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 mobile network using coverage from O2. The network, which is a fully-owned sub-brand of O2, offers a choice of goodybag bundles starting in price from £6/month. There are no contracts to sign and no credit checks to undergo, giving you full flexibility to change your tariff or network at any time. It’s also possible to use giffgaff on a pure Pay As You Go basis, with no monthly minimum spend required.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into giffgaff including the goodybag bundles that are available and giffgaff’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll also look at other features of giffgaff such as 1GB of extra data, the community-driven support and Always-On data. We’ll then compare the prices on giffgaff to the prices on other major mobile networks before looking at the coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 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 & Pricing
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 starting from £6/month.
- You can Pay As You Go at 25p/minute, 10p/text and 5p/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.
It’s possible to combine the two methods of paying for your usage. For instance, you could decide to buy a goodybag only in the months when you’ll use your phone more. You can also use Pay As You Go in addition to your goodybag allowance (for instance, topping up with additional credit when your goodybag allowances run out).
For most people, the best value way to use giffgaff is to buy regular monthly goodybag bundles. With goodybags, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile data.
At present, there’s a choice of seven goodybag bundles available on giffgaff. Bundles start from £6/month for light users, increasing up to £25/month if you want Always-On data:
On the £10, £12, £15 and £20 goodybags, you’ll receive 1GB of extra data each month from your third goodybag purchase onwards. This will boost your inclusive data allowance, so you’ll get 7GB of data for £10/month, 11GB of data for £12/month, and so on.
At the end of each month, you’ll automatically receive a summary e-mail showing you your usage over the past month. You can use this information to change your goodybag bundle (e.g. moving upwards to a goodybag with more data or moving downwards to get a cheaper goodybag that saves you money every month).
For convenience, you can decide to have your goodybag bundle renewed for you automatically each month. If you do this, your account will be topped-up automatically from a saved credit card, debit card or PayPal account. With this feature enabled, giffgaff works very similarly to a Pay Monthly SIM card (i.e. without the hassle of you needing to top-up your SIM card manually each month).
giffgaff’s £25 goodybag comes with Always-On data. This gives you unlimited downloads, with 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month. If you reach the 80GB limit, you’ll still have access to mobile data but download speeds will be capped to 384kbps between 8am and midnight each day.
Until the 9th May 2019, giffgaff sold a £5 and £7.50 goodybag. These goodybags have now increased in price up to £6 per month and £8 per month respectively.
In the past, giffgaff had a separate range of gigabag bundles (also referred to as data-only goodybags). These were designed for giffgaff members who wanted to use a giffgaff SIM card in their tablet or mobile broadband dongle. From July 2018 onwards, separate data-only goodybags no longer exist on giffgaff. You can now simply use a regular goodybag on your tablet or mobile broadband device.
Pay As You Go Pricing
If you don’t want to buy a monthly goodybag bundle, or if you’ve already used up your goodybag allowances for the month, you can use giffgaff on a Pay As You Go basis at their standard Pay As You Go rates.
On giffgaff, standard UK phone calls cost 25p/minute and SMS text messages cost 10p each. This follows the recent Pay As You Go price increase that took place on the 26th February 2020 (before that, they charged 15p/minute and 5p/text). Using mobile data costs 5p/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|
giffgaff’s Pay As You Go rates are reasonably expensive compared to other mobile networks. For instance, you can get much cheaper rates on 1pMobile (just 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB).
For more information, see our guide to Pay As You Go mobile networks in the UK. This has a full side-by-side comparison of the Pay As You Go rates on different UK mobile networks.
One benefit of giffgaff is the ability to make low-cost international phone calls. You can call abroad to countries like India and China from just 2p/minute (bizarrely, making it cheaper than calling a phone number in the UK). You can also send international text messages for 8p each.
The following table shows the cost of calling abroad to other selected countries on giffgaff:
|Country||Calls to Mobile||Calls to Landline||Text Message|
|Sri Lanka (+94)||22p/minute||14p/minute||8p/message|
|United States (+1)||2p/minute||2p/minute||8p/message|
For more information, see our full comparison of international calling rates. This has a full side-by-side comparison of the international calling rates on EE, giffgaff, Lebara Mobile, Lycamobile, O2 and Vodafone.
Flexible Goodybags & No Credit Check
giffgaff’s goodybag bundles are fully flexible. This means you can change your goodybag bundle every month. You can also choose not to buy a goodybag and to use normal Pay As You Go pricing instead. In addition, you can choose when your next one-month goodybag starts (including renewing it early or leaving a gap before the next goodybag begins).
To help you choose the most appropriate goodybag, giffgaff will send you a personalised e-mail at the end of each month. The e-mail will summarise your usage over the past month and will highlight the best value plan for you (including when regular Pay As You Go will be cheaper than buying a goodybag).
Another benefit of giffgaff is it’s a fully pre-paid option with no credit facility available on the SIM. This means, unlike on Pay Monthly SIM cards, there’s no need to undergo a credit check before you can get a SIM card on giffgaff. This makes it a good option if you’re unable to if you don’t want to undergo a credit check (e.g. for under-18s or for people who are new to the UK).
