With a Pay As You Go bundle, you convert your credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet. 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 80 Pay As You Go bundles across 12 different mobile networks, the strongest prepaid 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 30-day 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 just buy a 30-day bundle to cover 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 also keep full control over how much you spend, with no need to sign any contracts 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 regular mobile users and smartphone users. Best for light users who don’t have a smartphone.
Get a 30-day bundle with calls, texts & mobile 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 30 days, 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 instead wanting traditional Pay As You Go, please see our comparison of traditional Pay As You Go tariffs.

A Brief Overview Of Pay As You Go Bundles

Top Up LogoIn the UK, Pay As You Go bundles have been available since 2010. Having originally launched in response to growing smartphone adoption, bundles combine some of the benefits of Pay Monthly (e.g. low costs and certainty over how much you’ll spend) with the benefits of traditional Pay As You Go (e.g. lots of flexibility, no credit checks and no contracts).

With a bundle, the key difference is you’ll be using your Pay As You Go credit to buy airtime in bulk. Instead of paying for usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you’ll instead buy a 30-day bundle to cover all of your usage.

The advantage is you’ll get much lower rates and certainty over how much you’ll spend each month. For instance, a £10 top-up could buy you a 30-day bundle with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of internet. On traditional Pay As You Go, this would only get you up to 500 minutes and 0.5GB of internet.

Traditional Pay As You Go tariffs are still available on the market and can be a better option for light users who don’t have a smartphone. On traditional Pay As You Go, your credit won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active (this normally means using your phone at least once every 6 months).

Recommended Bundles

At present, our recommended bundle costs £10/month on Pay As You Go from ASDA Mobile:

ASDA Mobile

ASDA Mobile is our recommended network for anyone wanting an all-round good value Pay As You Go bundle.

For £10/month, you’ll get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet. ASDA also offers a range of bundles for light users (e.g. 300 minutes and 1GB of data for £7/month).

ASDA Mobile has 99% population coverage from EE including super-fast 4G, 3G and 2G coverage. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number and to transfer it to ASDA Mobile.

Order ASDA Mobile SIM card (Free) →

If you’re looking for a Pay As You Go bundle with coverage from O2, we recommend giffgaff’s goodybag bundles:


Giffgaff Goodybag Icons - Newgiffgaff is another highly popular network for their Pay As You Go bundles. They offer 3G and 4G coverage from the O2 network.

The most popular bundle on giffgaff is the £10/month goodybag which gives you 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of 4G internet (this has fewer minutes but a larger allowance of data compared to the bundle from ASDA Mobile).

For heavy smartphone users, giffgaff has a competitive range of bundles with more data (e.g. 4GB of data for £12/month and 6GB of data for £15/month). There’s also a £20 goodybag with Always-On data (unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 9GB per month).

Order giffgaff SIM card (Free) →

For more information, please read our in-depth reviews of ASDA Mobile and giffgaff.

Bundles By Price Range

Through the rest of this article, we’ll be comparing Pay As You Go bundles at multiple price points.

In the tables below, you can hover your mouse over a mobile network’s logo to find out which coverage provider they’re using (i.e. whether they’ll give you coverage from EE, O2, Three or Vodafone). You can also hover your mouse over the data allowance for information about download speeds and tethering.

Less than £10/month

5 Pound Note
In the UK, the cheapest Pay As You Go bundles start from £5/month.

There are currently eight mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle for less than £10 per month. The networks are EE and Vodafone, along with six virtual network operators that piggyback on one of the main coverage providers:

The cheapest Pay As You Go bundles start from £5 per month. For this, you can get 125 minutes, 2000 texts and 200MB (0.2GB) of internet:

Tesco Mobile100100250MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile1252,000200MB£5.00
iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2502,000-£5.00

For £7/month, you can get substantially more data (about five times as much for just £2/month more). For instance, ASDA Mobile offers 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of internet for £7/month:

ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
Tesco Mobile250500500MB£7.50

From £10/month

10 Pound Note
A range of deals are available for £10/month.

At the £10/month price point, there are currently 12 mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle.

giffgaff currently offers the best value all-round bundle for £10/month. On their £10/month goodybag, you’ll get 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of 4G internet (giffgaff uses coverage from the O2 network).

If you occasionally want to call abroad to other countries, it may also be worth having a look at Lebara’s £10 UK Plan bundle. This comes with an inclusive allowance of 100 international minutes along with 1,000 UK minutes and 2GB of 3G data.

The following table compares Pay As You Go bundles costing £10/month:

Tesco Mobile5005,0003GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile1,0001002GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited2GB£10.00
Co-operative Mobile5001,0001GB£10.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile5001001GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile800Unlimited3GB£12.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0004GB£12.50

From £15/month

15 Pound Notes
We recommend giffgaff’s £15 goodybag with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data.

For £15 per month, we’d currently recommend giffgaff’s £15 goodybag. You’ll get 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of 4G internet (with 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from O2). Alternatively, if you’d prefer having additional minutes instead of more data, Three has a £15 All-in-One bundle with 3000 minutes, 3000 texts and 5GB of internet.

4G-ready bundles are also available at this price point from ASDA Mobile, EE, Lycamobile, iD Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. Lebara Mobile and the Phone Co-Op offer 3G-only bundles for £15/month.

