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BT Mobile Family SIM vs individual contracts: Is a Family SIM deal worth it?

We break down BT’s Family SIM deal, to see who it’s best for, what the benefits are and whether it’s actually more affordable than buying your family members separate contracts.

BT Mobile has just introduced its new Family SIM offer, which allows your clan to save cash on mobile contracts when you sign them all up. According to BT, this deal has the potential to save your family hundreds of pounds per year, compared with individual contracts. So we thought we’d dive into the Family SIM offering and see what you get for your cash.

What is BT Mobile’s Family SIM deal?

If your kids are old enough to have their own smartphones, chances are you’re paying out a pretty hefty premium for all of those separate contracts each month. And if your family members love to stream YouTube videos and other media on the move, that figure can rapidly rise. After all, data still ain’t cheap in 2017.

Which is where the BT Mobile Family SIM comes in. This is a single contract which gives you and your loved ones up to five SIM cards to share between you. The more SIMs you sign up for, the more you’re able to save, which makes this a particularly appealing deal if you have two or three kids.

Is the Family SIM deal a good idea?

As it’s a single contract, the Family SIM offer means you only have a single bill to contend with each month. Also, that’s only one point of call to manage your whole clan’s mobile service, to keep things simple.

We’re also impressed by the flexibility on offer with BT Mobile’s deal. The main account holder signs up for a 12-month contract, and then every other SIM that’s added onto the account is on a 30-day contract. That means you can add a new member at any time, or of course remove one (if wee Gavin hacks you off by using the dog as a makeshift trampoline).

Do I get any kind of parental controls, to limit what my kids can do with their phones?

Another good thing about BT Mobile’s Family SIM deal is the control you have over each individual member (bwahaha, the power!)

First off, it’s worth pointing out that each Family SIM comes with its own set allowances for calls, texts and data. In other words, there isn’t one giant allowance pool which feeds each of the SIMs. So if wee Gavin enjoys watching a bit of Game of Thrones on his way to school, he won’t chew up the monthly data allocation for everyone else.

Kids can have a spending or usage cap placed on their SIM, so they can’t go nuts and rack up a massive bill on the sly if they were to finish off their allowance early. That includes specific controls for roaming abroad and calls to premium or international numbers.

Meanwhile the main account holder can set the authority level of the other members in the plan, to make the other half an admin and give him or her full control over the other members.

What other benefits do I get with a BT Mobile Family SIM deal?

If you’re not already a BT Mobile user, you might want to know about some of the other benefits of membership.

For one, you can enjoy free WiFi pretty much wherever you roam in the UK. BT offers over five million WiFi hotspots across the country, which can be accessed at no extra cost by downloading the BT WiFi app.

If the main account holder signs up for BT Sport app use, other members will also be granted access at no extra cost. That’s a fine way to check out video highlights of the biggest sporting events.

At the time of writing, you can also get a £40 Amazon or iTunes voucher for signing up.

Do you get free smartphones with the Family SIM deal?

The Family SIM offer literally just gives you that: SIM cards. If you actually want mobile phones to stick them in, you’ll have to source those yourself.

You can get affordable handsets from all kinds of places these days. BT itself stocks the latest mobiles to cover all budgets, and you even get a £50 discount code when you sign up for a SIM-only plan such as the Family SIM deal.

The likes of Carphone Warehouse also stock SIM-free smartphones on the high street, while you can also grab them from online retailers such as Amazon. Or even direct from the manufacturers.

How much does the Family SIM offer cost?

BT offers three different Family SIM plans, depending on your personal data needs. The base plan offers 4GB of monthly data, to be shared between the account holders. The next step up is a 12GB plan, while the max on offer is 20GB per month.

This handy table shows how much you’ll pay for each of these tariffs, in total per month, depending on how many SIMs you take on.

Number of SIMs 1 2 3 4 5
4GB data plan £16 £24 £31 £37 £42
12GB data plan £21 £33 £43 £51 £58
20GB data plan £25 £40 £53 £64 £74

Do I get an extra discount if I’m a BT Broadband customer?

If you get BT Broadband, then good news: you can trim a fiver off the above monthly prices.

So is BT Mobile’s Family SIM offer cheaper than buying individual contracts?

BT reckons that Family SIM can save a family up to £372 in a single year, compared with individual contracts.

You will indeed save cash every month and the amount you save actually increases exponentially with every SIM you add on, up to the maximum of five. That’s because the first user will be charged £16, the second £8, the third only £7, the fourth £6 and the final user just £5. Those sums are for the 4GB plan, while the other plans offer a similar scaling pricing system.

Don’t forget as well, the other major bonus is the fact that every additional SIM card is automatically on a flexible 30-day plan – so you can remove or add a new member on at any time.

How do I join a BT Mobile Family SIM plan?

If you’re not already on BT Mobile, you’ll want to head over to the Family SIM page. This allows you to sign up for an account and grab extra SIMs for the rest of your household.

If you’re already a BT Mobile customer, and your other family members are as well, it’s easy enough to invite them to join your account. Check out this how to invite users guide for all you need to know.

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