O2’s Big Bundles Reviewed: Pay As You Go Packages from £10/month
October 11th, 2016
O2 offers Big Bundle packages from £10/month on Pay As You Go. The bundles come with an allowance of 4G internet, minutes and texts.
If you’re a customer on O2 Pay As You Go, you can buy a ‘Big Bundle’ package. This will convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet.
The Big Bundle packages start from £10/month. For a £10 top-up, you’ll get a one-month allowance of 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of 4G internet. On higher-priced bundles from £15/month, there are more minutes, texts and mobile internet included.
In this article, we review the O2 Big Bundles tariff. We’ll start by looking at the full range of bundles available. We’ll then compare the Big Bundles to key alternatives available from other mobile networks (e.g. to giffgaff goodybags). We’ll then look at the coverage on O2 and at how you can keep an existing phone number when moving to Big Bundles.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 2 A Cheaper Alternative
- 3 Comparison to Alternatives
- 4 Coverage
- 5 Joining Big Bundles
- 6 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 7 More Information
Bundles & Pricing
O2 is one of the UK’s largest Pay As You Go mobile networks. The company currently has a choice of three Pay As You Go tariffs:
- Big Bundles: This is the default tariff for new customers on O2 Pay As You Go. Your top-up will be converted automatically into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet.
- Simply Pay As You Go: This is O2’s traditional Pay As You Go service. You’ll pay on a per-minute and per-text basis, and your credit won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active.
- International: This is O2’s specialist SIM card for international calling. It allows you to call abroad from 1p/minute.
By default, new customers will be enrolled automatically on the Big Bundles tariff. This is the best value option if you’re a regular mobile user or if you using a smartphone.
For light users who don’t have a smartphone, it may be cheaper to instead choose Simply Pay As You Go. This doesn’t have a minimum monthly top-up: you simply pay for what you actually use on a per-minute and per-text basis. Accessing mobile internet is pricey however, costing you £1/day on Simply Pay As You Go.
With O2’s Big Bundles tariff, you’ll automatically convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. There are currently six Big Bundle packages you’re able to choose from:
The Big Bundle packages will last for one calendar month with any unused allowances expiring along with the bundle.
Upon the expiry of a bundle, O2 will try to renew the same bundle automatically (this is providing you have enough Pay As You Go credit remaining on your account). If you don’t have enough credit for auto-renewal, a Big Bundle will be added automatically when you next top-up your account.
Out of Bundle Charges
Customers who exceed the inclusive allowance on their Big Bundle package will pay 35p/minute and 14p/text for any further usage. If you run out of data, it’s an extra £1/day for 50MB of data (this will buy you O2’s Web Daily bolt-on).
The following table shows out-of-bundle rates on O2’s Big Bundles tariff:
|Voice Calls||35p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||30p/call (when outside of allowances)|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||55p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||14p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||35p|
|Mobile Internet||£1/day (up to 50MB/day)|
The prices in this table are stated for UK-to-UK only. If you’re travelling abroad or making an international phone call, higher charges will normally apply. Source for pricing information: O2 [1, 2].
Outgoing phone calls are charged on a per-minute basis (so the length of all phone calls will be rounded up to a full minute). For example, a 61-second phone call will be charged as 2 complete minutes (2 minutes x 35p/minute = 70p). There is also a minimum call charge equivalent to 1 minute (so you’ll pay a minimum of 35p per call).
Simply Pay As You Go
Customers who only use their phone on a very occasional basis will potentially be better off choosing Simply Pay As You Go (previously known as Big Talker).
On Simply Pay As You Go, there’s no need to convert your credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. Instead, it operates on a traditional Pay As You Go basis: you top-up your phone and your credit remains until the time when you actually use it.
Customers on Simply Pay As You Go will pay 30p/minute, 14p/text and £1/day for up to 50MB of internet. You’ll receive a one-month free allowance every time you top-up your phone (this is in addition to being able to keep the credit):
- A £10 top-up gives you: 3000 O2-to-O2 texts and 50MB of 4G internet
- A £15 top-up gives you: 3000 O2-to-O2 minutes, 3000 O2-to-O2 texts and 100MB of 4G internet
Because of the £1 daily charge for accessing the mobile internet, this tariff probably isn’t suitable for anyone using a smartphone. For more information on Simply Pay As You Go, please see the O2 website.
A Cheaper Alternative
For a better value alternative to O2’s Big Bundles, we recommend giffgaff and their goodybag offering. A low-cost sub-brand of O2, giffgaff uses the O2 network to provide their service.
The main benefit of choosing giffgaff rather than O2 is substantially lower prices and bigger allowances. For instance, giffgaff has a £7.50 goodybag with 250 minutes and 500MB of data. On O2, an equivalent Big Bundle will cost you £10/month.
The main downside of choosing giffgaff rather than O2 is you won’t receive an O2-branded service. You won’t be able to call O2 for support (instead, you’ll need to use giffgaff’s online-only support). You also won’t have access to O2 customer exclusives such as the Priority Moments app.
giffgaff currently offers a choice of seven goodybag bundles:
For customers without a goodybag bundle, giffgaff currently charges 15p/minute, 5p/text and 5p/MB. giffgaff also uses per-second billing with a minimum charge of 15p per call. Compared to customers on O2, members of giffgaff should find their calling allowance going a whole lot further.
Comparison to Alternatives
In the following section, we’ll compare O2’s Big Bundles to rival offerings from other mobile networks.
£5 per month bundles
On O2, the cheapest Big Bundle package currently starts from £10/month. A £10 top-up will give you 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of internet. In contrast, rival mobile networks can offer you similar for less money.
If you’re happy to have coverage from EE rather than O2, we’d recommend ordering a free SIM card from ASDA Mobile. For just £7/month, you’ll get 300 minutes, 2000 texts and 500MB of internet. This will save you £3/month compared to the O2 Big Bundle and will also give you a larger allowance of calls. You can check the coverage on ASDA Mobile in your area.
£10 per month bundles
At the £10/month price point, O2 is offering a choice of two Big Bundles:
- 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of internet (more minutes and texts)
- or 100 minutes, 100 texts and 1GB of internet (more data)
You should choose your preferred Big Bundle based on whether the minutes & texts are more useful, or if you’d rather have additional data.
A better value deal compared to both of the options from O2 is ASDA Mobile’s £10 bundle. For £10/month, you’ll get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1.5GB of internet. ASDA Mobile makes use of coverage from EE.
Alternatively, if you’d like to have coverage from O2, it’s worth trying out giffgaff’s £10 goodybag. You’ll get the exact same coverage as customers on O2 but with much larger allowances to use every month (500 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of 4G internet).
Order ASDA Mobile SIM Card (Free) »
ASDA Mobile’s £10 bundle comes with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1.5GB of internet (coverage from EE).
£15 per month bundles
O2 provides a £15 Big Bundle with 750 minutes, 2000 texts and 2GB of 4G internet. For the same monthly price, giffgaff has 250 additional minutes and twice as much data to use every month. You’ll also get the exact same coverage as customers on O2.
£20 per month bundles
O2 offers a £20 Big Bundle with 1500 minutes, 4000 texts and 3GB of internet. For just £18/month, giffgaff has 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of internet. Alternatively, £20/month will give you Always On data.
For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
2G, 3G and 4G Coverage
O2 has 99% population coverage across the UK. This includes 98% coverage on 3G and 78% coverage on 4G. On the Big Bundles tariff, customers will have access to all types of coverage including 4G.
Before signing up to the Big Bundles tariff, we strongly recommended checking the O2 coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on O2’s online coverage map:
We’d typically recommend O2 only if you’re able to get at least 3G or 4G coverage.
Before signing up to the O2 network, it may also be worth checking your coverage on ASDA Mobile (a cheaper alternative using the EE network). Alternatively, if you’re only able to receive coverage from O2, a SIM card from giffgaff may offer you better value than O2.
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, it’s not currently possible to tether on O2 Pay As You Go. If you’d like to tether on a Pay As You Go network, we recommend choosing either ASDA Mobile or giffgaff as an alternative. Both of them will allow you to tether on Pay As You Go and you’ll also get a larger allowance of inclusive data for the same price.
For more information, see our in-depth article about tethering on UK networks.
Joining Big Bundles
If you already have a handset that you’d like to use on O2, you should check to make sure your handset is unlocked. For more information, see our guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy.
Existing O2 Customers
If you’re already a customer on O2 Pay & Go, you can switch to the Big Bundles tariff by sending a short text message to 21300:
|Bundle Required||Instructions for Opting In|
|£10/month Big Bundle||Text 10BUNDLE to 21300|
|£10/month Data Big Bundle||Text 10DATABIGBUNDLE to 21300|
|£15/month Big Bundle||Text 15BUNDLE to 21300|
|£20/month Big Bundle||Text 20BUNDLE to 21300|
|£25/month Big Bundle||Text 25BUNDLE to 21300|
|£30/month Big Bundle||Text 30BUNDLE to 21300|
You can also change tariffs by calling 2202 or by logging in to the My O2 website.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another network to O2 Pay As You Go, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
To do so, you’ll need to ask your current mobile network to give you with a PAC Code. By law, they need to give this to you free of charge within two hours of your request.
Once you have that, order your new Pay As You Go handset or SIM card from O2’s website. When your new phone or SIM arrives, you can provide your PAC Code to O2 through this online form. After you’ve done this, your phone number transfer will normally take place on the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your phone number to O2, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:
|PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to O2|
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.