Sign Up for FreedomPop’s Free Mobile Service for Your Teen

This post is brought to you by FreedomPop. While this post was sponsored by FreedomPop, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

My oldest child is currently only 6 years old.

I suspect I only have another four or five years before he starts pestering me for a cell phone.

Though my intention is to keep him cell phone free until he’s in high school, this is probably not a fight I can win.

I see kids only a little older than my son hooked to their phones, and it’s only a matter of time before he wants one, too.

But cell phones are like any other adult responsibility—it’s important for parents to slowly provide their kids with the skills they need to handle it. Just as I won’t give my son the keys to a 500 horsepower Porsche on his 16th birthday, I don’t plan to let him jump into the world of smartphones without some scaffolding.

That’s why I’m so glad to know that FreedomPop’s mobile service is out there, for that rapidly approaching day when my boy cares more about having a phone than having the latest Paw Patrol toy. FreedomPop is a free (really!) mobile and Internet service provider that has been disrupting the mobile service model since 2011. See our full review. It is currently offering an LTE 3-in-1 SIM Card Kit that can be perfect for introducing your teen to the responsibilities of cell phone ownership.

Here’s what you need to know about FreedomPop’s SIM Card Kit, and how it can work for your child:

100% Free Talk, Text, and Data with the LTE 3-in-1 SIM Card Kit

FreedomPop is currently offering a SIM card that you can insert into any unlocked Android or iPhone device. With the FreedomPop SIM card, your teen will enjoy completely free service, which includes 200MB of 4G data in addition to 200 voice minutes and 500 texts, although sending and receiving texts will eat up your data. The SIM card, valued at $15, is currently available for only $0.99, with free shipping.

In addition to being completely free, FreedomPop does not require any contracts and there are no cancellation fees or any of the other don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out fees customers often have to bear with other mobile service providers. The company uses the Sprint network.

You’ll probably recognize that 200MB of data is pretty low for any regular data users—including anyone who likes to stream music from their phones or teenagers who seem to have their cell phones on an IV drip. FreedomPop specifically states that their free service is meant for light users, which translates to being able to occasionally check email on the go rather than watch YouTube videos all day long.

So what happens if your teen goes over her data allotment? Once she gets to the final 100 MB of data usage in a given month, FreedomPop automatically charges $15 to “top-up” the plan. Users do receive an email notifying them of the imminent automatic charge, giving them the opportunity to opt out of it before the charge hits their account. You can be charged for up to seven $15 top-up credits per month, and then the account is suspended.

You can also opt out of the auto-charge entirely on the FreedomPop website: Set Billing > Billing Settings > Automatic Top Up > Enabled to No. When you disable the auto top-up feature, FreedomPop charges $5 to your account to cover any accidental overage for the month.

How FreedomPop Can Teach Fiscal Responsibility

Providing your teen with a FreedomPop SIM card on an unlocked phone will give him a chance to learn the responsibility of using a cell phone and paying for overages, without putting him in danger of racking up serious charges. You can make it clear that you will handle the setup of the free and basic plan with FreedomPop, and it is up to him to cover anything above and beyond the 200 voice minutes, 500 texts, and 200MB of data.

The top-up feature is one way that your teen can learn the cost of overusing his phone, although that could potentially cost as much as $105 per month (7 top-ups at $15 each) before the account is suspended. However, there are three other options for your teen if he knows that 200MB of data simply won’t be enough:

  1. You can pay $0.02 per additional MB of data that you use. This option is potentially pricey, as you will automatically be charged this amount if you go over your data usage once you have turned off the top-up option. You can receive email alerts that you are about to overspend your data, but those alerts cost an additional fee per month.
  2. You can invite friends to join FreedomPop through a program called Freedom Friends. For every friend who signs up and sticks with the service, you receive an additional 50 MB of data per month, up to a maximum of 500 MB of data per month.
  3. You can complete offers, take surveys, and download software in order to earn free data from FreedomPop. These offers, surveys, and downloads come from services like Netflix, FreeCreditReport.com, and online games and newsletters.

SIM Card Pre-Paid Plans

Since the data limit is very low and your teen will be paying for any overages, you can talk to him about signing up for a pre-paid plan, which may cost him less than paying for data overages as they happen.

Here are the prices your teen can expect to pay for additional data, voice, and text:

PlanMonthly CostVoice LimitText LimitData Limit
Basic FreeFree every month200 minutes500 texts200MB Data
Premium 500MB$12.99 per monthUnlimited talkUnlimited text500MB Data
Premium 1GB$19.99 per monthUnlimited talkUnlimited text1GB Data
Premium 2GB$24.99 per monthUnlimited talkUnlimited text2GB Data
Premium 3GB$29.99 per monthUnlimited talkUnlimited text3GB Data
Premium 4GB$34.99 per monthUnlimited talkUnlimited text4GB Data

Buy a Phone/Device from FreedomPop or BYOD

If you want to give your teen a FreedomPop mobile service, you can either buy a phone or device directly from them or bring your own unlocked device. FreedomPop offers a large array of phone, tablet, and device options, some of which are refurbished phones you can buy on their service, including iPhones to Android phones of all stripes, and some of which are FreedomPop proprietary devices.

The Bottom Line

FreedomPop’s basic service with the LTE 3-in-1 SIM Card Kit is completely free, and your child can learn to self-limit her phone usage to keep the service free, learn to hustle to sign up friends and/or take surveys to earn more data, or she can learn to budget for overages or monthly plan charges. No matter what she chooses, she will be learning responsible behavior with her FreedomPop service.

Considering the fact that FreedomPop requires no commitment or contract, and levies absolutely no cancellation fees, it is an excellent option for any parent who is hoping to slowly introduce mobile services to their child.

Get started with FreedomPop!

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Last Edited: May 22, 2017 @ 10:30 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written two books: The Five Years Before You Retire and Choose Your Retirement. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.