Best SIM Only Deals: So perhaps you’ve bagged yourself a shiny new SIM free smartphone, but now you’re on the hunt for a great value SIM only deal. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Picking up a shiny new mobile phone can be rather expensive once you’ve added together all of the sums. Most contracts will tie you into a 24 month contract, locking you into the same provider. Who knows what your circumstances will be in the next 24 months.
A SIM only deal might therefore be your best option, giving you the flexibility to change provider or tariff on the fly. It’s also potentially a much cheaper way to get the phone of your dreams. If you can afford to buy a phone outright, it’ll work out much cheaper to then get a SIM only deal. The total cost of ownership after 24 months will be much lower than a contract.
It’s also worth looking at a SIM only deal if you’ve come to the end of your contract. This is because your contract’s monthly cost includes both your phone service as well as a contribution to pay off the cost of your phone. Once the phone is paid off at the end of your contract, there’s no need to pay as much, so it’s worth shopping around for a new SIM only contract.
While the ultimate SIM only deals with unlimited data remain an elusive beast, many of the options we’ve listed below have a generous amount while also giving unlimited calls and texts.
So without further ado, we’ve done the leg work and rounded up the UK operator’s best SIM only deals for you below.
iD Mobile SIM only deals
iD Mobile currently has an excellent deal for 10GB of data.
This is currently the UK’s lowest-priced 10GB data option, so worth snapping up before it’s gone.
Tesco SIM only deals
Currently, Tesco Mobile have a great number of deals that will suit a range of requirements, including a big data 20GB package on discount.
- Get Deal: 20GB, 5,000 minutes, 5,000 texts for £18/month (save £7/month)
- Get Deal: 6GB (2GB extra), 5,000 minutes, 5,000 texts for £12.50/month
- Get Deal: 3GB (1GB extra), 500 minutes, 5,000 texts for £10/month
All of these SIM only deals are for a 12 month contract. While these don’t have unlimited calls and texts, they’ll be more than most people will ever need.
Vodafone SIM only deals
Vodafone is currently offering these Vodafone Basic deals that come with free extra data each month. These deals will expire on May 31st, so act fast before they’re gone.
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Get Deal: 3GB (
1GB) of data, unlimited calls and texts for just £8/month
Get Deal: 5GB (
3GB) of data, unlimited calls and texts for just £10/month
These SIM only contracts are only 12 months, too, so you won’t be locked into a long contract. The inclusion of unlimited calls and texts are a real bonus, and you get a generous amount of data on both packages for light users. Caps are in place to make sure you don’t go over your limit to avoid overspending, which should take some weight off your mind.
If you need more data, then this is a great choice:
This is a particularly good deal for the inclusion of Red Entertainment. This gets you 12 months subscription to either NOW TV Mobile, Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify, which alone is worth up to £135. So if you were already interested in any of these subscriptions, that’s a tasty saving with plenty of data to use along with.
Virgin SIM only deals
If you’re in need of considerably more data, Virgin Media is having a sale until May 31st that gets you 45GB of data.
Virgin Media is an MVNO that uses EE’s network, so there’s no worries about reception. This also gets you 5000 minutes and unlimited texts.
O2 SIM only deals
This is actually a PAYG SIM, meaning you’re not tied into a contract – you just need to top up enough to qualify for the data.
Right now, for the first month, O2 is tripling the data you get for your money. That means you could get up to a whopping 60GB of data for your first month.
- Get Deal: 6GB (instead of 2GB), 250 minutes, 1000 texts for £10
- Get Deal: 18GB (instead of 6GB), 1000 minutes, 2000 texts for £20
- Get Deal: 60GB (instead of 20GB), 3000 minutes, 3000 texts for £30
If you know you’re going to need a lot of data for a one-off period, tactically opting for one of these PAYG SIMs could be a great idea.
Three SIM only deals
If you’re willing to take out a 12 month SIM only contract, you can get a generous 12GB of data from Three for just £16 a month.
All 12GB can be used as a mobile hotspot as well, so this is great if you want to tether another device like a tablet or laptop to get online. You also have Feel At Home in 71 countries around the world.
You also get Go Binge, which means your data allowance isn’t counted against certain services such as Snapchat. You can read more about Go Binge here.
EE SIM only deals
Currently, EE’s best value SIM only offer is for a pay as you go option. Great news if you don’t want to be tied in for a long-term contract.
Right now, you can get 2GB of data, unlimited texts and 100 minutes for a £10 top-up.
The good news is that this offer has data rollover, meaning any data you don’t use in a month rolls over to the next so it doesn’t go to waste.
Looking for a bargain contract phone?
- Related: Best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals
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- Related: Best iPhone X deals
- Related: Best iPhone 8 deals
- Related: Best iPhone 8 Plus deals
- Related: Best iPhone 7 deals
How to choose a new SIM only deal
Keep your old phone number
If you do take out a new SIM only deal, there’s no reason you can’t keep your old phone number. Just ask your old provider for a PAC code, then give this to your new operator. This code essentially gives them permission to port your old phone number across to your new operator. No need to message everyone in your phone book with your new digits.
Check the network coverage
Everyone’s network coverage experience is going to be different because it’s all dependent on location and distance from the nearest cellular tower. As such, it’s important you check the network coverage for both voice and 4G wherever you plan on using your phone most. Typically, it’s a good idea to check your home and work address.
Simply pop your postcode into each network’s coverage checker to get an idea of what you can expect:
- O2 network coverage checker
- Vodafone network coverage checker
- EE network coverage checker
- Three network coverage checker
- iD network coverage checker
- Virgin Media Mobile coverage checker
- Tesco Mobile coverage checker
All of the UK’s big operators (that’s O2, Vodafone, EE and Three) support something called Wi-Fi calling now. This lets you use a Wi-Fi connection to make and receive calls and texts, bypassing any network coverage woes. This function is dependent on your phone being compatible with Wi-Fi Calling and you turning on the necessary settings.
Unfortunately, EE doesn’t provide Wi-Fi Calling for SIM only contracts, only on phones bought as part of a pay monthly contract.
That’s it for our cheap SIM only deals. Seen any other great SIM only deals? Let us know @TrustedReviews.