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 almost 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 regular mobile users and smartphone 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 instead wanting traditional Pay As You Go, please see our comparison of traditional Pay As You Go plans.
A Brief Overview Of Pay As You Go Bundles
In 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 lengthy 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 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 every month. For instance, a £10 top-up can buy you a one-month bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB 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 and can sometimes be a better value option. On traditional Pay As You Go, your credit normally won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active.
|VOXI by Vodafone
VOXI is currently our recommended network if you’re looking for a good value Pay As You Go bundle.
Customers signing up to VOXI can get a £10 bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. You’ll also get endless social data included for use on Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Messenger.
If you’re a heavy data user, you can get 15GB of data for £15/month or 45GB of data for £20/month. VOXI is a subsidiary of Vodafone, offering 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
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 6GB of data. Once you’ve been a giffgaff member for 3 months, this is automatically boosted to 7GB per month.
For heavy smartphone users, giffgaff has a competitive range of bundles with more data (e.g. 10GB of data for £12/month, 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).
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, 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.
There are currently six mobile networks offering a Pay As You Go bundle from £5 per month. Those networks are EE and Vodafone, along with four virtual network operators that piggyback on one of the coverage providers:
- ASDA Mobile uses coverage from EE (read our review).
- giffgaff uses coverage from O2 (read our review).
- iD Mobile uses coverage from Three (read our review).
- Tesco Mobile uses coverage from O2 (read our review).
The cheapest Pay As You Go bundles start from £5 per month. For instance, you can get 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB (0.5GB) of data:
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:
Most commonly, customers decide to choose a Pay As You Go bundle around the £10/month price point.
At the moment, our recommended deal is the £10 bundle from VOXI which gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 6GB of data and endless social data. You’ll get coverage from the Vodafone network.
Alternatively, giffgaff offers a £10 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. This is boosted to 7GB of data once you’ve been a giffgaff member for 3 months. The coverage on giffgaff 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 41 countries.
The following table compares Pay As You Go bundles costing £10/month:
For £15 per month, we’d currently recommend giffgaff’s £15 goodybag. This comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB of data (upgraded to 16GB 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:
If you regularly travel abroad to other countries, Three offers a £20 bundle with 12GB of data. With this bundle, you’ll get access to Go Roam Around The World. This allows you to use your inclusive data allowance abroad in 71 destinations including most of Europe, the USA and Australia.
£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 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. 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:
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.
For more information on the best Pay As You Go deals, see our guide to free Pay As You Go SIM card offers.