In this article, we go through the best mobile phone plans for kids? Find out if its time to get iPhone for your kids. Select the cheap and suitable plan for your kid.
There might be a good chance that you are a parent looking for cost-effective plans to cater to the growing demands of your child. Trust us, we would help you to find the plan that would fit right into your pocket as well as your child’s browsing habits. There are only a handful of plans that are actually custom tailored for children, rest are just phone plans regardless of the age considerations. We would review the child-friendly options you would like to choose from and may be the best bet for your son or daughter.
Should I Get My Child the Latest iPhone?
Your child might be imploring you for the latest iPhone X, which would be a serious financial commitment on your part. It would cost you at the very least, $70 per month when even bundled with a plan. The standalone cost is $1500, yet it depends on you as you would have the final say. If you intend that your child should use the latest iPhone with a plan, we might have a few considerations to share:
- Look out for ‘Lease’ plans; they are attractive in terms of data bonuses and financial incentives, but you need to return the phone in good working conditions at the end of your term. For a teen, you should think twice about giving that phone back to the company with a cracked screen or worse. That might cost hundreds of dollars for a minor mistake.
- Greater the amount you spend more is the chance that you are rewarded by bonuses in the form of data, text or calls. But these costs start to stack up and for postpaid plans, this means excess data packs are also added.
- Considering the fact, that you might be having a few more phones in the family; the ‘Family data sharing plans’ may sound lucrative. It pools data for everyone in the family and simplifies the bill paying process, yet has a potential disadvantage that each family member might not get their fair share when other uses a lot of data.
Whatever you may choose, there are four major providers with the latest iPhones bundled in – Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. All of them have their own plus points and you can compare them to find the greatest value.
Don’t forget to check out reviews on the best mobile phone plans for students.
Specific Phone Plans for Kids
Until recently, there were no phone plans from the mainstream Australian carriers or MVNO’s that could be justified as for kids. Then, in late 2016, OVO Mobile; a low-cost provider, launched a prepaid offer that could suit genuinely the needs of your child.
- It brought about $200 worth of call time and unlimited national text messages coupled with 1 GB of data for just $9.95 per 30 days. The ‘Mini’ plan from OVO Mobile beat many other low-cost prepaid plans from mainstream providers.
- The fact that it was genuinely tailored for parents and kids alike was that it allowed the parents to rest assured in terms of internet paranoia. The plan came with a lifetime subscription to “Family Zone” an online cyber-safety service which would give you control and access to your child’s smartphone. The service restricts access to inappropriate content as well as you can set times when the phone cannot be used so that they don’t stay up all night chatting with friends.
OVO Mobile justly calls this plan for kids, but genuine plans for the teens are in short supply yet have a high demand. Some mobile carriers, such as Boost Mobile, target the audience with bonus data and other short-term perks; but chances are that you might be looking for a plan which allows you to have a degree of control over your child’s browsing habits. You as a parent has to consider that your child has an appropriate plan for their age and usage, and since you will be the one paying for it – so you’ll desire greater value too. We list out some tips on what to look for in a child’s phone plan before you agree to invest in the most inexpensive option in the market.
Prepaid vs Postpaid Mobile Plans for Kids
The major question which looms is whether you should opt for prepaid or postpaid service, but both bring their own share of pros and cons. Let us examine them:
Prepaid Plans Pros
The best benefit that comes with a prepaid phone plan is that the child is only allowed to spend the designated amount of call, text, and data that come with the plan conditions.
- There are no bill shocks with prepaid plans. Once you have exhausted the credit allotted; you are left with nothing until you manually recharge.
This is often a great incentive to teach your kids about budgeting their daily needs. Another positive for the parents is that, if lately your kid has been naughty and mischievous or you are falling short on money for a month, then you can simply not recharge their plan. This would, however, prove a bit of a hassle in the case of postpaid plans which would require you to cancel the contract in its entirety.
Prepaid Plans Cons
Apart from the other disadvantages, the chief one to consider for you as a parent would be that once the credit is exhausted; your child would not be able to use data, call or send any text messages.
- Lack of any backup data, call or text message potentially takes away the safety net of being able to seek help in the case of an emergency.
Prepaid plans also tend to have shorter expiry periods, which could mean that once you have used up your benefits, you would have to recharge, every week or month. Prepaid plans often lack the same value as postpaid plans where you are often bundled with more money and benefits than what a lot of providers offer.
Postpaid Plans Pros
The best thing about the postpaid plans is that you always have a backup plan to turn back to if there is a need.
- Postpaid plans provide an extra layer of security as your child would always have a service to call and inform back home in an emergency. You would only be allotted an excess charge for bypassing your plan’s limits.
Postpaid plans also remove the hassle of manually recharging the phone with a plan, which is the case with most prepaid plans; although some providers allow the option to auto recharge. You are also likely to get a better value with a postpaid plan than with a prepaid one. The number of providers of postpaid plans is also a lot as they bind customers in a contract period which is a win-win situation for both the company and the users.
Postpaid Plans Cons
The biggest negative of postpaid plans is the basically the biggest positive in reverse. Being able to exceed the limitations in case of emergencies is great, but it also means that this would be misused a lot more.
- The shock which comes after looking at the phone bills is a real thing. Often it would turn out that you spent more than what you had budgeted for. The excess charge is $10 per GB, which means that your child’s YouTube videos would often empty your pockets.
The other significant negative is that you just cannot opt out of the service when you want unless you cancel the contract entirely, even if the contract was for a month only. This flexibility is only offered with prepaid.
As you can understand, there are a lot of considerations to take care of with both prepaid and postpaid plans. Regardless of what you choose, there are some general tips on what features might offer the most benefit.
Features to look for in Children’s Phone Plans
When the question comes to pick the best features in a phone plan, you as a parent would like to assess what kind of a user does your child come into. Would they use excessive data or they like the traditional text and calls? These might be the few questions you need to face. Kids often like to use much data and text, but a bit of credit with respect to calls doesn’t hurt and is often beneficial. Therefore, consider the following as the bare minimum for a good phone plan for kids.
- Unlimited Texts – Whatever your child’s age might be, unlimited texts are a really great idea as the would be able to reach you in the event of an emergency and also they can message their friends as much as they want.
- Data Limits and Costs – A phone plan with at least 1 GB of data would enable them to stay connected in social media like Facebook and Instagram and navigate around using Google Maps. YouTube lectures and the sort may also prove beneficial. Due to the auto recharge feature of postpaid plans, you should look at plans with cheap data rates and those that come with an early warning system at 50% / 75% / 100% of data usage so that they don’t exceed the daily limit accidentally.
- Longer Expiry Period – Cheap prepaid plans come with a very short time period of 7-10 days. So, you might want to reconsider the postpaid plans or a prepaid plan with a longer period. This would reduce the risk of your son or daughter running out of credit when the need arises and also for you, the hassle of recharging often.
The type of features your child needs often can be categorized according to their age groups and their social/academic life.
Phone Plans for Kids Aged 12 and Under
At this age, your child might not have a very large friend group and hence lots of data and call credit won’t be necessary. However, unlimited texts would be a great idea so that you can always stay in touch. Just remember to keep an eye open for short expiry times with plans of $10 and under.
- As the social media cut-off age is 13+, and so is with many services, it would be good to use the OVO plan with the “Family Zone’ filtering included.
The youngest kids with a mobile phone can be taken care of with plans from less known providers which offer cheap solutions. Also, they can use a long expiry PAYG plan that has cheap call, text and data rates. You would only need to add credit to the phone once a year and the rest would be managed. However, there is a constant risk that all the credit would be used by your energetic little monster in the first month itself! Amaysim and ALDI Mobile offer cheap ‘as you go’ plans, while Jeene Mobile and OVO Mobile offer plans under $10. Amaysim and ALDI offer a similar type of deal too.
