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Best SIM-only deals, contracts and plans

Compare the cheapest and best SIM-only deals from the leading networks including Vodafone, EE, O2, Three and many more. Use our comparison to compare prices, contracts, minutes, texts and data usage.

  • Tariffs & pricing

    At least 50 minutes,  At least 50 texts,  Any data,  Any contract,  Any monthly cost,  Any sim sim type
Deals
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NetworkMinimum
Contract
Inclusive
Minutes
Inclusive
Texts
Download
Data
Monthly
Cost
iD Mobile ShockProof
iD Mobile
  • Triple SIM
  • 250 anytime, any network minutes
  • 5000 texts and 250MB data

    1
    month
    250
    mins
    5000
    texts
    250MB
    data
    £4
    per month
    See Deal
    • Inclusive minutes: 250
    • Download data: 250MB
    • Inclusive texts: 5000
    • Minimum contract: 1 month
    See more details
    iD Mobile GoTo
    iD Mobile
    • Triple SIM
    • 250 anytime, any network minutes
    • 5000 texts and 250MB data

      1
      month
      250
      mins
      5000
      texts
      250MB
      data
      £4
      per month
      See Deal
      • Inclusive minutes: 250
      • Download data: 250MB
      • Inclusive texts: 5000
      • Minimum contract: 1 month
      See more details
      Asda Mobile £5 bundle
      Asda Mobile
      • Standard / Micro SIM or Nano SIM
      • 100 anytime, any network minutes
      • 2000 texts and 100MB data

        30
        days
        100
        mins
        2000
        texts
        100MB
        data
        £5
        per month
        See Deal
        • Inclusive minutes: 100
        • Download data: 100MB
        • Inclusive texts: 2000
        • Minimum contract: 30 days
        See more details
        Giffgaff Goodybag
        Giffgaff
        • Micro SIM
        • 125 anytime, any network minutes
        • 500 texts and 100MB data

          1
          month
          125
          mins
          500
          texts
          100MB
          data
          £5
          per month
          See Deal
          • Inclusive minutes: 125
          • Download data: 100MB
          • Inclusive texts: 500
          • Minimum contract: 1 month
          See more details
          Giffgaff Goodybag
          Giffgaff
          • Nano SIM
          • 125 anytime, any network minutes
          • 500 texts and 100MB data

            1
            month
            125
            mins
            500
            texts
            100MB
            data
            £5
            per month
            See Deal
            • Inclusive minutes: 125
            • Download data: 100MB
            • Inclusive texts: 500
            • Minimum contract: 1 month
            See more details
            Giffgaff Goodybag
            Giffgaff
            • Standard SIM
            • 125 anytime, any network minutes
            • 500 texts and 100MB data

              1
              month
              125
              mins
              500
              texts
              100MB
              data
              £5
              per month
              See Deal
              • Inclusive minutes: 125
              • Download data: 100MB
              • Inclusive texts: 500
              • Minimum contract: 1 month
              See more details
              Asda Mobile £5 Talk & Text bundle
              Asda Mobile
              • Standard / Micro SIM or Nano SIM
              • 200 anytime, any network minutes
              • 2000 texts

                30
                days
                200
                mins
                2000
                texts
                not
                included
                £5
                per month
                See Deal
                • Inclusive minutes: 200
                • Download data: not included
                • Inclusive texts: 2000
                • Minimum contract: 30 days
                See more details
                BT Mobile 500MB Plan (Existing Customers)
                BT Mobile
                • Triple SIM
                • Discount for BT Broadband households
                • 4G connection

                  12
                  months
                  200
                  mins
                  Unlimited
                  texts
                  500MB
                  data
                  £5
                  per month
                  See Deal
                  • Inclusive minutes: 200
                  • Download data: 500MB
                  • Inclusive texts: Unlimited
                  • Minimum contract: 12 months
                  See more details
                  Plusnet 1GB Double Data Offer
                  Plusnet
                  • Triple SIM
                  • 4G
                  • 250 anytime, any network minutes

                    30
                    days
                    250
                    mins
                    500
                    texts
                    1GB
                    data
                    £5
                    per month
                    See Deal
                    • Inclusive minutes: 250
                    • Download data: 1GB
                    • Inclusive texts: 500
                    • Minimum contract: 30 days
                    See more details
                    iD Mobile ShockProof
                    iD Mobile
                    • Triple SIM
                    • 250 anytime, any network minutes
                    • 5000 texts and 1GB data

                      1
                      month
                      250
                      mins
                      5000
                      texts
                      1GB
                      data
                      £5
                      per month
                      See Deal
                      • Inclusive minutes: 250
                      • Download data: 1GB
                      • Inclusive texts: 5000
                      • Minimum contract: 1 month
                      See more details
                      iD Mobile GoTo
                      iD Mobile
                      • Triple SIM
                      • 250 anytime, any network minutes
                      • 5000 texts and 1GB data

