With a Pay As You Go bundle, you convert your credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile data. We compare the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
In the UK, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Pay As You Go deals. With more than 70 Pay As You Go bundles across 12 different mobile networks, the best Pay As You Go deals can now rival those found on a Pay Monthly contract.
To get the best value from your Pay As You Go tariff, you’ll normally need to convert your credit into a one month bundle.
Buying a bundle is a little bit like paying for your airtime in bulk. Rather than paying on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you simply buy a one month bundle that covers all of your usage. If you’re a regular mobile user, this should save you money compared to traditional Pay As You Go. You’ll still retain full control over how much you spend, with no need to sign a contract or to undergo a credit check.
In the UK, there’s a wide range of Pay As You Go bundles available to choose from. In this article, we’ll compare the best value Pay As You Go bundles currently available on the market.
PAYG Bundles: How Do They Work?
When choosing a Pay As You Go tariff, it’s important to know the difference between the two ways of paying for your airtime:
|Pay As You Go Bundles||Traditional Pay As You Go|
|Best for smartphone and regular mobile users.||Best for light users who don’t have a smartphone.|
|Get a one month bundle with calls, texts & data included. Pay a fixed amount which is known in advance.||Pay on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis. Rates are typically higher compared to a bundle.|
|Unused allowances expire after a month, after which you’ll need to buy another bundle.||Your credit doesn’t expire providing you keep the SIM card active.|
|No credit check & no contracts to sign.||No credit check & no contracts to sign.|
Through the rest of this article, we’ll be comparing the best value Pay As You Go bundles. If you’re a light user wanting traditional Pay As You Go instead of a bundle, see our comparison of traditional Pay As You Go plans instead.
A Brief Overview Of Pay As You Go Bundles
In the UK, Pay As You Go bundles have been available since 2010. They originally launched in response to growing smartphone adoption, and combine some of the benefits of Pay Monthly (including low costs and certainty over how much you’ll spend) with the benefits of traditional Pay As You Go (including lots of flexibility, no credit checks and no lengthy contracts).
With a Pay As You Go bundle, the key difference is you’ll be using your Pay As You Go credit to buy airtime in bulk. Rather than paying for your usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you’ll instead buy a one month bundle that covers all of your usage.
The advantage of buying a bundle is you’ll get much lower rates and certainty over how much you’ll spend each month. For instance, a £10 top-up can buy you a one-month bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of data. On traditional Pay As You Go, this would only get you up to 1GB of data with no minutes or texts.
For light users who don’t have a smartphone, traditional Pay As You Go tariffs are still available. It remains a better value option for users spending less than £5 per month. On traditional Pay As You Go, your credit normally won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active.
giffgaff is a highly popular Pay As You Go network amongst readers of our website. They offer bundles with 3G and 4G coverage from the O2 network.
At present, you can get giffgaff’s £10 golden goodybag. This comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of data per month. From your third month onwards, this is boosted by a further 1GB up to a total of 10GB of data per month. To qualify for the £10 golden goodybag, you’ll need to set up your golden goodybag so it recurs automatically. Access to 5G coverage is also available when you buy a golden goodybag.
For heavy smartphone users, giffgaff has a competitive range of bundles with more data (e.g. 15GB of data for £15/month and 80GB of data for £20/month). For customers with even heavier data usage, giffgaff has a £25 goodybag with Always-On data (unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month).
|VOXI by Vodafone
VOXI offers a £10 bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. You’ll also get endless social media data included for use on Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Messenger.
If you’re a heavy data user, you can get 12GB of data for £12/month, 15GB of data for £15/month or 45GB of data for £20/month. Access to 5G coverage and endless video streaming is also included on VOXI’s price plans from £15/month.
VOXI is a subsidiary of Vodafone, offering 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
Bundles By Price Range
Through the rest of this article, we’ll be comparing the best Pay As You Go bundles at a range of price points from £5 to £25 per month and more.
In the tables below, you can tap on a mobile network’s logo to see further information about the coverage provider they’re using. Alternatively, you can find a full list of mobile networks using coverage from EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. For information about the download speeds available, tap on the data allowance column.
There are currently six UK mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle from £5 per month. These networks are EE and O2, along with four virtual network operators that piggyback on another coverage provider:
- ASDA Mobile uses coverage from EE (read our review).
- giffgaff uses coverage from O2 (read our review).
