- Sim-only deals are a cheap way to get online with your smartphone
- Choose from deals focused on texting and minutes or data
- Pay as you go and subscription options give you flexibility
Best For: Very Low Price
Lebara offers a SIM-only deal with 1GB of mobile data for just £3.90 per month,1 making it the cheapest of the mobile providers. There’s no credit check and no contract, so users can change plans at any time. The Lebara service runs on the Vodafone network, so users can expect decent coverage across the whole of the UK, even in rural areas. Unlimited UK texts are included in the plan, along with 300 minutes.
2. Three Mobile
Best For: Massive Data Allowance
Three has a SIM-only offering with 100GB of data for £12 per month.2 This package also offers unlimited data and texts. The plan includes a hotspot and is 5G-ready, although 5G coverage is still relatively limited in many parts of the UK. The offer is a 12-month contract rather than pay as you go. However, it’s hard to beat this generous data allowance, and 12 months is a relatively short commitment period.
Best For: Endless Social Media
Voxi’s month-to-month contract plan offers 15GB of data for £10 per month.3 This may seem limiting at first glance; however, the provider doesn’t include social media traffic in its data metering. This means users can scroll Instagram or watch TikToks without worrying about using up their data allowance. 15GB for downloading email and checking the odd web page starts to sound a lot more generous, especially given the lack of a long contract period.
Best For: No Contract/Lots of Data
Smarty provides affordably priced generous data plans on month-to-month billing. The network is 5G-ready, and they recently increased their £15 per month plan to offer 200GB of data.4 Roaming within the EU is included, there are no speed caps, and tethering is permitted within the UK. So, if you’re looking for something to keep you connected while you work on the go, it’s hard to beat Smarty’s current offerings.
Best For: Always-On Data
The GiffGaff ‘Always On’ data plan costs £25 per month5 for 80GB of full-speed data. Once you’ve used up that allowance, you’ll still be able to get online, but your speeds will be throttled until the start of the following billing period. This plan is ideal for people who use a lot of data and can’t afford to be completely cut off. The slow speeds might put a dampener on video-calling, but at least you can still send emails and instant messages.
6. Virgin Mobile
Best For: Cheap EU Roaming
Virgin Mobile offers a low-cost plan giving data-free messaging on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, plus a rollover system that carries over unused data from one month to the next. The plans also include EU roaming. Prices start at £8 per month for 2GB of data,6 with unlimited minutes and texts. The plans are 5G-ready, so if you have a 5G phone, you can take advantage of higher speeds in areas of the country where 5G is supported.
7. iD Mobile
Best For: Month-to-Month Contracts
Take advantage of flexible 30-day rolling contracts with iD mobile. Their £10/month contract7 provides unlimited calls and texts plus a 30GB data allowance. Lower prices and more generous data allowances are available for those who take out longer contracts of 12 or 24 months. It’s easy to buy data add-ons or change your plan up and down as your requirements change via the ID mobile app.
Best For: Free Disney+
O2 has a new customer offer providing 3 to 6 months of free Disney+ when you take out a SIM-only contract. Their £8 per month8 plan gives users a 20GB data allowance on a 12-month contract. The network is 5G-enabled, so if you’ve got a relatively new smartphone, you can take advantage of blisteringly fast speeds for video streaming and downloads in supported areas. Once the Disney offer is over, you can add the service to your plan for an additional £2 per month.
Best For: Strong Network Coverage
TalkMobile uses the Vodafone network and boasts strong mobile coverage as a result. It offers simple plans for affordable prices, with 1-month and 12-month contracts and a variety of data packages to choose from. The 30 -day plans start at £5 per month9 for unlimited texts and calls within the UK and 1GB of data. The allowances aren’t as generous as with some of the other packages in this list but being a part of the Vodafone network means users can feel confident they’ll always have a good signal.
10. ASDA Mobile
Best For: High-Speed Unlimited Data
ASDA Mobile’s unlimited data packages give users the choice of a variety of different speeds and price points. The cheapest tier is £20 per month for unlimited 5G data capped at 2Mbps, and for £30 per month,10 users can get unlimited data with speeds of 150Mbps. Those who are on a budget can look at the data-capped packages, which start from £5 a month and are more than adequate for social media and occasional instant messaging or email use.
11. Sky Mobile
Best For: Generous Data Rollover Policies
Sky’s SIM-only plans have a generous data rollover policy that allows users to keep unused data for up to 3 years, making the plans a good option for those who have unpredictable data usage patterns. Their £10 for 10GB plan is a good value-for-money option,11 offering unlimited data and texts. The plans include streaming via Sky apps, so you can enjoy Sky’s entertainment options without using up your data allowance.
12. Tesco Mobile
Best For: Tesco Clubcard Holders
Tesco Clubcard holders can take advantage of some generous exclusive deals, including a £13 per month SIM-only deal12 for 30GB of data. This deal requires a 24-month contract; however, users can earn clubcard points on their bill, making it an appealing option for those who shop with the supermarket regularly. Tesco Mobile is 4G and 5G-ready, and all of their SIM-only packages include unlimited minutes and texts.
Best For: Extra Benefits
Choose from a variety of extra benefits and special offers with Vodafone’s range of SIM-only deals.13 The Entertainment packages include the option of free Spotify, YouTube Premium or Amazon Prime. The Xtra packages give a choice of free device care, data boosters, picture messaging and discounts on smartwatch connectivity. Users can tailor these packages to suit their lifestyles and budgets. Some packages include 5G connectivity. Contract lengths range from 30 days to 24 months, and it’s easy to add extra data or change tiers as your usage requirements dictate.
Best For: Flexible Plans
The data allowances offered by EE are relatively limited compared to some other providers.14 However, long standing customers can build up a range of perks, including call bundles and extra data. These perks make the packages a little more appealing. EE’s mobile app is easy to use and lets customers add extra data bundles and other packages to their existing plans. If you’re an occasional user who just wants the odd data boost, EE offers reliable service, flexible pricing and a hassle-free experience.
Best For: BT Broadband Customers
If you’re already with BT for your home phone, broadband or entertainment packages, going with BT for your mobile makes a lot of sense and could save you money on your overall bill. Users can get 100GB of data for £30 per month15 for the first SIM. Families can add extra SIM cards to get discounts on the total cost of the bill, and discounts are available for people who have multiple other products with BT. The packages aren’t appealing for those who aren’t already BT customers, but when combined, the discounts add up rapidly.