I got an email the other day from a reader that asked a good question. Basically, the email asked what the best cell phone plan for kids would be. This reader had a family plan at T-Mobile. It was four lines for $100, so $25 per line. The problem is their kid was using too much data, which is 2.5GB per line on that plan. Hence the email. I do a lot of research on cell phone plans. My most popular cell service reviews are Straight Talk, Walmart Family Mobile, and Republic Wireless. I try every service that I review. That’s the fun of having an unlocked cell phone (minus a few services)! I’m glad this reader reached out to me and I hope this will answer the question.
What’s the Best Cell Phone Plan for Kids?
This is not going to be a debate on whether kids should have a cell phone. As we have seen over the years, cell phone usage has increased dramatically. People are talking, texting, taking selfies, tweeting, pinning, liking, and doing many other things on their phone. It’s a computer in your hand. There’s no denying that kids have cell phones. Now, I will say that I don’t think kids need the latest and the greatest cell phone. No way my kid would have a brand new iPhone (he’s 4, but this is just an example).
Whether you like the idea or not, if your kid has a cell phone, then why not get the best cell phone plan for your money. There are many out there and most people would think a family plan would be the best. The four lines from T-Mobile is pretty good, but it’s still more expensive than what I’m going to show you. There are major differences though and I will explain.
The best cell phone plan for kids is from Republic Wireless. Plain and simple. You can’t beat their pricing. It starts at $15 per month, but I recommend the $10 plan. Here’s why.
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The biggest complaint I hear from parents is their kids are using too much data. They are Facebooking their life away. I hear you there. While I’m on my phone a lot (I do run an online business and blog), I don’t do a lot of social things on my phone. It’s mostly just for email and the occasional blog tweet. If you really want to give you kids a phone, then the Republic Wireless $15 plan is it. You get unlimited talk and text (every kids dream). You also get unlimited data when on WiFi. Kids don’t need data all the time. This is why they are attached to their phones. If you break the data off and just allow them the luxury when they’re on WiFi, you solve the problem.
No more expensive data overages. You can do this for just $15 per month. You can pick from quite a few nice phones (sorry, no iPhone) and you can bring your own if you have one that works on their system.
Why Republic Wireless has the Best Cell Phone Plan for Kids
There should be no surprise that I’m a fan of this service. They were developed in my city and I support local companies like this. They also provided technology that gave people better/cheaper options from the big carriers. I support that wholeheartedly. I’ve tried out the service and I found it pretty good. They have since updated it and I’ve heard it’s even better. While I don’t have it since my wife isn’t around WiFi most of the day and the Sprint network doesn’t have good coverage where she is, I do recommend it for anyone looking to cut their cell phone bill. The cool thing about Republic is their use of WiFi. Their service works on top of it.
For $10 a month, who can complain about unlimited talk and text for their children? This gives you the piece of mind knowing your son or daughter can contact you when they need to. You don’t have to pay for data as it only uses WiFi. Kids don’t need phones to get on social media. They can wait until they have WiFi at the very least. Why pay the large amount of money for data, when most of us already pay for it at our homes? On top of that, free WiFi is expanding in so many locations. This is why Republic is good and you can’t beat the price.
Some may suggest Ting, but with the device fee, up to 100 minutes, 100 texts, and a little bit of data, you are also paying $15 a month. They have a “pay for what you use” style and that’s cool, but Republic is just a straight $15 a month. I hope they are still around when my son is old enough for a phone. That’s the type of plan I would put him on. So, this is why I suggest Republic Wireless as the best cell phone plan for kids. It gives them talk, text, and unlimited data over WiFi. Nothing better than having money back in your pocket every month and knowing you can get in touch with your child.
One of the ways we handled new cell phone users in our home was to have them on a pay-as-you go plan for the first year. We did this specifically for our daughter who wanted a phone long before we thought she needed one. We told her she could have one, but she’d be paying for it, and despite the fact she bought it, we would determine the rules of its use. She used babysitting money and got very good at managing her minutes and her data usage. There were times that she’d run out of data before the end of the month, but it didn’t happen more than a few times. She’s now older and on our family plan, but she has developed the habit of always checking for wifi and watching her data.
I think you did it the right way Tracie. I have unfortunately met too many who let their children run wild with their minutes and data. Using Republic Wireless, you don’t have to worry about data usage. They can’t use it until they have WiFi coverage. This could provide the same benefit as your method. Kids will get in the habit of checking for WiFi before they jump on and use data. Talk and texting is becoming unlimited in most instances these days, so there is not much of a concern there.
I’m actually on the $10 Republic Wireless plan as well, and while it was a pain not having the data when I wasn’t on WiFi, I have found that WiFi is available just about everywhere I go. I also got around the no data issue by getting a mobile hotspot from FreedomPop, which gives me 1GB of free data every month. The hotspot cost me up front, but then it was essentially free 4G data after that. So I have the best of both worlds, data, everywhere I go, and no extra cost!
Thanks for the comment Peter. Didn’t think about adding it from FreedomPop. That’s a great idea and I might have to go with a mobile hotspot myself.
My kid’s age is now at 12 years. I think I gotta find her a phone plan. Based on what I researched, I believe I may be getting T Mobile’s Simple Choice family plans so that we have unlimited talk and text and unlimited data for all devices connected. What good about this is that we can set the limit of use. But, I gotta consider this Republic Wireless. Thanks for the recommendation Gray.
I think T-Mobile is a good choice for you and your family Jayson. You should check out Republic Wireless if you can get it in your area.
Does this phone have parental controls?
You can restrict access on every Android smartphone/tablet.
My greatest concern with a child and a cell phone isn’t the cost. It is keeping them safe from inappropriate content. Even with restrictions another child can text a photo or video to my son. It has happened. Luckily, the video wasn’t porn. Although, it was inappropriate.
I think that is almost going to be impossible these days. Smartphones have proliferated our world and it’s very hard to find just a standard phone anymore. We can only do the best we can as parents.
I can’t find the $5 or $10 plans can some one tell where to go .. please .
Sorry, we just had to update the post. Those plans aren’t available anymore. Their new plans start at $15. They released new plans this year.