Best SIM Only Deals: Get the most out your phone with our collection of the best SIM contracts available right now.
Now that you’ve had a few weeks to play around with the fancy new smartphone you got for Christmas, it’s time to talk SIM cards. After all, unless there’s a constant Wi-Fi connection that follows you around wherever you go (totally not jealous), it’s essential to pick up a SIM that not only suits your budget but also grants you fantastic value for money. That’s where we come in.
EE, O2, Vodafone and more are all offering some fantastic January deals to attract your business, but we’ve sifted through the noise to find the ones that truly offer the best value. Some of these deals are available for a limited time only but we’ve made note of that upfront, so you’re never caught out.
Continue on to see our rundown of the best SIM only deals at the start of 2019. We’ve grouped them by the UK’s biggest networks or retailers, 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
Three has really amped up the competition with its latest line of SIM only contracts. For example, the 100GB SIM for £20 was previously sold as a Black Friday exclusive back in 2017, but now it’s here as standard. Of course, 100GB is a ridiculous amount for most people, which is why the 30GB SIM at only £17 a month is a fair alternative as it still comes with a ton of data.
You also get to enjoy ‘Feel At Home’ in 71 countries around the world; allowing you to take your Three perks with you at no additional charge in any of the listed countries, including the United States, Spain and France.
Three – SIM Only Deals
30GB for under £20 is an absolute steal no matter how you look at it, and it's plenty to keep you streaming and surfing until the end of each month.
More data than you can shake a stick at for just £20 a month. Unbeatable value.
Best Mobiles.co.uk SIM only deals
If you’re happy to stray away from buying directly through the networks themselves, Mobiles.co.uk has several fantastic deals that are made even better with the opportunity to save large amounts of money through cashback. These beat the options direct from the networks by some margin and the cashback is automatic, removing some of the hassle.
Mobiles.co.uk – SIM Only Deals
At such a low price, it's hard to argue with the sheer value for money you get with this great entry-level SIM from iD.
If you're determined to keep your SIM payment to under £10 a month, then you'd be hard pressed to find a better option than this O2 SIM.
Once you factor in the automatic cashback, this is an incredible deal that gets you plenty of data for a minimal price.
Best Vodafone SIM only deals
Vodafone is currently offering a range of deals on its 12-month plans, all but the two cheapest of which come with unlimited texts and minutes. The data provision for each of these is generally plenty for light users, but caps are in place to make sure you don’t go over your limit.
For the heavy streamers among us (you know who you are), Vodafone has heard your cries and put out a fantastic offer with its £20-a-month SIM which comes with 20GB of data and a year’s subscription to a streaming service of your choosing.
Vodafone - SIM Only Deals
This is one of the best all-rounder SIM deals on the market, giving you just enough of everything for under a tenner.
If 3GB is a bit too small for all your social media needs then you can nab an extra 4GB for just £2 more.
The grandaddy of all deals with a whopping 20GB of data plus your choice of entertainment for a whole year from either Prime Video, Spotify, Now TV or Sky Sports.
Best Virgin SIM only deals
Virgin Media often runs great flash deals and it’s launched more than a couple of tempting offers in the latter stretch of last year. You can either triple your data or save money on several SIM only deals.
Virgin Mobile – SIM Only Deals
For a limited time only, you can get triple the data with this amazing 6GB SIM for less than £10.
Get 3x the usual data allowance for a bargain price.
Best O2 SIM only deals
O2’s Netflix partnership is back, meaning that you can get a whole year’s worth of access to the popular streaming service absolutely free when you sign up for an O2 contract. Traditionally, a standard Netflix subscription would set you back £7.99 a month so in total, you’ll be saving a massive £79.90 over the course of the contract – perfect for any binge watchers in the house.
O2 - SIM Only Deals
O2's Netflix offer is back, bagging you a whole year of streaming amazing shows like Daredevil and Black Mirror for no extra cost. O2 is also offering roaming at no extra cost in 75 countries when you sign up. Definitely a fantastic option for anyone who loves to travel.
Best EE SIM only deals
EE has several cracking deals that are available until the end of January, all of them offering a hefty amount of data for a low monthly price. 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.
EE - SIM Only Deals
Bear in mind that you typically pay £20 per month for 10GB of data on EE, and you’ll realise why this is such a good deal.
A great SIM offer that covers you on all fronts.
This beast of a SIM grants you an amazing 60GB of data, meaning that you'll be a hit with anyone in desperate need of a hotspot.
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.
ID Mobile - SIM Only Deals
One of the cheapest SIM cards available in the whole of the UK.
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. Right now you can get a healthy 20GB of data for just £18, which is plenty to keep you streaming without worry.
Tesco Mobile - SIM Only Deals
Tesco’s current entry-level ‘Big data deal’ gives you a generous 5GB of data, and plenty of minutes and texts for £10 per month.
At the opposite end of the data scale, 20GB should be more than enough for the vast majority of people - and £18 should be comfortably cheap enough too.
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 6GB of data, plus unlimited minutes and texts for just £11pm. What’s more, with the carrier’s ‘Roam like at Home’ initiative means you can use your phone when you’re travelling as you would when you’re in the UK.
Plusnet – SIM Only Deals
For a cost effective SIM that gives you a smashing deal on minutes and texts and a fair bit of data, this is simply one of the best options out there.
Plusnet is currently peddling this fantastic SIM, giving you one of the best data allowances around for just over a tenner. What's not to love?
Best Sky Mobile SIM only deals
If you’re already a Sky customer for TV or home broadband, the company has a selection of SIM only deals for its existing customers. Right now, though, even non-Sky customers can get a great deal.
Free calls and texts are also available to non-customers for the first six months of the deal.
Sky Mobile – SIM Only Deals
Sky's best offer if you don't need a lot of data.
If you need lots of data this is your best bet from Sky.
Looking for a bargain contract phone?
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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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