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Giving your child a mobile phone can produce tensions. You’ll have the peace of mind that they can contact you if they ever need to, but you’ll also then have to worry about keeping them safe when using their new phone. This guide will point out the things you need to consider when purchasing a SIM only deal for your child, and will also give you tips on how to find the very best SIM for kids.
Spending caps are the key to keeping your child’s spending in check. Many networks offer the option of setting a monthly spending cap on your account. This means you can make sure your child doesn’t accidentally end up racking up a large bill.
Spending caps are sometimes set by default by some networks, whereas other providers will require you to set them manually, and some don’t offer them at all
A number of networks will allow you to control what your child can access via parental control features. This is particularly useful if you have younger children. You can block adult content, as well in-app purchases on Apple’s App Store, or the Google Play Store.
This involves balancing two factors: how much your child would want to use, and how much you’d actually be happy with them using.
If you’re happy for them to use their phone as a source of entertainment to their heart’s content, including watching Netflix or YouTube videos, then they’ll need a relatively high data allowance. This is particularly true if they won’t be using their phone at home where they’ll have access to WiFi. For this kind of usage you’d need a package with over 10GB of monthly data allowance.
On the other hand, if you only want your child to use their device to keep in touch with you, then you won’t need anywhere near as much. Just 2-3GB per month would be plenty for this kind of usage. Bear in mind that having a smaller data allowance will limit their ability to use their device.
As with other SIM only deals, pay monthly plans are much better value than pay as you go, and also tend to come with additional extras that you won’t be able to get on pay as you go plans.
A pay monthly plan will eliminate the hassle of having to top up your child’s phone regularly, and will also make it difficult for them to overspend if you use spending caps.
You’ll have much more control over your child’s phone usage, however, if you opt for a pay as you go plan. One drawback with pay as you go plans is that your child may run out of credit and find themselves unable to contact you.
If you aren’t too sure about whether you want your child to have a phone, or what kind of allowances they should have, then it’s probably best to avoid getting tied in to a long-term contract. Instead, choose a 30-day rolling contract that can be upgraded, downgraded, or cancelled when needed.
On the other hand, if you know you want your child to have a phone for the long-term, and you know the kind of allowance you want them to have, then a pay monthly deal will usually be much better value for money.
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Last reviewed: 13 November 2020
Next review: 13 December 2020