Who says loyalty doesn’t pay? There are several broadband providers offering existing broadband or TV customers discounts on SIM-only mobile deals.
Different broadband companies structure their loyalty deals in different ways. Virgin Mobile offers a straight up exclusive for broadband and TV customers. BT and Sky knock money off their SIM-only deals for their existing customers. Plusnet and EE take yet another approach – they give broadband customers more bang for their buck when they take out certain SIM-only deals. Confused? Read on and all will become clear.
There’s actually only a couple of SIM-only deals offering unlimited data, texts and minutes, and this cracker of a deal from Virgin Mobile, exclusive to its broadband and TV customers, is one of them. The deal includes Roam Like Home which means you can use your mobile wherever you go in the EU and send smug selfies home without incurring an extra cost. In the unlikely event you find yourself in the 1% of the population not covered by Virgin’s 4G network, Virgin’s two million wi-fi hotspots are free too.
However, regular travellers should check the small print. EU use is subject to Virgin’s fair usage policy which basically means you need to use your phone more in the UK than abroad and you can’t permanently live abroad.
BT Mobile gives existing broadband customers £5 discount off all its SIM-only deals. This brings the cost of this 6GB deal down to £15 a month. This deal also allows you to take advantage of the millions of free BT Wi-Fi hotpots across the UK, as well as giving you free access to BT Sport. BT Family SIM allows you to get the same SIM for other family members at a discount.
The only downside is that BT reserves the right to change any prices and terms during your contract. But if this affects you, you'll be able to end your contract without penalty.
If you’ve got Sky TV and are after a budget SIM-only deal, this deal could be for you. 500MB data costs £6 a month and you also get unlimited calls and texts. If you cancel Sky TV you’ll start being billed an extra £10 a month for the calls and texts.
Sky Mobile offers bigger data deals for a bigger monthly fees (obviously) and all deals work the same way – all the time you’re subscribed to Sky TV you get unlimited calls and texts for free. If you sign up you need to be sure you’ll be sticking with Sky TV for at least the next 12 months, otherwise you’re not really getting a bargain.
Plusnet offers 'mates rates' to its broadband customers, which means rather than giving you a discount off standard prices, it simply ups the amount of data you get for a set monthly fee.
All Plusnet’s SIM-only deals are on 30-day terms – perfect for commitment-phobes. 3GB is a decent chunk of data and we challenge anyone to natter for more than 2,000 minutes a month. But just in case you do, the deal comes with a set £10 'smart cap' – this applies to limit the charges that can be incurred outside your monthly plan allowance. So it will kick in if you talk too much or use your phone outside the EU (Roam Like At Home applies within the EU). You can change the smart cap down to £2 or increase to a maximum of £30. As a comparison, if you don’t have Plusnet broadband, you’ll get just 1GB of data, 1000 minutes and unlimited texts for the same price of £8 a month on a 30-day contract.
If you’re an existing EE broadband customer and sign up to an EE 12-month SIM-only plan, it will boost your phone’s monthly data allowance by an extra 5GB. So, on EE’s 20GB SIM-only deal, which costs £22 a month, you actually get 25GB of data each month.
You can get Apple Music free for six months when you sign up, and BT Sport for three months. In both cases you’ll need to remember to cancel after the free period, or you’ll start being billed (£9.99 a month for Apple Music and £5 a month for BT Sport).
You'll keep the 5GB data boost as long as you're an EE broadband or 4GEE Home Broadband customer and have an eligible EE mobile plan or SIM plan.
As the name suggests, SIM-only deals only include a SIM, not a handset. They are best suited for people who are happy to hang on to their existing handset, not regular upgraders.
But saying that, you might want to pay for the latest all-singing all-dancing handset outright then pair it with a cheap SIM deal – this is often cheaper than pay monthly deals which combine a handset and airtime. Either way, your handset needs to be unlocked to work with standalone SIMs.
Probably not. The chances are your broadband bill will be bigger than your SIM-only bill – so concentrate on finding the best broadband deal you can. Once that’s set up, have a look at your provider’s SIM-only deals for existing customers and compare them to what’s available in the wider market.
Some of the cheapest SIM-only deals don’t have a massive amount of data. You can normally add some on when you run out but you should also keep an eye on out-of-plan charges. If you use all your data allowance, some providers may allow you to continue using data out-of-plan, which can become expensive (especially if you go abroad). With loyalty deals offered to broadband customers, be aware that if you cancel your broadband the loyalty deal will probably end too.
How long’s a piece of string? SIM-only deals with unlimited data are thin on the ground – but you probably don’t need one. If you set your phone to connect to your home and work wi-fi, and take advantage of various free wi-fi hotspots around (such as those offered by BT and Virgin Media for their respective customers), you won’t need a ton of data. To be on the safe side, check your bills and see how much data you use. There’s no point paying for more data than you’ll need.
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