My main advice is to evaluate your child’s level of responsibility. Do your kids have portable gaming devices? Do they routinely lose them? Do they keep track of all accessories? Do they keep them in good condition? Testing your child with a portable gaming device is a great way to see if they are ready to make the switch to a phone.

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And of course you need to think about whether or not they deserve it! Are they doing well in school? Do they help out at home? If they truly need it, reward them with a new phone!

Finally, consider your own peace of mind. As kids get older, they often travel to and from school on their own and are involved in after-school activities. A phone will help you stay in touch and enable them to make an emergency call if anything goes wrong. I like knowing that I can reach my kids if anything comes up.

If you are thinking of getting phones for your tweens or teens, consider switching to Cricket Wireless. As I’ve mentioned here before, Cricket is a great choice for your family. Most smartphone plans for a whole family are expensive; add to that the price of the phone itself, and you’re spending a lot. Cricket, in contrast, does not seem to be out to take ALL of our money. They understand that we have other expenses, so they take pride in offering great phones and service at a lower price. Right now, they are also offering select 4G LTE smartphones as low as $19.99 when you switch to Cricket! To get this deal, it does require porting your number to a new qualified plan and the minimum plan requirement is $40 a month. Cricket offers phones from all of the major manufacturers: Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Apple. Yes, you can get an iPhone 5s from Cricket! See offer details below.

Coverage used to be a big issue for the smaller carriers. But Cricket now has more 4G LTE coverage nationwide than T-Mobile or Sprint.* This is a big deal. Nothing is worse than needing to make a call or look up directions and not being able to get a connection. Click the map to check coverage near you.

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That’s not all: Cricket makes choosing a plan simple. Easy rate plans help you simplify your buying experience and avoid confusion, so you know exactly what you owe when you get your bill. All plans listed include monthly taxes and fees, so you won’t say, “That’s not what they said my plan would cost!” when you see your first bill. All cell phone carriers should do that!

Cricket even allows some new customers to use their old phones, depending on the carrier. Check out the Cricket website to see if your phone is eligible. Being able to keep your current phone means you save money on the cost of a new device.

Cricket has even added some international calling options for vacationers traveling to Mexico and Canada. You can place calls and send MMS and SMS text messages back to the US or within those countries at no additional charge. There is no need to add a special international plan, as some other carriers require. As long as you have a $50/month or $60/month plan with Cricket, this service is included! See details below.

I love plans that know that families need a lot of phones! Instead of charging an arm and a leg for each line, Cricket lets you add new lines for less. Cricket’s Group Save plan allows you to save up to $100/month just for adding more lines. Check out their website to see just how much you can save by switching your entire family.

 

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Cricket Wireless blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

  

*4G LTE not avail. everywhere. 

4G LTE Smartphones for $19.99: Only valid on LG Risio & ZTE Overture 2, while supplies last. New lines of service. Tax & first month svc charge due at sale. Excludes ports from AT&T. Activation Fee: Up to $25/line. Other fees, charges & restrictions apply. Restocking Fee: $25. Pricing, terms & restr’s subject to change and may be modified, or terminated at any time without notice. Coverage & svc not avail. everywhere. See store for details.

Mexico & Canada: Incl. unlimited calling/texting w/in & between U.S. Mexico and Canada. Also incl. use of high-speed data allotment from your plan while traveling in Mexico & Canada. Actual data speeds vary by device and location. Min. 50% U.S. usage requirement must be met on each of voice, text and data usage (incl. domestic use) or service may be terminated. Roaming svc not guaranteed, ltd. coverage in select markets outside the U.S. Other restrictions apply. Subject to Cricket International Terms & Conditions.

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