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.

Order giffgaff SIM Card (Free) →

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).

Goodybag Bundles

Goodybags start from £6/month.

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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£6 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£6.00
£8 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£8.00
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
£25 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00

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).

Order giffgaff SIM Card (Free) →

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:

Calling Rates:
Voice Calls 25p/minute to other networks (free to giffgaff*)
Calls to Voicemail 8p/call
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 10p to other networks (free to giffgaff*)
Picture Message (MMS) 30p
Internet Rates:
Mobile Data 5p/MB

* You’ll get free calls, texts and video calls to other giffgaff members providing you top up at least once every three months. Free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls can last for up to 60 minutes (though you can hang up and re-dial after one hour).

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.

International Calls

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:

CountryCalls to MobileCalls to LandlineText Message
China (+86)2p/minute2p/minute8p/message
India (+91)2p/minute2p/minute8p/message
Ireland (+353)5p/minute2p/minute8p/message
Italy (+39)3p/minute3p/minute8p/message
Pakistan (+92)8p/minute8p/minute8p/message
Poland (+48)5p/minute1p/minute8p/message
Romania (+40)2p/minute2p/minute8p/message
Sri Lanka (+94)22p/minute14p/minute8p/message
Turkey (+90)11p/minute3p/minute8p/message
United States (+1)2p/minute2p/minute8p/message

Cost of international calls & international text messages on the giffgaff network (calls & texts made to a phone number in another country whilst you're in the UK). Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: giffgaff.com.

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.

Giffgaff Features

Flexible Goodybags & No Credit Check

giffgaff says flexibility is one of their key network benefits.

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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited7GB
6GB*
£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited11GB
10GB*
£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited16GB
15GB*
£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited81GB
80GB*
£20.00

* The increased data allowance is only available from your third goodybag purchase onwards.

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.

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

giffgaff offers 24/7 customer support through an online forum.

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:

  1. Knowledge Base. giffgaff provides an online self-serve help portal with answers to frequently asked questions about the service.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Payback Rewards

You can earn £5 for each person you introduce to giffgaff.

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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
EE100250150MB£5.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedNo data£5.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£6.00

£8 per month bundles

For £8/month, giffgaff offers a goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£8.00

£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).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£10.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£10.00

£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£15.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited6GB£15.00
Vodafone250Unlimited5GB£15.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£15.00

£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£20.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£20.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited10GB£20.00
EE1,500Unlimited4GB£20.00

£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
EE2,000Unlimited8GB£25.00

Handsets

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).

Credit Expiry

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:

Check giffgaff Coverage (giffgaff.com) →

For more information, see our full guide to coverage on O2. Alternatively, see our overview of mobile phone coverage in the UK.

5G Coverage

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 Live24 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
Planned &
Announced
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

It’s a straightforward process to transfer your existing phone number to giffgaff.

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:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to giffgaff

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

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?
No. There’s no need to undergo a credit check before joining giffgaff. This is because it works on a Pay As You Go basis. The ability to sign up without needing a credit check makes it ideal for under-18s and for people who are new to the UK.
Is it possible to get unlimited data on giffgaff?
Yes. It’s possible to get Always-On data on giffgaff’s £25 goodybag. This will give you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB of data usage each month. Once you’ve used 80GB of data, maximum download speeds will be reduced to 384kbps between 8am and midnight.
What coverage will I get on giffgaff?
giffgaff offers 99% population coverage using O2’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks. This means you can get a giffgaff mobile signal in the same places you can get a signal from O2. 5G coverage isn’t currently available on giffgaff but should launch later during 2020.
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.

More Information

For more information, please see giffgaff’s official website. You can also order a free SIM card from giffgaff.com.

Your Comments 83 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 83 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Jim Morefield said:

    Does the plan start at the first of each month, or does it start 3o days from the day you activate the card. I will be in the UK starting on may 25th and leaving on June 15th, do I need to buy two cards.

    Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      It starts from the day you activate your goodybag bundle and lasts for one calendar month. Therefore, if you activate on May 25th, it should last you until around June 24th.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I have a gift gaff card, put £10 on my balance, and brought o £15 goodybag, my balance credit went to zero, my goody bag credit was still 14.72GB with unlimited minutes and text, went to send a text and automated voice said you can’t because you have no credit on your balance, so my question is why wasn’t the text charge taken from the unlimited goody bag, it’s as if I have a goody bag but all call charges are coming out of the balance, I don’t understand why I wasn’t able to make text or calls when I had an active goody bag ?

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. The SMS text message should normally be taken from your goodybag, providing it’s a standard UK landline or mobile number that’s included in your goodybag allowances. If this wasn’t the case, I’d recommend getting in touch with a giffgaff agent and asking them to take a look into it for you.
      Ken

  • I am coming to the UK from Canada and might need to send a text or make a call to Canada. How do I pay for that if I buy a giffgaff SIM with a bundle?

    • Hi Toby,
      Thanks for your comment. On giffgaff, you’ll need to top-up your account with extra credit if you’d like to pay for services that are not covered by your goodybag bundle. The minimum top-up is £10 on giffgaff, making this a fairly cost-prohibitive option if you just want to make a short call outside your goodybag!
      One way to side-step this is by initially topping up your account with extra credit before buying your goodybag. For instance, you could top-up with £15 of credit, and then convert £10 of it to a goodybag. This will give you a £10 goodybag along with £5 of credit for all out-of-bundle charges.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • i will be the first time user.

    The website mentioned the following steps :
    1.Fill in the form to get your Free SIM Card
    2. Once it arrives activate it and top up online at giffgaff.com
    3. Once you’ve topped up, pop your SIM into an unlocked phone

    However, the FAQ says – To activate your SIM, you’ll need a credit/debit card, or a top-up voucher.
    So, for both for activation and top-up do we need to enter credit card details?
    How do you obtain that “shiny new activation code”?
    Do I need to top up first to get an activation code?
    To top up do I have to create an account / profile first ?

    • Hi Saj,
      Thanks for your comment. When your giffgaff SIM card arrives in the post, it will have a unique activation code that you can enter online. This code is simply used to identify the SIM card to giffgaff. Once you’ve entered it online, you can top-up your SIM card (e.g. using a debit card or credit card) and you’ll be assigned a phone number from giffgaff.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Amir,
      Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right! If you look at the Companies House documents, “giffgaff operates as a 100% owned subsidiary of Telefonica UK Limited, a mobile network operator trading under the O2 brand”. Here, there’s no actual legal distinction between Telefonica UK and O2 UK. However, I choose to refer to the latter as it’s better known as a household name and is easier for people to understand.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • I recently returned from a trip to the UK. I ordered the GIFFGAFF Sim beforehand and got it delivered to the US. It was so easy once I landed in London to activate and topup. I ordered one of those sims that came with a £5 referral so I added £10 so i could use the £15 goody bag.. I had 4g+ consistently, I went to Paris as well and the network was 4g the whole time. I made lots of video calls, social media updating and such, music streaming in the 16days I was there and I had 5.9gb remaining of the 8gb. I have a dual SIM phone and out of curiosity I also bought an ASDA sim, just to compare since it’s using EEs network. I have to admit I was disappointed with ASDA. There were times it had no signal at all example when we went to Windsor Castle. Sorry for the epistle but for some future tourist who might be in doubt as I was, GIFFGAFF got an A+ from me.

    • Yes, let it be known Asda, and EE in particular , whose system they use , is for reasons too numerous to mention [poor coverage , crap Pay as U go rates etc] not worth bothering with.

  • Jessica Lee said:

    Hi, i am a tourist and would like to get a prepaid card when travelling to London and Netherland. May I know, which is the best choice for £10 per month bundles (giffgaff or voxi)?

