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Best Plans for Kids

Posted on the 12 January 2012 by Prepaidplans @prepaidplans

It is almost that time of year. Another few weeks and our lovely children return to school. For some it might be their first day at Primary or High School. If you are looking to purchase your child a phone so that they can have it with them at school, specifically when they are traveling to and from school, we have done much of the work for you. However instead of simply listing the plan, I want to share with you an email I received today from a father of a 12 your old who is looking to purchase his son a mobile phone.

I am obviously not going to share names etc, just the transcript of the exchange we had today:

Peter asked:
Hi I am looking to buy a pre paid mobile phone and associated plan for my son.
He is 12 yrs old and mainly needs the phone for contacting, calls, text, to other family members.
Could you advise the best phone and plan to suit this need.
Also advise where I would purchase from.

I replied:
Happy to assist. How many calls is your son likely to make in a day and are you or your partner on a particular plan or network at the moment?

Peter replied:
Not many calls. Prob more so texting and we will call him. I currently have an Optus $59 business plan

I replied:
You can purchase a prepaid phone either online or via one of the Telco retail or online stores. If you purchase a phone from a Telco store you will need to buy a sim card and prepaid mobile plan from them. This is so that you can spend the minimum amount with them in order to unlock the phone.

Given your son is only 12, you probably don’t want anything expensive just in case it is lost/stolen. Basic phones start from about $50.

The other alternative is to purchase it online via a store like mobicity or smoothmobiles. These guys sell mostly unlocked phones which means you can use any plan with the phone.

In terms of plans, given he will not do much calling and mainly Txt, then go with a plan which has a healthy expiry period for the credit. This page lists some of the better plans for kids:

  • Virgin has the BeanCounter which has cheap calls (10c) and Txt (10c), credit for this plan lasts 45 days. Virgin also has a plan called Long Expiry – 186 days, whilst the call rates on this plan aren’t cheap, $15 recharge will last for 186 days if unused. Virgin has a small selection of prepaid phones.
  • Plans like Amaysim and Savvytel also offer good value but you need an unlocked phone to use them, ie you need to buy it unlocked or spend enough to unlock it. Both of these plans use the Optus network. Apparently Savvytel will work in a locked Optus. This is what they tell me.
  • The Optus Connect 4 Less is Optus’ cheapest plan, 10c calls and 10c Txt, credit lasts for 30 days and the minimum recharge is $10. Optus has a good selection of prepaid phones.
  • Gotalk is also a very cheap plan (cheapest around) but you need to unlock the phone to use it. They use the Vodafone network.
  • CrazyJohns Flatchat is another very cheap plan with 1c Txt. Credit lasts 90 even with $15 recharge. These guys also sell prepaid phones. Crazy Johns uses the Vodafone network.
  • Telstra’s Simplicity is again a cheap plan, if you recharge for $100 it lasts for 180 days. Calls and Txt are very cheap and they sell losts of prepaid phones.
  • Finally we have the Vodafone 365 Plan. Vodafone are running a special back to school offer. If you recharge $30 with the 365 day plan, your credit will last the whole year but you can also make unlimited Vodafone calls for the whole year. Bare in mind call and Txt rates aren’t very competitive. Vodafone also sell a good selection of prepaid phones.

Hopefully this gives you some guidance. I suggest that you narrow it down to a couple or just pick one. Happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Remember that with prepaid you can simply swap plans at any time with no exit costs (just need to make sure the phone has been unlocked).

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