Good Phone Plans for Aussie Kids

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If you’re a parent looking for a good phone plan for your child, you may be surprised to find that there are few plans actually tailored for children – after all, a phone plan is generally a phone plan, regardless of your age. However, child-appropriate plans are out there, so if you’ve made the decision to give your child their first phone —or want to find a better deal than their current plan— you’ve come to the right place.

While some mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) offer cheap phone plans, a few of them will offer additional incentives for the kids’ plans, such as access to cyber safety programs, which allow parents to monitor their child’s online activity.

Some of the best phone plans for kids comes from the smaller telcos including:

  • OVO Mobile
  • Yomojo
  • Woolworths Mobile

Read on as we go through the child-friendly options worth considering, and provide tips and advice on finding the best plan for your child.

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Features to look for in children’s phone plans

When it comes to picking the best features for your child’s mobile plan, you’ll need to consider what type of phone user they will be. Will they be a light or heavy data user? Kids generally love to text and use data, but having a limit on calls is also hugely beneficial. Therefore, consider the following as bare minimum requirements for a good phone plan for kids:

  • Unlimited Texts: No matter your child’s age, unlimited texts are a really good idea, because it means they will always be able to reach you in the event of an emergency. They’ll also enjoy being able to message their friends as much as they like, so it’s win-win for everyone.
  • Data Limits & Costs: A phone plan with at least 1GB of data will enable them to use social media, use Google Maps to get around, and keep in touch via apps such as WhatsApp. Due to the auto-recharging feature of postpaid plans, it may also pay to look at any plans with cheap excess data rates, and ones with an in-depth usage warning system – for example, SMS alerts when 50%, 85%, and 100% of the monthly data allowance has been used.
  • Longer Expiry Periods: Cheap prepaid plans tend to come with very short expiry periods of just 7-10 days, so you might want to consider a plan with a longer expiry. This would reduce the risk of your child being left with no credit to call or text you, while also taking away the hassle of having to recharge regularly.

The type of features that best meet your child’s phone use may also be related to their age, with older teenagers more likely to require a lot of data for video streaming, Snapchat, and more.

Specific phone plans for kids

Until recently, there were no phone plans from the mainstream Aussie carriers that could justifiably label themselves as ‘for kids’. However, that’s changed with several low-cost MVNOs that have phone plans targeted at the younger members of the family.

OVO Mobile

Operating on the Optus network, OVO Mobile offers two kid-specific prepaid plans, both of which cost less than $15 per month. The $9.95 Mini Plan features $500 in calls every 30 days, as well as unlimited texts and 1GB of data. If you want a little bit more data each month, the MiniPlus plan is priced at $14.95 and features 2GB every 30 days, plus unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia.

Both OVO Mobile kids plans also include access to OVOPlay, which offers unlimited data-free streaming of selected sports and radio (including ESports, gymnastics, motorsports, and the Triple M and Hit radio networks). OVO Mobile customers can also switch on Family Zone’s cyber security features, which allow parents to monitor and control their child’s phone activity.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Ovo Logo

Mini

  • $500 standard national calls
  • Unlimited standard national SMS

min. cost $9.95 over 30 day expiry

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

MiniPlus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $14.95 over 30 day expiry

2GBMax Data**/billing period $14.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Yomojo

Ideal for young or low-level phone users, Yomojo’s $9.90 Kids Plan features 200 minutes of standard talk, plus unlimited texts and 1GB of monthly data. This plan also includes unlimited Yomojo-to-Yomojo calls, so families on multi-line plans can stay in touch without affecting the 200 minute monthly talk limit.

Parents who want to keep their children safe online can sign on for Yomojo’s Family Eye service – an optional add-on that allows parents to keep track of their kids’ physical whereabouts and internet activity. Family Eye includes safe browsing features, location alerts, app and camera management, and more, and is priced at $5 per month, per child (but free for your first month of use).

Finally, if you have multiple kids —or want to keep the whole family’s phone lines on a single account and bill— Yomojo also offers Family Bundles. Bundles allow you to sign up to six separate mobile lines under one account and also offer monthly discounts of up to 15% for your entire mobile service.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

1GB Kids Plan

  • 200 mins standard national calls
  • Unlimited standard national SMS

min. cost $9.90 over 30 day expiry

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Woolworths Mobile

While Woolworths Mobile doesn’t have a specific phone plan for children, the telco does offer incentives such as bonus ‘school holiday’ data and also offers access to Family Zone cyber security. The bonus data is added on to your plan every three months (you’ll need to maintain timely recharges on the prepaid plans to access), with the idea being that kids have more data to use during school holiday time.

If you’re interested in a plan with Woolworths Mobile, you’ll be able to choose from 12-month SIM-only postpaid plans, prepaid plans and plans bundled in with a new smartphone (including the latest Samsung devices). There are four plans at $20, $30, $40 and $50, with all plans including the same data amount across prepaid and postpaid offerings. The only difference is the expiry or contract lengths on the plans.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Woolworths Mobile

Extra Small Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: 20GB holiday bonus data every three months (offer expires 26/05/19)

min. cost $20 over 30 day expiry

3GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period
Woolworths Mobile

Small Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: 20GB holiday bonus data every three months (offer expires 26/05/19)

min. cost $30 over 30 day expiry

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

‘Safe bet’ plans

For kids just starting out on their first phone plan, these cheaper options from Yomojo and OVO Mobile are a low-cost, low-risk way of working out just much they’ll use their phone and being prepaid, you won’t incur any automatic excess data charges with either provider. While Woolworths Mobile does have some extra incentives, the plans are a little pricier than the kids’ plans from the other two telcos, but it might be a good option if you’re looking at a new phone for your child.

Other plans to consider for kids

You’ll have noticed that, when it comes to postpaid plans, it’s often the smaller service providers offering the cheap phone plans for kids. But if your child uses their phone for social media, plus streaming and other data-intensive applications, it could make sense to get a phone plan with around 10GB.

But don’t stress! There are many providers that pack in lots of data for a lower monthly price than you’d expect. The below table includes featured products from our referral partners, in price order:

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 25 SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international SMS

min. cost $25 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Catch Connect Logo

11GB 30 Day Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: $4.90 for first 30 days

min. cost $25 over 30 day expiry

11GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$30 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

20GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $30

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • 17GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $5 extra credit

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$30 Combo Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Special offer: 25GB bonus data (offer expires 14/05/19)

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Prepaid vs postpaid for kids

The first (and most important) decision to make in regards to your child’s phone plan is whether you want to go prepaid or postpaid. Postpaid plans see you pay your bill after your billing cycle is complete, while prepaid means you’ll pay in advance (and can only use the plan inclusions you’ve paid for upfront).

Prepaid Pros

The best thing about prepaid phone plans is that child can only spend the set amount of call, text and data inclusions that come with their plan. There is no bill shock with prepaid: once your credit is up, that’s it, unless you manually recharge.

This can be a great way to help kids understand budgeting. Another positive is that, if you’re short on money one month or if you need to take your child’s privileges away, you can simply not recharge their plan. With postpaid plans, you would have to cancel the contract entirely.

Prepaid Cons

The most significant drawback to prepaid plans is that, once you use all your inclusions, you can no longer use data, make any calls or send text messages. This lack of credit potentially takes away the safety net of your child being able to call you in an emergency.

Prepaid plans also tend to have shorter expiry periods, which could mean you find yourself having to recharge every week or so. And as a general rule, prepaid plans may lack the same value as postpaid plans, where you often get more for your money (and a lot more providers on offer).

Postpaid Pros

The best thing about postpaid phone plans is that you will always have a service to call on when it’s needed. Postpaid provides the extra security of being able call home in an emergency no matter what — your provider will simply charge you extra if you go over the plan’s limitations.

Postpaid plans also take away the hassle of having to manually recharge your plan (although some prepaid plans do allow users to auto-recharge). You are also likely to get better value with a postpaid plan.

Postpaid Cons

The biggest negative of postpaid plans is basically the biggest positive in reverse. Being able to exceed your plan’s limits in emergencies is great, but this also means the feature is there to be abused. Bill shock is a real thing, as extra credit is usually automatically added to your account. The going rate is $10 per 1GB, so if you go over your data cap, you may find you’ve spent a lot more than you budgeted for!

The other negative is that you can’t just take a break in your service when you want, unless you cancel your contract. The nature of postpaid plans means you sacrifice this flexibility, even if you’re on a month-to-month contract that doesn’t lock you in for a year.

Whatever type of phone plan you go with for your kid(s), the take-home message is that there are some awesome deals available if you’re prepared to shop around. In the prepaid space, it’s hard to beat OVO Mobile and Yomojo’s plans for overall value and cyber security add ons, but the likes of Vodafone, Boost Mobile, Moose Mobile, and Catch Connect are great for low-cost, big-data plans.

Should I get my child the latest iPhone?

Your child may be begging you for the latest iPhone XR or even iPhone XS, which are both serious financial commitments. Even bundled-in with a plan, you’re looking at spending at least around $70 a month with a lock-in contract of between 12 and 36 months (depending on your telco).

Outright, these phones cost around $1,200 and $1,600 at a minimum respectively — so even buying upfront can be a huge hit to your budget.

If you’re paying the bill, you ultimately have the final say.  Nevertheless, if you’re happy with them having the newest iPhone, there are a few considerations to take in:

  • Be wary of ‘Lease’ plans: while they may offer financial incentives or data bonuses, you do have to return your phone in good working order at the end of your term. This is no easy feat for a teen and a cracked screen or broken phone could cost you hundreds.
  • The more you spend, the more bonuses you stand to receive, but these costs start to add up. Postpaid plans also mean excess data packs are automatically added; rather than being given a hard cap for data, you’ll be billed for an extra 1GB the moment you exceed your plan’s data allowance.
  • You may be tempted to opt in for a ‘family data sharing’ deal, which pools data together for everyone in the family to use; this can simplify the bill paying process, but may mean one family member doesn’t get their fair share (while another gobbles up all the gigabytes).

In any case, there are three key providers that offer plans with the latest iPhones bundled in – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. All have their unique selling points, so it can pay to compare them all if you’re after the latest and greatest from Apple. Below are three of the cheapest published postpaid plans from each provider, in price order, but keep in mind that these don’t include the handset payments. The below table includes sponsored links.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Current offer: 4GB bonus data. Ends 04/04/19

min. cost $35 over one month plan period, plus any device repayments

2GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free

min. cost $1,080 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network

min. cost $1,416 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

It’s your (the parent’s) call

At the end of the day, you know your child best, and if you’re paying the bill you get to decide where the money goes. It pays to look at the smaller telcos offering cheap plans: there are over 30 providers out there, many with plans under $15. There’s a lot to choose from – you’ll just have to do your homework!

Phone Plans for Kids featured in this article:

Telco Mobile Plan Included Data Monthly Cost Contract Term
OVO Mobile Mini 1GB $9.95 No contract
OVO Mobile MiniPlus 2GB $14.95 No contract
Yomojo Kids Plan 1GB $9.90 No contract
Woolworths Mobile Extra Small 3GB $20 No contract
Woolworths Mobile Small 10GB $30 No contract
Moose Mobile Moose 25 10GB $25 No contract
Catch Connect 11GB 30-Day Plan 11GB $25 No contract
Boost Mobile $30 Prepaid 20GB $30 No contract
Telstra Prepaid Max $30 10GB $30 No contract
Vodafone $30 Combo Plus 10GB $30 No contract
Vodafone $35 Red Plan 2GB $35 No contract
Optus $45 My Plan Plus 4GB $45 24 months
Telstra $59 Small Plan 3GB $59 24 months

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