giffgaff is a low-cost mobile network offering coverage from O2. Goodybags start from £6/month and are flexible with no credit check required.
In the UK, giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2, offering flexible goodybag bundles from £6/month. They also offer a traditional Pay As You Go plan with no need to top-up your SIM card every month.
Customers can use giffgaff without a contract or credit check. Their SIM card gives you 99% population coverage from O2. You’ll also get access to 5G coverage in 155 UK towns and cities as long as you have a 5G-ready phone and a golden goodybag plan.
In this article, we’ll review the giffgaff mobile network. We’ll start by looking at their goodybag bundles, including their regular 4G goodybags and the golden goodybags with 5G. We’ll then look at their regular Pay As You Go plan that doesn’t require a top-up every month. After that, we’ll take a look at other features of giffgaff before comparing them to other networks and looking at the handsets and coverage they offer.
|Prices From:||£6 per month|
|Best Deal:||9GB data for £10 (£10 golden goodybag)|
All of giffgaff’s goodybag bundles include unlimited minutes & texts.
|5G Golden Goodybags:|
|Extra Data:||1GB extra data from third month onwards
(available on £10+ goodybags and golden goodybags)
|Pay As You Go Rates:||25p/minute
- 1 Bundles & Plans
- 2 Giffgaff Features
- 3 Comparison To Alternatives
- 4 Handsets
- 5 Credit Expiry
- 6 Network & Coverage
- 7 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 More Information
Bundles & Plans
On giffgaff, there are two ways of paying for your usage:
- You can buy a one-month goodybag bundle to cover your usage. This is normally the best value option for regular mobile users and for most users with a smartphone. Your Pay As You Go credit is converted into a one-month allowance of minutes, texts and mobile data. Giffgaff has a range of goodybag bundles from £6/month.
- You can Pay As You Go at 25p/minute, 10p/text and 10p/MB. This is a better value option for light users who’d normally spend less than £6/month. When you’re using giffgaff on a traditional Pay As You Go basis, there’s no need to top-up every month. Your credit also won’t expire providing you use your SIM card for a chargeable activity at least once every 6 months.
You can combine the two methods of paying for your usage. For instance, you can decide to buy a goodybag only in the months where you’re using your phone more. You can also use Pay As You Go in conjunction with your goodybag (for instance, topping up with additional credit when your goodybag allowances run out).
For most people, the best value way of using giffgaff is buying regular one-month goodybag bundles. With goodybags, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile data.
For the largest data allowances and access to 5G, you can choose a golden goodybag from £10/month:
For instance, the £10 golden goodybag comes with 9GB of data. This is 50% more data than on the regular £10 goodybag. To get a golden goodybag, you’ll need to enable the “recurring goodybag” setting inside your giffgaff account. It isn’t possible to buy a golden goodybag from a top-up voucher or from Pay As You Go credit.
If you’re happy with a smaller data allowance and access to 4G coverage, you can choose a regular goodybag from £6/month:
With regular goodybags, there’s no obligation to have the “recurring goodybag” setting switched on in your account. If you like, you can buy a regular goodybag from a top-up voucher or from your Pay As You Go credit.
On goodybags and golden goodybags costing £10 per month or more, you’ll receive 1GB of extra data each month from your third goodybag purchase onwards. This will boost your inclusive data allowance (e.g. you’ll get 10GB of data instead of 9GB of data on the £10 golden goodybag).
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of giffgaff’s golden goodybags and regular goodybags:
|Golden Goodybags||Regular Goodybags|
|Prices From:||£10 per month||£6 per month|
|Contract Length:||No contract – cancel anytime||No contract – cancel anytime|
|£6 per month:||–||500MB data|
|£8 per month:||–||3GB data|
|£10 per month:||9GB data||6GB data|
|£12 per month:||–||10GB data|
|£15 per month:||25GB data||15GB data|
|£20 per month:||100GB data||80GB data|
|£25 per month:||–||Always-On data|
|£35 per month:||Unlimited data||–|
|5G Coverage:||✔ 155 towns & cities||✘ No|
|2G, 3G & 4G Coverage:||✔ 99% coverage||✔ 99% coverage|
On the goodybags costing £10, £12, £15 and £20 per month, you’ll get 1GB of extra data from your third goodybag purchase onwards.
Pay As You Go Plan
If you don’t want to buy a monthly goodybag bundle, you can use giffgaff on a pure Pay As You Go basis instead. If you choose this option, there are no regular monthly charges or requirements to top-up your SIM card every month. Instead, you’ll only pay when you use your mobile phone at the rates of 25p/minute, 10p/text and 10p/MB.
giffgaff’s standard Pay As You Go rates are as follows:
|Voice Calls||25p/minute to other networks (free to giffgaff)†|
|Calls to Voicemail||8p/call|
|Text Message (SMS)||10p to other networks (free to giffgaff)†|
|Picture Message (MMS)||30p|
If you’re a regular mobile user, you’ll normally be better off buying a goodybag bundle. This is because £6 of credit at normal Pay As You Go rates would only buy you 24 minutes or 60MB of mobile data. Meanwhile, the cheapest £6 per month goodybag will give you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.
If you’re a light user, giffgaff’s Pay As You Go plan can be cheaper if you’d normally spend less than £6 per month.
You can also make low-cost international phone calls from 2p/minute on giffgaff. International text messages will cost 8p each.
Flexible Goodybags & No Credit Check
A key advantage of giffgaff’s goodybag bundles is the fact they’re fully flexible and can be changed every month. You can also choose to renew your bundle early if required, or you can switch to regular Pay As You Go rates instead.
To make sure you’re on the best value bundle, giffgaff will send you an e-mail at the end of each month. This will summarise your usage in terms of the minutes, texts and megabytes of data you’ve used. You can use this information to tweak your plan (e.g. downgrading to a cheaper goodybag if you don’t need as much data).
Another benefit of giffgaff is it works on a pre-paid basis. There’s no credit facility available on the SIM card so it isn’t possible to run up a large unexpected bill. In addition, there’s no need to undergo a credit check so it’s also suitable for under-18s and for people who are new to the UK.
1GB of Extra Data
From the third month onwards, you’ll receive 1GB of additional data on goodybags costing £10, £12, £15 or £20 per month.
On a golden goodybag, this will increase your data allowance as follows:
Meanwhile, if you’re using a regular 4G goodybag, the 1GB of extra data will increase your data allowance as follows:
The 1GB of extra data is not available on the £6 or £8 goodybags. It also doesn’t apply to goodybags with unlimited data (e.g. the £25 Always-On goodybag or the £35 golden goodybag).
Unlimited Data Plans
giffgaff currently offers a choice of two unlimited data plans: the £25 Always-On Data goodybag and the £35 unlimited golden goodybag.
On the £25 goodybag with Always-On data, you’ll get unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB of data per month. After you’ve used 80GB of data, your download speeds will be reduced to a maximum of 384kbps between 8am and midnight. This is equivalent to a basic 3G connection.
On the £35 unlimited data golden goodybag, you’ll get unlimited data at 5G speeds. This is subject to giffgaff’s fair usage policy for unlimited data. This says you shouldn’t use more than 650GB of data each month. You also shouldn’t tether your phone to more than 12 devices.
On both plans, you’ll get inclusive EU roaming, up to a maximum of 20GB of data abroad each month. Further usage beyond the 20GB threshold will be charged at 0.36p/MB (equivalent to £3.60 per gigabyte).
For more information, see our full guide to unlimited data plans in the UK.
Online Community Support
As a low-cost mobile network, giffgaff doesn’t offer any in-store or telephone support. Instead, all customer support is handled online through one of following three options:
- Knowledge Base. giffgaff provides an online self-service portal with answers to frequently asked questions about giffgaff.
- Community Forums. For general questions that don’t require someone to look specifically at your account, giffgaff has an online community where questions can be asked around the clock. According to the giffgaff, the average response time is 90 seconds for questions posted in their online community. giffgaff members are incentivised to answer questions from each other so they can earn Payback reward points.
- Ask an Agent. For questions that relate specifically to your account, giffgaff provides an e-mail support service known as ‘Ask an Agent’. Common reasons to contact a giffgaff agent might be account-related issues, balance queries or payment-related questions. It can take up to 24 hours to receive a response from a giffgaff agent.
giffgaff operates a Payback rewards scheme. This gives you the opportunity to earn cash or free credit by introducing your friends to giffgaff or by posting in their online community.
Members will earn £5 for each friend they introduce to giffgaff (your friend must activate their SIM card and top-up by at least £10 for you to qualify for the bonus). If you introduce more than 15 people to giffgaff, you’ll move to the Super Recruiter programme where you can earn up to £22 per introduction (this is subject to volume and your friends topping up their SIM card three times).
In giffgaff’s online community, you can earn payback for answering support questions and for contributing ideas to the network. The exact formula used to calculate payback is described in a forum post here.
Accumulated Payback is sent out to members twice per year in June and December. To qualify, you’ll need to have used your phone at least once in the three months before this. You can elect to have the Payback added to your giffgaff credit or you can have it paid out through PayPal (subject to a £10 minimum). You can also donate your Payback to charity (in which case, it’ll be matched by an equivalent donation from giffgaff).
Comparison To Alternatives
£6 per month bundles
At present, giffgaff’s cheapest goodybag costs £6 per month. It gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.
Around this price point, you can also get a flexible one-month rolling plan from other networks like SMARTY Mobile (which uses coverage from Three). The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of these plans:
£8 per month bundles
giffgaff’s £8 per month goodybag gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data.
The following table compares giffgaff’s £8 goodybag to similar one-month rolling plans on other networks:
£10 per month bundles
giffgaff’s best value deal at the £10 per month price point is their £10 golden goodybag plan. This gives you 9GB of 5G-speed data along with unlimited UK minutes and unlimited UK texts. Alternatively, their regular £10 goodybag gives you 6GB of data per month.
The following table compares giffgaff’s £10 golden goodybag to the flexible £10 per month plans on other mobile networks like SMARTY, VOXI and Lebara Mobile. For instance, SMARTY offers a much larger data allowance of 30GB per month, with access to 4G coverage from Three.
£15 per month bundles
For £15 per month, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 25GB of data. This compares against other mobile networks as follows:
£20 per month bundles
For £20 per month, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data. This compares to other mobile networks as follows:
£25 per month bundles
If you’re looking for an unlimited data plan with no contract, you can also consider the following alternatives:
Alternatively, if you’re willing to sign up for a contract, a larger range of unlimited data plans are available.
There are two ways to use the giffgaff network.
Most people decide to order a free giffgaff SIM card. This will slot inside your existing unlocked smartphone, or inside a SIM-free handset that you’ve purchased elsewhere (e.g. from another mobile phone retailer).
If you want a new mobile phone, you can also buy one directly from giffgaff. There’s a wide range of unlocked phones available from giffgaff including the latest devices from Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Sony. You can buy this with a one-off payment or you can split the cost up over 24 months (this will involve taking out a loan with Klarna).
On giffgaff, your Pay As You Go credit won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active. To keep it active, you’ll just need to make a phone call, send a text message, access the internet or top up your phone at least once every six months. This is stated in clauses 13.3 and 13.4 of the giffgaff terms and conditions.
If you’re converting your Pay As You Go credit into a goodybag bundle, the allowances on your goodybag bundle will expire after one month.
For more information, see our full guide to credit expiry on UK mobile networks.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage From O2
giffgaff uses O2 as their network coverage provider, so members will get the same coverage as customers on O2.
