iD Mobile Pay As You Go Review: 4G Bundles From £5/month
December 8th, 2016
iD Mobile is now offering Pay As You Go deals, starting at £5/month with 4G coverage from Three.
The new Pay As You Go service has bundles from £5/month, and also offers a pay-as-you-use tariff of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB (this is identical to Three’s 321 tariff). There’s no need to undergo a credit check for the service and recurring bundles are available for hassle-free usage.
In this article, we’ll review iD Mobile’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll start by looking at their price plans and tariffs, comparing them to what’s available on rival mobile networks. We’ll then look at iD Mobile’s inactivity policy, at the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number on the service.
Pricing & Tariffs
For smartphone owners and regular mobile users, the cheapest way to use iD Mobile is normally to convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month bundle.
With a one-month bundle, you’re essentially buying an all-in-one package with a certain number of minutes, texts and internet included. For instance, the £5 monthly bundle comes with 125 minutes, 500 texts and 100MB of internet. Individually, these items would cost £16.75 if you didn’t buy a bundle.
At present, there are a choice of three available bundles on iD Mobile Pay As You Go:
All of the bundles will last for one calendar month, with any unused allowances at the end of the month expiring with the bundle. You can buy a bundle through the iD Mobile website or app. If you’re willing to save your credit or debit card information, you can also set up a recurring bundle that renews itself at the end of each month.
Pay As You Go
If you’ve already used up the inclusive allowances in your bundle or if you choose not to buy a monthly bundle from iD Mobile, you’ll instead pay the iD Mobile Pay As You Go rates of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB:
|Voice Calls||3p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||3p/minute|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||30p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||2p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||30p|
|3G & 4G Internet||1p/MB|
iD Mobile’s Pay As You Go rates are among the lowest in the UK (their tariff of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB is identical to Three’s 321 tariff).
You can top-up your account at any time either through the iD Mobile website or app, or in-person by visiting your nearest Carphone Warehouse store. You can also use iD Mobile’s auto top-up feature which adds money to your account automatically each time your balance drops below £2. The minimum top-up on iD Mobile is £5 each time.
Comparison to Alternatives
£5 per month bundles
On iD Mobile, there’s a £5/month bundle with 125 minutes, 500 texts and 100MB of internet.
£10 per month bundles
For £10/month, iD Mobile currently offers a bundle with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet.
Alternatively, giffgaff offers a £10 goodybag with exactly the same allowances found on iD Mobile (500 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet).
£15 per month bundles
For more information, please see our full in-depth comparison of the UK’s Pay As You Go bundles. In addition, if you’re over 18 and willing to sign a contract, it may also be worth considering a Pay Monthly SIM card.
Credit Expiry & Inactivity Policy
On iD Mobile Pay As You Go, it’s necessary to use your phone at least once every 90 days in order to keep it active. If you don’t do this, your account will be closed. You’ll also forfeit any unused credit and your phone number will be lost. This is described in the iD Mobile Pay As You Go FAQs:
I no longer need my Pay-As-You-Go plan. Do I have to cancel it?
No, you don’t need to do anything. Your SIM will expire after 90 days of inactivity, so if you’ve any top-up credit remaining, use it or you’ll lose it!
In addition, it’s also necessary to use Pay As You Go credit within 365 days of it being added to your account. For instance, if you were to top-up £10 on January 1st, any unused credit remaining from that £10 will expire automatically on December 31st. This is stated in clause 8.5 of the iD Mobile Pay As You Go terms and conditions:
8.5 Any unused Credit will expire:
(a) 365 days from the date of purchase;
On most other mobile networks, your Pay As You Go credit will never expire as long as your SIM card remains active (typically, this means using your phone at least once every 6 months). The stricter inactivity policy on iD Mobile makes it less suitable for occasional mobile users (for instance, iD Mobile might not be suitable for anyone who mainly uses their phone for emergencies).
For more information, please see our in-depth guide on credit expiry and account inactivity policies across UK Pay As You Go networks.
Note: If you buy an iD Mobile bundle, unused allowances in your bundle will expire after one month.
3G & 4G Coverage from Three
iD Mobile is a virtual network operator owned by the Carphone Warehouse but making use of coverage from Three. Customers on the iD Mobile network will therefore have access to the exact same coverage as customers on Three.
At the time of writing, iD Mobile has about 97% population coverage from Three’s 3G and 4G network. This is lower than on rival networks such as EE and O2 who claim to have 99% population coverage (what this means is iD Mobile will often give you worse coverage in rural areas). 4G coverage on iD Mobile is currently available to about 60% of the population.
Before joining the iD Mobile network, we strongly recommend you check the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on the iD Mobile website:
As with Three, iD Mobile does not provide any 2G coverage. For this reason, if you’re using a 2G-only handset, it will not work on the iD Mobile network.
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).
Unfortunately, tethering is not currently permitted on iD Mobile Pay As You Go. This is described in the iD Mobile FAQs:
Tethering is when you use one of your mobile devices (connected to the internet) as a modem for another device – usually a laptop or a Wi-Fi-only tablet.
Please note that we do not allow tethering on any of our current plans. If you do use this service it is likely to use up large amounts of your data allowance very quickly, and you will be liable to pay any charge that may occur if you go over your allowance. Please check for updates on our website as this may change in the future.
If you’d like a mobile network on which you’re able to tether, please see our in-depth guide on the UK’s best tariffs for tethering.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another network to iD Mobile’s Pay As You Go service, it’s a straightforward process keeping your existing phone number.
To do so, you should start by contacting your old mobile network and asking them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to iD Mobile.
Once you have a PAC Code from your old mobile network, you can order a new Pay As You Go SIM card from the iD Mobile website. Initially, this SIM card will be assigned a temporary phone number (you can use this temporary phone number to test out the service). If you’re happy to continue using iD Mobile, you can then submit your PAC Code on the iD Mobile website. You’ll be able to choose a date for the phone number transfer. However, please bear in mind that it isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit from your old mobile network to iD Mobile.
For step-by-step instructions on moving your phone number to iD Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
|PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to iD Mobile|
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.