Best capped SIM only deals

sim card

Capped SIMs are a great way of keeping track of how much you're spending. And how much your kids are spending too. Compare My Mobile explores your options...

What is a capped SIM only deal?

sim card oneplus

Capped SIMs let you set a spending limit on your SIM-only deal, so there’s no chance of being hit by an unexpectedly high bill.

You can set limits for your own usage or, if you’re the billpayer, for another family member. Which means capped SIMs are handy for parents worried about their kids’ spending too much.

The spending limit kicks when you’ve hit the regular monthly allowance, after which point you’d be paying higher, out-of-bundle prices for data, calls and texts.

Really watching the pennies? You can set a cap that won’t let you or your child spend anything above your monthly allowance. Prefer a bit of leeway? Set a cap of a £5 or £10 for emergencies.

A capped SIM isn’t just good for limiting spend, though. They also offer peace of mind if your phone is lost or stolen.

With a spending cap in place, no-one will be able to run up a bill if your phone somehow falls into their hands.

Not sure how much data you need? Take a look at our handy guide to data usage.

What do spending caps cover?

When a cap is applied, it’ll prevent spending on:

  • UK calls, data and texts
  • International calls
  • Premium rate calls
  • International roaming

A spending cap won’t apply on in-app purchases, though. So bear in mind that it’s still possible for kids to run up bills that way.

Why are capped SIMs good for parents?

child using smartphone

Online games, such as Fortnite and Minecraft, as well as streaming video and social networking, can send kids’ and teens’ data usage spiralling.

In a Tesco Mobile survey over a third of teens surveyed pegged their average spend at £10 per month. But 96% of parents quizzed for the same survey said the average bill was about £40 per month.

Capped SIMs that put parents in control are the solution to kids accidentally overspending.

Not only that but they allow you to set a small limit for peace of mind. And they’re flexible enough that you can change the cap from month to month.

Think a high data plan might be a better idea for your child? Take a look at unlimited data plans.

Best capped SIM only deals for kids

All networks are legally bound to offer spending caps. But which capped SIMs for kids are the best? Here’s our pick…

Tesco Mobile capped SIM only deals

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Tesco Mobile sim only 10GB data 12 months £13.50 p/m
Tesco Mobile sim only 50GB data 12 months £35.00 p/m
  • Tesco Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 10GB of 4G data
    • 5000 minutes
    • 5000 texts
    • £13.50 per month
    12 month contract From Tesco Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 50GB of 4G data
    • 5000 minutes
    • 5000 texts
    • £35.00 per month
    12 month contract From Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile lets you cap extra usage at zero or set a safety buffer of up to £100.

But perhaps Tesco Mobile’s biggest selling point is that you’ll get Clubcard points every time you pay your bill and your child’s bill.

Compare more Tesco Mobile SIMs

Vodafone capped SIM only deals

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Vodafone sim only 8GB data 12 months £10.00 p/m
Vodafone sim only 4GB data 12 months £8.00 p/m
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 8GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • 5GB data bonus
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 4GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • 3GB data bonus
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone

All Vodafone SIM only deals let you apply a monthly data cap, which you can turn on and off by logging into your account or via the My Vodafone smartphone app.

See a wider range of Vodafone SIMs

O2 capped SIM only deals

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
O2 sim only 9GB data 12 months £19.00 p/m
O2 sim only 25GB data 12 months £28.00 p/m
O2 sim only 50GB data 12 months £45.00 p/m
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 9GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £19.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 25GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £28.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 50GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £45.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2

O2 Spend Caps range from a maximum of £200 to zero. You can add or remove caps contacting O2 on 202 from an O2 phone or contacting O2 on LiveChat.

If you’re on a family account, only the billpayer can make changes to spending caps.

See more O2 SIM only deals

Virgin Mobile capped SIM only deals

All Virgin Mobile plans let you set spending caps from zero to £100 to limit spending on calls, texts and data.

Caps can be changed using the Virgin Mobile app, or online. Billpayers can manage caps for other family members.

Compare more Virgin Mobile SIMs

Three capped SIM only deals

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
Three sim only 8GB data 12 months £10.00 p/m
Three sim only 12GB data 12 months £12.00 p/m
Three sim only Unlimited data 12 months £21.00 p/m
  • Three sim only
    4G
    • 8GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    4G
    • 12GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £12.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    4G
    • Unlimited 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £21.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile

Three doesn’t offer a zero spending cap for new customers signing up to SIM only deals. But allows you to set a cap from between £10-£100.

See more Three SIM only deals

EE capped SIM only deals

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
EE sim only 20GB data 12 months £20.00 p/m
EE sim only 50GB data 12 months £25.00 p/m
EE sim only 100GB data 12 months £27.00 p/m
  • EE sim only
    4G
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £20.00 per month
    12 month contract From EE Mobile
  • EE sim only
    4G
    • 50GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £25.00 per month
    12 month contract From EE Mobile
  • EE sim only
    4G
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £27.00 per month
    12 month contract From EE Mobile

Spend Caps are available to new customers on all EE SIM deals. The size of the cap runs from zero to £50.

Billpayers can set them using the My EE smartphone app, or by contacting EE.

Compare more EE SIM only deals

How to keep kids safe on their phones

Capped SIMs can only go so far in protecting your kids online. It’s also a good idea to:

  • Use parental controls at home to monitor usage and block inappropriate sites
  • Set limits for the amount of time kids can spend online and for times of day
  • Sign up for a tracking service that lets you know your kids’ location
  • Warn them not to overshare online
  • Set a good example with your own phone
  • Take notice of how they’re spending time with their phone

Best phones for kids

kids playing smartphone games

Refurbished phones or older models that won’t break the bank make great kids’ phones.

Opt for a refurbished model instead of a brand new phone and you can save yourself hundreds of pounds.

And you can rest assured that it'll be in good working order and will have been thoroughly checked being before made available for resale.

There are big savings to be made on phones that are a few years old too, which are still powerful enough to do everything your child needs. But may not have the latest features.

It’s also worth taking a look at pay as you go phones that are likely to be even more affordable.

Best phone deals for kids