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Best Cell Phone Plans for Kids in 2021

Compare the cheapest phone plans for kids & teens

Check Coverage

It's time. They've been begging you for a phone so you need to find the best cell phone plan for kids.

You want them to be happy, but you're not wanting to sacrifice their college fund (and let's be honest your hard earned money) on an expensive phone and plan.

We've got you covered. We've broken down a variety of plans that save you money, keep your kids safe, and make you look like the coolest tech friendly parent out there.

Check out this selection of low-cost carriers to help you find the perfect cell phone plan.

Tello SIM Card - Best prepaid kids cell phone plan - TelloTello SIM Card - Best prepaid kids cell phone plan - Tello
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
1 GB
Price
$7.50/mo*
* 25% Off for 6 Months
Editors Take
5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

Tello Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$6*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$7.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 2GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

2GB

$10.50*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$14.30*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 6GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

6GB

$18*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello 8GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

8GB

$21.80*

* 25% Off for 6 Months

Tello Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$29.30*

* 25% Off for 6 Months
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support

  • No contracts

  • Budget friendly family plans

Cons

  • No roaming

  • Coverage in rural areas

Benefits

  • Service on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • Money-back guarantee on phones (no refunds on plans)

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own phone or choose from a modest selection of new or refurbished devices

  • Keep your current phone number

  • Use of your plan data as a mobile hotspot through your phone is allowed

  • Use your minutes to call Canada, China, and Mexico

  • Minutes to other countries available as add-on

  • 24/7 customer service

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best kids phone plan for unlimited data - Mint MobileMint Mobile SIM Card - Best kids phone plan for unlimited data - Mint Mobile
Minutes
Unlimited
Texts
Unlimited
Data
Unlimited
Price
$30/mo*
* $90 for 3 months Service
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

Mint Mobile 4GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

4GB

$15*

* $45 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$20*

* $60 for 3 Months Service

Mint Mobile 15GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

15GB

$25*

* $75 for 3 months Service

Mint Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30*

* $90 for 3 months Service
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Offers the latest phones with 0% finance

  • Prepay months in bulk for more savings

  • Reliable network coverage

  • Works with most GSM phones

Cons

  • No family plans

  • Minimum 3 months

Benefits

  • Operates on the nationwide T-Mobile network

  • 7-day money-back guarantee

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your phone or buy a Mint Mobile device

  • Keep your phone number

  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is permitted

  • Free calling to Canada & Mexico, affordable rates to 160+ other locations

  • Flat-rate international roaming available as an add-on feature

  • Customer service by phone on weekdays and weekends, 24/7 by virtual chat

Red Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest kids cell phone plan - Red PocketRed Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest kids cell phone plan - Red Pocket
Minutes
500
Texts
500
Data
0.5 GB
Price
$10/mo
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

Red Pocket 3GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

3GB

$10*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 500MB Data

500

500

0.5GB

$10

Red Pocket 10GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

10GB

$15*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 22GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

22GB

$20*

* 50% Off First Month

Red Pocket 50GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

50GB

$25*

* 50% Off First Month
Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Nationwide coverage

  • No contracts

  • Latest selection of phones

Cons

  • Account dashboard needs work

  • No 0% financing options on latest phones

  • Customer service

Benefits

  • Operates on all four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon

  • Prepaid cell phone plans - no contract, credit check, or activation fees

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA device and keep your phone number

  • Mobile hotspot/tethering allowed with your plan data

  • Free international calling to 70+ countries

  • Customer service available in English, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish via chat or phone

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap tablet plan for kids - US MobileUS Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap tablet plan for kids - US Mobile
Minutes
0
Texts
0
Data
2 GB
Price
$10/mo
Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
Plans
Plan Minutes Texts Data Price

US Mobile Unlimited Talk & Text

Unlimited

Unlimited

0GB

$8

US Mobile 1GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$12

US Mobile 5GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

5GB

$15

US Mobile 12GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

12GB

$20

US Mobile 18GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

18GB

$25

US Mobile 30GB Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

30GB

$30

US Mobile Unlimited Data

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$45

Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Features
Benefits

Pros

  • Flexible, no contract plans

  • 24/7 customer service

  • 5G coverage available

Cons

  • No international calling

  • Phone selection

Benefits

  • Coverage on either the T-Mobile or Verizon network

  • Risk-free trial: Full refund within 14 days or before 1000 talk, text, or MB's is used

