O2’s “Text and Web” PAYG tariff gives free, unlimited internet & texts

September 14th, 2009

O2’s “Text and Web” tariff provides free texts and internet with every top up. Best of all: you keep the credit as well.

The world of water
Creative Commons License photo: Snap®

Mobile network O2 has launched a new “Text and Web” tariff. If you’re on O2 Pay As You Go, it’s well worth signing up for this one – even if you don’t want to use the Web part of the tariff. Customers on other networks can grab themselves some free ‘Text and Web’ SIM cards.

The deal is:

  • Top up between £10 and £14 and you get 300 free UK text messages and 500MB web browsing for a month
  • Top up between £15 and £29 and you get 500 free UK text messages and 500MB web browsing for a month
  • Top up between £30 or more and you get unlimited free UK text messages and 500MB web browsing for a month

As well as the freebies, you keep the credit you topped up to use for calls, etc.

Creative Commons License photo: Cpt

How do I get Text and Web?

If you’re on O2: Join by texting TEXTANDWEB to 21300 or calling 2202.

If you’re not on O2: O2 are currently allowing you to order up free O2 ‘Text and Web’ SIM cards from the O2 website.

Do I keep the credit when I top up?

Yes. You will get your free allowance as well as being able to keep the credit you topped up for calls, etc. This is one of the main differences between Text and Web and Simplicity.

What are the alternatives?

See our comprehensive guide to free Pay As You Go SIM cards. The guide looks at the Pay As You Go offerings of 15 mobile networks.

Article updated 13th November 2009: O2 have extended this offer until 31st January

Article updated on the 8th January 2010: Details of how new customers can join ‘Text and Web’

Article updated 7th June 2010: Updated allowance information; added info about alternative Simplicity tariffs.

Article updated 18th November 2010: Added information about “Christmas Quackers” promotion.

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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 35 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Anne said:

    Thank GOD someone could tell me the number to text to change my tariff. Even O2 couldn't tell me! Have now changed my tariff…thank you so much 🙂

  2. Nicole said:

    On o2 text n web tariff,can u use your free texts to send picture messages?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Nicole,

      As far as I'm aware, you can't use your free texts for picture messages. Instead, picture messages (MMS) cost 25p each.


  3. steve millers said:

    Free txt.s and web plus your credit . Class .

  4. jade said:

    hi how much is it to send calls and texts on 02 pay as you go?

  5. Aiveen said:

    Hi, I send a text for this tarrif and got a reply to say it would be 48 hours. It has been more than 48 hours and still no tarrif? I have O2 unlimited at the minute but I tryed to ring the info hotline, I went to web bolt ons and there is one for 100g of Internet for three pounds but will I still have my texts if I join that? Please help!!

  6. max said:

    hi is this deal still on ???

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Max,

      Yep, O2 Text and Web is still available!


  7. Suzanne said:

    I was on free text and web for £15 a month and kept my credit too which meant i had £15 for calls, I would receive a text when the 30 days had ran out so i would not use my phone till i next topped up after the anniversary date. I was called (in february) by an 02 representative who informed me that I could receive free text and web if i was on the £10 top up which worked out cheaper so i switched to the £10 one. Since then when I have topped up I have had £10 deducted from my account, I thought I must have accidentally rang some one, but again when I topped up today I received a text saying that I had successfully topped up and that i would receive free text and web and that also £10 pounds had been deducted from the £15 i topped up, what is this for? and why am I being charged for receiving my free text and web? I Feel like I've been robbed that's 20 quid gone now for nothing counting this and last months credit. It's not like the credit has slowly slipped down it was taken in one chunk!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Suzanne,

      It sounds like you've been switched over the O2 Simplicity tariff which gives you unlimited texts and 500MB internet but where you *spend* £10 credit in order to get it. More info here.

      You could ask O2 to switch you back to Text and Web: on this tariff you'll get 300 texts and 500MB internet but you get to *keep* the £10 credit.

      Hope this helps,


  8. Steve said:

    I usually get unlimited texts but no internet for 10 a month on o2 text and web as i have been a customer for over a year but recently i opted for unlimited texts and internet for 15 pounds and after a week i recieved a text from o2 informing me i had used 450mb of internet and after i have used 500mb i will be charged £3.00 per mb used! This is ridiculous and i am so fustrated as i have been a loyal customer of o2 untill now and i will be contacting trading standards tomorrow as this is false advertising! if you state something is unlimited then that means that it cannot run out untill the end of the 30 days.

  9. Jonathan said:

    I'm quite confused, I usually only have to top up £10 every 2 mths. So, if I top up on the 1st of January, the Internet and texts will apply until the 1st of feb, then I will start using my credit, is that correct? And If I top up again after I've used up the credit I can top up and get the 500meg Internet back, right? To put it into scenario, I top up 10 quid on the 1st Jan, that runs out by the 8th of feb, if I top up 10 pounds again, will I get all the text and web features til the 8th next month?

  10. harry said:

    my mates on a tarriff not sure which one but when he tops up he gets unlimited texts and 100 minutes and the £10 top up stays what tariiff is this please help!!!

  11. =[] said:

    what does 500mb look like and how much intertenet actually is it

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:


      Please see this article where we explain the meaning of 500mb.


  12. Cae said:

    This "unlimited internet" is really confusing. I have a contract phone (Dell Streak), which gives me Unlimited Internet. So far this months, I have used 4gigs of data (I do a lot of streaming TV shows etc…mainly as a test of this so call "unlimited" internet. I assume everything is okay, as I have not received a phone call or text. I have a another PAYANDGO sim card from o2, which states that for £10 top,i get "unlimited internet".

