It’s a great way to help you keep control over children’s cell phone bills, avoid bill shocks from teens who use too much data, share allowances with the whole family, and most importantly, save money. ‘to save money.
They’re not just for families: Shared plans also work for groups of friends, roommates, couples, or a single person who wants a cheap SIM plan for their tablet or a 30-day SIM plan.
Here’s what you can get from the UK’s major mobile networks.
The 5 best cell phones for kids
How many phones? : Up to five, including one primary account holder.
How it works: You have a 12 month SIM plan that belongs to the primary account holder. To that, you can then add up to four 30-day plans. They’re all paid on one bill, and you can change the allocation on the 30-day SIM cards whenever you want – they’re automatically carried over to the next month until you change or cancel them.
Why is it good: It is incredible value. Additional SIM cards with the same allowance can cost half the price of the primary account holder, and each additional card you add is a little cheaper. On top of that, BT’s broadband customers get an additional £ 5 discount each month.
As an added bonus, it also means you can pay for your entire family’s mobile plans – along with your broadband, home phone, and even TV – on one bill.
How many phones? : Up to five.
How it works: All of your family’s phone plans are linked to a single account called a shared plan. Everyone on the shared plan gets unlimited minutes and texts, plus a large database to share between you – which can range from 1GB to 50GB. Anytime either of you uses the Internet mobile, you use some of that shared allowance.
Why is it good: It is more advantageous than having five separate plans. And because many of you share the data rate, it’s more flexible – if someone has a particularly heavy month of data, they can avoid wasting an add-on by simply removing it from the shared pool.
How many phones? : Up to 10, including at least one “main device”.
How it works: You start with a primary “master device”. On this, you can connect up to nine other monthly paid phones or tablets, all of which share the data allowance of the main device. Pricing ranges from 1GB to 20GB, but if you want even more than that, you can add another primary device.
Why is it good: It’s a bit more flexible than most shared data plans: you can connect up to ten phones and even have multiple primary devices. This way mom and dad can be in control.
How many phones? : Up to five.
How it works: If a family member has a Tesco Mobile plan – or wants to purchase one – they can simply add additional plans to their account, which can then be shared with the family.
Then, each month, everyone logged into that account receives a free family benefit. This could be an additional data allowance, more minutes, more SMS, additional Clubcard points or just cash back. The exact amount you can add depends on how much you spend on the plan.
Why is it good: It’s incredibly flexible and great value for money. You can change the perks you receive each month – and everyone who is logged in can, too.
Compare offers from Tesco Mobile
Vodafone offers two types of shared or family plans: Red + and Vodafone Family plans.
Red + Packages
How many phones? : Up to 10.
How it works: With Red + plans, you can bundle up to 10 phone plans on a single data allowance. Everyone gets unlimited calls and texts, but when using mobile internet it will use up part of the shared allowance. Each phone you add to the plan will be a little cheaper.
One person is the “leader” and they can choose how much data is in the pool and how much data each SIM card is allowed to use – perfect for young children who don’t know how much data they’re re-using. Managers can manage accounts online, with the app, or even via SMS.
Why is it good: You can connect a lot of phones, and it’s great for making sure kids aren’t spending too much data. This is also decent value, as you get a small discount on every phone you add.