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for your comment. Either of these SIM cards should probably be fine, but I’d typically recommend giffgaff if you’re a visitor to the UK. The reason for this is because you’re able to top-up with a non-UK card, and you can also have the SIM card sent to a non-UK address. I don’t necessarily know whether this is possible on VOXI (and you’ll probably need a UK address for your SIM card to be sent to), though VOXI does offer more data for the same price if you’re able to get it to work.
      KEn

      • Jessica Lee replied:

        Thanks Ken. Since is too short of time, I will need to get/purchase the giffgaff SIM. Will it be expensive and where to get it?

    • Hi Jessica,

      I’m on VOXI but you can only sign up using a debit or credit card. You can’t buy top-up vouchers for VOXI. I’m not sure that foreign debit or credit cards will work on VOXI. In your case I think giffgaff is probably the better option.

      Stefan

      • Jessica Lee replied:

        Hi Stefan,

        Thanks for your response. In that case, I will go for giffgaff. Is it easy to get/purchase the SIM when I am there?

        • Hi Jessica,
          Just to give you a bit of feedback on this (@Stefan – feel free to add if I’ve missed something important): you can get a giffgaff SIM card from many UK supermarkets for a small cost of approximately £1. However, it might be easier just to order the SIM card in advance (you can do this on giffgaff’s website – they’ll post out a free SIM card to you, wherever you are in the world).
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

  • Hello Ken,

    I am interested in the goody bag £20, GiffGaff. Will the data work in these countries? Is there any additional charges?

    • Hi June,
      You can use your giffgaff goodybag at no extra charge when travelling inside the EU. Does this cover the countries you’re looking to visit?
      Ken

    • Hi Dean,
      Many thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t represent giffgaff, but anyway there is no longer a £30 goodybag available for sale. The most expensive is currently their £25 goodybag which gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and Always-On data.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • As of yesterday new Goodybag allowances kicked in eg £7.50 one now gets 2GB Data so guess You might wish to now update this but guess what I’d be most interested to see is how long it takes the competition to respond accordingly in which case a lot more updating would beckon . . . Great site this I find for good objective overview of PAYG!

  • Hi Ken..superb site. Thank you for making the effort to put so much information for your readers.
    I want to get the Giffgaff 20 pounds. But do they post the SIM to Malaysia?

  • Hi Ken
    We live in Switzerland and come to Cornwall 2 or 3 times a year. Every time for 1-3 weeks.
    To get the internet in England I will be using a 4G-N12 Wireless N300 LTE modem router and an Apple notebook. I have no mobile
    Which SIM card (4G / LTE SIM) and which provider should we use?
    We need only Internet (about 3 hours / day) and is it possible if we are not in England to stop a subscription (monthly, or Goodybag or prepaid without subscription) and use again next time?
    Thanks for the help!

    • Hi Al,
      Many thanks for the comment. I think firstly it’s worth having a look at my guide to UK mobile coverage (particularly as you’re travelling to Cornwall which has patchy coverage at times). The most important thing is figuring out which network coverage providers serve the area you’re visiting (once you’ve done that, you’ll know which mobile networks it’s possible to use on your phone).
      More generally, I’d recommend getting a Pay As You Go tariff with a 30-day bundle that allows you to tether. giffgaff is a fantastic choice and is probably my recommended network for visitors to the UK. Each time you visit the UK, you can buy a goodybag which will last for 30 days. There is no obligation to then renew that goodybag immediately – instead, you can just wait until the next time you visit the UK. Your SIM card will remain active for future visits, providing it isn’t unused for a period of more than 6 months.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      • Thanks for the quick reply – and it is very useful! I was unsure if I had interpreted the detailed explanations of the website correctly and it seems that I thought in the same direction. Therefore I will test the next visit (September) what is really good. I am glad that there is your website and the many advices, again great thanks for it.