Phone Plans for Early Teenagers Aged 13 to 15
By the time your kids enter teens, they often get unruly and highly emotional and observant. They in this stage usually like to hang out, either on social media or in the real world. The introverts would often keep to themselves, but bear in mind they have a high data requirement to watch those funny videos you don’t quite understand. Some might be enjoying trips, and others commuting daily to school by themselves.
- Unlimited talk enters the plans, once you have agreed to spend over $10 on their monthly bill; but you won’t have enough data until you spend closer to $20 or more.
Looking at the plans without a contract, unlimited calls and text messages coupled with at least 2 GB of data, the leading providers are Moose Mobile, Yomojo, Amaysim and Coles Mobile.
- Coles Mobile and Amaysim SIM cards are available in-store; so you can just pick them up the next time you go out for groceries.
Moose is a postpaid provider, while Coles is a prepaid one. Yomojo and Amaysim have the benefit of the flexibility of being either prepaid or postpaid.
Phone Plans for Teenagers Aged 16 and Beyond
Now is the time when you can teach your children to be independent in terms of their own bills but if you are still happy to foot the bill, then there you would find excellent value on display and demand. Your son or daughter might have their own license to drive, they may have a part-time job, earning their own income and may be out on weekends more than often.
- Teens at this age need much data – say around 5 GB or more over an unlimited amount of text messaging and calls.
Some providers to check out in this regard are SpinTel, Boost Mobile, Kogan Mobile and Moose Mobile. SpinTel offers the cheapest 5 GB of data while Moose has the no-contract postpaid value plan with zero setup fees. Kogan Mobile uses the Vodafone network and is a prepaid provider who offers the cheapest 6 GB data.
- Boost Mobile might not the option you consider in terms of bills, but it offers 1 GB extra data on weekends; when it is needed the most. It also is the only MVNO to make full use of the large Telstra network.
- The reassurance of the most expansive network in Australia may provide peace to the parents of teenagers living in the rural areas or of those whose kids often go out for long distance weekend trips with friends.
Boost Mobile is also prepaid, which means that there are neither the setup or excess charges nor the hassle of contracts. The SIM cards are available at many in-store locations across Australia. Across these four recommendations, we believe that there is something for most of the teenagers out there.
Other Plans to Consider
It might have come to your notice by now that when it comes to offering postpaid plans for kids, often it is the small providers which offer the cheapest solutions. But if your child is really into music, then it would be easier to go with one of the bigger carriers which offer discounted access to music streaming services, even on no-contract plans.
Telstra’s BYO plans provide either a 6 or 12 months membership to Apple Music(depending on which plan you choose), plus you can stream music data-free during this period. On the other hand, Optus and Virgin Mobile offer data-free streaming from Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio.
If you think sports is the turning point for your child, then its data-free video streaming is the one your kids want. Optus provides data-free streaming from Netflix and English Premier League soccer on its most expensive plans, or at an extra cost on the chosen ones. Telstra has NFL and NRL Footy available on select plans plus Foxtel Now packages on some of the more premium phone plans. However, be warned that these plans would burn a big hole in your bucks.
What Phone Plan is right for My Child?
Whichever type of phone plan you intend to go along with for your kid(s), the important thing is there are lots of amazing options to choose from. In the prepaid arena, OVO Mobile’s New plan for overall value, while the likeness of Amaysim and Kogan Mobile are not to be questioned in the low-cost range and being postpaid. Virgin Mobile’s inclusion of data-free music streaming makes it a great alternative. Boost Mobile is also a great way to use the Telstra’s network.
At the end of the day, you are acquainted with your child the best and it is you who is going to pay the bills. It pays well to look at the MVNO’s offering cheap plans so that you don’t need to donate your organs to keep paying your child’s phone bills. There are over 30 providers out there in the open and many are loaded with plans under $20. There are a lot of options for you to choose from – all you need to do is do your homework properly.