Cheap mobile phone rates for children and young people

Updated: 22/08/2022 – 16:48

Purchase advice
Cheap mobile phone tariffs for families, children and young people

Photo: Getty Images/Tom Werner

More and more children are using smartphones. Imtest has selected mobile phone rates for you that are suitable for children.

IMTEST has taken a closer look at the smartphone tariffs of the largest providers and compared them for you, so that you can use the best offer for you and your children.

Whatsapp, TikTok and Instagram: Almost nothing works without a smartphone for elementary school students and teenagers. If it wasn’t for the question of the right mobile phone tariff for the offspring. With offers specially tailored for families, Vodafone, Telekom and O2 want to make it easier for parents to find the best mobile phone tariff for themselves and their children. IMTEST has examined the family and child tariffs of the major German network operators in detail and provides answers as to which tariffs are worth it for families. Or are discount providers like Aldi Talk the cheap alternatives? IMTEST explains with a comparison which smartphone tariff suits whom.

How partner cards work

The network operator’s family offer can be booked as an additional option to an existing or new mobile phone contract. It is possible, for example, with Telekom, Vodafone and O2. At 1&1, a separate additional contract can be entered into for children and young people (up to 18 years). With a partner card, family members can call each other at a reduced rate. With Vodafone, the available amount of data can even be shared with each other. The prerequisite for family tickets is that the main fare and side contracts apply to one person. You will then be billed on a single monthly invoice.

Partner cards with Vodafone, Telekom and O2 can only be booked if a corresponding partner card-suitable contract rate has been entered into: At Telekom, for example, partner cards are possible with all current MagentaMobil contract prices. If you have a Vodafone tariff Red, Ung, Smart L, L+ or XL, you are also entitled to a partner card. At O2, there are a multitude of current, but also older tariffs that are suitable for family cards. These include the tariffs Free Starter Flex, Free S to L and Free Unlimited as well as Blue All-in S to L 2021. The following applies to prepaid: there are normally no partner cards. A separate ticket must be ordered from the provider for each child and young person.

Mobile tariffs for the youngest

The starting age at which children get a smartphone is constantly falling. According to the industry association Bitkom, more than 65 percent of 6- and 9-year-olds already use a smartphone. For these age groups, we recommend special, cheap mobile phone tariffs for children, which primarily guarantee that the child can be reached by the parents. As a rule, a prepaid rate (without monthly fixed costs) with a very small credit is sufficient. With such offers, the current balance should be checked regularly, because as soon as the prepaid card is empty, the child can no longer reach anyone in an emergency.

Save with the right tariff

  • If you buy a family card from O2 as a contract customer, you get it 50 percent cheaper. This saves between 10 and 30 euros per month. Price tip: O2 also offers Free Starter Flex with 1 GB data volume as a partner card for children and adults for €4.99 per month.
  • Compared to the regular Telekom tariffs, there is a 20 euro discount on the monthly price when ordering a partner card. For children, tariffs from 9.95 euros/month – depending on the main tariff – can be booked as a partner card with a data volume of 5 GB or more.
  • Vodafone sells its partner tariffs for children (Red+ Kids) for 20 euros per month. There is currently 20 instead of 10 GB of included data volume per month.

Mobile phone tariffs in comparison: How to save yourself and your family

The older the children get, the higher their share of smartphone use: According to Bikom, over 90 percent of 10- and 11-year-olds currently have regular access to a smartphone. Therefore, the amount of available data volume for the respective mobile phone tariffs also becomes more important for them. With the prepaid tariff Kombi package M from Aldi Talk for 12.99 euros per month, this age group gets, for example, six gigabytes of LTE data per month and a fixed rate for calls and SMS. By the time the children reach their teenage years at the latest, the call for even more data becomes louder. Even cell phone tariffs with 5 GB cost from around 10 euros and more per month. With more children and the parents’ contracts, a high mobile phone bill quickly puts pressure on the family budget.


If the monthly cost of smartphone contracts for children is not to exceed the budget, mobile phone tariffs with an additional card are recommended. A parent must have an existing tariff with an appropriate provider such as Vodafone, Telekom or O2. Then it is quite easy to order extra or extra cards for the family, some of which offer very valuable benefits such as extra data volume at no extra cost. Are you a customer of e.g. 1&1, you can also order a special children’s rate. Compared to the discounter, there is a much higher data rate. Very good: Vodafone allows careful sharing of data for internet surfing within a family.

You can find more exciting trends and product comparisons on the consumer magazine IMTEST’s website.

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