    Well I began to use it, and check my credit, it shows the top limited in 500megs, and is "quickly" disappearing. When I check my tariff online, it tells me I have unlimited "Internet".

    How can o2 advertise "unlimited", yet have different definition of "unlimited" based on the tarrif you on. I am pretty sure if the case is referred to the advertising standards, they will take case up, especially as o2 (after 24 June 2010) have now began to advertise "unlimited text" and "500 Megs of internet". They should be honouring their older deals.
    SMARTPHONE is all the range, and pretty soon all upgrades will be for a SMARTPHONE. More and more people will be wanting more and more data, as they realise what the can do with their “new phones”. The current cap of 500megs is way too small for todays usage, let alone what we will be using in 6 months time, next years and beyond.

    I intend to refer the issue to the Trading Standards, as they o2 are obligated to gives the products they sell us/give us..otherwise it will be false advertising..and I am sure they can be fined for such an outrageous action

  13. Lindsey said:

    Hey 🙂 i get 500 free UK text messages and unlimited web browsing for a month is it piossible to change the web browsing to free UK calls ?

  14. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Monique,

    Yes thats right and this is still the case with "Text and Web". "Simplicity" is different in that your credit actually gets used up. Some my full review of the Simplicity tariff for more on the differences. To change to Simplicity, your best bet would be to give O2 Customer Services a call.


  15. Monique said:

    To Ken 🙂

    i fort it used to be top up £10 and get unlimited texts PLUS the £10 credit to spend too? And also with o2 simplicity do you have to get a new special sim for it or is it like changing your tariff? Because i need it instantly!

    Please help me Ken you o2 whiz LOL

  16. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Updated with latest tariff info & new Simplicity tariffs

  17. hun said:

    hey basicli
    i topped up £10 and got unlimited text and web but after it finishes in a months time should my money go the £10????????
    i got 0p left im not sure if that shud happen

    1. Miss replied:

      Your Credit of £10 should NOT get used and drop to £0.00 UNLESS you have made Chargeable calls from your handset.

      Also a slight correction….

      When you Top-up £10–£14 – Your supposed to get –> 300 texts <– Plus unlimited Internet…..

      Not UNLIMITED Text & Internet (You only recieve this after a £30 top up)

      So maybe your credit has gone due to additional texts u may have sent?

      If you haven't made chargeable calls or sent more than 300 texts then Give O2 Customer Services a Call x

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Miss,

        Some people with iPhones find that their credit disappears even if they don't make any calls or texts from their handset! This always happens if they haven't topped up in a month and hence have no free internet. The iPhone uses internet connectivity in the background even without you knowing.

        The solution is to disable 3G connectivity in the iOS menus (iOS4 only)


        1. Rod replied:

          This has been happening to me too, which is incredibly frustrating. The entire reason I have a PAYG phone is that I want to be in control of how much I spend. I have a Nokia C3 – any idea how to stop it from connecting in the background? I've been right through the menu and can't seem to stop it.

  18. josh said:

    just for your information, the tarrif has changed, its now 300 texts and unlimited internet for £10 and 500 texts and unlimited internet for £15.. its now £30 for both so the rate has now doubled…. thanks o2…. spoons.

  19. davaslayer said:

    hi. all you need if u have a iphone is the web and wifi bolt on. its only for the iphone and it gives u unlimited (and means unlimited) internet and free wifi and mycloud hotspots(weatherspoons, macdonalds) it costs a £10 a month but use this with text and web will get u 12000 txts to any network all just for a tenner bargin

  20. netty said:

    why am i still being charged for unlimited web & text

  21. Jo said:

    I’ve joined the unlimited texts and Internet before jan 31st. I’ve only just topped up £15 but i can’t use the Internet on my iPhone without connecting to a wifi network first?? I thought that it was unlimited Internet?? Please help, Jo x

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jo,

      Make sure you’ve updated your internet and MMS settings using this webpage.



  22. paul said:

    My son signed up for this web and text offet via o2’s website and got a text within 24hrs from o2 confirming its set up and (since he topped up by £10) he has free web for the next 30 days and 500 free texts.

  23. paul said:

    If you look on o2’s site you’ll see theyhave extended this text and web offer until the end of Feb. Also parts of the site say that you get free web plus 300 texts at top ups over £10 – not £15 – as URL below

    Key benefits:

    * Top-up £10–£14 and get 300 texts and unlimited internet
    * Top-up £15–£29 and get 500 texts and unlimited internet
    * Top-up £30+ and get unlimited texts and unlimited internet

    BUT this is what it says under “My 02” section
    Text and Web: Tier 1 – £10.00 to £14.99 – 12000 UK texts OR Tier 2 – £15.00 or more – 12000 UK texts and 500 MB GPRS data.

    It starts of with “Pay and Go Talkalot” – a tariff which no longer exists (I think) and then gives the 3 tiers of bonuses under web and text that don’t match anything else.

    Good old O2!

  24. Ellie said:

    @ Ben RH

    Why would higher data capacity be just for iphone users? I have a HTC Touch HD 2 and have just as much need for data as an iphone user.

  25. Ben RH said:

    Will there be any higher capacity for iPhone users? 500MB just isn’t enough.

  26. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Article updated on the 13th November: O2 have extended this offer until 31st January

  27. xander said:

    Having been a loyal customer with O2 for years I was very excited to switch to this tariff which went live on my sim today.
    Imagine my shock at the “unlimited” web actually having a 500mb cap, so on my iphone that is less than 17megs per day, which is sod all.

    I’m rapidly loosing faith in o2’s ability to manage data on their network, and this has now pushed me to my limit.

    Time to get my PAC number.

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