Best SIM Only Deals: Enjoy the flexibility of a SIM Only contract. The best part? We’ve scoured the competition and done all the legwork for you to find the very best SIM contracts that money can buy.
If you picked up a new smartphone recently, then there’s a good chance you’re perfectly placed to capitalise on the great SIM only deals that are out there.
Paying only for your call, data and text plan with no handset to subsidies is the cheapest way to run a smartphone these days. You’d be amazed (and possibly a little alarmed) at how much extra you end up paying for the privilege of bundling in a handset with no big up front payment.
What’s more, such traditional contracts tend to pin you down for two years. Going SIM only, by contrast, will generally leave you free and easy on a rolling monthly agreement. They tend to max out at a year.
Major UK operators such as EE, O2, and Vodafone are offering some fantastic tempting SIM only deals to attract your business in the New Year, but we’ve whittled them down to the best value contracts. You’ll need to move swiftly with some of these, so don’t hang about too long.
Here, then, is the TrustedReviews rundown of the best SIM only deals to get you through. We’ve grouped them by the UK’s biggest networks, so you know where your chosen deal is coming from at a glance.
All prices were correct at the time of writing, but deals pricing can change at the drop of a hat. As such, move fast if you want to land yourself a worthwhile bargain.
Best Three SIM only deals
Although we’re having to bid farewell to the Three’s unlimited data at just £20 a month, we still believe £22 is a worthy price to pay. For you streamers and the social network obsessed, the likes of Netflix and Apple Music streaming and those essential Snapchat updates come under their Go Binge feature at no extra cost to your data allowance, anyway. But for those who are constantly working on the go, never worry about your data usage again.
Want a healthy amount of data for less? Whilst the 30GB SIM only plan has gone up to £19 a month, save £1 and take up a SIM only plan of 12GB of data and unlimited calls and texts, now just £14 a month. Not to be sniffed at, manage your data usage carefully and you might just be able to afford the odd episode on Netflix.
Best Mobiles.co.uk SIM only deals
After a whopper of a plan? Vodafone is currently offering a generous 100GB of data with £144 in cash back to redeem across the 12 month contract. With cash back, you only have to pay £18 a month. And it gets better. Vodafone are continuing their promotion of offering you free access to a streaming service of your choice for a year. Choose from the likes of Spotify, Now TV, and Sky Sports.
Your kids can’t complain about running out of juice (at least not the calls and data type) with a range of low cost SIM only deals also available at Mobiles.co.uk. O2 is offering 9GB of data along with unlimited calls and texts for just £9 a month (£19 before cash back), allowing them to keep you in the loop and keep their socials up to date.
Best Vodafone SIM only deals
Want to get more than you bargained for on your SIM only plan? There are currently two Vodafone SIMs giving you more than you bargained before. Especially if you’re guilty of eating through your mobile data, pay less for more. Across two out of three of their basics plans, you can now get 4GB of data for the price of their 1GB plan for £8 a month, or 8GB for the price of 3GB for £10 a month.
Don’t need too much per month? We have to accept not everyone is glued to their smartphone like we are and that’s why we think Vodafone’s 500MB SIM only plan is great. Get straight to business on what the phone was intended for in the first place with unlimited texts and calls, and just enough data to tide you over for any sparing browsing.
Best Virgin SIM only deals
There have been a couple of price cuts on Virgin’s SIM only plans, allowing you up to £5 off the plan you want at a limited time only price. With 5000 minutes a piece and both with unlimited calls, get the 4GB SIM for only £9. At the other end of the spectrum, if your smartphone is essentially an extension of one of your limbs, the 50GB SIM is down to just £20, from £25.
Best O2 SIM only deals
O2 is one of the UK’s most popular mobile networks, with O2 priority being one of the network’s best features. The unique service grants customers weekly freebies and early access to gig tickets ahead of their general release.
Currently their latest SIM only deals mean you can get a few extra GBs of data to tie you over month to month. Our recommendation is their 18GB SIM, now with an extra 4GB on top to really make the £20 a month cost worth it. Along with unlimited minutes and texts, what more could you need? Well, this particular plan also comes with O2 Travel Inclusive Zone, meaning you can roam without any extra charges to you in 75 selected destinations across the globe.
Best EE SIM only deals
It has to be said, EE isn’t always the cheapest when it comes to SIM only plans. However, we think 20GB for just £22 a month isn’t half bad and you’re guaranteed a strong signal as one of the UK’s leading network providers. Signing up with EE also nets you six months of Apple Music and three months of BT Sport on the house, so you can put all that data to good use instantly.
Best iD Mobile SIM only deals
iD Mobile is known for having highly competitive prices across its SIM only tariffs. It currently boasts the cheapest SIM card in the country, which comes with comes with 500MB of data, 150 minutes and unlimited texts for just £3.99 – a great option for kids.
If you’re looking to get a little more from your plan, though, pay just £1 per GB when you get their 20GB plan for just £20 a month. A great all rounder to ensure you never run low, it’s worth noting you can also set up a cap limit so that you don’t go way over your monthly allowances.
Best Tesco SIM only deals
Tesco Mobile is a great choice for those who aren’t too fussed with minutes and texts but are eager to get plenty of data at a reasonable price. At their highest end, for those meaty streamers who are constantly on the latest Netflix hype, or listening to the latest bangers, get 50GB data, 5000 calls and 5000 texts, pay just £25. 10GB of data, 1000 minutes and 5000 texts is also great value at £14 a month.
Best Plusnet SIM only deals
Plusnet already has quite a reputation for offering low-cost SIM cards with a fair amount of data attached, but with its most recent deal, the company is on to a winner. The SIM provides 3GB of data, plus unlimited minutes and texts for just £9pm. Not enough? You can always select one of their bolt-ons if you’re running low to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money right when you need it the most.
Best Sky Mobile SIM only deals
It goes without saying that if you’re already a Sky customer, you’re going to bag a better deal than the rest of us. For instance, a lot of their deals allow free streaming of Sky TV if you’re already switched on to their incredible packages. That said, they’re also doing the most for those of the population that aren’t already Sky users. Currently they have 50% knocked off the price of their 2GB package with unlimited minutes and texts, now just £6 a month. Or, if you enjoy a good Netflix binge and the benefits of unlimited Sky TV, why not go all out with their £25 25GB SIM only deal?
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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 phonebook with your new digits and just think of all the money you’d save from not having to print any new business cards.
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. A high data sim might be tempting but if a particular network doesn’t cover your intended destination, then those dreams of watching Netflix atop a mountain could fly out the window.
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.
What’s a MVNO?
This stands for ‘Mobile Virtual Network Operator’ and is used to describe networks such as Virgin Mobile, iD Mobile or Tesco. Essentially, these companies don’t own the network infrastructure they use, in the way that the mobile operators like EE, O2, Vodafone and Three own parts of the network spectrum. Instead, MVNOs have agreements with mobile operators to use part of their infrastructure at wholesale rates.
Virgin Mobile and Plusnet use EE’s network, Tesco Mobile uses O2’s network and iD Mobile use Three.
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