Inexpensive tariffs for mobile phones for children and young people

Updated: 08/22/2022 – 16:48

Buying Advice
Inexpensive mobile phone tariffs for families, children and youth

Photo: Getty Images / Tom Werner

More and more children are using smartphones. Imtest has selected suitable mobile phone tariffs for children.

IMTEST has looked at the smartphone tariffs of the largest providers in detail and compared them for you so that you can use the best offer for you and your children.

Whatsapp, TikTok, Instagram: almost nothing works without a smartphone for elementary school students and teens. Were it not for the question about the correct mobile phone tariff for boys. With offers tailored to families, Vodafone, Telekom and O2 want to make it easy to find the best mobile tariff for themselves and their children. IMTEST has examined the family and child tariffs of major German network operators in detail and provided answers about which tariffs are worth it for families. Or are discount providers like Aldi Talk the cheaper alternatives? IMTEST explains by comparing the appropriate smartphone tariff for whom.

This is how partner cards work

Network operator family packages can be booked as an additional option to your existing or new mobile phone contract. This is possible with Telekom, Vodafone and O2, for example. At 1 & 1, a separate additional contract for children and young people (up to 18 years of age) can be concluded. With partner cards, family members can call each other at discounted rates. With Vodafone, the amount of available data can be shared with each other. The basic requirement for family tickets is that the main tariff and side contracts apply to one person. You will then be billed one monthly bill.

Partner cards in Vodafone, Telekom and O2 can be reserved only if a contract price compatible with the partner card is concluded: in Telekom, for example, partner cards can be used with all current MagentaMobil contract prices. If you have a Vodafone Red, Young, Smart L, L + or XL tariff, you are also entitled to partner cards. At O2 there is a wealth of current tariffs, but also old ones suitable for family cards. These tariffs include Free Starter Flex, Free S to L, Free Unlimited as well as Blue All-in S to L 2021. The following applies to prepaid: There are usually no partner cards. A separate ticket must be requested from the provider for each child and young person.

Mobile phone tariffs for the youngest

The starting age at which children get a smartphone is constantly declining. According to the Bitkom Industry Association, more than 65 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 9 are already using a smartphone. For these age groups, we recommend special, inexpensive mobile phone tariffs for children, which primarily guarantee parental access to the child. As a rule, a prepaid tariff (without fixed monthly 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 emptied, the child will not be able to reach anyone in case of emergency.

Save at the right rate

  • If you buy an O2 family card as a contract customer, you’ll get it 50 percent cheaper. This saves between 10 and 30 euros per month. Price tip: O2 also offers a free Starter Flex card with 1GB of data as a partner card for children and adults for €4.99 per month.
  • Compared to the standard tariffs of Telekom, there is a discount of 20 euros on the monthly price when booking a partner card. For children, the tariff starting from € 9.95 / 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 to children (Red + Kids) for 20 euros per month. There is currently 20 GB instead of 10 GB of data volume included per month.

Comparing mobile phone tariffs: How to save you and your family

The older children get, the greater their share of smartphone use: According to Becom, more than 90 percent of 10- to 11-year-olds currently have regular access to a smartphone. Accordingly, the amount of data available for the relevant mobile charges is also becoming more important to them. For example, with Aldi Talk’s Kombi-paket M prepaid tariff of €12.99 per month, this age group gets six GB of LTE data per month and a flat rate for calls and texts. At the latest as children reach their teenage years, the call for increased data volume becomes louder. Even a mobile phone fee of 5 GB costs from about 10 euros and more per month. With so many kids and parent contracts, a high mobile phone bill is quickly putting pressure on the family budget.


If the monthly costs of children’s smartphone contracts do not exceed the budget, then mobile phone tariffs with a second card are recommended. One parent must have a current tariff with an appropriate provider such as Vodafone, Telekom or O2. Hence it is very easy to reserve additional or second cards for the family, some of which provide worthwhile advantages such as additional data volume without any additional charges. If you’re a 1&1 customer, for example, you can also book a special children’s tariff. Compared with the harvesting device, there is a much higher data speed. Very good: Vodafone allows precise data sharing for family surfing.

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

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