Most people today receive one new phone on the contract, but if you can afford to pay for that phone in advance (or if you’re out of contract on your phone) it makes much better financial sense to get a SIM only fee. In fact, our round-up of the best SIM deals in the UK could save you a fortune in the long run.
A big concern for many is that you will lose your current phone number if you change it. But it’s not true: you can transfer your current phone number to a new network and the whole process is simple if you use the text service to change.
Here, we have selected the best SIM only offers available now. If you are studying at the moment, please check out our article on it better telephone contracts for students.
The best SIM only deals right now
Below we have a more detailed breakdown of the best SIM only offers; but the best for this month is a deal from Three – £ 10 per month for the first six months for unlimited data, calls and texts on a 24 month plan. After the initial six months, the contract went up to £ 20 a month. This also includes 5G coverage – look Three SIM Unlimited here.
It is also worth checking 1pMobile. While this is a Pay As You Go offer, it offers you usage at the following prices: 1p per minute in calls, 1p per text and 1p per MB of used data. If you are someone who knows that your usage is low, then this might be a good option. Find out about 1pMobile here.
Also read: Best SIM deals for kids
Unlike smartphone contracts, which typically extend to 24 months, SIM-only deals are much shorter. Most SIM-only offers come with 12-month contracts, but there are plenty of revolving monthly contracts – sometimes at the same price – that are ideal for visitors to the UK or for those who don’t want to be tied up. .
The price you pay per month will largely depend on how many minutes and tests you need, and how much data you need.
Also, you need to decide if your SIM is going to be in a tablet (in which case you only need data) or a smartphone (in which case you will want minutes, texts and data).
Most operators don’t allow you to simply take your SIM from your smartphone to a tablet. Some often get stuck with tethering, so check the Ts & Cs if you want to use your phone’s data connection on your tablet, or a second phone.
Pinning down the best SIM-only contract is tricky due to the huge amount of minute combinations, texts and data available. Some providers even offer deals with cashback refunds – which means you won’t be billed the amount announced, but you can claim your refunds from the provider.
Most people will fall into one of the three fields we’ll focus on here: those who just want to make a strange call or text, and use their PC to go online; those who make calls and texts, go online, check emails, use apps and maybe watch weird videos; and those that are permanently attached to their smartphone.
Or, to put it more simply, light, moderate and heavy users.
Offers SIM for light use
There are plans available for no much more than £ 5 a month if you intend to use your SIM for light use.
We recommend considering iD, which is Carphone Warehouse’s mobile network. All iD contracts offer billing limit, data rollover and Roam like in Home which makes it an even more attractive option without any nasty surprises.
Lebara also offers some great lightweight plans, such as the 2GB rolling plan for £ 5 per month. With this you also get 100 minutes in 41 international countries – great if you need to call the family abroad. You also have 1000 minutes in the UK and 1000 tests. See Lebara’s business here.
- iD: 2GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 4G – £ 6 per month on a monthly rotation contract. See the deal here.
- Virgin: 4GB data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts is 5G – £ 12 per month for 12 months. See the deal here.
Offers SIM for moderate use
For moderate use, and even for teenagers, the best deal is Voxi, which is powered by Vodafone.
It’s interesting, because you get 15 GB of data, but the use of social media is unlimited and you won’t eat into that data. This means any Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Pinterest and even more. Voice and video calls via those apps are not included, but all other activities are.
- VOXI: 15GB data, unlimited social networking, unlimited calls and texts, 4G – £ 15 per month on a monthly rotation contract. See the deal here.
You can also get a very good deal by ID via Mobiles.co.uk:
- iD: 30GB data, unlimited calls and texts is 5G – £ 6 per month for 12 months (save £ 48 in cash for a refund). See the deal here.
Offers SIM for heavy use
For anyone who wants the freedom to write and use the internet as much as they like, our favorite thing is Unlimited long-term business of three for £ 10 per month for the first six months.
Other recommendations include:
- Superdrug: Unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 4G, extra paper points – £ 20 per month, one month in rotation. See the deal here
- Vodafone: Unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 5G and unlimited download speeds – £ 14.50 per month for 12 months, save £ 114 in cash for redemption. See the deal here.
Tablet plans (SIM data)
You can’t simply take the SIM out of your phone and stick it on your tablet. You should get a SIM that uses only one data plan (and don’t forget that not all tablets offer SIM card slots, in which case you can only connect to WiFi).
The amount of data you need will depend a lot on the activities you plan to enjoy on your tablet, especially if you spend some of your time on the doorstep of a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you want a SIM only to cover you on the strange occasion that you use your tablet away from home and you need to continue accessing your email, you don’t need to pay extra for a 4G plan.
Some of the best SIM only deals for tablets come from Three, which offers 2GB for £ 8 per month, 15GB for £ 14 per month and 40GB for £ 18 per month. You can see those offers here.