While mobile phones add convenience to our lives, they come with rather hefty tariffs… especially if you’re looking to equip the whole family with new mobiles.

"Family plans" claim to offer increased savings, consolidated tariffs, and a greater level of control for keeping tabs on what people are using their phones for.

But are family plans worth it?

Simply put, if you need more than two lines... there’s a good chance you can save with a family plan.

And when it comes to options currently available in the UK, we consider the BT Perfect All Rounder Plan to be one of the best family mobile deals available.

It offers a generous data allotment, a fair price, free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots, and the extra lines are month-to-month for added flexibility.

But there’s plenty of other options as well.

If you’re looking to dig a little deeper into choosing the perfect family plan for your needs, we’ve rounded up 4 leading picks to cover the various ways people use their phones.

1. BT Mobile Max Plan

Best Family Plan for Heavy Data Use

Through BT, you can get 40GB of high-speed data each month and unlimited UK texting and calling on 4 lines for £124 -- a savings of £36 per month over individual lines and accounts.

Each line gets 40GB of data -- it isn't shared. And you can set spend limits and caps on both UK data and roaming usage to ensure there's no suprises at the end of the month.

On top of that, you'll enjoy free access to more than 5-million UK Wi-Fi hotspots to help you make the most of your data.

The main line requires a 12 month commitment, but each line after is on a rolling monthly contract. This means you can add or drop people as needed without worrying about cancellation fees.

The only downside is that all plans must be the same. So if you need a huge data pool, but the partner, kids, or friends don't, you might see a lot of data go unused each month.

BT Mobile Max Plan                            

Price: £124 (for 4 lines)
Data: 40GB per line                        
Talk / Text: Unlimited

2. Tesco's Family Perks Plan

Best Family Mobile Plan for Controlling Usage

While not a family plan in the convention sense, Tesco's Mobile's unique approach gives you flexible perks -- such as extra data, monthly discounts, or more minutes -- that you can apply to each line on your account every month.

The feature is compatible with all of their pay monthly plans.

You'll get one perk per line for as long as they are active. Better still, you can choose different plans for each line. For example, you can give you and your partner higher plans, while limited the kids' usage or give a friend a lower-tier plan until you know they'll be able to pay their share each month.

For added control over billing, data on each line is capped based on the monthly allotment on your tariff. This means no worries about costly overages. If you have a kid that talks a lot or you love to stream music while on the go, you can use your perk to help account for your own preferences.

As an example of the plan in action, you can pick up 2 of their 6GB plans, each with 5000 minutes and 5000 texts for the adults, and 2 lighter 2GB plans each with 500 minutes and 5000 texts for the kids, all for £45 per month.

If you choose the £2 discount perk for each line, that would bring your total to £37 per month. 

Tesco Family Perks Plan

Price: Varies                        
Data: Vaires                         
Talk / Text: Varies                         

3. BT Mobile Essentials Plan

Best Basic Family Mobile Plan

Offering 4 lines with 5GB of data per line and unlimited calling and texting in the UK for £45.80 per month, the BT Mobile Essentials Plan is probably a bit more data than the average person might need.

But the price (only £11.45 per line) is great for what you get. Better still, it provides a little extra breathing room so you can use your phone without worry or let splurge a bit with the streaming or gaming here and there.

The first line requires a 12-month commitment. However, each additional line is on a 30-day term to provide added flexibility should you need to remove a person from the plan. 

BT Mobile subscribers also enjoy free access to more than 5 million UK Wi-Fi hotspots.

While you might be able to find separate prepaid lines at a lower price, the convenience of a single bill and account-wide controls makes the slight difference well worth the cost of the family plan in our opinion.

BT Mobile Essentials Plan                              

Price: £45.80 (for 4 lines)
Data: 5GB per line 
Talk / Text: Unlimited

5. BT Mobile Perfect All Rounder Plan

Best Couples (Two-Person) Mobile Plan

While the 4 line rates on many family plans are quite nice, the discounts for two-line plans are limited.

BT Mobile's Perfect All Rounder Plan offers a decent data allotment (6GB per line) and unlimited UK calling and texting for only £35.60 per month. 

The first line requires a 12 month commitment. However, the second line is on a rolling monthly term to provide added flexibility.

There's also free access to more than 5 million UK Wi-Fi hotspots to help you keep your data usage down while on the go or out with friends.

BT Mobile Perfect All Rounder Plan                            

Price: £35.60 (for 2 lines)
Data: 6GB per line                         
Talk / Text: Unlimited


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How We Picked

When answering the question, “What’s the best mobile plan for families?” , we considered the following primary criteria:

 

Savings

With discounts for every line added, the savings on most family plans add up quickly -- especially if you’re using a major network.

While there is probably cheaper plans available than some of our picks, we scoured the plans on offer to make picks we felt found the sweet spot between savings and features.

 

Simplified tariffs

Managing multiple tariffs for multiple lines can be a headache. If you’re using more than 2 or 3 lines, it’s easy for one to go unnoticed or mix up the plans and features on each line.

Family plans with a consolidated tariff make it easy to keep track of both what you owe and what the people on your plan are using each month.

 

Reduced credit requirements

Getting a new phone plan is expensive enough without considering the deposits for services or new phones.

Family plans are based on the credit ratings of the main account holder instead of the people using each phone.

This makes them ideal in situations where either credit ratings aren’t stellar for everyone involved or they’re simply not old enough to actually sign a contract.

Credit requirements vary by provide and will still increase based on the number of lines or model of phones you request. However, family plans consolidate credit checks to reduce the impact on our credit rating and increase the chance of approval if everyone doesn’t have sparkling credit.

 

Better control

With individual plans, you’d need to log in to each account or call up customer service and verify each account to make any changes to features or plans. With family plans, everything is available with one login or account verification. You can even add authorised people to your plan to allow them to make changes.

Better still, you can often track usage, set limits, and change other features across the whole account. This makes it easy to highlight any potential issues -- such as kids using all your data or talking until 3am -- and apply controls to fix them without impacting the settings for other people on the plan.

Using these principles as the foundation of our picks, we dug through the seemingly endless plan options available from networks both big and small to create a list of picks to suit a variety of preferences.

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Common Questions











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Still Not Sure?

Family plans are a popular way to both simplify billing for multiple lines and save money over the cost of individual lines.

But they come with some risk. Should relationships sour, or better deals arise, you might find yourself locked into a contract for at 2 years on a line you no longer need.

More to the point, you might save even more money by picking up individual plans through a smaller network -- especially if you don’t need a huge amount of data or already own your own phones.

If you’re curious how the our best family plan picks stack up to other options, be sure to check out our plan comparison tool .

COMPARE MOBILE PLANS

It makes it easy to pick and choose the exact features you’re looking for in a plan and get a quick snapshot of what the various networks in your area offer. Better still, you don’t have to read page after page of lists or bounce between tabs.

We make researching options easy so you can get more out of your mobile phone with less hassle.


P.S. Not sold on the family plan concept? Or simply looking to check out all of your options before committing? We also have guides on the best prepaid plans and best postpaid plans around!


Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty.