EE Pay As You Go Review: PAYG Packs With 4G Internet & Free Boosts

June 28th, 2017

EE offers three types of bundle on Pay As You Go: Everything Packs, Talk & Text Packs and Data Packs. Bundles start from £1/week and include a ‘free boost’ every quarter.

EECustomers on EE Pay As You Go have a choice of three different types of Pay As You Go bundle. Known as ‘pay as you go packs’, the bundles will convert your Pay As You Go credit into either a 7-day or 30-day allowance.

The most popular type of pack is the EE Everything Pack. This is an all-round bundle for regular users with a smartphone (e.g. the £10 Everything Pack comes with 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of internet). Other types of pack include the Talk & Text Pack (for people who don’t need data) and the Data Pack (for customers who mainly want data). Customers who continuously buy a pack every month will also qualify for a ‘free boost’ every 3 months.

In this article, we review EE’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll start by looking at the different types of pack and how they compare to the bundles available on other mobile networks. We’ll also look at the coverage available on EE and at how you can keep an existing phone number when moving to the network.

Bundles & Pricing

EE Pay As You Go - Three Types Of PackIn the UK, EE is one of the largest providers of a Pay As You Go mobile service.

EE’s Pay As You Go offering is mainly based around ‘pay as you go packs’. With packs, money is deducted automatically from your Pay As You Go credit. The credit is used to buy a time-limited allowance, which lasts for either 7 days or 30 days.

There are three types of pack currently available:

  • Everything Packs (from £5/month): The most popular type of pack. Generally the best option for regular mobile users and for users with a smartphone. An Everything Pack will give you a set allowance of minutes, texts and mobile internet for which you’ll have 30 days to use.
  • Talk & Text Packs (from £1/week): A better value option if you don’t have a smartphone. Talk & Text Packs will only really give you an allowance of minutes and texts. There’s a very small allowance of 10MB of data (10MB = 0.01GB) so this isn’t really suitable for anyone with a smartphone.
  • Data Packs (from £1/week): A Data Pack gives you a set allowance of mobile internet. There’s also a small number of inclusive minutes and texts. This can sometimes be a better value option for heavy data users as you’ll get a larger data allowance than you would on an Everything Pack.

If you’re not using a smartphone, it’s also possible to use EE Pay As You Go without buying a pack. Rather than paying a fixed amount every week or every month, you’ll just pay 30p/minute and 12p/text. This option isn’t available to anyone with a smartphone, as you’ll need to buy a pack to access the internet. For traditional Pay As You Go usage, an alternative like ASDA Mobile is probably much more suitable (ASDA provides coverage from EE and charges just 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB).

Everything Packs

EE Pay As You Go - Everything PackFor most users, an EE Everything Pack will provide the best value usage. It has calls, texts and mobile internet included on one bundle. For example, £10/month will get you 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 4G internet (this is currently the most popular bundle for customers on EE Pay As You Go).

At present, there’s a choice of seven Everything Packs:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
EE50250150MB£5.00
EE150Unlimited500MB£10.00
EE300Unlimited1GB£12.50
EE500Unlimited2GB£15.00
EE750Unlimited3GB£20.00
EE1,000Unlimited5GB£25.00
EE2,000Unlimited8GB£30.00

You’ll get 4G internet as standard on all of the packs. With Everything Packs of £15/month or more, you’ll also get access to double-speed 4G internet.

‘Free Boost’ Loyalty Bonus

If you renew a pack every month for 3 months, you’ll get a ‘Free Boost’ loyalty bonus in the form of extra airtime. This will depend on which pack you buy:

  • £5 Everything Pack: An extra 100MB of data, 25 minutes or 50 texts per month.
  • Everything Packs (£8 or more): An extra 500MB of data, 50 minutes or 250 texts per month.

The Free Boost loyalty bonus will be added to all of your subsequently purchased packs. Furthermore, you’ll get an additional Free Boost for every 3 months you stay on EE. This means your Free Boost airtime can continue building up (e.g. after 6 months, you might have 1GB of additional data per month).

EE Free Boost
After 6 months on the £10 Everything Pack, you could have earned an extra 1GB of data to use every month.

Talk & Text Packs

EE Pay As You Go - Talk and Text PackFor users who don’t have a smartphone, Talk & Text Packs can offer better value. They do this by replacing the data allowance with some additional minutes to use every month. For instance, the £10/month Talk & Text Pack gives you 250 minutes (100 minutes more than on the £10 Everything Pack). You’ll also get unlimited texts and a token 10MB of data (0.01GB).

For light users, EE has a £1/week Talk & Text pack giving you 25 minutes and 50 text messages.

The following table shows EE’s current line-up of Talk & Text packs:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
EE255010MB£1.00
for 7 days
EE250Unlimited10MB£10.00
for 30 days
EE500Unlimited10MB£12.50
for 30 days
EE750Unlimited10MB£15.00
for 30 days

As with the Everything packs, there’s a ‘Free Boost’ loyalty bonus available on the Talk & Text packs. You’ll be eligible for a bonus after buying the pack for three months (so that’s either 12 lots of the seven-day pack or three lots of a 30-day pack). On the weekly pack, you can add either 10 extra minutes, 25 extra texts or 50MB of extra data. Meanwhile, on the monthly packs, you can add either 50 extra minutes or 500MB of extra data.

Note: Talk & Text packs come with a very small allowance of 10MB of data. This isn’t really suitable for usage on a smartphone. You can, however, still access the internet when you’re using wi-fi at home.

Data Packs

EE Pay As You Go - Data PackFinally, for customers who are mainly concerned about having data on their smartphone, EE offers a choice of three Data packs. The cheapest way of accessing the internet is on their £1/week Data Pack: this gives you 100MB of 4G internet, 10 minutes and 10 text messages.

There are also £10/month and £15/month data packs, with 1GB and 4GB of data respectively:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
EE1010100MB£1.00
for 7 days
EE1001,0001GB£10.00
for 30 days
EE250Unlimited4GB£15.00
for 30 days

As before, you’ll get a ‘Free Boost’ loyalty bonus when you buy a Data Pack for more than three months. Once you’ve bought 12 lots of the seven-day pack, you can add either 10 extra minutes, 25 extra texts or 50MB of extra data. Alternatively, once you’ve bought 3 lots of the 30-day pack, you can add either 50 extra minutes, 250 extra texts or 500MB of additional data.

Out Of Bundle Charges

Top Up Logo

If you don’t have a Pay As You Go pack or if you’ve used up the inclusive allowances in your pack, you’ll pay EE’s standard rates for Pay As You Go. At present, EE charges the following rates on their Pay As You Go tariff:

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 30p/minute (any network, any time)
Calls to Voicemail 30p/minute
Calls to Special Rate Numbers 44p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 12p
Picture Message (MMS) 40p
Internet Rates:
Mobile Internet Not available: a data add-on is required for data.

Outgoing phone calls have a minimum charge equivalent to 1 minute (so you’ll pay a minimum amount of 30p per call). Thereafter, you’re charged for calls on a per-minute basis so the length of all phone calls will be rounded up to a full minute. To give an example, an outgoing phone call lasting for 61 seconds will be charged by EE as a 2-minute call (2 x 30p = 60p).

With charges of 30p/minute and 12p/text, EE is one of the UK’s most expensive networks for Pay As You Go. Rival networks like ASDA Mobile, which also uses coverage from EE, charge just 8p/minute and 4p/text (this is less than one-third of the rates charged on EE Pay As You Go).

A Cheaper Alternative

ASDA Mobile gives you coverage from EE at a much lower price.

For a better value alternative to EE Pay As You Go, we’d recommend ordering a free SIM card from ASDA Mobile. ASDA Mobile is a lower-cost service that gives you the exact same coverage you’d get on EE (ASDA Mobile also offers high-speed 4G coverage from EE). On ASDA, you’ll get larger allowances for a lower monthly price.

For instance, £10/month on EE will get you 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of internet.

For the same monthly price, you’ll get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data on ASDA Mobile (this is 4 times as many minutes and 4 times as much data as you’d get directly on EE). Alternatively, you could save money with ASDA’s £7 bundle which gives you 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet (twice as many minutes and twice as much data for £3/month less than EE’s £10 Everything Pack).

The following table shows the bundles available from ASDA Mobile:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile1252,000200MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2502,000-£5.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited2GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile800Unlimited3GB£12.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00

Because ASDA Mobile piggybacks on the EE network, you’ll continue receiving 99% population coverage from EE. You’ll also still be able to access EE’s high-speed 4G network.

For light users, ASDA Mobile is also a better value option if you want to pay as you go without the commitment of buying a bundle every month. They charge just 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB (whereas EE charges 30p/minute and 12p/text).