At the time of writing, giffgaff offers 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. Before joining, we’d recommend double-checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on giffgaff’s online coverage map:
|Now Live||155 towns and cities are live on giffgaff 5G (May 2021)|
Aberdeen, Ambleside, Ashford, Aughton, Aylesbury, Banstead, Basildon, Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bedford, Belfast, Bilston, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Blaydon, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bradley Stoke, Bridge of Don, Brighton, Bristol, Brombourgh, Bury St Edmunds, Byfleet, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chadwell St Mary, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Chipstead, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester, Coventry, Darlington, Dartford, Derby, Dewsbury, Dinas Powys, Doncaster, Dudley, Dundee, Dunstable, Durham, Dyce, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Egham, Epsom, Esher, Eton, Falmer, Gateshead, Gatton Bottom, Gillingham, Glasgow, Gloucester, Gravesend, Grays, Great Yarmouth, Halifax, Harlington London, Harlow, Hastings, Hebburn, Hemel Hempstead, Hextable, High Wycombe, Hove, How Wood, Huddersfield, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Iver, Jarrow, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Longford, Loughborough, Lowestoft, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Monifieth, Morley, Musselburgh, New Denham, Newbury, Newcastle, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Orpington, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Potters Bar, Rainham, Reading, Redhill, Rochdale, Rotherham, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Rugby, Salford, Sheffield, Shepperton Green, Slough, Solihull, South Shields, Southampton, Southend-On-Sea, Staines-upon-Thames, Stevenage, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Sunbury, Sunderland, Swansea, Swindon, Thundersley, Tynemouth, Wakefield, Warrington, Washington, Watford, Wavertree, West Bromwich, Weybridge, Whickham, Whitley Bay, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Worthing, York
|2 towns and cities planned|
Guildford, Kingston-upon-Thames (2021)
giffgaff is using 5G coverage from O2.
If you buy a regular goodybag (i.e. a goodybag that isn’t part of the golden goodybag range), you’ll be limited to 4G coverage. This will be the case even if you’re using a 5G phone in a 5G coverage area.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or portable hotspot refers to the process of sharing your mobile data connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s a convenient way to get access to mobile broadband on your other devices.
On giffgaff, it’s possible to tether using the full data allowance on your bundle. The main restriction worth being aware of is on the £35 golden goodybag where you can only tether up to 12 devices to your mobile phone.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re changing from another mobile network to giffgaff, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
Start by ordering your new SIM card from the giffgaff website. Once you’ve done that, you can request a PAC Code from your old network. This can normally be obtained through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.
After activating your new giffgaff SIM card, you can log in to fill out this form on giffgaff’s website. Once you’ve done that, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day. This is providing you submit your PAC Code before 3pm.
Until your mobile phone number moves to giffgaff, you’ll continue receiving coverage on your old network. Please be aware that it isn’t possible to transfer credit from your old mobile network to giffgaff. For this reason, you should try to use it up before your phone number moves over.
For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to giffgaff, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
Frequently Asked Questions
|What are giffgaff’s goodybags prices?||
giffgaff currently offers a choice of seven goodybag bundles:
In addition, there are four golden goodybags with access to 5G:
All goodybag allowances last for one month.
|Can I use giffgaff on Pay As You Go without topping up every month?||
Yes, it’s possible to use giffgaff on a traditional Pay As You Go basis without the need to top up your phone every month. You’ll pay 25p/minute, 10p/text and 10p/MB for using mobile data if you don’t have an active goodybag on your account. In order to keep your giffgaff SIM card active, you’ll need to make a chargeable activity at least once every six months.
|What are giffgaff’s Pay As You Go rates?||
giffgaff charge 25p/minute, 10p/text and 10p/MB on Pay As You Go. You can also make international phone calls from 2p/minute and you can send international texts for 8p each. See our comparison of Pay As You Go rates in the UK.
|Do I need a credit check to join giffgaff?|
|Is it possible to get unlimited data on giffgaff?||
Yes. It’s possible to get unlimited data with 5G on giffgaff’s £35 golden goodybag.
Alternatively, you can get the £25 goodybag with Always-On data if you’re looking for a cheaper option. This will give you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month. Once you’ve used your 80GB of data, your maximum download speeds will be reduced to 384kbps between 8am and midnight.
|What coverage will I get on giffgaff?|
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Simply ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. This can be obtained through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. After activating your new giffgaff SIM card, you can provide the PAC Code to them through your giffgaff account area.