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Best SIM card deals for kids

29th April 2022

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, 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.

Plus, Vodafone offers family SIM deals, with a 15% discount for each additional SIM, so it’s a good place for the whole family.

Recommended Vodafone Deal

Vodafone SIM Card

100GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£20 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

View all Vodafone SIM Only deals

2. Tesco Mobile

Child Filters and Capped Contracts Turned On

If safety is one of your main concerns, then Tesco Mobile, which uses O2's network, is 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, so you can avoid any unexpected high bills.

If you have multiple SIM cards on one Tesco Mobile account, you’re also eligible for monthly perks that can save you money, increase your allowances, or benefit you in other ways.

Recommended Tesco Mobile Deal

Three SIM Card

12GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£11 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. That means you can use these services without it coming out of your data allowance.

Many plans also offer ‘Endless Video’ on YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, My5, TVPlayer, TikTok, Twisted Mirror, 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 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. That’s handy for if your child uses a variable amount of data each month, as it’s less likely to go to waste. 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

15GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£8 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 is offering BritBox and Apple Music free for 6 months on SIM Only plans. The data you use for these services also won’t come out of your data allowance. You can also get Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade free for six months (though these will use 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 Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade both cost £4.99 per month.

On top of that, some 24-month EE SIM Only plans also come with ‘Smart Benefits’, which let you select one or more free benefits, including a Netflix, Apple Music or BT Sport Ultimate subscription, free roaming in numerous 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.

Parental controls are also available, as are discounts if you have multiple SIMs on the account, and you can enable a cap on the account to limit spending.

Recommended EE Deal

Three SIM Card

160GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£20 a month

View Deal

24 Month Plan.

View all EE SIM Only deals

6. Sky Mobile

Data Rollover and Flexible Plans

Sky Mobile is another network that offers data rollover, meaning that data doesn’t get wasted, and where most networks only let you roll it over for one month, Sky Mobile lets you roll it over for up to three years – and if you add the rest of your family to the account then everyone can share that rolled over data.

Its plans are also flexible to begin with, as while you’re tied in for 12 months, you can adjust your allowances up or down whenever you want.

All of that makes it ideal for kids or teenagers who use a variable amount of data, or for if you’re not sure how much they’ll need. Beyond that, like many networks there are also optional parental controls and spending caps.

Recommended Sky Mobile Deal

Sky SIM Card

30GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£15 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

View all Sky Mobile SIM Only deals

7. Smarty

Keeps Things Simple and Affordable

Smarty is a no-nonsense network that’s designed to keep things fair. All of its plans are just thirty days long so there’s no contract, and the pricing is consistently competitive, often undercutting the big-name networks.

Yet Smarty is run by Three, so it has the might of a big-name network behind it, and also has premium offerings like 5G, family plans, Wi-Fi Calling and VoLTE.

Plus, there are special plans known as ‘data discount’ ones, which refund you for any unused data, so you’re only paying for what you actually use.

The network also has parental controls that are applied as standard, and if you’re on one of its data discount plans and you run out of data then you simply lose access until your plan refreshes – or you can buy a fairly-priced add-on, so there’s no risk of unexpected high data charges.

Recommended Smarty Deal

Smarty SIM Card

60GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£10 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

View all Smarty SIM Only deals

8. Virgin Mobile

Free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger use

Virgin Mobile offers a similar perk to VOXI, albeit a more limited one, as you can message on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without using any data, which could be especially handy for younger users.

Beyond that, Virgin Mobile also provides users with free access to its network of Wi-Fi hotspots, and it offers spending caps, data rollover, and a £2 discount on additional SIMs if you also have Virgin TV or Virgin Broadband, so it’s a good choice if you want the whole family on one plan.

Recommended Vodafone Deal

Virgin SIM Card

10GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

£7 a month

View Deal

12 Month Plan. Includes Roaming and Tethering

View all Virgin Mobile 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

SIM Only plans on a Pay Monthly contract 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 on the other hand 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, and these plans are typically more expensive.

  • 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.

  • Data rollover

Few networks offer data rollover, but some of the ones we’ve highlighted above do, and this is a great feature if data use can vary a lot from month to month. Sky Mobile is especially good here, as unused data can be banked for up to three years. Smarty is another strong choice, as it actually refunds you for unused data (on select plans) rather than rolling it over.

  • Family plans

Often if you’re getting a SIM plan for a child it can be convenient to add them to your account, and some networks go beyond just allowing multiple SIMs by offering discounts or perks as part of a family plan.

Of course, to get a family plan you’ll either need to sign your child up to the network you’re already on, or change network, so it could prove less ideal in that sense.

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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