  • Just for info giffgaff is owned by telefonica not o2. Both companies are owned by the parent company.

    Its like plusnet, its not owned by EE its owned by BT group which also own EE but Life mobile was owned by EE confusing i know but worth getting it right.

    Also ken anyway you can get your site to open new windows when you click on a link the anount of times i click through then close the window only to find your websute gone is very frustrating lol. Most other sites open a new window. Not a moan just a suggestion. But keep up the good work. It seems niw that EE based and three based mvno’s are cheap but o2 based mvno’s are expensive any reason for this?

    • Hi Amir,
      Many thanks for your comment!
      With regards to giffgaff’s ownership status, I was under the impression they were a subsidiary of O2 rather than a sister company (e.g. from this thread on the giffgaff forums). I’ll do a bit of further digging, but let me know if you think this thread is no longer accurate!
      With regards to opening new windows, thanks also for the feedback on this! Personally, I find it really annoying when websites open links in new windows or tabs. For this reason, I’m probably against changing the behaviour on this website (but on your side, you can always hold down either Shift or Control when clicking a link to open it in a new window/tab).
      With regards to MVNO pricing, I agree that O2 MVNOs tend to be more expensive overall. I think wholesale is an area that EE and Three compete a lot more aggressively in (in particular, Three which has only been serving MVNOs for a couple of years). This probably means they offer more competitive rates to MVNOs on their network. O2 has been fairly quiet in the MVNO space (most of their MVNOs e.g. giffgaff and Tesco are actually partly owned by themselves!)
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi

    I’m coming to the UK next week and am planning on popping a Giffgaff SIM into my phone whilst I’m there. I’ll get a Goodybag, but how are international calls charged? Do I have to set up something different?

  • Am I the only one who although is a giff gaff user, does have continuous problems with phone calls or texts? People never find me on the phone as the giff gaff voicemail kicks in immediately as if I live in a remote village in Scotland. I also attempt numerous calls but I cannot easily reach them.

    It is a bit of a problem to be in London, to want to deal with personal and business calls and almost never be reached on the phone and at the end of the day, we are in 2016, not in 1900. Apart from the goodybags and all these cheap and cheerful faces, does giff gaff work? In my experience, it doesn’t!

    It is also deceiving that it relies on the O2 network since I don’t think that O2 does not work in London…

    Any ideas on how to fix the lack of signal reception, since the online community does not mention that at all?

    I cannot change it as the international calls are competitive but still I cannot easily reach them as I wanted to or as they wanted to just find me on my whereabouts…

    Disappointed. But am I the only one?

  • I ken
    I just wanted to share that I have just discovered that Giffgaff now allows topups using Paypal

    This is an important update as you can now link your giffgaff topup to paypal and avoid using topup vouchers. Further, you can set up a recurring goodybag (amount of your choice) and have continuous Giffgaff service.

    I last used Giffgaff in 2012 when you needed to purchase a topup voucher every 30days and then go online and convert the topup into a goodybag – you had to do this every month otherwise you were unable to make calls and this was inconvenient.

    Giffgaff piggybacks on the O2 network which is great

    Kind regards

  • The 0.49p/min Mobile Termination Rate cap for 1 April 2016 onwards is expressed by Ofcom in terms of ‘2012 pricing’. Taking inflation into account, the actual rate will be slightly higher, and believed to be around 0.51p/min. I assume Ofcom will update their table around 1 April 2016.

    The provisional figure mentioned in the ‘MCT 2015-2018 Review’ Final Statement document on Ofcom’s website is 0.51p/min.