  • Prepaid - no contract, credit check, or activation fee

  • Bring your own GSM or CDMA phone or choose from a small selection of phones for sale

  • Keep your own phone number

  • Mobile hotspot use available as add-on option with unlimited data plans

  • International roaming plans available with eSIMs

  • Add-ons available for talk, text, and data, with rollover

  • 24/7 customer support

The best kids phone plans in September

Check Carrier Coverage

Cheap kids phone plan benefits

We love Mobile Virtual Network Operators (or MVNOs for short). MVNOs are low-cost carriers that piggyback off the main four networks. Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. But with flexible and cheaper plans.

The same network you love but a cheaper price, what's the catch? As low-cost alternative carriers are based online, they're saving money by not having thousands of stores and sales people. They also don't have expensive ad campaigns or stadium sponsorships to pay for.

They want to give you a great cell phone plan and save you money at the same time.

Here's how much of a no-brainer it is:

  • National network coverage

  • Fast 4G LTE data speeds (some carriers even include 5g data)

  • Much lower prices

  • No contract or termination fees

  • Keep your phone and number

  • Customize your plan based on your data usage

  • Top rated 24/7 customer support

  • Some carriers even offer a risk free trial period

Best cheap T-Mobile kids phone plan

Mint Mobile 4GB data plan* $45 for 3 Months Service

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

4 GB

4G data

$15*

per month

Powered by: T-Mobile

T-Mobile vs Mint Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your T-Mobile phone, number & coverage: Save $660 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

T-Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

Unltd*

$70/mo

$840/yr

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile 4G LTE

4GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$660/yr

Compare: cheap T-Mobile kids cell phone plans


Best cheap Verizon kids phone plan

US Mobile 5GB data planFree Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

5 GB

4G data

$15

per month

Powered by: Verizon & T-Mobile

Verizon vs US Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your Verizon phone, number & coverage: Save $780 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

Verizon

Verizon 4G LTE

Unltd*

$80/mo

$960/yr

US Mobile

Verizon 4G LTE

5GB

$15/mo

$180/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$65/mo$780/yr

Compare: cheap Verizon kids cell phone plans


Best cheap AT&T kids phone plan

Good2Go Mobile 3GB data plan* 50% Off for 3 Months

Unlimitedmins

Unlimitedtexts

3 GB

4G data

$10*

per month

$20/mo

Powered by: AT&T & T-Mobile

AT&T vs Good2Go Mobile Plan Comparison

Keep your AT&T phone, number & coverage: Save $690 per year

Carrier

Network Coverage

4G LTE Data

Price

Annual Cost

AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE

Unltd*

$75/mo

$900/yr

Good2Go Mobile

AT&T 4G LTE

3GB

$20/mo

$210/yr

*Don't waste money on unlimited data - Avg. data usage is only 3-5GBSavings$55/mo$690/yr

Compare: cheap AT&T kids cell phone plans


Cheap kids cell phone plan features

  • 4G LTE data speeds: Since MVNOs operate on the big four cellular networks you'll pay less without sacrificing speed. More and more are adding 5G coverage all the time so you can expect high-speed data.

  • Unlimited talk and text messaging: Finding a new unlimited plan has never been easier. Virtually all small carriers include unlimited text and calls in their plan options. Compare cheap talk and text plans with or without data.

  • International calls to Canada and Mexico: International calling is a must for many people. Luckily MVNOs offer some of the best international phone plans, with free calling to certain countries like Canada and Mexico, and discounted rates on others.

  • Multiline discounts: Low-cost carriers also offer some of the cheapest family cell phone plans, with multi-line discounts.

  • Wi-Fi calling: This feature is handy when you're out of your service area, allowing you to make calls over the internet instead of on your cellular connection.

  • Tethering/hotspot data: Many low-cost carriers allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. Pick an MVNO with the best mobile hotspot plans so you can share your mobile hotspot data with other devices.

  • HD video streaming: Just like the big guys, some MVNOs offer HD video streaming and some don't. Read the fine print to find the option you want.


