- monthly fees
- monthly minute allotments
- text messaging capabilities and cost
- the length of the contract
- additional fees charged
- early contract cancellation penalties
Confused by all the choices available? Here is a rundown of the basic cellular phone plans available to help you better understand what service will be best for your teen – and family.
Stand Alone Plans
This plan is usually reserved for older teens who do not need parental monitoring and who are likely paying for their own cellular service. A stand alone plan is just that – an independent plan for one cell phone only, featuring a limited amount of airtime each month for a basic fee, with additional charges accrued for excess minutes and texting services.
Companion (or Family) Plans
These plans are great for families who want to link their phones together. Many companion plans allow family members to talk and text for free; the one drawback is often a limited amount of airtime that must be shared among users when using the phone to contact non-companion plan members.
Great options for users who may find themselves with overage charges on a regular basis, unlimited plans may or may not include local calls; long distance calls and/or texting options.
There are a variety of prepaid plans on the market today; some offering a certain number of airtime minutes per month for a set fee with the option of purchasing more minutes if needed. Others require airtime cards to be purchased on an as-needed basis with a minimum purchase necessary every 1-3 months in order to keep the phone active. These pay-as-you go plans are a great option for younger teens who have not learned how to manage their airtime yet, and users who want to keep their monthly expenses at a minimum.
As you can see, it doesn’t matter whether you have a young tween who wants to try their hand at texting; an older teen that needs and emergency-only cell service or a teen in between who wants to use their phone on a regular basis, there are cellular phone plans available to meet every need and budget. The key to finding just the right plan for your teen is to consider what they want and need; how much airtime they will likely need; and how much you want to spend. Then, contact several cell phone companies to compare their services, contracts and prices until you find a cellular phone plan that bets meets your teen’s needs.