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 193 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.

Get a giffgaff SIM Card (Free) →

Prices From: £6 per month
Best Deal: 15GB data for £10 (£10 golden goodybag)
Giffgaff Bundles:

All of giffgaff’s goodybag bundles include unlimited minutes & texts.

5G Golden Goodybags:
  • 15GB data for £10 per month (£10 golden goodybag)
  • 30GB data for £15 per month (£15 golden goodybag)
  • 100GB data for £20 per month (£20 golden goodybag)
  • Unlimited data for £35 per month (£35 golden goodybag)
Extra Data: 1GB extra data from third month onwards
(available on £10+ goodybags and golden goodybags)
Pay As You Go Rates: 25p/minute
10p/text
10p/MB
Coverage:

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).

Goodybag Bundles

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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£10 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£10.00
£15 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
£20 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
£35 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00

For instance, the £10 golden goodybag comes with 15GB of data. This is 3GB per month more 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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£6 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00
£8 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
£25 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00

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 16GB of data instead of 15GB 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
Data Allowances
£6 per month: 1GB data
£8 per month: 3GB data
£10 per month: 15GB data 12GB data
£12 per month: 20GB data
£15 per month: 30GB data 25GB data
£20 per month: 100GB data 80GB data
£25 per month: Always-On data
£35 per month: Unlimited data
Goodybag Features
5G Coverage: 193 towns & cities No
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage: 99% coverage 99% coverage
Purchase Method:
  • Recurring purchase (from saved card details)
  • Recurring purchase (from saved card details)
  • Manual purchase (from top-up voucher or credit)

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:

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 10p/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).

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 1GB 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.

For more information, see our comparison of Pay As You Go rates in the UK. You can also read our guide on SIM cards for light users.

Giffgaff Features

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:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£10 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited16GB
15GB
£10.00
£15 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited31GB
30GB
£15.00
£20 Golden GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited101GB
100GB
£20.00

Meanwhile, if you’re using a regular 4G goodybag, the 1GB of extra data will increase your data allowance as follows:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited13GB
12GB
£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited21GB
20GB
£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited26GB
25GB
£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited81GB
80GB
£20.00

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:

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

Payback Rewards

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

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 1GB 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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£6.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00

£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£7.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£7.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00

£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 15GB of 5G-speed data along with unlimited UK minutes and unlimited UK texts. Alternatively, their regular £10 goodybag gives you 12GB 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.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£10.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£10.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£10.00

£15 per month bundles

For £15 per month, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 30GB of data. This compares against other mobile networks as follows:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£15.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited75GB£15.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited250MB£18.00

£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:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited150GB£20.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
O21,000Unlimited1GB£20.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£21.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£22.00

£25 per month bundles

For unlimited data on giffgaff, you can choose the £25 goodybag with Always On data. Alternatively, there’s the £35 golden goodybag which gives you unlimited data at up to 5G speeds.

If you’re looking for an unlimited data plan with no contract, you can also consider the following alternatives:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£16.00
Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£25.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£25.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£40.00

Alternatively, if you’re willing to sign up for a contract, a larger range of unlimited data plans are available.

Handsets

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).

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 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:

Check giffgaff Coverage (giffgaff.com) →

For more information, see our full guide to O2’s network and coverage. Alternatively, there’s more information in our overview of mobile coverage in the UK.

5G Coverage

On giffgaff, 5G coverage is only available when you buy a golden goodybag plan. You’ll also need a 5G-ready phone and will need to be in one of the following 193 UK towns & cities:

Now Live193 towns and cities are live on giffgaff 5G (June 2022)
Aberdeen, Allesley, Altrincham, Ambleside, Ashford, Aughton, Aylesbury, Banbury, Banstead, Basildon, Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bedford, Belfast, Bilston, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Birstall, Blackburn, Blackpool, Blaydon, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bradley Stoke, Bridge of Don, Brighton, Bristol, Brombourgh, Burton upon Trent, Bury St Edmunds, Byfleet, Calverley, Cambridge, Cardiff, Chadwell St Mary, Chatham, Cheadle, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chertsey, Chesterfield, Chilworth, Chipstead, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester, Coventry, Danderhall, 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, Grimsby, Guildford, Halifax, Harlington London, Harlow, Hastings, Hebburn, Hemel Hempstead, Hextable, High Wycombe, Horwich, Hove, How Wood, Huddersfield, Hull, Inverness, Ipswich, Iver, Jarrow, Joyden’s Wood, Kemprow, Kettering, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Longford, Loughborough, Lowestoft, Luton, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Molesey, Monifieth, Morley, Musselburgh, New Denham, Newbury, Newcastle, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Oldham, Orpington, Oxford, Penarth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Plympton, Portsmouth, Potters Bar, Rainham, Reading, Redhill, Richings Park, Rochdale, Rotherham, Royal Leamington Spa, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Rugby, Salford, Sheffield, Shelf, Shepperton Green, Shinfield, Shirehampton, Slough, Solihull, South Shields, Southampton, Southend-On-Sea, St Albans, Staines-upon-Thames, Stapleford, Stevenage, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Sunbury, Sunderland, Swansea, Swindon, Tatling End, Thornaby-on-Tees, Thorpe, Thundersley, Trumps Green, Tynemouth, Virginia Water, Wakefield, Wallasey, Waltham Abbey, Warrington, Washington, Watford, Wavertree, West Bromwich, Weybridge, Whickham, Whitley Bay, Wickersley, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Worthing, Wythenshawe, York

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

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 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:

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:

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?
No. There’s no need to undergo a credit check when you join 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 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?
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 is also available to giffgaff customers buying one of their golden goodybags.
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 94 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 94 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Jessica,
      Yes, you can simply use your Pay As You Go credit to buy a goodybay (excluding golden goodybags which can only be purchased from a new card payment).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • Hi, I’m moving abroad and would like to switch my number to a PAYG GiffGaff (sending a text every six months or so). When I visit home (the U.K.), would it be possible to convert to a Goodybag which includes data for the period of my stay, then revert back to pure PAYG when I go back abroad?

  • Jonathan Bannister said:

    Just an update to your information. Giffgaff have dropped Ratesetter for loans and now use Klarna. The major difference is that Klarna do a hard credit check whereas Ratesetter did not.

  • Ladja Queiroz said:

    I have tried going into my giffgaff login to view my account but the website keeps saying my login and password are incorrect. I have since changed multiple times the password and retrieved the login which I had right in the first place still saying its wrong. I create a new account in order to ask an ‘agent for help’ the agent asks me details which I answer all of and then tells me I haven’t but wont specify what I haven’t included. Now my phone wont call or text or work and I cant even put money on this god damn sim in order to carry it on or stop the monthly payments which they are pretending haven’t gone through. This is by far the worst phone company I have ever used and I will make sure no one I know uses them lets all be honest giff gaff isn’t ‘run by you’ its run by no one.

  • 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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