  • Nothing special about giffgaff now the text should have been dropped to 5p but phone calls kept at 10p! Why they ate doing this is beyond me asvthere are much cheaper alternatives like asda and tesco who still charge 8p a min

    £5 for a hundred mins and 500 text but yet on life you get 500 mins and 500 mb of internet! Make yoir minds up but i’d change tbh

    • I have been with Giffgaff for about 5 years when it used to be good value.
      But to receive 10 days notice of a 50% increase in call charges is just not on.
      It is now one of the most expensive providers for uk call charges. Why Giffgaff are hiking there charges up when the market rates are downwards is a mystery

      • If you make more than 33 minutes of calls per month to
        – geographic numbers starting 01 (excluding CI and IoM) and 02,
        – non-geographic numbers starting 03, and
        – mobile numbers starting 071-075 and 077-079 (excluding CI and IOM and other giffgaff mobile numbers),
        at 15p per minute, you will already have spent more than £5.

        Beyond usage levels of just 33 minutes per month (less if you also send text messages or use the internet) it’s time to get the £5 goodybag. This comes with 125 minutes of calls, 500 text messages and 100MB data.

    • Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for the heads up about this! I’ll get the website updated over the next few weeks as giffgaff moves over to their new pricing structure.
      Ken

  • Just a word of caution to people considering giffgaff – the data speeds are dreadful.

    Giffgaff dont really care. Much better operators out there.

  • Hi and thank you for the review. I just wanted to know, you said TPO supports the Labour party, so what party does Giff Gaff support? Thanks

    • Hi Tim,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! I don’t believe giffgaff has any political connections (it’s simply a part of O2 which is then owned by Telefonica, a company based in Spain). With regards to TPO, I don’t believe their connections are explicit (the company was however started by donors to Labour and they’ve also assisted in many Labour campaigns).
      Ken

  • Hi… I was looking what 30 day rolling contacts as I’m out of contact with T-Mobile and don’t need another contact as I’m moving country at the end of the year. Giffgaff seems to have good packages but I just wanted to ask if there is any other similar packages that I could consider to see me through to the end of the year. Also, can I set up a direct debit to recredit the package on a monthly basis until I want to cancel it?

    Thanks,

    • Hi Alistair,
      giffgaff is certainly a good option: they provide good value without you actually needing to sign any contracts. With regards to paying by Direct Debit, unfortunately this isn’t possible on giffgaff. A fairly good alternative is the auto top-up feature. Every month, giffgaff will take the relevant amount from your credit card automatically (it’s similar to Direct Debit but uses the long number on the front of your credit card instead). You can turn this feature on & off at any time.
      Ken

    • Katarzyna replied:

      Omg this is the worst network ever so keep away from them, you need to pay for call history stray statement £10, recently giff gaff took £7 from my top up account and i can check because i have to pay 10 to investigate it,

  • MiniOnionMinion said:

    HELP PLEASE??!?
    Seeing as GiffGaff, ASDA Mobile and IKEA FamilyMobile all have the same PAYG, what is the best one for a PAYG smartphone (although I might buy a bundle once in a blue moon if bundles are available)???????

    Your conclusions have really confused me…
    Thanks in advance, Ken!

    • Hi MiniOnionMinion (loving the name!),
      All three options could be perfect good – it really depends on how you use the handset – there isn’t a one-size-fits-all network I’d like to recommend. In general, I would recommend you first consider coverage on the networks – there’s no good choosing a network if you aren’t able to get coverage in your home. The article I’ve linked to will help you through the process of comparing network coverage. Once you’ve got a shortlist of the networks you’d like to consider, you can then compare the prices or the bundles available on the network. Finally, you could have a look at all my mobile network reviews: they should hopefully help with clarifying some of the details about the network you’ve chosen.
      Good luck and do feel free to drop me another message if you have any specific questions!
      Ken

  • Hi, If I order a sim card and I want a new number, is it possible to have a say in my new number? ie, something easy to remember.
    Kind Regards
    Rich.

