What do I need to know about cell phone services for kids?

Parents: adding your kids to your cell phone plan is expensive. But there are cheaper cell phone service options for kids. If you do decide to add your kid to your plan, cost is an issue. Even though you're sharing data and other resources, your kid could rack up extra data fees, text overage charges, and even download costs. Some cell phone service providers offer widgets to help you determine the best phone and the best service for your family. Fill them out on different sites to see who has the best deal to meet your needs.

Here's a quick guide to your options once your kid is of cell-phone-owning age.

Prepaid phone: Best for those on a budget and best as a kid's first phone. There are a wide variety of prepaid phones on the market, and there's nothing about them that screams, "second-rate." You'll find a range of options (from bare-bones to full-featured) but will pay a flat, consistent fee each month. Plus, if kids lose it or break it, you're not out a huge amount of money.

Kajeet: Good for kids of all ages. This service provider offers several monthly plans, with options ranging from under $10 to over $40. All plans come with parental controls, such as a time manager, website blocking, and flexibility about changing plans.

Family plans: Best for cell phone veterans and teens. If you go this route, make sure your kid knows how to use the phone thriftily -- for example, by using Wi-Fi when available, texting within their limits, and not downloading expensive stuff, such as song lyrics or anything with recurring payments. Get as much data as you (or your kid) can afford, especially if you get a smartphone -- which uses a lot of data.

Is your kid on your cell phone plan?

Ask Our Experts
Was this answer helpful?
Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts