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 strongest 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 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 which 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 also retain 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 price plans.

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 (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 contracts).

With a bundle, the key difference is you’ll be using your Pay As You Go credit to buy mobile airtime in bulk. Rather than 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 of buying a bundle is you’ll get much lower rates and certainty over how much you’ll spend every month. For instance, a £10 top-up can buy you a 30-day bundle with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data. On traditional Pay As You Go, this would only get you up to 1GB of data.

For light users who don’t have a smartphone, traditional Pay As You Go tariffs are still available and can be a better value option. On traditional Pay As You Go, your credit normally won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active.

Recommended Bundles

At present, we’d recommend ordering the £10/month bundle from ASDA Mobile:

ASDA Mobile

ASDA Mobile is our recommended network if you’re looking for a good value Pay As You Go bundle.

Most customers on ASDA Mobile choose the £10 bundle with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data.

ASDA also has a range of other bundles for light or heavy users. For instance, you can get 2GB of data for £7/month or 8GB of data for £15/month. ASDA Mobile offers 99% population coverage on EE’s 2G, 3G and 4G network.

Order ASDA Mobile SIM card (Free) →

giffgaff is another highly popular option with bundles and coverage from O2:


giffgaff is another highly popular Pay As You Go mobile network. They offer 3G and 4G coverage from the O2 network.

The most popular bundle on giffgaff is the £10/month goodybag which gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data (this is increased to 4GB per month once you’ve been a customer of giffgaff for 3 months).

For heavy smartphone users, giffgaff has a competitive range of bundles with more data (e.g. 4GB of data for £12/month, 8GB of data for £15/month, and 20GB of data for £20/month). On all of these bundles, you’ll get an extra 1GB added to your allowance once you’ve been a customer for 3 months. For customers with even heavier data usage, giffgaff has a £25 goodybag with Always-On data (unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 20GB 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 a range of price points from £5 up to £25 per month and more.

In the tables below, you can tap on a mobile network’s logo to see information about which coverage provider they’re using (i.e. whether they’re piggybacking on coverage from EE, O2, Three or Vodafone). You can also tap on the data allowance for information about download speeds and tethering.

From £5/month

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

There are currently seven mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle from £5 per month. Those networks are EE and Vodafone, along with five virtual network operators that piggyback on one of the coverage providers:

The cheapest Pay As You Go bundles start from £5 per month. For instance, you can get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 0.5GB (500MB) of data:

ASDA Mobile200Unlimited500MB£5.00
Tesco Mobile100100250MB£5.00
iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2502,000-£5.00

For about £7/month, you can get substantially more data. For instance, ASDA Mobile is offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data for £7/month (this is four times as much data as you’d get for £5/month). Alternatively, giffgaff offers 2GB of data for £8/month:

ASDA Mobile300Unlimited2GB£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 12 mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle.

Our recommended deal is the £10 bundle from ASDA Mobile which gives you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data. The coverage on ASDA Mobile is provided by EE.

Alternatively, giffgaff offers a £10 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data. This is boosted to 4GB of data once you’ve been a giffgaff member for 3 months (coverage comes from the O2 network).

For customers wanting to call abroad to other countries, Lebara Mobile’s £10 bundle comes with 100 international minutes to one of 39 selected countries.

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

ASDA Mobile600Unlimited4GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0003GB£10.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0003GB£10.00
Virgin Mobile5005002GB£10.00
Co-operative Mobile5001,0001GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile5001,0001GB£10.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile800Unlimited5GB£12.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0004GB£12.50

From £15/month

15 Pound Notes

For £15 per month, we’d currently recommend giffgaff’s £15 goodybag. This comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 8GB of internet (upgraded to 9GB per month once you’ve been a customer for 3 months). On giffgaff, you’ll get 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from O2.

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

ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
Tesco Mobile1,0005,0006GB£15.00
Virgin Mobile1,0001,0006GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0005GB£15.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited4GB£15.00
Co-operative Mobile7501,0002GB£15.00

From £20/month

20 Pound Note

For £20 per month, giffgaff offers the £20 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 20GB of data.

As an alternative, Three offers a £20 bundle with 12GB of data. A benefit of choosing the bundle from Three is you’ll get access to the Go Roam Around The World offer. This allows you to use your inclusive data allowance abroad in 71 destinations including most of Europe, the USA and Australia.

ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,00010GB£20.00
Virgin Mobile2,0002,00010GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile2,0005,0008GB£20.00
Co-operative Mobile1,0001,0004GB£20.00

£25/month and more

For £25 per month, giffgaff offers the £25 goodybag with Always-On data. This gives you unlimited downloads with the first 20GB per month at full 4G speeds. After the first 20GB per month, your download speeds will reduce to a maximum of 384kbps between 8am and midnight. You’ll also get unlimited calls and unlimited texts included within the £25 goodybag.

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

ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£25.00

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: tescomobile.com, tescomobile.com, freesim.vodafone.co.uk, mobile.asda.com, mobile.cmlink.com, mobile.lebara.com, shop.ee.co.uk, shop.ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, idmobile.co.uk, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, tescomobile.com, thephone.coop, three.co.uk, virginmedia.com, voxi.co.uk. Last updated on 5th September 2019.

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 transferring your phone number from one mobile network to another.

Your Comments 166 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 166 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Mandadapu,
      Thanks for your feedback! The reason I haven’t included Smarty in this guide is because I don’t fully consider it to be a Pay As You Go network. Once you’re signed up to Smarty, you’ll need to continue paying at least £5/month to use the service (whereas other networks give you a lot more flexibility e.g. to pause a bundle and to move to traditional Pay As You Go rates). My full guide to Pay Monthly SIM cards can be found here 🙂

  • Hi Ken,

    Do PAYG providers allow you to use mix of traditional PAYG and bundles? I use my phone/3G sporadically depending on my work, some months barely use it but other months I do make full use of my current contract’s allowance.

    Could I use my phone with traditional PAYG tariffs i.e. 1p/text as default, and then switch to a 30 day bundle for times when I’m using my phone more frequently? Or are the two not interchangeable? A bit confused!

    One more question. I’ve seen data only bundles that could suit my needs but I would still like access to phone/text as an emergency. Is there a way to pay normal tariffs for phone use while at the same time using a data bundle? I.e. 1p tariff for calls/texts but also £5/month for 1gb?

    I have a feeling your answers will be an unfortunate ‘no’ due to profitability for the service providers, but hey, I can dream!

    • Hi Maddie,
      I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
      The answer to both of your questions is actually yes! The great thing about Pay As You Go is you can decide to mix and match as required (with a couple of limits, in some cases). For instance, there’s nothing to say you always need to buy a one-month bundle… e.g. you could leave a gap between two bundles, and use traditional Pay As You Go rates in that time. Three’s 321 tariff is a good option if you want to do this (buy a 30-day bundle, or pay 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB), or ASDA Mobile (slightly better value bundles but you’ll pay 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB when you don’t have a bundle). It’s slightly complicated on a few providers like O2 Pay As You Go as they’ll charge you higher PAYG rates when you’re on the Big Bundles plan.
      With regards to data-only bundles, you can again combine this with calling and texting at the normal Pay As You Go rates. For instance, 1pMobile offers this through their Data Boost Bundles. In reality, however, competition tends to be greater for all-round bundles so you might find it better value just to choose a bundle that includes minutes, texts and mobile data.
      Hope this helps,

    • Thanks Ken. I’ll have to delve into this some more.

      Last year I used a Lebara international PAYG add-on’. I was in Portugal and made calls to Portugal, Canada, USA and UK. This worked really well. Apparently, this no longer exist. According to their rep that I talked with, there is no equivalent. They suggested using Skype, Whatsapp, etc. (although they did not name the companies).

      I found this out after I called Canada and a 7 minute call from Italy, cost £13.93!

      As I am in Europe (mostly Britain but certainly other countries too) about 2 months a year, I have just used PAYG sims in the past. I make a lot of calls to the UK and want to keep my UK mobile number. This way I will not have to change my contact information (also, if I need assistance, it will be in English).

      Do you think that I should use a 30 day contract?

      Thanks again. You really have a great website.

      • Thanks Don. Yes, I agree that the topic of international calling whilst you’re roaming in other countries can be a bit of a minefield. If you’re travelling within Europe and calling another European country, this call should be included in your bundle (or you’ll just pay the same rates as you would in the UK). The “roam like at home” legislation doesn’t apply when you’re calling outside the EU, which is why you were charged so much more when calling from Italy to Canada.
        Have you considered possibly sidestepping these charges by using something like Skype or Google Voice on your mobile internet connection? You can typically make very cheap phone calls to Canada using these applications (2.2p/minute using Skype or free using Google Voice) – doing this would allow you to bypass the tariff complications. Alternatively, you could also make phone calls through an app like WhatsApp, which will always be free providing the other person has the app installed as well.

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