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5 of the best SIM deals for kids and teenagers in December 2017

Tuesday, December 12th 2017

You saw this coming; somewhere between changing their nappies and watching them leave for university. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

If you’re setting your child up with a mobile phone, SIM-only plans are a step up from pay-as-you-go, offering better value for money and more control for the bill payer. Whether you’re bearing the cost of your son or daughter’s phone bill or just administering it, these SIM deals should help to keep the expense manageable.

1
Asda Mobile

Asda

12GB for £10

  • MinutesUnlimited minutes
  • TextsUnlimited texts
  • Data12GB (usually 2GB)
  • Contract lengthOne month
  • Monthly cost£10 (until 9th January)

Get 12GB for the price of 2GB with Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile have reintroduced their seasonal SIM offer again this year. If you are looking for a data boost over the festive season, this could be the ideal solution. This 4G SIM deal usually comes with just 2GB of data, but for anyone signing up until 9th January, you will receive an extra 10GB free for 30 days. After 30 days you can either choose a different deal or allow this to roll on and revert back to 2GB per month.

With this amount of data, even the most mobile-addicted teenager should be well-stocked with data over the Christmas holidays. Just remember the allowance will drop to 2GB after 30 days of use.

See Deal →

2
BT SIM-only

BT

Family SIM

  • MinutesUnlimited minutes
  • TextsUnlimited texts
  • Data5GB, 15GB or 20GB
  • Contract length12 months
  • Monthly costfrom £12 (for existing BT customers)

Save money and keep control with a BT Family SIM

Signing up to the BT Family SIM deal can be the ideal way to get your kids sorted and save money in the process. BT Mobile runs on the EE 4G network and offers excellent coverage and speeds across the UK. If you are an existing BT broadband customer, you will automatically receive a £5 discount off your monthly bill.

You can have up to five SIMs on one account, with the same amount of data on each SIM. For every extra SIM you add, the savings get bigger. The main account holder is subject to a 12-month contract, but additional SIMs can be added or removed on a monthly basis.

To tempt you further, BT are offering a free BT Reward Card worth up to £75 with every purchase. The BT Family SIM is the perfect way to keep control with a single bill and save money in the process.

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3
Virgin Media

Virgin Media

6GB bundle

  • Minutes
    2500
  • Texts
    Unlimited
  • Data
    6GB
  • Contract length
    12 months
  • Monthly cost
    £10

Free messaging on WhatsApp and FaceBook

Virgin's SIM-only plans offer great value for money, run for 12 months as standard and come with free messaging on Facebook and WhatsApp. You can change your data limit up or down on a monthly basis if you want to, even though the contract is for 12 months. Any unused data will roll over to the next month.

Virgin Media offers free wi-fi at over two million hotspots, making the data allowance last longer. Another advantage is that if you are an existing Virgin Media customer is that you can make free calls to other Virgin customers. The main benefit here is the flexibility and pricing – ideal for keeping tabs on a teenager.

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4
iD Mobile

iD Mobile

3GB SIM-only plan

  • Minutes
    500
  • Texts
    5000
  • Data
    3GB
  • Contract length
    One month
  • Monthly cost
    £10

Limits usage to avoid excess charges

iD is one of the fresher-faced mobile service providers on the market, having been launched by the Carphone Warehouse in 2015. It has a great range of competitively priced SIM-only plans that offer suitable allowances of minutes, texts and data with access to 4G network speeds at no extra cost.

All iD plans are 'shockproof' – designed specifically to help bill payers take control of their mobile spend. A £5 cap is placed on excess usage, allowing you to set your child up with a fixed monthly allowance – such as the one above – and rest assured knowing that they will never be able to go over that limit by more than a fiver.

All iD SIM-only plans also come with data rollover and inclusive EU roaming, so if your little darling starts messaging friends back home whilst you're on holiday then you won't be faced with a huge bill.

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5
Three

Three

Three Essential plan

  • Minutes
    Unlimited
  • Texts
    Unlimited
  • Data
    4GB
  • Contract length
    12 months
  • Monthly cost
    £9

Blocks calls once the allowance is spent

Three is one of the UK’s major mobile networks. It has always put mobile internet at the forefront of its service offering, which is why 4G data is available to all customers at no extra cost. All its SIM plans come with all-you-can-eat (unlimited) texts as standard, so you’ll always have a line of communication with your offspring.

You have two options when it comes to controlling excess spending: either by blocking calls once the monthly allowance has been met or blocking calls and texts to numbers that aren’t inclusive – such as 084, national directory services or premium-rate (e.g. competitions) numbers.

See Deal →

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The dos and don’ts of setting your child up with a SIM-only plan

Don’t sign up to a long-term contract

Longer contracts are often paired with lower monthly payments but this means tying yourself in for a year or more. Most networks won’t let you downgrade to a cheaper package or let you cancel freely while you’re still under your minimum term.

A rolling 30-day plan can cost an extra couple of pounds per month, but you have the freedom to change or cancel it without worrying about penalty fees. If you’re the one footing the bill, a flexible contract offers peace of mind by allowing you the power to react should overspending get out of hand.

Do cap usage if possible

Young 'uns have always been inclined to push things beyond their limits and while you can surely identify with that youthful spirit, you don’t want to be the one paying for its lack of restraint.

If the provider you choose allows you to place a usage cap on calls, texts and data outside of the monthly allowance, it’s a sure-fire way to prevent excess use costing you an arm and a leg.

Don’t underestimate the need for data

An adequate allowance of minutes and texts is still important but in most instances they’re now secondary to data. If your son or daughter has a smartphone it will need a sufficient amount of data to function beyond making calls and sending texts – both of which many teens now do with internet-based services anyway.

We suggest a minimum data allowance of 1GB per month to accommodate average use. This may include instant messaging (WhatsApp, iMessage), video chats (Skype, FaceTime), video and music streaming (YouTube, Apple Music, Skype), internet and app use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Have a conversation about sensible use

Putting something that could end up costing you money in the control of a child can be risky, which is why it’s important to instil a sense of responsibility into your kids when setting them up with a phone plan.

Some sensible ground rules might include:

  • No calling or texting friends and family overseas unless using an internet-based service (WhatsApp, iMessage, Skype and so on)
  • No sending picture messages unless using an internet-based service (WhatsApp, iMessage, Skype and so on)
  • No calling or texting premium rate numbers (including competition entries) without your permission
  • Connecting to wi-fi at home and wherever possible to spare their data allowance

Don’t expect them to listen

They’re kids; slip-ups are inevitable. All you can do to prevent them overspending is to put in place the fail-safes that are available. We’ve discussed some of these in this guide, but you can always speak with a mobile service provider for more information before you sign up.

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