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Best cell phone plans for kids in 2024

Same coverage: Cut your bill by $600 per year

Verizon
$75
/mo
Unlimited data
$900/yr
vs
Tello on T-Mobile
Tello logo on phone
$25
/mo
Unlimited data
$300/yr
US Mobile on Verizon
US Mobile logo on phone
$29
/mo
Unlimited data
$348/yr
Boost Mobile on AT&T
Boost Mobile logo on phone
$25
/mo
Unlimited data
$300/yr
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MoneySavingPro independently researches the products & services to bring you our recommendations. We may earn money when you click our links - disclosure policy.

Exhausted by the limited options, perplexing bills, and steep prices from big wireless?

As these industry giants toast to their soaring profits and unveiled yet another round of price increases, it's evident they've overlooked a crucial audience: parents seeking affordable, straightforward cell phone plans for their kids and teens.

Drawing from my decade-plus experience in the wireless sector, I've observed the widening price disparity firsthand. Yet, making the switch to a more budget-friendly carrier has never been easier.

To spare you the legwork, I've meticulously reviewed 30 alternative carriers and sifted through over 100 prepaid plans.

To save you time, I have excluded carriers that:

  • Only offer unlimited data plans
  • Only advertise multi-line prices
  • Have confusing phone bills with unexpected fees
  • Lure customers with "free" phones
  • Constantly try to upsell additional lines
  • Bundle plans with unnecessary subscriptions
  • Need loads of small print to explain their offers
  • Want you to go to a store
  • Need a commission-based salesperson
  • Reward customer loyalty with increased prices

A surprising number of cost-effective carriers remain, offering the same reliable networks you're accustomed to but at a fraction of the cost.

Understanding that kids' and teens' mobile needs vary greatly, I've compiled the best value phone plans for kids on each of the 3 networks, catering to low, medium, and high-data users alike.

The best plan can depend on network preference and cell phone usage, but comparing deals gives you the freedom to choose the most suitable option for your child's connectivity needs.

Best plans for kids on T-Mobile

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with T-Mobile coverage to consider.

Cheap T-Mobile plan

Tello 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$10/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$780 in annual savings

Best family plan on T-Mobile

Mint Mobile 15GB plan

Image of cell phone with Mint Mobile
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
15GB
data
$15/mo*
$20/mo
See at Mint Mobile

*$45 for 3 Months

4.2 Read our Mint Mobile review
$675 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on T-Mobile

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$600 in annual savings

Best plans for kids on Verizon

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with Verizon coverage to consider.

Cheap Verizon plan

Twigby 2GB plan

Image of cell phone with Twigby
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
2GB
data
$5/mo*
$15/mo
See at Twigby

*$5/mo for 1st 3 Mths

4.4 Read our Twigby review
$750 in annual savings

Best family plan on Verizon

US Mobile 10GB plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
10GB
data
$15/mo*
See at US Mobile

*$180 for 12 Mths Service

5 Read our US Mobile review
$720 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on Verizon

US Mobile unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with US Mobile
  • Verizon coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$15/mo*
$29/mo
See at US Mobile

*30 Day FREE Trial

5 Read our US Mobile review
$594 in annual savings

Best plans for kids on AT&T

These are the top 3 plans from low-cost carriers with AT&T coverage to consider.

Cheap AT&T plan

Red Pocket 1GB plan

Image of cell phone with Red Pocket
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
1GB
data
$10/mo
4.1 Read our Red Pocket review
$780 in annual savings

Best family plan on AT&T

Boost Mobile 5GB plan

Image of cell phone with Boost Mobile
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
5GB
data
$5/mo*
$15/mo
See at Boost Mobile

*$10 Off 1st Mth

4 Read our Boost Mobile review
$730 in annual savings

Best unlimited plan on AT&T

Boost Mobile unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Boost Mobile
  • AT&T coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$10/mo*
$25/mo
See at Boost Mobile

*$15 Off 1st Mth

4 Read our Boost Mobile review
$615 in annual savings

Best overall value plan for Kids

Tello unlimited data plan

Image of cell phone with Tello
  • T-Mobile coverage
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Instant eSIM activation
Unlimited
data
$25/mo
5 Read our Tello review
$600 in annual savings

Big wireless: Big prices, big profits, little value

The average phone bill is $155 per month, and while 38 million Americans live in poverty, the government cut funding to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which was assisting 22 million low-income families with subsidized internet and cell phone service.

At the same time, the big three spent January celebrating record profits and multi-billion dollar shareholder dividend payouts while simultaneously announcing yet more price hikes.

So, big wireless continues to raise prices, and the government drops assistance to those in need. However, you do have options, so the power is in your hands.

Take back control of your phone bill

A big wireless unlimited plan will cost you $1,600 extra over the next 3 years compared to getting the same service from an MVNO.

A big wireless unlimited data plan will cost you $2,700 over the next 3 years for just 1 line. In comparison, unlimited plans from a low-cost carrier over the same period would cost only $900.

So, buying directly from Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T is now 3 times more expensive for the same coverage. This does not include fees and taxes or future price hikes.

Why is it so much more expensive to buy the same service directly?