Order ASDA Mobile SIM Card (Free) »

For more information, please see our full review of ASDA Mobile. You can also read more on the ASDA Mobile website.

Buying & Stopping Packs

If you’re already an EE Pay As You Go customer, you can buy a pack by texting the following shortcode to 150:

Bundle Name Bundle Code
£5 Everything Pack Text EP5 to 150
£10 Everything Pack Text EP10 to 150
£12.50 Everything Pack Text EP12 to 150
£15 Everything Pack Text EP15 to 150
£20 Everything Pack Text EP20 to 150
£25 Everything Pack Text EP25 to 150
£30 Everything Pack Text EP30 to 150
£1 Talk & Text Pack Text TTP1 to 150
£10 Talk & Text Pack Text TTP10 to 150
£12.50 Talk & Text Pack Text TTP12 to 150
£15 Talk & Text Pack Text TTP15 to 150
£1 Data Pack Text DP1 to 150
£10 Data Pack Text DP10 to 150
£15 Data Pack Text DP15 to 150

Alternatively, you can buy a bundle through the My EE app or website or through the automated service when you call 150 on your EE handset.

You’ll need to make sure you have a sufficient amount of credit before buying a pack. If you aren’t sure how much credit is remaining on your account, you can check by texting BA to 150.

If you currently have an active pack on your account, you can text AL to 150 to check your remaining allowances. Alternatively, you can also check this through the My EE app or website.

Upon the expiry of your pack, EE will try to automatically renew the same type of pack. For instance, if you were to buy a £10 Everything Pack today, EE would try to automatically purchase another £10 Everything Pack for you at the end of the 30 days. If you don’t want this to happen automatically, you should text STOP PACK to 150.

If you aren’t currently an EE Pay As You Go customer, you can order a SIM card and choose a pack via this link.

Order EE SIM Card (Free) »

Comparison To Alternatives

In the following section, we compare EE’s Pay As You Go bundles to rival offerings from other networks.

£5 per month bundles

For the same monthly price, ASDA Mobile offers an extra 75 minutes, 1750 texts and 50MB of data.

EE’s cheapest Pay As You Go bundle is their £5 Everything Pack with 50 minutes, 250 texts and 150MB of data.

For the same monthly price, ASDA Mobile (which also offers 4G coverage from EE) provides 125 minutes, 2000 texts and 200MB of internet. For an additional £2/month, this is boosted up to 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile1252,000200MB£5.00
EE50250150MB£5.00
giffgaff150500100MB£5.00
Vodafone100250100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
giffgaff250Unlimited750MB£7.50

£10 per month bundles

10 Pound Note

ASDA Mobile has four times as many minutes and three times more data for £10/month.

At the £10/month price point, EE has a £10 Everything Pack with 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of internet.

For the same monthly price, ASDA Mobile will give you much better value. You’ll still be getting 4G coverage from EE but you’ll get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet (2GB = 2,000MB). This is four times as many minutes and four times as much data to use every month for the same price.

Alternatively, the £7/month bundle from ASDA Mobile comes with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
giffgaff250Unlimited750MB£7.50
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited2GB£10.00
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£10.00
Three3,0003,0001GB£10.00
Vodafone200Unlimited1GB£10.00
O21001001GB£10.00
O22501,000500MB£10.00
EE150Unlimited500MB£10.00

Order ASDA Mobile SIM Card (Free) »
ASDA’s £10 bundle comes with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of 4G internet (coverage from EE).

£15 per month bundles

15 Pound Notes

ASDA’s £15 bundle has twice as many minutes and 2.5x more data than EE.

On their £15 Everything Pack, EE currently offers 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet.

For the same monthly price, you’ll get twice as many minutes and 2.5 times more data on ASDA Mobile (you’ll get 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 5GB of data on ASDA’s £15 bundle).

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have coverage from O2, giffgaff offers the same deal on their £15 goodybag.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Three3,0003,0005GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
giffgaff1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
O22502504GB£15.00
O27502,0002GB£15.00
EE500Unlimited2GB£15.00

£20 per month bundles

20 Pound Note

EE’s £20 Everything Pack has 750 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of internet. For just £18/month, giffgaff has 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of internet.

The £20 Everything Pack comes with 750 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of internet.