                        1
                        month
                        250
                        mins
                        5000
                        texts
                        1GB
                        data
                        £5
                        per month
                        See Deal
                        • Inclusive minutes: 250
                        • Download data: 1GB
                        • Inclusive texts: 5000
                        • Minimum contract: 1 month
                        See more details
                        Virgin Mobile SIM Only 600MB
                        Virgin
                        • Any SIM
                        • 300 anytime, any network minutes
                        • Unlimited texts and 600MB data

                          30
                          days
                          300
                          mins
                          Unlimited
                          texts
                          600MB
                          data
                          £6
                          per month
                          See Deal
                          • Inclusive minutes: 300
                          • Download data: 600MB
                          • Inclusive texts: Unlimited
                          • Minimum contract: 30 days
                          See more details
                          Essential SIM 500MB Data, 200M - 12M
                          3 Mobile
                          • Nano SIM
                          • 200 anytime, any network minutes
                          • Unlimited texts and 500MB data

                            12
                            months
                            200
                            mins
                            Unlimited
                            texts
                            500MB
                            data
                            £7
                            per month
                            See Deal
                            • Inclusive minutes: 200
                            • Download data: 500MB
                            • Inclusive texts: Unlimited
                            • Minimum contract: 12 months
                            See more details
                            Essential SIM 500MB Data, 200M - 12M
                            3 Mobile
                            • Standard SIM
                            • 200 anytime, any network minutes
                            • Unlimited texts and 500MB data

                              12
                              months
                              200
                              mins
                              Unlimited
                              texts
                              500MB
                              data
                              £7
                              per month
                              See Deal
                              • Inclusive minutes: 200
                              • Download data: 500MB
                              • Inclusive texts: Unlimited
                              • Minimum contract: 12 months
                              See more details
                              Essential SIM 500MB Data, 200M - 12M
                              3 Mobile
                              • Nano SIM
                              • 200 anytime, any network minutes
                              • Unlimited texts and 500MB data

                                12
                                months
                                200
                                mins
                                Unlimited
                                texts
                                500MB
                                data
                                £7
                                per month
                                See Deal
                                • Inclusive minutes: 200
                                • Download data: 500MB
                                • Inclusive texts: Unlimited
                                • Minimum contract: 12 months
                                See more details
                                310
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                                Buyers guide to the best SIM-only deals

                                How do I compare different SIM-only plans?

                                If you’re happy with your current handset but want a better value tariff, a SIM only deal could provide the ideal solution. You’ll sign up to a new contract but instead of being supplied with a new phone, you just get a new SIM card instead with a bundle of minutes, texts and internet data.

                                Our comparison table above makes it easy to choose the right one for your circumstances and allows you to reorder the deals by contract length, monthly cost or the amount of inclusive calls, texts or internet allowance.

                                Availability

                                When looking for a new mobile deal, it’s important to compare the signal strength of different networks to avoid signing up to a contract, only to find it tricky to make a call or send a text in your area. Each provider has a coverage checker on their respective websites, where you can enter your postcode and see the level of 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.

                                As you may know, 4G is the fastest mobile signal widely available, delivering mobile broadband at a faster speed than ever before. Coverage is patchy for those providers that have 4G signal, which makes it even more important to check your area first before signing up to a contract.

                                Check the detail

                                As is always the case with signing up to a new service, the devil is in the detail so it’s important to read through the small print to avoid being caught out. Key issues to look out for include penalties if you exceed your allowance or want to cancel your contract, and the rates for calls, texts and data usage outside of the plan.

                                Look out for any fair usage and traffic management policies as they can put limitations on some seemingly unlimited plans, and if you want to use your handset for tethering, check which providers permit it as not all of them do. Finally, if you initially took your phone out on a pay monthly contract, the handset may be tied to the network and might need to be unlocked before it will accept a new SIM card from a rival provider.

                                Why choose a SIM-only deal?

                                If you’re happy with your existing handset, it makes sense to hold onto it and just get a new SIM plan rather than forking out for a brand new phone and contract, and here’s why.

                                They’re budget-friendly

                                The cheapest SIM-only deals start from just £5 per month and are great for light talkers, whereas medium to heavy users can get their hands on plenty of minutes, texts and data from £7 to £15 per month. Value for money varies widely throughout the market however, and while many are generous and affordable, others aren’t so competitive, so it pays to thoroughly compare using the table above.

                                With a choice of flexible contract lengths

                                Different contract lengths are one of the main draws of SIM-only deals. If you’re after flexibility, you’ll like the option of one-month rolling contracts that can be cancelled at any time if you no longer need the plan or fancy switching to a different one. In fact, many tariffs are available on both short- and long-term contracts, and rates are often cheaper if you can commit for longer.

                                Pros & cons

                                Pros

                                • Wide range of affordable options from £5 per month
                                • Choice of short and long term contracts
                                • Standard, micro and nano SIM sizes available for all devices

                                Cons

                                • No shiny new handset
                                • Your existing phone may need to be unlocked
                                • No guarantee that you can take your number

                                Which package is right for me?