- Lebara Mobile uses coverage from Vodafone (read our review).
- iD Mobile uses coverage from Three (read our review).
The best value deal is currently available on Lebara Mobile which offers 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 2GB of data using coverage from Vodafone’s 4G network:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 1 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
For £7/month, you can get a larger allowance of data. For instance, ASDA Mobile is offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 2.5GB of data for £7/month. They offer 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from the EE network:
Most commonly, customers decide to choose a Pay As You Go bundle around the £10 per month price point.
Our recommended deal is giffgaff’s £10 golden goodybag. This gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of data with high-speed 4G or 5G coverage on the O2 network. From your third month onwards as a giffgaff customer, this will be boosted by an extra 1GB per month up to a total of 10GB per month. See our review of the golden goodybag for more information.
As an alternative, you can also consider VOXI’s £10 plan. This gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB of data and endless social media data. You’ll get 4G coverage from the Vodafone network.
The following table compares Pay As You Go bundles costing £10/month:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 7 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
For £15 per month, there are currently a number of Pay As You Go bundles offering up to 50GB of data per month.
Our recommended plan is currently giffgaff’s £15 goodybag. This gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB of data (upgraded to 16GB of data once you’ve been a customer for 3 months). On giffgaff, you’ll get 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from the O2 network.
Alternatively, Tesco Mobile’s £15 Rocket Pack gives you a slightly larger allowance of 20GB of data. This also includes 5,000 minutes and 5,000 texts each month.
The following table shows a list of Pay As You Go bundles available from £15/month:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 4 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
For £20 per month, giffgaff has a £20 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 80GB data.
As an alternative, VOXI offers a 45GB bundle with 5G, endless video and endless social media. The inclusion of endless video gives you unlimited data for streaming from YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, My5, TVPlayer and UKTV Play.
|To show you the most relevant plans, 2 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
£25/month and more
You can currently choose from a variety of price plans at £25 per month, including giffgaff’s £25 goodybag with Always-On data. This gives you unlimited downloads with the first 80GB per month at full 4G speeds. After the first 80GB per month, your download speeds will reduce to a maximum of 384kbps between 8am and midnight each day (equivalent to a basic 3G connection). You’ll also get unlimited calls and unlimited texts included.
The following Pay As You Go bundles are available for £25/month or more:
|To show you the most relevant plans, 10 similar but more expensive plans have been hidden. Tap here to show them.|
The price of bundles and their inclusive allowances can sometimes change without prior warning. If you’ve noticed a mistake in the tables above, please contact us by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can send me an e-mail and I’ll endeavour to update the information here as quickly as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How do Pay As You Go bundles compare to traditional Pay As You Go?||
In the UK, Pay As You Go bundles aim to combine the best of traditional Pay As You Go with the best of Pay Monthly plans.
Like traditional Pay As You Go plans, there’s no need to sign a contract or to undergo a credit check. You retain complete flexibility to change your plan at any time, including changing your bundle every month or changing back to a traditional Pay As You Go plan.
Like Pay Monthly plans, a Pay As You Go bundle allows you to benefit from lower monthly costs. You’ll also get greater certainty over how much you’re spending each month. For instance, you can get 9GB of data for £10/month on a Pay As You Go bundle, compared to just 1GB of data on traditional Pay As You Go.
|What are the best Pay As You Go bundles costing £5/month?||
Lebara Mobile’s £5 plan is currently the best value £5 Pay As You Go bundle. It includes 1000 UK minutes, 1000 UK texts and 2GB of UK data on Vodafone’s 4G network. You’ll also get 100 international minutes for calling phone numbers in 41 destinations.
|What are the best Pay As You Go bundles costing £10/month?||
giffgaff’s £10 golden goodybag is the best value £10 Pay As You Go bundle. It comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of data (increased to 10GB from your third month onwards). You’ll get access to 99% population coverage on O2’s 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks in the UK.
|What coverage will I get on a Pay As You Go bundle?||
All Pay As You Go mobile networks in the UK piggyback on signal from one of the four coverage providers:
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s easy keeping your current phone number when changing to a different Pay As You Go network. Get a PAC Code from your old mobile network by texting PAC to 65075. You can then provide this PAC Code to your new mobile network after you sign up. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit.
For more information on the best Pay As You Go deals, see our guide to free Pay As You Go SIM card offers.