Compare cheap phone plans for kids

Carrier

Network

Minutes

Texts

Data

Price

Ultra Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

2GB

$11** Extra 20% Off with code: MSP20

Mint Mobile

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

4GB

$15** $45 for 3 Months Service

US Mobile

Verizon & T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

12GB

$20Free Starter Kit with code: MSPUSM

Tello

T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

Unltd

$29.30** 25% Off for 6 Months

Good2Go Mobile

AT&T & T-Mobile

Unltd

Unltd

1GB

$7.50** 50% Off for 3 Months

Carrier coverage comparison

Which no contract carrier is best for you? The answer massively depends on which network gives you the best coverage where you are.

You'll choose between a GSM carrier (powered by T-Mobile and AT&T) or a CDMA carrier (piggybacking on Verizon Wireless), you'll enjoy the national coverage you'd expect from the big carriers.

Network performance ratings

NETWORK

OVERALL

RELIABILITY

SPEED

DATA

CALL

Verizon Coverage

95

96

94

96

94

AT&T Coverage

94

94

95

96

92

T-Mobile Coverage

86

88

82

89

82

Source: Rootmetrics

Find Cheap Cell Phone Plans in Your Area

Carrier customer service comparison

It's a myth that customer care is worse with a low cost carrier. On average MVNOs score much, much higher for customer satisfaction than big networks.

Take a look at the comparison chart here to see what we're getting at.

CARRIER

TRUSTPILOT USER RATING

Reach Mobile

4.9

Tello

4.6

US Mobile

4.6

T-Mobile

1.5

Verizon

1.3

AT&T

1.2

Kids cell phone plan types

  • Unlimited data plans: Looking for unlimited talk text and data? Alternative carriers have got you covered. Data hungry users looking for unlimited plus plans can save serious money by switching to one of the cheapest unlimited data plans. Not sure how much data you need? Check out our data usage calculator.

  • Family phone plans: Need four lines or more? Many MVNOs offer group plans. Compare the cheapest family phone plans so you can pick and choose what each family member needs.

  • Bring your own phone plans: BYOP plans are the norm with smaller carriers. Compare cell phone prices and get a great deal to go with your cheap cell phone plan!

  • Talk & text only plans: Don't need data? No problem - compare cheap talk and text plans. Bonus, you'll save a ton of money if you're not paying for data!

  • Tablet data plans: Find the cheapest data plan for your tablet or iPad.

Considerations when comparing kids phone plans

The demand for technology has meant kids want phones at an earlier age. This can have pros and cons.

On one hand many of the latest phones have some form of locator which means you can check your child is safe. And they can text or phone, so you can keep in contact with them easily when they're away from home.

The downside is the amount of time kids spend in front of a screen. And the distractions that come along with that.

The best cell phone plans for kids provide parental controls so you can keep watch on their usage. A great way to save money and limit your child's time spent on their phone is by choosing a set data plan. A set data plan provides them with enough data to connect with friends, but not enough that they spend all day on YouTube and TikTok.

Can I add my kid to my cell phone plan?

Another option is a family plan. So you can add your child to your existing plan. Many cell phone carriers offer discounts for multiple lines, you can include all family members.

To get the most from a family plan make sure you check everyone's usage for the best deal. With unlimited talk and text plans you can relax knowing that there won't be any expensive surprises at the end of the month. Want to include data? You can use our free tool to estimate everyone's average data usage.

We love Reach Mobile for multiple lines. They offer super flexible choices for family plans.

How to switch to a cheaper cell phone plan

It's never been easier to switch. Let's break it down.

  1. Customize your plan. Whether you're looking for a truly unlimited plan, or in the market for something more basic, choose a plan to suit your cell phone needs.

  2. Prepare to make the switch. Make sure your old bills are paid up and your phone is unlocked. If you're getting a new device, transferring data from one to another is simple. Even if you're going from an iPhone to Android, and vice versa.

  3. Set up your new plan. Keep your current carrier account open until your number has ported over. Once you're sure your new plan is up and running, cancel your old account. If you've got a new device with your Tello plan, it should be ready to use when it arrives. If you're bringing your own phone then you'll need to follow the instructions with the new SIM card kit that Tello will send to you in the post.

Bring your own phone & save your money

It doesn't have to be stressful when getting a new plan or switching carriers. Here are some ways that make your move to a new cell phone plan super easy;

  • Bring your own phone: You don't need to purchase a brand new phone. If you've got an old phone hanging around, as long as it's compatible you can bring your own phone to save even more money.

