Best Phone Plans for Kids

There’s a plan for your lil ones whether you’re concerned about safety, cost, or both.

Best Value
Mint Mobile
Unlimited Data Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
1 line for
$30
/mo
  • Check
    Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • X
    No parental controls
Best Parental Controls
Verizon
Just Kids Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
2 lines for
$110
/mo
  • Check
    Robust parental controls
  • X
    On the pricey side
Best Family Plan
Visible
Party Pay Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
4 lines for
$100
/mo
  • Check
    Unlimited talk, text, and data
  • X
    Possible data deprioritization
Best Low-Data Plan
US Mobile
Unlimited Talk & Text With 5GB Ludicrous Data
4 out of 5 stars
4
1 line for
$10
/mo
  • Check
    Super cheap talk and text plan
  • X
    Data throttling and deprioritization
Easton Smith
Mobile, TV, & Moving Expert
Read More
November 17, 2021
9 min read

Your kid has probably been begging for a cell phone since they learned how to talk (“everyone else at school has one!”). But maybe now it’s time to give in. Having a phone can help your child connect with friends, arrange rides, and stay safe while they’re out of the house.

But you can buy your kids a phone plan on your own terms. There are plans for parents who want to save money, and other plans for parents who want to limit what their little ones do on their devices. We’ve got all the details here.



Mint Mobile: Best value

Mint Mobile’s affordable Unlimited Data Plan gives your kids plenty of minutes, texts, and data.
Pros
  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Unlimited data
  • Uses T-Mobile's reliable nationwide network
Cons
  • No parental controls

What we like

Your kids want the coolest (most expensive) new gadgets and services. And you want to save some money for their college fund, or maybe for some gadgets of your own. Well, here’s a compromise: Mint Mobile’s Unlimited Data Plan.

We know what you're thinking: Aren't unlimited plans expensive? Not this one. It's one of, if not the cheapest unlimited data plan out there right now.

Unlimited data

So what exactly is unlimited data? It depends on how philosophical you want to get (what is anything, really?), but essentially it’s enough mobile data to stream a short movie, enjoy some Spotify study music, or, you know, check on coursework.

So, your kid can stream 10 hours of Power Rangers Ninja Steel on Netflix. Or they can play about 100 hours of Fortnite (which sounds like a lot, but parents out there know it’s possible).

And hopefully, your kiddo will choose to put that unlimited data to good use while studying too.

Reliable network

Mint Mobile is an MVNO, which means that it piggybacks off another company’s network. In this case, that other company is T-Mobile.

While T-Mobile isn’t the biggest or fastest network in the country, it does offer great coverage in most metropolitan areas. Also, T-Mobile just absorbed Sprint, meaning its network is likely to become larger and more powerful in the coming years.

Looking for other ways to keep your kids entertained at home?
Light Bulb

Cell phones will help your kids stay busy at home, but nothing beats great, family-friendly television. Here’s a roundup of the best streaming services for kids.

Affordable

Here's a good rule to live by: your kids’ cell phone plans shouldn’t cost more than your own. Mint Mobile’s Unlimited Data Plan clocks in at just $30 a month, which makes it significantly cheaper than pretty much any unlimited data plan out there.

This cheap price tag is one of the reasons that Mint's unlimited plans tops our list of the best cell phone plans.

What we don't like

We know that your darling little angel of a child is perfect. But, unfortunately, no kid’s cell phone plan is as perfect as they are. Here are a couple of the potential flaws of Mint’s Unlimited Data Plan.

Unlimited data

There's no mistake here. While unlimited data is an excellent feature, it can also lead to some serious problems. 

Unlimited data means there's no incentive for your teen to limit their messaging, social media, gaming, and other activities. That means we parents have to lay down the law when it's time to put the phone away and get homework done. (Or, you know, have a face-to-face conversation at the dinner table.)

No parental controls

If your offspring has a penchant for naughty behavior, you might want a plan that lets you control how much your kid uses their phone, and what kind of activities they use it for. Unfortunately, Mint doesn’t have great parental control tools.

But check out the Verizon plan below, which is designed to help you control how your kids use their phones. (Or check out third-party parental control apps that you can install on your kid’s smartphone.)

Alternative picks

Like the idea of Mint Mobile, but don’t like Ryan Reynolds (who is a part owner of the company)? Check out these similar plans from other carriers.

