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 3GB 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 3GB of data.

ASDA also has a range of other bundles for light or heavy users. For instance, you can get 1GB of data for £7/month or 4GB 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 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 125 minutes, 2000 texts and 250MB (0.25GB) of data:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile1252,000250MB£5.00
Tesco Mobile100100250MB£5.00
EE100250150MB£5.00
Vodafone150250100MB£5.00
iD Mobile125500100MB£5.00
ASDA Mobile2502,000-£5.00
giffgaff300500500MB£6.00

For about £7/month, you can get substantially more data. For instance, ASDA Mobile is offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB 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:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited1GB£7.00
Tesco Mobile250500500MB£7.50
Lycamobile150150500MB£7.50
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£8.00

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.

Several mobile networks offer 3GB of data for £10/month. Our recommendation is to get the £10 goodybag from giffgaff, which comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data. Once you’ve been a customer of giffgaff for three months, this is boosted up to 4GB per month at no extra charge. 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 39 selected countries.

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

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,0003GB£10.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited3GB£10.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0003GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£10.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£10.00
O25005,0002GB£10.00
Virgin Mobile5005002GB£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
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£12.00
ASDA Mobile800Unlimited4GB£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited6GB£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
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited1,00010GB£20.00
Virgin Mobile2,0002,00010GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited10GB£20.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£20.00
O22,0005,0008GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile2,0005,0008GB£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
LycamobileUnlimitedUnlimited22GB£25.00
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£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, voxi.co.uk. Last updated on 20th May 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 154 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 154 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hello,
    Does anyone know or where I can check which companies (bundles) have also Roaming and can be used abroad

    • Hi Angel,
      Many thanks for your comment. It’s actually more common than not for international roaming to be supported! In fact, I think most (if not all) of the SIM cards here support international roaming. You can double check in advance of ordering your SIM card on the mobile network’s official website.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Susan Langan said:

    Hi i am going to get my husband the asda mobile sim for £5.00. And i am going for the asda sim at £20.00. For more data. We are both on pay as you go. Thanks

  • Isobel Collins said:

    Hi, heading over to the UK in May. What is the best deal for data, also with good coverage for Scotland. Heading to the islands and travelling the north coast 500. Will be in the UK for 6 weeks.

    • I live in the Highlands and find O2 is good for most of the Highlands and it worked ok across on Harris, Lewis and on Mull.
      Works for the NC500, at least the parts I regularly visit which is most of it.
      Always will be blind spots where mountains get in the way and up some glens with minor roads, but that is the Highlands and long may it continue.
      Vodaphone is good too I believe and used to be the one of choice for mountain rescue teams in remote areas though I believe they may have switched.
      As to the best deal – no idea; I use pay as you go.

      • Isobel Collins replied:

        Thanks Ken. I spoke to a friend who has just come over from Scotland and she said that Giffgaff coverage won’t work for where I’m going, and I need to look at Vodafone or O2. Thanks again for your fast response.

      • Isobel Collins replied:

        Hi Dave,

        Just spoke to a friend who has not long come out and that’s what she said.
        Thanks for your response:)

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