    • Hi Rich,
      Unfortunately it isn’t possible to choose your own phone number when using giffgaff. As far as I’m aware, the only network allowing you to do this at no extra charge is IKEA Family Mobile who currently charge 8p/minute and 4p/text. Of course, once you have the phone number issued by Family Mobile, you can then transfer it to the network of your choice (i.e. you could use that custom number on giffgaff).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • As a foreigner I’m interested in a short term solution to mainly internet connection during a vacation. Most operators seem to require a UK adress to ship the SIM to. Do you have any suggestions if I would like to have the SIM before actually arriving in the UK or do I have to go to a shop once in the UK?

    • Hi Nils,
      Unfortunately if you order a SIM card online, you’ll normally need to have an address in the UK. Sometimes, it will be possible to order a UK SIM card whilst in another country – this will normally be through a third-party retailer (e.g. there might be someone selling UK SIMs on eBay).
      The easiest thing to do would be to probably get the SIM card from a shop in the UK (you can either do this at the airport or you can find a shop close to your hotel). This would obviously restrict you to the major networks which actually have a retail store presence (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone). You can see a comparison of their offerings here, here and here.
      Ken

  • hi,ken:)

    i wish to know how many subscribers that giffgaff have now? and how about the company’s revenue and OBIDA?

    why giffgaff could run well by the lowest pricing?

    thanks a lot:)

    ying

    • Hi Ying,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have any concrete figures about giffgaff’s subscriber numbers and company revenue. The most recent press report was from November 2013 where it was said that giffgaff have 1m+ subscribers. For revenue and accounting information, your best bet would be the Companies House accounts. However, at present, these are only made up to December 2012.
      Ken

  • Could someone tell me if this network works as quick as 3 UK and what is the data streaming like, also I would want all u can eat data but when traveling I will need to teather by it but I am able to do this with 3 uk at moment ATM but due to move I no longer get signal in my house and have WiFi but losing value and stuff looking for much the same can anyone advice thanks in advance

    • Hi lichtielass,

      Thanks for your comment! giffgaff has some pretty good network speeds – 3G is provided by O2’s network and you’ll get the same speeds as customers on O2 (see the Coverage & Network section of the review). Peak speeds can sometimes be higher on Three but O2 still has very good coverage and there might be little noticeable difference in every day usage.

      Regarding your question about tethering, you can tether on giffgaff but only on packages without unlimited data (i.e. goodybags of £10/month or less). If you’re looking for unlimited data plus tethering, your only real option is to go with Three’s All You Can Eat data.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  • I am a new customer on Gifgaf, I bought a £10 goodybag which was great. For my £10 pounds i got 250 minutes Unlimited texts and 1 Gigabyte of internet.
    My problem and gripe with Gifgaf is that at the end of my month my goodybag ran out, i fully expected to loose the rest of the 700 megabytes i had left. But i hardly used my minutes infact i still had 248 minutes left. But when my goodybag ran out i had no minutes left which i was quite annoyed and felt cheated. Can anybody please tell me if this is a normal practise of Gifgaf. I have vowed not to buy any more air time from them.

    • Hi Errol,

      The allowances on giffgaff goodybags are for one month only. In your case, you were given 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB internet for £10/month. After the one month is up, you’ll lose any unused allowances. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to roll over your unused allowances to the next month 🙁

      Ken

  • Hi not long moved house and am on 3 UK sim only pay as u go £15 all in one which was great til I moved I no longer get a signal for 3in my house but because its such a fast internet when out and about I am worried GG will not b as quick as know O2 has had bandwidth trouble coz so many on network could anyone comment on this and plus I have Sony xperia S so would need micro sim but which plan would I need to have teathering not for much I only use teathering when wi-fi not available n just phone to my tablet at 3 I can do this for the £15….could anyone that see`s this please comment so I can make an informed decision. Thanks in advance for reading peeps 🙂

  • Tethering: You can now tether on the £10 goodybag in addition to the gigabags as it no longer has unlimited data, instead a defined amount (1GB) that you can use in any way you like.

  • Been with GG a month now and no real complains especially for what you get for your money. Considering what pathetic allowances other providers make and frequently change too!

