americans don’t know there is a mobile company dedicated to upholding the morals and ethics this country was built on. If you are a voice in the progressive social change movement, you’ll want to learn more about who Credo Mobile is and what they have to offer.
What is Credo Mobile?
Credo Mobile is a socially progressive MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that has been in operation since 1985. Most MVNOs are prepaid services; however, Credo Mobile is a postpaid service like Verizon or Sprint mobile services. Credo Mobile makes it easy for their customers to become activists and make their voices heard.
Who owns Credo Mobile?
Credo Mobile is owned by Working Assets, which was founded by Peter Barnes and a group of idealists in November 1985. The founding of this company was in direct response to the unethical practices of Wall Street and was one of the first businesses to work for and promote progressive social change.
How does Credo Mobile work?
Credo Mobile is a for-profit company, but they pride themselves on the millions of dollars they donate to nonprofit organizations and their continuous activism for progressive social change. Credo Mobile is a wireless communications company that offers phones and related products, data plans, and services similar to Verizon Wireless.
How much does Credo Mobile donate?
Since Credo Mobile was founded in 1985, they have donated more than $86 million to progressive organizations, including groups standing up for women, civil rights, and the environment to name a few. Credo Mobile supports over 5 million activists across the country.
Are there any companies that are like Credo Mobile?
There are no other companies that operate like Credo Mobile, mostly because of their transparency and their promotion of progressive social change and nonprofit organizations. There are other companies that support good causes, but none of them have come close to the $86 billion in donations that Credo Mobile has made since its inception. That being said some people do find Boost Mobile plans to be more attractive.
What is the parent phone company for Credo Mobile?
Working Assets was the original name of Credo Mobile. Working Assets is now the parent company of Credo Mobile, and it is a privately owned business. In the beginning, Working Assets was a credit card company, but they have developed over time into a wireless communications company focused on social change.
Credo Mobile Network
You can rest assured that Credo Mobile’s service and network is just as reliable as any other major carrier in the U.S. Not only that, but their prices are extremely competitive, and they allow their customers to choose which nonprofit organization they would like Credo Mobile to support with donations.
What network does Credo Mobile use?
Verizon Wireless is the network used by Credo Mobile. Initially, they used the Sprint Nextel network, but they switched to the Verizon network in 2016. Depending on your phone and your location, you may have either the Verizon or the Sprint network as part of your Credo service.
How is Credo Mobile service?
Credo Mobile network has the same reliability as if you were using Verizon or Sprint as your carrier. Typically, you will have excellent service unless you are in a remote location that makes getting a signal from any tower difficult.
What carrier does Credo Mobile use?
When you sign up for Credo Mobile, your wireless network will be Verizon (with a newer phone) or Sprint (with an older phone). Credo Mobile is a virtual operator, so they use the same towers and networks as Verizon or Sprint.
How good is Credo Mobile coverage?
With Credo Mobile as your mobile network and service provider, your coverage is just as good as it would be if you were using Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel carriers. In most cases, this means very good coverage. Of course, it may depend on your location as well.
Is Credo Mobile any good?
Credo Mobile provides great service. You will actually be on a Sprint or Verizon network, and these are two of the most reliable networks. Not only are you getting great service, but you are contributing to the greater good and promoting social change.
What towers does Credo Mobile use?
When you sign up for Credo Mobile, you’re signing up with a mobile network virtual operator (MVNO) who will use either Sprint or Verizon towers, depending on the type of phone you have. Newer phones will typically get a signal from Verizon Wireless towers, and older phones may get theirs from a Sprint tower.
Devices and Services
You won’t really need to worry about your device not being supported if it’s less than 10 years old, but you can check online or call their customer service line to verify your device is accepted. Credo Mobile is just like any other mobile service provider when it comes to supporting devices and the services they provide.
Are Credo Mobile phones unlocked?
Credo Mobile phones can be unlocked as long as you have paid off your device in full and have an account in good standing. If you meet these requirements and you have had Credo Mobile service for at least 90 days, then you can unlock your phone and use it with any compatible carrier.
What is happening with Credo Mobile tech support?
Credo Mobile offers reliable technical and customer support. Call 800-411-0848 Monday thru Friday 5:30 am – 7:30 pm PT and 7 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. You can contact sales at 877-762-7336 as well. Extended hours typically apply during the holiday season and through the New Year.
What mobile service provider is affiliated with Credo Mobile?
As a virtual network operator, Credo Mobile uses either Sprint or Verizon’s network to provide services to their customers. Credo’s service plans are comparable to, if not better than, all the other large mobile device carriers like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T.
