The best mobile phone plans for kids and teens in 2024

Playtime is over. Here are the best mobile plans for kids and teens.

Best phone plan for younger kids
Catch Connect
Catch 30 Day Plan - 10GB
Starts at
$17
per 30 days
Data
10GB
Network
Optus 4G
Best phone plan for tweens
TPG
TPG 12GB Mobile Plan
Starts at $20
$10
/mo
Data
12GB
Network
Vodafone 4G
🔥 Deal
Half price for the first six months
Best phone plan for teens
Tangerine Telcom
Tangerine 50GB 5G Mobile SIM
Starts at
$38
/mo
Data
50GB
Network
Telstra 5G
Best Telstra phone plan for teens
Telstra
Telstra Pre-Paid $35 Mobile Plan
Starts at
$35
per 28 days
Data
35GB
Network
Telstra 4G
🔥 Deal
20GB bonus data for the first 3 recharges
Best Optus phone plan for teens
Optus
Optus Flex Plus - Prepaid $35 Recharge
Starts at
$35
/mo
Data
40GB
Network
Optus 4G
🔥 Deal
20GB bonus data for the first 3 recharges
Kate Reynolds
Feb 14, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read


These days, having the peace of mind that knowing you can reach your children when they’re out and about is both accessible and affordable. It used to be that contacting your kids meant calling the school or the friend’s house they were hanging out at.

In December 2020, the Australian Communication and Media Authority found that 46% of children between the ages of 6 and 13 own or have access to a mobile phone. For 12 and 13-year-olds, that percentage jumps even higher.

With so many options for both the first phone and first plan out there, it's easy to become overwhelmed. If you don't know where to start, here's a quick and clean guide that's designed to help you pick the best phone plan for younger and older kids.

Best phone plans for younger kids

Catch 30 Day Plan - 10GB

How we picked this plan: 

  • We ranked prepaid plans by price and selected the cheapest one under $10 with the most data and a 1 month renewal period.

For younger kids, Catch Connect has an excellent entry-level, affordable plan perfect for young kids who will mostly use their phones for calls and texts. If all you really want is a cheap first mobile plan with a few gigabytes of data 'just in case', this is a perfect fit.

If the plan above isn't right for you or you missed out on the discount, keep an eye on our best Prepaid plans page or the widget below for a snapshot of other prepaid plans that might suit you.

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Best phone plans for tweens

TPG 12GB Mobile Plan

🔥 Deal: $10/mth for first 6 months then $20/mth

How we picked this plan: 

  • We ranked prepaid plans by price and selected the cheapest one under $10 with the most data and a 1 month renewal period.

It’s tough to go past the value of the TPG 12GB Mobile plan. This plan comes with 12GB of monthly data and a 1-month renewal. Ordinarily, it costs $20 per month. However, if you're a new customer you can get away with paying half that for the first six months.

TPG is an MVNO that runs on the Vodafone network, which basically means you get access to the coverage of the latter at a significantly cheaper price.

As your kid gets older, expect them to start using a little bit more data. Basic instant messaging and web browsing don’t use much (unless high-resolution images and videos are involved), but music streaming and video streaming up the monthly data requirement. Ultimately, how your kid is using their phone will determine how much data is used.

If you find them using a little bit more than what the plan above can offer, be sure to take a look at the widget below for a round-up of other prepaid phone plans around the same price point.

Best phone plans for teens

Tangerine 50GB 5G Mobile SIM

How we picked this plan: 

  • We ranked prepaid plans by at least 40GB of data by price and selected the cheapest one.

There are plenty of phone plans for teenagers, but the Tangerine 50GB Mobile SIM plan is our pick of the lot.  This is the age where data starts to count, especially if your teen is using data-hungry apps like TikTok and Instagram. Fortunately, this plan includes a chunky 50GB of data, which should be plenty to keep teens entertained online.

There are also unlimited calls and texts and runs on the Telstra network, so you won't have to worry too much if they'll have reception. That said, if all you're after is Telstra coverage on a budget there are a few cheaper options out there with less data.

Check out the widget below for a round-up of cheap postpaid and prepaid mobile plans that use the Telstra network.

Best Telstra plan for kids and teens

Telstra Pre-Paid $35 Mobile Plan

🔥 Deal: Bonus 20GB on first three recharges.

How we picked this plan: 

  • We ranked Telstra prepaid plans by at least 10GB of data by price and selected the one under $30 with the most data.

The Telstra $35 prepaid offers good value for money with 15GB of data included and a bonus of 20GB for the first three recharges. You'll also get unlimited calls and texts to standard Australian numbers and of course, access to the Telstra network which covers 99.5% of the population.

If the key consideration when getting a plan for your kids is making sure they have reception wherever they go, Telstra is the provider you'll want to stick with. However, if this particular Telstra plan isn't the right fit then there are also plenty of other options worth considering.

The widget below shows off the most popular Telstra mobile plans available.

Best Optus plan for kids and teens

Optus Flex Plus - Prepaid $35 Recharge

How we picked this plan: 

  • We ranked Optus prepaid starter plans by at least 10GB of data by price and selected the one under $30 with the most data.

The Optus Flex Plus $35 SIM provides plenty of value for money. Discounts aside, you're looking at slightly more than the Telstra plan above. However, this plan includes unlimited standard calls and texts plus unlimited international calls to 20 selected destinations.