  • New phone: If you're kids desperate for something new as their first cell phone you can still nail a great deal. Check the carrier's phone selection and pay over 2 years with 0% finance.

  • No contracts: With the flexibility to up and leave if you're not happy it's a win-win.

Cheap cell phone companies list

AT&T

T-Mobile

Verizon

Red Pocket

Mint Mobile

US Mobile

Good2Go Mobile

Ultra Mobile

Red Pocket

Unreal Mobile

US Mobile

Reach Mobile

Pure Talk

Tello

Twigby

h2o Wireless

Red Pocket

Spectrum Mobile

FreeUP Mobile

Metro by T-Mobile

Net10 Wireless

Boom! Mobile

Consumer Cellular

Page Plus Cellular

Black Wireless

GoSmart Mobile

Total Wireless

Kroger Wireless

Republic Wireless

Xfinity Mobile

easyGO Wireless

Simple Mobile

CREDO Mobile

Optimum Mobile

Lycamobile

Affinity Cellular

Freedompop

Selectel Wireless

GreatCall

Boost Mobile

Walmart Family Mobile

Gen Mobile

yahoo! Mobile

Wing

Ting

easyGO Wireless

Speedtalk Mobile

Best cheap cell phones for kids

Model

Condition

Memory

Compatibility

Price

Apple iPhone 11

New

128GB

AT&T

$549

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

New

64GB

AT&T

$599

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

New

64GB

AT&T

$699

Apple iPhone 12

New

128GB

AT&T

$779

Apple iPhone 12 mini

New

64GB

T-Mobile

$729

Apple iPhone 12 Pro

New

128GB

Verizon

$999

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$1,099

Apple iPhone SE

New

64GB

T-Mobile

$399

Apple iPhone XR

New

128GB

T-Mobile

$549


Kids cell phone plans FAQs

What's the best cell phone plan for a child?

The great thing about MVNOs is the flexibility to tailor a plan to your kids needs. This means you can create the best plan at a price you're happy with. If you're still trying to decide you can compare kids' cell phone plans from all carriers.

What is the right age for a child to have a cell phone?

There are many low-cost carriers that provide parental control on cell phones. Some have dashboards where you can monitor the usage of the phone. To make sure your child is safe. There are set data plans so you can make sure they're not spending too much time on the internet.

Does AT&T have a kids plan?

AT&T do provide kids plans, you can compare their MVNO deals here.

Can I have two phones on the same plan?

Instead of a single line option for your child there are many options for family plans. Most cheap carriers will offer a discount for multiple line plans.


Recap

Getting your kid's first phone doesn't have to be expensive. There are some great options that suit any budget. Whether you choose to add them to a family plan or get their own single-line plan.

The best MVNOs for kids have parental features to allow you to keep control of their phone use. So you have peace of mind that they're safe.

With online carriers you don't need to purchase a new phone, you can bring your own. If you do bring your own device the carrier will be able to check your phone is compatible before signing up. Prefer to get a new phone? Check out the carrier's available handsets with two years 0% finance.

MoneySavingPro methodology

We're here to bring transparency to telecoms, putting power back in your hands. This guides everything we do.

  • We've got high standards. We use our industry expertise to find carriers that reach these standards. We all deserve the best value for money, choice and customer experience.

  • We care about accuracy. MoneySavingPro is run by cell phone geeks and money saving obsessives. Our content team researches everything thoroughly so that information you read here will give you the whole picture. Everything we do is backed up by the data.

  • We keep things simple. It's our job to break down what you need to know, so you can make informed choices.

Carrier

Best for...

Mins

Texts

Data

Price

Tello SIM Card - Best prepaid kids cell phone planTello

Best prepaid plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

1GB

$10/mo

Mint Mobile SIM Card - Best kids phone plan for unlimited dataMint Mobile

Best unlimited plan

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

$30/mo

Red Pocket SIM Card - Cheapest kids cell phone planRed Pocket

Best cheap phone plan

500

500

0.5GB

$10/mo

US Mobile SIM Card - Best cheap tablet plan for kidsUS Mobile

Best tablet plan

0

0

2GB

$10/mo

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.

The best prices on the best networks