With big wireless, you are paying for multi-billion dollar ad campaigns, stadium sponsorships, and thousands of stores with commission-based salespeople - all these expenses get passed onto you to maximize profits and dividend payouts.

With this next generation of MVNOs, you switch online and just pay for phone service.

Cut your phone bill, not your coverage

These low-cost carriers offer a great alternative with transparent pricing, a range of data plans to customize to your needs, and more highly rated customer service.

You can keep your phone, number, coverage, and most importantly, your money!

Even better, it's quick and easy; you can complete the entire switching process online in minutes with an eSIM-compatible phone.

So, now is the time to re-evaluate your options, take back control of your phone bill, and free yourself from price hikes forever!


Compare the cheapest kids cell phone plans

Carrier Data Monthly Price Annual Price Savings
Tello 2GB $10/mo $120/yr $780/yr See at Tello
Mint Mobile 15GB $15/mo*$20/mo $225/yr $675/yr See at Mint Mobile
*$45 for 3 Months
Tello Unlimited $25/mo $300/yr $600/yr See at Tello

Check out our kids cell phone comparison to help find the best deal.


How to choose the best value carrier for kids

  • What network coverage do you prefer? Reliable network coverage is crucial for keeping in touch with your kids, especially if you're a family living in less urban areas. Many budget-friendly carriers offer the same 5G & 4G LTE wireless networks as the big names, and according to this Opensignal 5G Experience Report (2023), T-Mobile leads in 5G coverage. Choosing an MVNO on your preferred network ensures your child stays connected.
  • How much data do you need? It's worth thinking twice before opting for unlimited data plans for your child. Despite what major carriers suggest, many kids use far less data, especially with Wi-Fi at home and school. Affordable plans let you pay for only what you need, but if you opt for unlimited, remember there's often a cap on high-speed data.
  • Is hotspot data included? Hotspot capabilities are standard but with varying data limits. If your kid needs internet on tablets or when Wi-Fi is unavailable, some carriers offer specific data-only plans, ensuring they stay connected responsibly.
  • What's the monthly price? Forget the $75-90 monthly fees of big wireless plans. The best MVNOs offer child-friendly plans from $5-35 without compromising coverage or speed. Be mindful of hidden fees; some carriers are more transparent than others.
  • How many lines do you need? Unlike major carriers that promote discounts for multiple lines, MVNOs offer straightforward pricing, even for a single line. This is ideal for adding just your child's line or if you fancy a new family plan.
  • Can I bring my own phone or buy a new device? MVNOs break the cycle of constant upgrades, allowing you to use an existing phone or buy a new one without pressure. This flexibility is perfect for managing costs while ensuring your child has a suitable device.
  • Are there any deals or promotions? While big carriers' deals may seem attractive, they often entail long-term commitments. MVNOs offer clearer, more straightforward promotions, ideal for families looking to save without getting locked into lengthy contracts.
  • What perks or add ons can I expect? Beware of "free" subscriptions from big carriers, which often become paid add-ons. Some MVNOs offer free services with plans, but it's wise to assess whether these perks are genuinely beneficial for your child.
  • Is international calling included? If you're a family with international connections, many MVNOs include free calls to various countries, making it easier to keep in touch with loved ones abroad without extra costs.
  • Are there parental controls? As a parent, parental controls can be a key feature, allowing you to monitor and manage your child's phone use. These tools can limit data, block apps or sites, and track location, offering peace of mind. Check if these features are included in your plan or available through device settings.

Check out our cell phone plan comparison to ensure you find the best deal.


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Phone plans for kids FAQs


Recap: What is the best cell phone plan for kids?

The big three seem determined to continue raising their prices, a strategy aimed more at boosting their profits in a crowded market than at addressing inflation. This approach places an unnecessary burden on families already grappling with rising living costs.

Amid escalating expenses that leave little room for savings on necessities like fuel or groceries, there's a silver lining for parents: the opportunity to secure the same quality cell phone service for you and your kids at a significantly lower cost.

By choosing wisely, you could save up to $600 per year per line, helping to ease the financial load on your household budget.

Phone plan guides

How we choose the best carriers and plans

To select the best carriers and plans, MoneySavingPro's team of experts evaluated over 30 different carriers.

Carriers were rated in five categories, with a star rating from 1-5, with 5 stars being the best. We then calculate the overall star rating using the five categories:

  1. Value for money: We compare carriers based on price, features, benefits, and promotions. It's not just about the lowest price but getting the most bang for your buck.
  2. Coverage: We look at network 5G and 4G LTE coverage across the US. We use coverage maps to determine service availability and data speeds in urban, suburban, and rural locations.
  3. Customer experience: We take into account items such as current user experience, website and app usability, ease of switching, and customer service in terms of availability, channels, and satisfaction ratings.
  4. Transparency: We assess whether carrier pricing is clear and straightforward. We examine the fine print to check for hidden fees, confusing terms or conditions, and misleading offers to ensure upfront, honest prices and advertising.
  5. Range of choice: We evaluate the diversity of plan options to determine if they fit the individual needs of all customers.

Read more about our carrier ratings methodology and our editorial process.

We regularly update our comparisons. Updating cell phone plans weekly and our content monthly to ensure we are showing the latest and most accurate information.

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