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Best SIM card deals for kids

23rd June 2021

Choosing a SIM only deal for a child or teenager can be daunting, so to help you out we've picked some of the best deals on the market for youngsters.

In selecting these deals we've considered several factors that are very important when choosing a plan, including: parental controls, spending caps, contract lengths, price, and additional extras.

So without further ado, here are the best SIM Only deals for kids and teenagers.

1. Vodafone

Keeps your kids entertained

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans stand out because some of them come with an included subscription to YouTube Premium, Spotify Premium, or Amazon Prime, so they’re an excellent way to keep your kid entertained with shows, films or music.

However, if you’d rather your child didn’t spend hours glued to a screen you can also opt for a plan without these, usually at a lower cost.

Vodafone also offers unlimited data plans, and there are 30-day plans, so you can get a flexible one where you’re not tied in. And there are also optional spending caps and the ability to block age-restricted content.

Recommended Vodafone Deal

Vodafone SIM Card

100GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£20 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

2. Tesco Mobile

Child Filters and Capped Contracts Turned On

If safety is one of your main concerns then Tesco Mobile, who use O2's network, are a good choice to consider.

By default all users can only access content designed for under 18-year-olds. This can only be turned off via online age verification using your credit card. Spending caps are also available and can be setup either when buying a plan or at any point afterwards, avoiding any unexpected high bills.

Recommended Tesco Mobile Deal

Three SIM Card

10GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£10 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

View all Tesco Mobile SIM Only deals

3. VOXI

Unlimited Social Networking and Video, Plus Music Add-ons

VOXI uses Vodafone's 5G mobile network and users can enjoy ‘Endless Social Media’ on Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Messenger.

Many plans also offer ‘Endless Video’ on YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, My5, TVPlayer and UKTV Play. This doesn’t include subscriptions to the services but means you can use them without it coming out of your data allowance.

But it doesn't end there because you can also get an Endless Music pass add-on which lets you use unlimited data on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Soundcloud, Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Music and Napster.

Parental controls are also available and contracts are essentially capped, in that if you run out of data you have to manually buy more or wait for your plan to refresh, so there won’t be any unexpected bills.

Recommended VOXI Deal

Three SIM Card

30GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£15 a month

View Deal

30 Day Plan. Includes Endless Video, Endless Social Media, Tethering and Roaming

View all VOXI SIM Only deals

4. iD Mobile

Data Rollover and Spending Caps

iD Mobile stands out from the crowd by offering data rollover, meaning that unused data will be added to next month’s allowance. All plans also come with spending caps, so you won't be hit by any unexpected bills.

Content restrictions are also easily added by logging into the account and turning them on.

Recommended iD Mobile Deal

Three SIM Card

50GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£13 a month

View Deal

1 Month Plan. Includes Data Rollover, Spending Caps and EU Roaming

View all iD Mobile SIM Only deals

5. EE 

Smart Benefits and Free Subscriptions

At the time of writing, EE are offering BT Sport free for 3 months, BritBox free for 6 months, and Apple Music free for 6 months on SIM Only plans. In the case of all of those except BT Sport the data you use also won’t come out of your data allowance.

If you wish to continue these beyond the free period Apple Music costs £9.99 per month, BritBox costs £5.99 per month, and the BT Sport app costs £15 per month.

On top of that, some EE SIM Only plans also come with ‘Smart Benefits’, which let you select one or more free benefits, including an Amazon Prime Video, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, BritBox or BT Sport Ultimate subscription, free roaming in more locations, and the ability to use data on select video services without it coming out of your allowance.

So this is a great way to keep kids and teenagers entertained without racking up big bills. Note however that not all of these benefits are available on any one plan – different plans have a different selection to choose from.

Parental controls are also available, and you can enable a cap on the account to limit spending.

Recommended EE Deal

Three SIM Card

100GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£25 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan.

View all EE SIM Only deals

Considerations when choosing a deal

  • Spending caps

These are caps offered by some networks which prevent you spending more than a set amount, so there’s no danger of your child accidentally racking up big bills. Some networks have spending caps set by default whilst others require you to manually switch them on and the rest don’t offer this option.

  • Parental controls

Another thing you might want to consider, especially with younger children, is parental controls. Basic controls, such as blocking adult content, are offered by a number of networks, and you can block in-app purchases in the Google Play Store or App Store.

  • Allowances

When buying a SIM deal for a child or teenager you should consider how much data and minutes they actually need, and how much you’re comfortable with them using.

If their phone is largely to be used as an entertainment device – for example to watch YouTube or Netflix videos - then you might want a high allowance for them, especially if much of this usage will be happening away from home. In that case, consider 10GB or more.

But if you want them using it as a way to stay in touch with you then a far smaller data allowance should be adequate. You’ll still want some, especially if you plan to communicate with them by WhatsApp or the like, but 2-3GB should be plenty, and will limit their ability to over-use their phone.

  • Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go

Pay Monthly SIM Only plans offer better value, come with additional extras not available on Pay As You Go and eliminate the need to top-up on a regular basis. But stick to a 30-day plan with spending caps and SIM Only is just about as flexible and as difficult to over-spend on as Pay As You Go.

Pay As You Go plans give you total control over your child’s usage and spend, although one consideration is that your child may run out of credit and be unable to contact you.

  • Contract length

It's also worth considering how long you want to be tied in for. If getting your child a SIM plan is more of an experiment, or if you’re not sure what kind of allowances to go for, it could well be worth going for a 30-day plan. This gives you the flexibility to easily change or cancel when needed. However, in our experience, 12-month or longer contracts generally offer better value for money.

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