Is it time to get your child a phone? It’s fun for them, but not without stress for you as the parent. Not only do you need to select a reliable device, you must determine the right monthly plan for your child. What you’ll soon learn is the best cell phone plans for kids vary depending on the needs of your family and what you want to provide your budding techie.
There are many providers in the space, but with a little work you can find a prepaid phone plan for kids and teens that offers independence without a hefty bill.
There are enough carriers providing cheap phone plans for kids that you can even buy your kid a phone without breaking the bank.
|Service||Cost||Data||Mins.||Text||Network||Go to Site|
|Tello||$14||1 GB||No limit||No limit||Sprint|
|Ting||$10||$5/GB||No limit||No limit||T-Mobile, Verizon|
|Twigby||$15||600 MB||No limit||No limit||Sprint, Verizon|
|Mint Mobile||$15||4 GB to unlimited||No limit||No limit||T-Mobile|
|Republic Wireless||$15||$5/GB||No limit||No limit||Sprint, T-Mobile|
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans for Kids and Teens?
If you’re confused about where to begin when choosing phone service for your child, don’t worry. We’re going to provide you the information you need to find a great deal.
>> Shop plans at Mint Mobile Now
It’s not as difficult as you might think to find a good phone plan for your child. Here are five of the best cell phone plans for kids and teens, all have no contract requirements and allow you to bring a phone, or purchase one from the respective provider.
Tello is a prepaid cell phone service provider with flexible plans and low rates – perfect for kids! Like all the other choices on our list, Tello is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), meaning it operates on a legacy network, but at a fraction of the cost.
Being an MVNO also means Tello has no contracts, no activation fees, no early termination fees and customers receive nationwide 4G LTE coverage provided by Sprint’s network. If you live in a city that has 5G, Tello upgrades you to that for free.
Example plans include:
- 2 GB of data and unlimited minutes and text for $14 per month
- 4 GB of data and unlimited minutes and text for $19 per month
Tello offers plenty of flexibility to select a plan that meets the needs of you and your child. Need few minutes with access to Wi-Fi? Tello has a plan for that:
- 200 minutes, unlimited texting, and 500 MB of data for just $10 per month
You can bring your own phone when you sign up for Tello or buy one of their LG, Motorola, or iPhones. Prices vary, but can accommodate any budget.
*Related: Now through July 31, all new customers receive 25 percent off any plan for their first six months!
What to Like About Tello:
- Free tethering and hot spot
- Bring your own phone
- Free international calls to over 60 countries
- No activation fee to bring your own phone
- Create a plan around your needs
- 5G capability
- Make changes to your plan at no additional cost
What Not to Like About Tello:
- No roaming, but is not necessary when on Wi-Fi
- Some of their phones can be expensive
|Tello - no contract phone service|
Cost: $5 to $39 per month
Coverage on the Sprint network.
Ting is another great option for those looking for the best cell phone plans for kids. With Ting you don’t have a set plan, but you customize a plan based on your specific needs.
Ting recently updated their pricing model to offer unlimited talk and text for just $10 per month. You only pay for the data you use, which is $5 per GB.
Ting offers Frugal Rules readers a $50 credit when signing up, effectively offering your first few months of service for free!
Ting offers coverage on two legacy carriers:
What to Like About Ting:
- Coverage on two carriers
- Bring your own phone
- Fully customizable plans
- Only pay for what you use
- No additional cost for calls to 60+ international countries
What Not to Like About Ting:
- Doesn’t offer in-person service
|Ting Wireless - click now for a $50 credit!|
Cost: $10/mo - unlimited talk/text + $5/GB
Coverage on T-Mobile and Verizon networks.
Twigby is a pay-as-you-go phone service provider that offers a 25 percent discount for the first six months of service. With Twigby, you can change your plan whenever you want.
*Right now Frugal Rules readers can get up to 50 percent off their first six months of service with Twigby!*
Twigby operates on both the Verizon and Sprint networks, giving them better coverage than other providers. Twigby allows users to customize their plans based on talk and data, texts are unlimited.
Here are the minutes available with Twigby:
- 300 minutes – $9 per month
- 500 minutes – $11 per month
- Unlimited – $13 per month
Here are the data options:
- 200MB – $3 per month
- 1GB per month – $6 per month
- 2GB per month – $10 per month
- 3GB per month – $15 per month
- 5GB per month – $20 per month
- 10GB per month – $30 per month
If you select unlimited talk and 2 GB of data that costs $23 per month, but with the 25 percent discount it would cost $17.25 per month for the first six months.
If your child needs more minutes or data, you can upgrade at any time and pay the difference.
What to Like About Twigby:
- Operates on two networks
- Customizable plans
- International calls to Canada, China, and Mexico
- Discounted service for the first six months
- A 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- Free overage protection and family plan options for everyone in the household
What Not to Like About Twigby:
- You can’t choose which of the two networks you want to use
|Twigby - Get a 25% discount for the first 6 months!|
Cost: $3 to $30 per month
Pay-as-you-go, no contract phone service with coverage on the Verizon and Sprint networks.
4. Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile also has cheap cell phone plans for kids and teens starting at $15 per month. The carrier piggybacks on the T-Mobile network.
Mint Mobile is a bit unique in their pricing by selling plans in bulk or in three, six, or twelve month increments. Popular plan options include:
- 4GB of data plus unlimited talk and text for $15 per month
- Unlimited data plus unlimited talk and text for $30 per month
The unlimited plan is new, rolled out recently and is perfect for the child who requires a lot of data.
*Related: for a limited time, get three months of service for free when you buy any three month plan!*
Mint Mobile offers a robust plan for customers, including:
- 4G LTE high-speed data
- Unlimited talk and text
- A free SIM card
- Nationwide coverage
- Free Wi-Fi hotspot access
What to Like About Mint Mobile:
- Blog and YouTube channel to help customers
- Free international calling to Mexico and Canada
- Plans starting at just $15 a month
- Free mobile hot spot
- Unlimited data for just $30 per month
What Not to Like About Mint Mobile:
- Can’t change your plan until after your current one ends
- No monthly pay-as-you-go plan options
|Mint Mobile - generous data plans!|
Cost: $15 per month
No contract phone service with coverage on the T-Mobile network.
5. Republic Wireless
Republic Wireless is among the cheapest cell phone providers in the space. It’s also great for kids because the plans are flexible.
In fact, Republic Wireless has the easiest to follow plan offering:
- Unlimited talk and text is $15 per month
- Unlimited data is $5 per 1 GB
This is perfect for the child that is regularly on Wi-Fi as you can add data in 1 GB increments. When not using Wi-Fi, Republic Wireless uses the Sprint or T-Mobile network.
Thanks to the flexibility, Republic Wireless is also one of the best cell phone plans for college students looking to save money.
What to Like About Republic Wireless:
- Operates on two platforms
- 14-day money-back guarantee
- No overage fee
- Add data right from your phone
- One of the cheapest plans available
What Not to Like About Republic Wireless:
- No phone technical support
- Limited international calling
- Can only use iOS-based phones
|Republic Wireless - flexible plans w/ NO overage fees!|
Cost: $15 per month
No contract phone service with coverage on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.
What Cell Phones Work with These Plans?
Unless you have an older phone for your child, you will need to buy a new one. Choosing the right cell phone for kids can be just as important as choosing a good plan.
Many of the above carriers, in addition to other cheap cell phone plans offered by other providers, allow you to bring your own phone. Not each carrier is equal in their selection of phones.
Your child might want a $1,000 iPhone, but that is a waste of money. All you need is an unlocked phone that works with your chosen carrier.
You can find unlocked cell phones on Amazon as well as eBay and other online retailers.
Kids Cell Phone Plans FAQs
There is a lot to consider when choosing what phone to get for your children. Here are some common questions parents ask when considering cell phone plans for kids.
At what age should a child get a phone?
The latest research shows, on average, a child gets his or her first phone at ten years old. When you purchase one for your child depends on the needs of your family, such as how many hours your child is on their own and if they will need to contact you or another family member.
You can also consider using apps that offer parental controls on the phone if this is your child’s first device to monitor usage.
How do I switch a kids cell phone plan to another carrier?
Switching to an MVNO is quick and simple. You don’t typically need to buy a new device as you can bring your own phone to the new carrier and keep your number.
After purchasing a prepaid SIM card and installing it into the device you can switch and have service in a few minutes.
How do I check if my device is compatible with the prepaid phone plan I want?
Carriers will tell you whether or not bring your device to their network. You can verify compatibility of the carriers website before you signup for a new plan.
Can I keep my phone number when I switch to a new phone plan for my child?
Yes. It’s simple to port your existing number to another carrier during the activation process.
Is there a contract or credit check when switching to an MVNO?
No, MVNOs operate on a prepaid month-to-month basis. There is no credit check or commitment, so you can switch whenever you wish.
Do kids cell phone plans offer international calling?
Yes, many MVNOs include calls to international countries. It does vary by provider, so verify what each offers before signing up.
Do MVNOs have a refund policy?
This depends on the carrier, but many MVNOs offer a refund within seven days if you’re not satisfied with the network. Verify on the carriers website before you signup to determine their policy on refunds.
Do kids phone plans allow tethering?
Yes, most prepaid phone plans allow tethering but it does depend on the MVNO. It’s best to verify this on the respective site before signing up.
Buying your child a cell phone is beneficial in many ways. If you feel they’re responsible enough to have one, it’s an excellent way to communicate when you’re not around, particularly if they stay after school for activities or ride the bus.
But you don’t want to create another huge bill simply so your child can have a cell phone. All of the no-contract plans offer the flexibility your child needs without paying too much.
What are some other cheap phone plans for kids you’ve tried? How old was your child when you bought them their first cell phone? Do you allow your child to have data access on their phone?