1GB of Extra Data
Members who’ve been on giffgaff for three months will receive 1GB of additional data from their third goodybag purchase onwards. This is available on the £10, £12, £15 and £20 goodybags. The 1GB of additional data has the effect of boosting your data allowance as follows:
At the time of writing, the 1GB of extra data is not available on the £6 or £8 goodybags. It also doesn’t apply to the £25 goodybag, as this already comes with Always-On data.
giffgaff offers Always-On data on their £25 goodybag. This gives you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB of data usage each month.
After your first 80GB of data usage each month, download speeds will be restricted to 384kbps between 8am and midnight each day. This is equivalent to a basic 3G connection (a little bit slower than 0.4Mbit/s).
If you’re travelling to another European country and taking advantage of giffgaff’s inclusive EU roaming, you can only use 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-serve help portal with answers to frequently asked questions about the service.
- Community Forums. For queries that don’t require someone to look at your specific 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. Members are incentivised to answer other people’s questions so they can earn Payback rewards from giffgaff.
- Ask an Agent. For queries relating to your specific 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 system. This gives members the opportunity to earn cash or free credit by introducing their friends to giffgaff or by posting in giffgaff’s online community.
Members will earn £5 for each friend they introduce to giffgaff (friends 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 (subject to volume and your friends topping up their SIM card three times).
In the online community, you can earn payback for answering support queries and for contributing and voting on new ideas for the giffgaff 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 preceding three months before this. You can elect to have Payback added to your giffgaff credit or you can have it paid out through PayPal (subject to a £10 minimum). It’s also possible to donate your Payback to charity (in which case, it will be matched by an equivalent donation from giffgaff).
Comparison To Alternatives
£6 per month bundles
On their £6/month goodybag, giffgaff currently offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.
The following table shows a comparison of alternative Pay As You Go deals around the £5 per month price point:
£8 per month bundles
For £8/month, giffgaff offers a goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.
£10 per month bundles
giffgaff’s £10 goodybag comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data (increased to 7GB once you’ve been a customer for 3 months). For the same monthly price, most other Pay As You Go mobile networks offer fewer minutes and less data.
For an alternative deal, customers joining VOXI can get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data (VOXI uses 4G coverage from Vodafone).
£15 per month bundles
For £15 per month, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB of data (increased to 16GB once you’ve been a customer for 3 months). This compares against other mobile networks as follows:
£20 per month bundles
For £20 per month, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 80GB of data. This compares as follows to other Pay As You Go networks around the £20 per month price point:
£25 per month bundles
For £25 per month, you can get Always On data from giffgaff (unlimited downloads with the first 80GB per month at full 4G speeds). This compares as follows to other mobile networks:
There are two ways of using your mobile phone on giffgaff.
Most people decide to order a free giffgaff SIM card that slots inside any unlocked smartphone. An unlocked smartphone might be something that you already have or it might be a handset that you’ve purchased elsewhere through a mobile phone retailer. If you need to unlock your existing mobile phone, see our guides to unlocking an iPhone or unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
If you’d like a new device to use on giffgaff, it’s also possible to buy a mobile phone directly from giffgaff. They offer a wide selection of unlocked smartphones including new and refurbished devices. Handsets are available from a range of retailers including Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei and Motorola. You can buy the handset with a one-off payment or you can pay monthly with finance that’s provided by RateSetter (a soft credit search applies for this, along with an interest rate of between 18.9% and 21.6% APR).
On giffgaff, your Pay As You Go credit won’t expire providing your SIM card remains active. To keep it active, you’ll 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 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 its network coverage provider, so members of giffgaff will get the same coverage as customers on O2.
At the time of writing, giffgaff offers 99% population coverage including on 2G, 3G and 4G. Before joining, we’d strongly recommend double-checking the coverage in your area. You can do this through giffgaff’s online coverage map:
giffgaff doesn’t yet offer any 5G coverage. At the moment, they’re running a small invite-only trial for 5G, with the goal of launching 5G to all customers during 2020.
When 5G coverage launches on giffgaff, it will make use of coverage from O2, giffgaff’s parent mobile network. At present, O2 offers 5G coverage in the following UK towns and cities:
|Now Live||24 towns and cities are live on O2 5G (April 2020)|
Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Slough, Stoke-on-Trent
|20 towns and cities planned|
Aberdeen, Birkenhead, Brighton, Cambridge, Hove, Kingston-upon-Thames, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sunderland, Warrington, Wolverhampton (Summer 2020)
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Eton, Guildford, Reading, Windsor (January 2020)
For more information, see our guide to 5G mobile coverage in the UK.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or portable hotspot refers to the process of sharing your mobile data connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s a convenient way to get access to mobile broadband on your other devices (e.g. for working on the train or for accessing the internet in places where wi-fi isn’t available).
On giffgaff, it’s possible to tether using the full data allowance on your bundle. The only restriction worth watching out for is on the £25 goodybag where your download speeds will be reduced after the first 80GB per month.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re changing from another mobile network to giffgaff, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
First off, 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 this, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day, providing you’ve submitted it before 3pm.
Until your mobile phone number moves to giffgaff, you’ll continue receiving coverage from 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 up your credit before the 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:
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 5p/MB for using mobile data if you don’t have a 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 5p/MB for mobile data. 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?|
|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.