                                SIM-only deals are pretty straightforward so it’s simple to compare and find the best one for you. Here are four pointers to keep in mind when looking at the different plans.

                                Consider how much you like to talk and text

                                SIM-only plans include prepaid bundles of minutes and texts so it’s important to pick the right amount for your level of usage to avoid paying for more than you need or incurring extra charges if you bust your allowance. Look at your previous phone bills and work out your average monthly usage. If your phone is never out of your hand, consider a SIM deal with unlimited calls and texts.

                                And how much you time you spend online

                                Mobile broadband through 3G and 4G makes the internet more accessible than ever and enables us to do everything from emailing friends and shopping, to downloading songs and watching catch up TV, wherever we are. Consider which activities you like to do and how often, and pick a data limit to match. Remember to look out for tethering policies if you want to use your SIM-only plan to get other devices online as well.

                                Plus whether you want a short- or long-term contract

                                The flexible one-month rolling contracts offered by many SIM-only providers are very handy, particularly if you want to try out a new provider or sample 4G without committing long term. They are also useful if you think you might like a new phone soon, but are happy to stick with your current one to save money in the short term. However, one-month plans are generally priced a little higher than longer contracts, so factor this in when comparing deals.

                                And which provider offers the best network coverage in your area

                                As we’ve already mentioned, it’s crucial to check coverage in your area before signing up with a new mobile provider. It’s easy to do as each provider has a tool on their website where you’ll just need to enter your postcode to see the level of 2G, 3G and 4G coverage, both indoors and outdoors. In addition to your home address, check the local area and anywhere you travel regularly for business or pleasure.

                                What will I need?

                                An existing handset

                                The name is pretty self-explanatory in that SIM-only deals just include the SIM and corresponding bundle only, so you’ll need to provide your own handset. This can be an old phone from a previous contract, a second-hand model you’ve inherited or bought, or a newbie you’ve purchased outright. Remember that with the exception of brand new phones, your handset may be locked to the previous provider and may need unlocking if you’re switching to a different one.

                                Port Authorisation Code (PAC)

                                If you’re dealing with your primary mobile, the chances are that you probably want to keep your number. This is easily done if you’re sticking with the same provider but if you're switching, you’ll need to ask them for your PAC code and give it the new provider within 30 days. It’s likely you’ll be able to keep your number without hitch, but providers don’t guarantee it.

                                Six essential questions before you buy

                                1. Which providers offer good coverage in my area?
                                2. What size SIM does my device take?
                                3. What level of texts, calls and internet data allowance do I need?
                                4. Do I want a short- or long-term contract?
                                5. Do I want to use my SIM-only plan for tethering?
                                6. Do I need to get my phone unlocked?

                                Cable.co.uk recommends

                                So there you have it, all you need to know about SIM-only deals and how to find the right one for you. Once you’ve jotted down the answers to the six questions above, you can narrow down your options and pick the right plan for your budget, handset type and level of usage.

                                Comments (8)

                                mm
                                6th March 2015

                                I am on 3g sim the 1 plan from 6/15 no longer available so why I use for the kids on their tablets So come on 3g we are not happy so we want all tethering and all calls in the one plan 0800 0845

                                Dave
                                29th January 2015

                                I have heard that there is a company that can supply a roaming SIM for use in Telecare systems (i.e. emergency voice calls for elderly and vulnerable people). can you do similar? How much per month?

                                G.Carpenter
                                19th September 2014

                                I want ONLY pay as you go, not a monthly payment I want to top up as and when I deem it right not tied to a monthly payment. I have a very small usage of my phone.

                                Jon Paul
                                26th August 2014

                                Fully agree with Ray G. According to EE/Virgin I should have excellent coverage in East Molesey. I have none!

                                Ray G
                                19th August 2014

                                Do not rely upon the coverage checkers! At best they are hopelessly optimistic. Several networks claim I should receive either good or excellent coverage in areas I frequent, including my home. In the later case it is true I do get excellent coverage, in the bedroom. But none at all in the lounge downstairs, despite being able to see the mast from the window.

                                Patrick
                                10th July 2014

                                Totally with you on this one Alan! It's just pure greed!

                                Alan in Oz
                                24th June 2014

                                Why do UK networks have such a problem with Tethering? I am visiting UK for two months and can't find a SIM only, pay-as-you-go plan that includes Tethering, because all the ones I've looked at are only available to residents.

                                If I buy a mobile plan with a data allowance, why should anyone care whether I use that data on the phone or a Tethered device. Once it's gone, it's gone. In fact, it shouldn't be anyone else's business what I use their data connection for, provided it's paid for and legal.

                                Come on guys - it's restriction for restriction's sake... Grow up.

                                Brian
                                5th March 2014

                                Hi, I notice you do not include tesco mobile in your comparison, could you please advise why?

                                Thanks

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