What is Credo Mobile account number?
You can easily find your account number on your bill or statement, or you can also text the word ACCOUNT to 27336 to get your Credo mobile account number. Your account number is the same as your Credo Mobile member number. If you have not already set a PIN, use 0000 or 1234.
Can you block a number on Credo Mobile?
Yes, you can do anything on your phone or device that you could do on another network. This includes blocking numbers, managing your contacts and voicemail, and any other aspect of managing your phone.
What devices does Credo Mobile accept?
Credo Mobile accepts a wide range of phones and other devices including Apple, Samsung, and Motorola devices. It would be hard to find a device Credo Mobile wouldn’t accept that wasn’t decades old. You can see a list of devices at www.credomobile.com/phones.
How to update Credo Mobile phones?
Updating any phone or device is a must if you want the operating system to work properly. You will update your Credo Mobile phone the same way you would update a phone if you had a different carrier. Android and Apple instructions are widely available online if you are still not sure how to update your Credo Mobile phone. Remember you can always sell your old phones if you have upgraded to a new one. Read more: Where can I sell my phone?
How to put a Credo Mobile SIM into phone?
When activating your Credo Mobile phone, you will be prompted to insert your SIM card. Proper SIM key insertion is important; if not properly inserted, your phone or device may not connect properly to the network. Click on this link for an instructional video detailing the proper way to insert your SIM card: https://help.credomobile.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004996752-How-to-insert-your-SIM-card.
Regardless of which mobile plan or carrier you choose, it’s always important to understand the details of your agreement, so you know what you are signing up for. Credo Mobile is a reliable MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that has a stellar reputation for its service and for giving back to the surrounding community.
How to cancel Credo Mobile?
You can easily cancel your Credo Mobile contract by calling 800-411-0848. If you signed up for a 2-year contract, there is an early termination fee if you cancel before the contract has expired. You have the option to change your service plan even if you are still under your contract period.
How much taxes and fees on Credo Mobile bill?
Taxes and fees on your Credo Mobile bill will vary depending on your state and local regulations. Credo Mobile taxes and fees are no different than if you used any other major mobile network carrier, and they offer competitive pricing on their service plans as well.
Does Credo Mobile check your credit?
As with any other mobile phone service, Credo Mobile will check your credit score, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be offered service if you don’t have the best credit. If your credit score prevents you from a post-paid plan, then you can opt for a prepaid plan that will also help you rebuild your credit score.
How to switch from Credo Mobile?
If you want to switch from Credo Mobile to another mobile network provider, you can do so at any time. If you need to contact them, call 800-411-0848. Keep in mind that if you signed a contract that is still valid (not expired), you will still be responsible for the early termination fee. You may be interested in the current AT&T phone deals avaiable.
How disconnect Credo Mobile?
Disconnecting from Credo Mobile works the same way as it would with any other provider. You can contact their customer service line if you have questions, or you can find the answer to your question online at www.credomobile.com.
Does Credo Mobile work well?
Yes. Your phone service will be the same phone service that a customer of Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel would have. You’ll have a strong signal in most areas, and at the same time contribute to funding nonprofit organizations and promoting social change.
What is wrong with Credo Mobile?
You’ll probably only find something wrong with Credo Mobile if you do not support their socially progressive platform or the nonprofit organizations they support. They focus on issues like women’s rights, civil rights and social injustice, and the environment.
Does Credo Mobile really donate to Planned Parenthood?
Yes. In the past, Credo Mobile has donated in support of Planned Parenthood, Rainforest Action Network, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, ACLU and many other organizations who are fighting hard for their cause.
How does Credo Mobilize work?
Credo Mobilize allows you to use Credo Mobile to start your own campaigns for social change or to highlight nonprofit organizations that are promoting change. Credo Mobilize is only offered to Credo Action members, and it will provide the tools you need to begin your own campaigns.
Does T-Mobile buyout Credo contracts?
T-Mobile will buy out a Credo Mobile contract just as they would with any other carrier. All eligibility requirements will still apply. Credo Mobile will also buy out any contract you are currently on. You will end up with a credit on your account for the amount of your previous contract buy out.
Can you use streaming services on Credo?
As long as you data plan allows for it you can use services such as Hulu and Netflix on your phone. In fact we wrote a Hulu Live review to show how its more affordable than cable. If you're using Wifi to watch these then you'll want to check out the best internet providers to make sure you're getting the highest speeds for the lowest price. Another option is to use an unlimited mobile hotspot to connect to and stream your shows and movies.