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 minutes, texts and up to 6GB 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.

Until the 23rd May 2019, customers signing up for ASDA Mobile’s £10 bundle can get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. To qualify for the double data allowance, you’ll need to set-up a recurring top-up and bundle.

ASDA also has a range of other bundles for light or heavy users. For instance, until the 23rd May, you can get 2GB of data for £7/month or 8GB of data for £12/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

Giffgaff Goodybagsgiffgaff 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 this, you can get 150 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB (0.5GB) of internet:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaff150500500MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile1252,000500MB£5.00
Tesco Mobile100100250MB£5.00
EE100250150MB£5.00
Vodafone150250100MB£5.00
iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2502,000-£5.00

For about £7/month, you can get substantially more data. For instance, until the 23rd May, 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):

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited2GB£7.00
giffgaff250Unlimited2GB£7.50
Tesco Mobile250500500MB£7.50
Lycamobile150150500MB£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.

Until the 23rd May 2019, customers signing up for ASDA Mobile can get double data on their 30-day bundles. For £10/month, this means you can get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. The coverage on ASDA Mobile is provided by EE.

As an alternative, giffgaff offers the £10/month goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of internet. giffgaff offers coverage 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 41 selected countries.

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

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited6GB£10.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0003GB£10.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0003GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile2501,0003GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£10.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£10.00
O25005,0002GB£10.00
Virgin Mobile5005002GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited2GB£10.00
EE100Unlimited2GB£10.00
Co-operative Mobile5001,0001GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile5001,0001GB£10.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited1GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£10.00
EE5,000Unlimited50MB£10.00
ASDA Mobile800Unlimited8GB£12.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£12.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0004GB£12.50

From £15/month

15 Pound Notes

For £15 per month, we’d currently recommend ASDA Mobile’s £15 bundle. This comes with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 12GB of data, when you opt-in to the double data offer until the 23rd May.

Alternatively, giffgaff’s £15 goodybag offers 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:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited12GB£15.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0006GB£15.00
Tesco Mobile1,0005,0006GB£15.00
Virgin Mobile1,0001,0006GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0005GB£15.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£15.00
EE2,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
O21,0005,0005GB£15.00
EE500Unlimited5GB£15.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited4GB£15.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£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.

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited18GB£20.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,00010GB£20.00
Virgin Mobile2,0002,00010GB£20.00
O22,0005,0008GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile2,0005,0008GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited8GB£20.00
EE1,500Unlimited4GB£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£25.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited22GB£25.00
O23,0005,00010GB£25.00
EE3,000Unlimited10GB£25.00
EE2,000Unlimited8GB£25.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited36GB£27.50
O25,0005,00020GB£30.00
Vodafone3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00
EE3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00
EE3,000Unlimited16GB£30.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£35.00

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. Last updated on 11th March 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 145 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 145 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken

    I notice that you make no mention of 1p Mobile, an MVNO providing service over the EE network. They offer a base cost of £10 every 4 months which for light users amounts to £2.50/month with all uses lumped together and no expiry of data allowance.

    I have been using them for about a year now and they provide a really good service.

    • Hi Ron,
      Many thanks for your comment. You’re right: I think 1pMobile offer a fantastic service for customers who want all of the extra flexibility! I haven’t included them on this page as they don’t require you to buy a 30 day bundle – instead, they’re more of a traditional Pay As You Go provider where you pay per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte. I’ve also reviewed 1pMobile in more detail here in case you have any additional feedback to add on the service!
      Thanks again,
      Ken

  • Ken, thanks for this great analysis. Is there any issue with a SIM card working with a US phone? Will be in UK for about 10 days in March and the giffgaff £7.50 or £10 pack sounds perfect, but not sure the SIM will fit my existing Motorola G5s Plus device. Do you know?

    • Hi Adam,
      This should work in an unlocked US mobile phone, providing you have a GSM handset (typically used by AT&T or T-Mobile USA). A CDMA-based handset (e.g. from Sprint or Verizon) will not work in the UK.
      With regards to the size of the SIM card, I believe the Moto G5S Plus uses a nano-sized SIM card. giffgaff will provide you with a 3-in-1 triple SIM so you can simply snap out the nano SIM from the centre of it.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I’m in Oz coming over for a months holiday end of January 2019. Where can I quickly get a cheap loaded sim card from for about 5 pounds that will enable me to make local uk calls pretty much straight away?
    We have them in supermarkets everywhere here like Aldi. Is that the same there?
    TIA

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