Optus does lag behind Telstra when it comes to coverage. However, what this plan lacks in comprehensive connectivity it more than makes up for in extra gigabytes. New customers get 40GB on their first three recharges and then 20GB for every one after that. What's more, this plan includes 200GB of data rollover so long as you remember to recharge before your credit expires.

If you're still set on setting your kiddo up with an Optus plan but not this one, check out the widget below for a round-up of the alternatives.

Photograph of young kid using a mobile phone on a purple background

Looking for phones for kids?

You've got the phone plan, but now you need a phone. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to find the best mobile phone for your kids.

Phone considerations for kids and teens

The age of your kid will determine the appropriateness of the phone. For younger children, the three Rs apply: rugged, restricted, and the right price.

The younger the child you’re seeking to buy a phone for, the cheaper the phone should be. They are devices that can, after all, be broken or lost. You may also favour a phone that has limited or no internet access. The older your kid, the more features they’ll likely need, which translates to a higher cost.

Regardless of their age, it’s important to shop for a phone that has better-than-average battery life to ensure they’re contactable between recharges. Finally, phones don’t have to be new: they can be refurbished to help save money.

Phones for younger kids

The new Nokia 3310

For this age bracket, you’re really only looking to arm your kid with the basics. This means a not-so-smart phone (aka a “dumbphone”) that handles calls, text and not a whole lot else. The Nokia 3310 is a great place to start. It has tactile buttons, a clear screen, and a 2MP camera for budding photographers. More importantly, it’s rugged and built with text and talk in mind.

The price is definitely right (under $100), and it has impressive battery life that, unlike today’s smartphones, can stay on for up to 27 days on standby. Alternatively, around the same price point, you’ll find the Opel Mobile BigButton X. Technically, it’s built for seniors, but the app-lite phone focuses on text and talk, with some neat optional extras like FM Radio, predictive text, and a flashlight. And those big buttons make navigation easier for hands of all ages.

You can also opt for telco-branded phones like the Optus X Lite, but then you’re locked into using an Optus plan, the most reasonable of which costs $15 per 28-day recharge for unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of data.

Phones for tweens (8 to 12)

The older your kids get, the more likely it is they’ll want a smartphone. This means that both data and unlimited talk and text are important, even though you may be able to prioritise data over SMS and chat if your kids end up using data-based messaging and chat services over cellular text and talk.

You’re looking at spending between $100 and $200 to buy an entry-level smartphone outright. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all offer decent Prepaid smartphone handsets between $50 and $300.

Phones for teens (13 and older)

Refurbished iPhone

This is the age where there’s greater potential for teenagers to be socially aware of the optics of their smartphones. There’s a good chance that entry-level phones with less familiar brand names won’t necessarily cut it.

Still, you can find a brand-name iOS or Android phone at decent prices. Boost Mobile, in particular, has a refurbished store for older-generation smartphones. You’re looking at $279 for an iPhone 7 or $379 for an iPhone 8. If Android is more your teen’s speed, you can nab a Samsung Galaxy S9 for $379 or a Google Pixel 3 XL For $399. All these phones are still speedy performers by today’s standards, with great screens, solid cameras, and decent battery life.

Boost competes with numobile for refurbished smartphones, so definitely check between the two telcos for deals. Around this sub-$400 price point, you can nab newer budget Android smartphones that are actually impressive for their price. Consider the Samsung Galaxy A14 or Motorola Moto G53 5G, for instance. It’s also worth checking Kogan, Dick Smith, EB Games and Apple for refurbished deals.

How to pick a kid’s phone plan

We prefer to stick with Prepaid plan recommendations because they’re a great way to avoid bill shock and control costs actively rather than reactively. With Prepaid, there’s a fixed upfront price. The plan you choose should also be shaped by the usage scenario. For younger children, there might be no need for data, but tweens and teens will benefit from plans with data.

It’s best to aim for Prepaid plans that have a minimum of 28-day expiry, just remember that you should count 13 recharges per year to calculate the first-year cost (compared with the 12 counts for monthly Prepaid or 30-day alternatives). Also, avoid Prepaid plans with auto top-up; if you can’t, pick a plan where auto top-up features can be disabled. Try to avoid contracts. It’s not just a case of kids not being able to sign contracts – they have to be 18 to even attempt that – no-contract plans offer flexibility and help eliminate potential exit fees.

Another option to consider here is family plans, like the ones offered by ALDImobile. These plans have a single data limit shared by multiple users and the account owner can set usage limits if one member is using more than their fair share. 

Kids phone plan FAQ

Frequently asked questions about kids phone plans

Can you set limits on data usage, texting, and phone calls for my child or teen's phone plan?

If you're looking to set limits on data use, texting and phone calls for your child or teen, you'll want to dig into the parental controls section of your iPhone or Android device's setting menu.

While these and other types of screen-time limits can be set up pretty easily nowadays, they're not something that the provider of your child's mobile plan has much to do with.

How do I switch to a different phone plan for my kid or teen, and are there any penalties or fees for doing so?

Switching your kid or teen to a new phone plan is typically a very quick process. So long as the plan you're switching from doesn't include any outstanding hardware or device fees, it shouldn't cost you any more than the cost of the final bill with the old provider (unless you're a prepaid customer).

Kate Reynolds
Written by
Kate Reynolds
Kate Reynolds is a writer who's at her happiest when there's haloumi on the brunch menu and a dog to give pats to. She's worked as a travel writer, journalist, theatre reviewer, broadcaster and radio creative, and spends her weekends with as much of the aforementioned haloumi and dogs as possible. She writes on Cammeraygal and Wangal land.

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