Verizon Wireless: Best for parental controls

Keep track of what your kids are doing with all those messages and data.
Pros
  • Parental controls
  • Unlimited talk and text unlimited data
  • Verizon’s network
Cons
  • Must already have a Verizon unlimited plan
  • Pricier

What we like

If you’re already a Verizon customer, or you’re just ready to hop on the nation’s best network, then the Just Kids plan is a great way to get your lil’ ones connected. Here’s a look at everything we love about this kids cell phone plan.

Parental controls

What really sets the Just Kids plan apart from other cheap family plans is the parental controls. With Just Kids you can do all of the following:

  • Choose your kid's contacts
  • Block inappropriate content
  • Reduce access to certain apps and manage screen time
  • Track the phone's location

Verizon’s Smart Family app allows you to easily control these settings and filters from your own phone. So you can stop wondering if your preteen is using up all of that mobile data doing something inappropriate, and just worry about their strange fashion choices instead.

Speaking of parental controls . . .
Pin

If you really want to keep track of what your kids (or their babysitter) is doing, then you might want to check out these great nanny cams.

Unlimited talk and text plus unlimited data

With Just Kids your children will get unlimited talk and text to up to 20 contacts. If your kid needs to be in touch with more than 20 people, then they’re probably spending too much time on their phone anyways.

Each line on the Just Kids plan comes with unlimited data. So while they can technically game, stream, and Instagram their little hearts out, you still have control over their total screen time—and the apps they can use. 

Verizon's network

We’ve talked plenty about how powerful Verizon’s network is, but a visual may really help drive the message home. Here’s a look at Verizon’s coverage map.

What we don't like

Just Kids is definitely among the best cell phone plans for kids, but, as they say, “every path has its puddle.” Let’s wade through the not-so-great stuff.

Must already have Verizon plan

The biggest roadblock to signing up for the Just Kids plan is that you (or some other adult in your family) must already have an unlimited data plan with Verizon. If you already do, then good on you!

If not, here’s a look at the options.

The silver lining of all this is that Verizon’s plans are pretty great.

Plan is pricier than others

The Just Kids plan follows the usual formula for a Verizon plan: it’s powerful and it’s expensive. It’s definitely going to cost you more than prepaid phones for kids from companies like Boost and Tello.

Alternative picks

If Just Kids sounds great, but you’re not ready to sign up for Verizon, then check out these other unlimited family plans.

Visible Wireless: Best family plan

Cheap unlimited plans for all the children! Or at least four of them.
Pros
  • Unlimited data
  • Save more when you add lines
  • Verizon’s network
Cons
  • No parental controls
  • Limited phone selection

What we like

We’ve been really impressed with Visible Wireless since the company appeared on the mobile scene a few years ago. It offers up one simple and powerful plan with unlimited data.

Visible’s already cheap plan gets even cheaper when you add up to three more lines. If you thought one unlimited data line for $40 was great, try four unlimited data lines for $100.

So if you’re looking for a plan that covers all of your young whippersnappers, Visible is a great option. Here are some details on what we like the most.

Unlimited data

Saving money on your kids’ phone plan doesn’t have to mean skimping on data. In other words, phones for kids don’t have to feel like kids phones.

With Visible’s unlimited data plan, your kids can do all the things that the grownups do (for better or worse). They can stream, post, browse, game, email, and play PUBG Mobile (whatever that is) to their hearts’ content.

Save more when you add lines

Visible calls its family plan “Party Pay.” And what a party it is. When you add a second line to your plan, you’ll get $5 off each line. This discount gets even better when you’ve got four lines. At that point you’ll pay just $25 per line.

Even if you’ve only got two or three kids, you can get on the plan yourself (or add a friend) to get the four-line discount. Nice.

Verizon’s network

Like Mint Mobile, Visible runs on another company’s network. Unlike Mint Mobile, Visible runs on Verizon’s network, which is generally considered to be the best in the nation.

That means your children won’t have any excuse to not call you, whether they’re staying at a friends house or going off to college on the other side of the continent.

What we don't like

It’s no secret that we love Visible. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have our qualms, too (it’s our job, after all).

No parental controls

Visible Wireless isn’t specifically a phone plan for kids. That means your kids will have access to all of the amazing, horrible, and weird stuff that happens on smartphones. If that worries you, you might want to check out parental control apps or the Verizon plan below.

Limited phone selection

The best phone for your little rascals might be an old “brick.” You know, that indestructible Nokia device you had back in 1997, the one with that Snake game and an extendable antennae. Unfortunately, simpler (and cheaper) phones like that likely won’t work with Visible Wireless.

Visible’s service only works on newer smartphone devices, like iPhones and Galaxies.

If your idea of getting phones for kids is rummaging through that box of discarded electronics, then you might need to find another plan.

Alternative picks

Visible sounds great and all, but how does it compare to other family plans? Here’s a gander at other cheap unlimited data plans with four lines.

US Mobile: Best low-data plan

US Mobile swaps special features and data for simplicity and affordability.
Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Unlimited talk and text
Cons
  • No parental controls

What we like

US Mobile is not one of the biggest or fanciest mobile carriers out there. But not everyone (especially not your 11-year-old kid) needs the best cell phone plan in the world. So, here’s a look at a “good enough” sort of plan for those who want to save some dough.

Very affordable

If you’re looking for a cheap plan for a single kid, you can get unlimited talk and text with 5 GB of data for just $10 a month. That’s a pretty small price to pay to know that your kid can call you whenever they need a ride.

And if you prefer your kiddos not have any data but can still call if school lets out early, US Mobile has you covered there too with its Unlimited Talk and Text plan that rings in at $3 a month.

Unlimited talk and text

Your child won’t have to worry about running out of texts or minutes with this phone plan. That means they can gossip with their friends all weekend, and they’ll have no excuses for not texting or calling you back when they’re out and about!

What we don't like

It seems a bit rude to be nit-picky about a plan this cheap, but that’s our job. Here’s where US Mobile falls a bit short.

No parental controls

If you’re the type of parent who wants to know what’s happening on your kids’ cell phones, then this might not be the best plan. While you might be able to get phone-based apps to help control what’s happening on each individual phone, the plan itself doesn’t have parental controls built into it, like the Verizon Just Kids plan does.

Alternative picks

If a cheap, low- or no-data cell phone plan sounds perfect for your kids, but US Mobile doesn’t seem right for whatever reason, there are other options. Here’s a peek at some similar plans from other carriers.

Recap

You’ve got kids, which means you probably don’t have a ton of free time to sit around and read reviews. So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s the short and sweet recap of the best cell phone plans for kids.

  • Best value: Mint Mobile's Unlimited Data Plan gets your kid unlimited talk and text, plus unlimited data for Tik Toking and gaming. All that will cost you just $30 a month.
  • Best parental controls: Verizon's Just Kids Plan gives you and your kids plenty of minutes, texts, and data. But what’s really great about this plan is the robust parental controls that allow you to control the content and contacts on your children's phones from your own device.
  • Best family plan: The Visible Wireless Party Pay Plan gives you four unlimited-data lines on Verizon’s network for just $100 a month. It’s such a good deal that you might want to get on Visible Wireless yourself.
  • Best low-data plan: The US Mobile 5GB Ludicrous Data plan doesn’t have any bells or whistles, but it is super cheap. Like $10-a-month cheap.

Can your home Wi-Fi handle all these new phones?

One great way to save money on your kids’ cell phone bill is to have them use Wi-Fi (rather than mobile data) when they’re at home. But can your home internet handle being connected to more devices?

If you’re ready to upgrade to faster, more reliable internet, here are the plans we recommend.

Recommended Internet Providers
Provider
Monthly price
Download speeds
Learn more
Xfinity Internet$19.99$79.99*501200 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home Internet$39.99$89.99300940 Mbps
AT&T Internet$5575100 Mbps
CenturyLink Internet$50$65^100940 Mbps
Viasat Internet$30$169.99°12100 Mbps
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
^ New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
° For the first 3 months.

FAQ

Q: What are the best phones for kids?

Now that you know what cell phone plan you’re going to get for your kids, it’s time to figure out what phone is best for them. So what is the best phone for kids?

We like the Alcatel GO FLIP for those who want a cheap, durable, low-tech phone that will allow their kids to talk and text, but not waste their whole evening watching YouTube videos.

If you’re looking for something a little more high-tech, these are some cheaper (and in some cases free) smartphones that should work great for teens.

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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