This can easily be beaten by the offering on rival networks. For instance, giffgaff’s £18 goodybag has more than twice as many minutes and twice as much data (you’ll get 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of internet for £18/month). Alternatively, ASDA Mobile has a £20 bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 8GB of internet.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaff2,000Unlimited6GB£18.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£20.00
Three3,0003,00012GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited6GB£20.00
O22502506GB£20.00
EE750Unlimited3GB£20.00
Three3,0003,00030GB£25.00
O25005008GB£25.00
EE1,000Unlimited5GB£25.00

For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.

Handsets

There are two ways of joining EE Pay As You Go.

If you’d like a brand new smartphone, you can buy one from the EE website (prices currently start from £10.79 with a top-up). You can also buy an EE Pay As You Go handset from a third-party retailers like Argos and Amazon.

If you already have an unlocked smartphone that you’re happy to keep, you can just order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from EE. If your handset is currently locked to a network, you may find it useful to read our guides on unlocking an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy.

Coverage

2G, 3G and 4G Coverage

EE has 99% population coverage across the UK.

EE has 99% population coverage across the UK. This includes 98% population coverage on 3G and 97% population coverage on 4G. This is the widest 4G coverage of any UK network (see our review of the coverage on EE for more information).

It isn’t necessary to have a 4G handset to use the EE network, as EE is also compatible with 2G and 3G handsets.

Before joining EE Pay As You Go, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the EE website:

Check EE Coverage (ee.co.uk) »

Customers with an Everything Pack of £15/month or more will be able to access EE’s double-speed 4G network (with average download speeds of 24-30Mbit/s). Customers on all other packs are restricted to the normal 4G network (with average download speeds of 12-15Mbit/s).

Tethering

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). On EE Pay As You Go, you can tether without any restrictions using your inclusive data allowances. This is in contrast to many other mobile networks which sometimes have a restriction on tethering.

For frequent users of tethering or personal hotspot, both ASDA Mobile and giffgaff are also worth considering. As they tend to offer larger data allowances than what is available from EE, they might be more suitable for use with this feature.

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re switching from another mobile network to EE’s Pay As You Go service, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. By moving your phone number to EE, you can save yourself the hassle of having to telling everyone a brand new phone number.

To get started, order your free SIM card on the EE website. You’ll need to have an EE SIM card before the transfer can take place. After ordering the SIM card, you should then contact your old network and ask them for a PAC Code. The PAC Code will authorise the transfer of your phone number to EE.

When you receive the new SIM card from EE, you should head over to this online form. In the form, you can submit your PAC Code to EE to have your number switched over. Your phone number transfer will then normally be scheduled for the next working day.

For a step-by-step guide on moving your number to EE, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to EE

Your current network provider:

  More Options

More Information

For more information about EE Pay As You Go, please see the official EE website. To get started, you can order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from EE.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 71 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Tim B said:

    The £1 per week Talk and Text pack could work out cheaper than the £5 per month Everything pack. This is because you can get more weekly allowance from the free boosts on Talk and Text compared to the equivalent weekly allowance from the £5 per month Everything pack.

  2. Jeremy said:

    Hey Ken – thanks for the nice article with clear conclusions. I didn’t see anything about international use with EE payg sims. If I buy the £15 data pack will I be able to use my data allowance in Spain?
    cheers
    J

    1. Ken replied:

      Hi Jeremy,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, EE’s £15 Data Pack will not currently allow you to use your data allowance in Spain. Rather, you’ll need to pay their EU roaming rates. The good news, however, is things will change from the 15th June 2017. After this date, all UK mobile networks will be legally obliged to offer roaming in Europe at no extra charge. At that point, you should be able to use the Data Pack with no problems in Europe.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  3. Marilyna A said:

    Hi. I was in England for two weeks and bought a SIM AND pay as you go, talk, text, data for £15. Now I am home and want to stop everything. Not just stopping a pack, but stopping whole service. How do I stop it from auto renewing after 30 days? I will be continuing with my usual carrier in Canada. Also Can I lend the SIM to a friend who is going to England in a few months and use it again?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Ken replied:

      Hi Marilyna,
      Hope you enjoyed your trip here in England! 🙂
      Regarding the £15 pack on your EE SIM card, there’s no need to cancel the service on this. After the 30 day pack expires, the SIM card will simply have no money on it (it won’t cost anything to keep the SIM card connected). The SIM card can be reactivated at any time by topping it up with more money (so absolutely fine to lend this to a friend and it will work straight away once they add some money to it).
      The only thing worth being aware of is that your SIM card may be disconnected after 6 months of inactivity.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

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