  • Giffgaff prices are great value, but I had a tremendous number of problems porting over my old number. I wasn't receiving texts and calls from landlines. Contacting their 'agents' by web means it's hours, if not a day, before you get a response. And all the delayed ping pong of trying to resolve a long running query with different agents, and constant re-explanation of the problem, in the end they're just copying and pasting the same 'resolution' to you over and over again so you just end up going round in circles.
    I'm sure there are many many satisfied users there, but my problem never got resolved and in the end, I had to port out to another provider to get the issue resolved.

  • I think this article needs updating. GiffGaff are now doing a Blackberry addon for £3 per month and Goodybags can now be configured to renew automatically provided you have a debit card registered.

  • @ahshyuanshyuan said:

    I am on 3 UK pay monthly plan (24 months contract), being such a good internet provider, it's sad that 3 UK doesn't allow internet tethering on my plan (only the One plan will allow tethering). Last few days, I was so urgently needing tethering. I activated my giffgaff simcard which I have ordered earlier on. I was so happy that giffgaff saved my life with its gigabags. 3 UK really disappointing me.

  • Hi,
    Although you state that there is no fair usage policy on the 'unlimited' data provision on the goody bags, I have discovered from reading giff gaff forums that people have been banned from giff gaff for using "too much" of their 'unlimited' data.

  • As a natural last minute person, it would have been handy to have a warning that renewing at the last minute doesn't work. I'd assumed the topup was a bit flaky until accidentally seeing a post on the forum. That's a pretty minor gripe for what is a very affordable service. And I prefer getting help from the forum than a phoneline now!

  • Liking Giffgaff – they offer a really good deal. I tend to go with the £10 monthly Goodybag and especially appreciate not needing to worry about exceeding the data allowannce. I had a problem with an unwanted voicemail notification solved in seconds through the forum. My only small problem is the purchase of a new Goodybag is not available for several hours on the day it runs out and this is not highlighted on the site, so I thought this was down to poor support until I came across a message on a forum.

    • Hi Sue,

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 How about queuing a Goodybag? The queued Goodybag should then start when your current Goodybag expires meaning you don't have this problem.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  • can anyone tell me how to buy one of these goodybags/lab items?Also is there a way to get giffgaff GPRS/MMS settings sent"Over The Air"directly to my mobile plz….oh one more thing!what No. do I call to check balance?HELP!!Thanx

  • Hi, having used GG for a bit, I can confirm a few things:
    1 – you don’t need to unlock your o2 iphone to work on it.
    2 – there’s more details on the website about the pricing of data.
    3 – free data is available as part of a ‘goodybag’ and this includes using voip and streaming video / audio
    It seems to me a pretty decent deal!
    Mike

  • This seems to be almost identical to TMobiles £10 plan which offers 100 minutes, Internet, and 100 texts. I know gifgaf states unlimited texts but 100 is plenty for most. What I am interested to know is how much Internet will cost after 25 May. Their website doesn’t specify. It only states it us free until then say if you take the £5 plan. I’m currently with asda mobile using the vodafone network which is great at 8p a call & 4p a text with mobile Internet for 20p a meg.

    • 100 texts is plenty only if you send 3 texts a day average. unless you live on email/facebook or prefer to call people, it's definitely not plenty these days 🙂

  • Thanks for another interesting and useful post.

    Is the GiffGaff network a 3G one? My PAYG O2 iPhone 3 GS will be available for unlocking soon and unless I decide the upgrade to the new model I will be looking for for the cheapest way to get G3 when my O2 deal expires.
    I hardly make any calls on the phone and so the GiffGaff £10 goody bag might be ideal – if it provides G3 internet access. It’s a shame it uses O2 as their G3 coverage is far from good.
    I know you covered this question of cheap G3 packages recently but I don’t think it included GiggGaff in the comparison.

    Thanks again you latest report.

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