The following table shows a list of Pay As You Go bundles from £15/month:

Tesco Mobile1,0005,0006GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1004GB£15.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited4GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile5001003GB£15.00
Co-operative Mobile7501,0002GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile1,0001001GB£15.00

If you’re a heavy data user, giffgaff’s £18 goodybag can be a good choice with 2000 minutes, unlimited texts and 9GB of 4G data.


From £20/month

20 Pound Note
giffgaff has always-on data for £20/month.

For £20 per month, giffgaff offers the £20 goodybag with Always-On data. This gives you unlimited downloads with the first 9GB per month at full 4G speeds. You’ll also get unlimited calling and unlimited texting included within the £20 goodybag.

As an alternative, Three has a £20 bundle with 12GB of 4G internet. A benefit of choosing the bundle from Three is you’ll get access to Feel At Home Around The World (this allows you to use up to 9GB of your data allowance abroad in 71 destinations including most of Europe, the USA and Australia).

Lebara MobileUnlimited10010GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile2,0005,0008GB£20.00
Lebara Mobile5001005GB£20.00
Co-operative Mobile1,0001,0004GB£20.00
Lebara Mobile1,0001003GB£20.00

£25/month and more

The following Pay As You Go bundles are available for £25/month or more:

Lebara Mobile1,00010010GB£30.00

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. You can also send me an e-mail and I’ll endeavour to update the information here as quickly as possible.

Sources for tariff information: shop.ee.co.uk, lycamobile.co.uk, tescomobile.com, tescomobile.com, three.co.uk, freesim.vodafone.co.uk, mobile.asda.com, mobile.lebara.com, mobile.lebara.com, mobile.lebara.com, mobile.lebara.com, shop.ee.co.uk, shop.tescomobile.com, giffgaff.com, idmobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, thephone.coop. Last updated on 26th February 2018.

More Information

For more information on the best Pay As You Go deals, see our guide to free Pay As You Go SIM card offers.

You may also find it useful to read our guide on mobile coverage and on transferring your phone number from one mobile network to another.

Your Comments 119 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 119 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Ian,
      As far as I know, Virgin Mobile doesn’t offer any 30-day bundles on a Pay As You Go basis. They do, however, have free top-up rewards (e.g. 3000 texts & 1GB internet when you top-up by £10). Do let me know if I’m mistaken or I’ve missed something out!

    • Vernon Walker replied:

      I don’t think any of them are much good. Pay As You go is a prepaid amount which runs until it has expired. That is when there is no money left on the card, unless you top up. If you have to pay a set sum every month, that is not pay as you go, it is a contractural arrangement and is a con

      • Hi Vernon,
        Thanks for the feedback regarding terminology! I’d typically make the distinction between “traditional Pay As You Go” and what I’d call a “Pay As You Go bundle” (where you exchange your top-up for a 30-day allowance of minutes, texts and data.
        In my view, Pay As You Go bundles offer far less commitment than a contract & give you much more flexibility. For instance, you can stop purchasing bundles at any time. You can also delay your purchase e.g. if you’re going on holiday, or you could selectively choose to buy a bundle only when it makes sense for you.
        With Pay Monthly contracts, there is a genuine contractual agreement (including a commitment to renew on time every month, no flexibility to change your tariff, a minimum notice period, a credit check and Direct Debit payment).
        The best way to think about a Pay As You Go bundle is “buying airtime in bulk”. For most typical smartphone users, a bundle will offer lower prices than traditional Pay As You Go.

    • Hi Benson,
      Unfortunately, the Pay As You Go bundles listed on this page are for use inside the UK! If you’re looking for a UK-based SIM card that allows you to call Nigeria, you can see my guide to international calling. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Nigerian SIM card, you’ll be best off consulting a local website from Nigeria.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,

    I’ll also be coming from the US to study in the UK soon. I”m looking for a PAYG bundle, and I’m curious how many of these plans work in terms of calling to the US. Additionally, I need to have service while traveling to other parts of Europe- namely Ireland. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jessi,
      Happy New Year! If you’re new to the UK, I recommend having a read of the article here (it gives you a top-line intro). For someone who is new to the UK, I’d typically recommend getting a SIM card from giffgaff.
      All UK-based SIM cards should now allow you to roam across Europe at no extra charge. Costs for calling the US vary on a network-by-network basis – giffgaff is pretty good for this, but otherwise you can see a side-by-side comparison here.
      Hope this helps,

      • While inclusive deals do not usually include calls to international numbers from the UK, they do include calls to 03 numbers. This allows access to a variety of “dial-through” providers who offer international calls at no additional charge when you call their 03 number.

        Roaming in Europe at no extra charge apploes to UK citizens. Most UK phone providers take active measures to stop people from other countries buying a UK sim to use abroad. This includes asking for proof of UK residency before allowing “free” EU roaming.

        • Hi JC,
          Many thanks for your comment! I’m surprised there are companies offering free international calling via a 03 access number. They’re obviously making very little money from the incoming call, so not sure how they fund the cost of the outgoing call (whereas with special-rate numbers, the income they get should easily cover the cost of the outgoing call).
          One other thing to add: UK mobile networks are only able to distinguish based on UK residency, as opposed to UK citizenship. In practice, however, you can easily pick up a UK SIM card as a non-resident visitor, and I don’t believe many mobile networks will routinely ask for proof of UK residence.

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