Save money with the best SIM only deals

What does a SIM only deal mean?

A SIM only deal is a contract with a mobile phone network provider and includes a pre-arranged allowance of talk minutes, texts and data. A fee for this service is charge on a monthly basis with contracts lasting between 12 - 24 months. Some SIM only deals can also work on a rolling monthly basis, which means you’re not tied into one network provider for a long duration.

Save money with the best SIM only deals

The difference with SIM only deals compared to traditional pay-monthly phone deals is that you don’t have to pay for a phone as well as the minutes, texts and data, making SIM only deals much cheaper. Although you’re only paying for the SIM with a SIM only deal, network providers will still carry out a credit check before approving your chosen contract.

Unlike Pay As You Go SIM cards, which require you to top up when you’ve used all the available credit, a SIM only contract renews your minutes, texts and data every month over the term of the contract. SIM only deals won’t restrict how you like to use your phone either. Mobile phone network providers offer some excellent deals at a great price, so whether you like to chat on the phone, send texts or eat through data, there’ll be a plan for you.

If you’ve just finished a traditional phone contract and want to continue using your phone, or you’ve bought a handset and need a SIM card, then it’s easy to start taking advantage a SIM only deal. Just pick a plan and wait for the SIM card to arrive.

How does a SIM only deal work?

A SIM only deal works by selecting a monthly plan with a mobile phone network provider that best suits your needs and your budget. Mobile phone network providers will offer varying SIM only plans with different amounts of minutes, texts and data. Select a plan that works for you and complete the contract with the network provider, once you’ve finalized your contract the network provider will send you a SIM card that you will need to put in your phone.

Once the SIM card arrives you’ll be ready to go, you can start surfing the web, making calls and sending texts. When looking for a SIM only deal it’s best to make sure you’re only paying for what you need. Don’t over pay for data unless you actually use it, likewise don’t buy a plan that doesn’t cover your lifestyle needs. You may end up paying much more in over usage fees for things like data and minutes if you use up your allowance before the end of the month.

How long do SIM only contracts last?

SIM only contracts typically last 12 months, although some mobile phone network providers may offer longer terms, sometimes up to 24 months. While searching for a SIM only deal you will see network providers offering contracts that last 12, 18 and 24 months.

This is normal, but make sure you choose a provider that is able to give you the best network signal coverage for where you live. Some networks may have bad signal for your area, while others could provide excellent coverage. Depending on what you use your data for it’s also worth checking that you’ll be able to get 3G, 4G and even 5G for your area.

What is a one-month SIM only contract?

A one-month SIM only contract is simply a shorter version of the conventional SIM only contract, they are also known as monthly rolling contracts. This is a deal that will automatically renew every month, so you can cancel before the end of the month without having to wait until the end of the contract like a conventional SIM only deal.

Rolling monthly contracts offer a lot of flexibility, especially if you want to take advantage of a SIM only plan that offers data, minutes and texts at a great rate without having to be on a Pay As You Go SIM card.

Can I keep my phone number with a SIM only deal?

Yes, you can keep your existing phone number when you start a SIM only deal. If you already have a SIM card you can also transfer your existing mobile number to the new network provider. That means you don’t have to change your current mobile number, which can be more convenient. You’ll just need to request a PAC code from your current provider and pass that onto the new provider, but you only need to do this if you’re changing networks.

Changing to a SIM only deal with a network provider you’re already with is simple. Just contact them pick a deal and they’ll do the rest. It’s worth shopping around to make sure they offer you the best deal before agreeing to a contract. Don’t forget you can always cancel with 14 days of your purchase if it’s not what you wanted.

Is SIM only cheaper than a traditional contract?

SIM only deals are usually cheaper then traditional phone contracts because you only pay for the service and not the service and the handset.

Traditional contracts require you to finance the phone, which you pay for monthly and then for a SIM plan on top of that to cover the data, minutes and texts. With smart phones becoming increasingly more expensive you could end up paying anywhere between £40-£80 depending on the handset and the SIM plan. In contrast, SIM only deals can start from as little as £4, but you’ll need a mobile phone handset to put your SIM card in.

Out Top 5 SIM only contracts 

The best SIM card for you will depend on what you need it for and there are plenty to choose from. Comparison websites are a great tool to compare deals side by side so don’t be afraid to shop around, here’s our top 5 SIM only deals:


Network Contract Length Minutes Texts Data Price per month
1 Month Unlimited Unlimited 6GB £7.00
1 Month 150 Unlimited 250MB £4.00
12 Month 600 Unlimited 1GB £5.00
1 Month Unlimited Unlimited 2GB £5.99
12 Month Unlimited Unlimited 1GB £6.00

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