giffgaff offers a choice of two unlimited data plans: the £25 goodybag with Always On data and the £35 golden goodybag with 5G.
In the UK, giffgaff now offers a choice of two unlimited data plans. You can choose the £25 goodybag with Always On data which gives you 4G coverage and uncapped speeds on the first 80GB per month. Alternatively, the more expensive £35 golden goodybag gives you unlimited data at 5G speeds with a 650GB per month fair usage limit.
In this article, we’ll review and compare giffgaff’s unlimited data plans in the UK. We’ll start by comparing their £25 Always On data plan to their £35 unlimited data plan. We’ll then look at the fair usage limits, the download speeds you can expect on giffgaff and how the plans compare to other networks. Finally, we’ll look at the coverage available on giffgaff and how you can keep your current phone number when moving to the network.
|Prices From:||£25 per month|
|Contract Length:||No contract & no credit check|
|Fair Usage:||650GB per month fair use limit.
Maximum of 12 devices on tethering & personal hotspot.
Giffgaff Unlimited Data Plans
In the UK, giffgaff now offers a choice of two goodybag plans with unlimited data:
- The £25 Always On goodybag gives you 4G coverage on giffgaff. You’ll get uncapped download speeds on the first 80GB per month. After this, there’s a maximum speed of 384kbps between 8am and midnight (equivalent to a basic 3G connection).
- The £35 unlimited data golden goodybag gives you 5G coverage on giffgaff. You’ll get uncapped download speeds on this plan, subject a fair use limit of 650GB per month.
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the two plans:
|£25 Goodybag||£35 Golden Goodybag|
|Monthly Price:||£25 per month||£35 per month|
|Contract Length:||No contract – cancel anytime||No contract – cancel anytime|
|Minutes:||Unlimited minutes||Unlimited minutes|
|Texts:||Unlimited texts||Unlimited texts|
|Data:||Always-On data||Unlimited data|
|Speeds:||Uncapped 4G speeds (first 80GB per month)
384kbps maximum (after 80GB, from 8am to midnight)
|Uncapped 5G speeds (650GB fair use)|
|5G Coverage:||✘ No||✔ 193 towns & cities|
|2G, 3G & 4G Coverage:||✔ 99% coverage||✔ 99% coverage|
Order giffgaff SIM card (Free) →
As the £35 plan is a golden goodybag, you’ll need to switch on the “recurring goodybag” feature inside your giffgaff account. This means your plan will automatically renew every month until you cancel the renewal.
The £25 plan is a regular goodybag so you can buy it automatically if you wish. Alternatively, there’s the option of buying it manually from a top-up voucher or from your Pay As You Go credit.
Fair Usage Policy
Within their fair usage policy, giffgaff says their mobile service should only be used for “private, personal, and non-commercial purposes”. In addition, the following fair usage policy also applies for usage in the UK:
- On the £25 goodybag with Always On data, there’s a 384kbps speed restriction once you’ve used 80GB of data in one month. This speed restriction applies between 8am and midnight each day and can make it difficult to stream things like online video.
- On the £35 goodybag with unlimited 5G data, giffgaff says they’ll continuously monitor the amount of data you’re using. They say you should “avoid regularly tethering to 12 or more devices or regularly using unreasonably large amounts of data, including but not limited using around 650GB of data twice within a 6-month period”.
If you’re using your giffgaff SIM card abroad in a European country, you’ll be subject to a 20GB per month fair usage limit for roaming. Further usage beyond the 20GB limit will be charged at 0.36p/MB for the remainder of your goodybag, You should also avoid using your SIM card in Europe for more than 63 days in any four month period.
On the £25 goodybag with Always-On data, you’ll have access to uncapped 4G speeds for the first 80GB per month. In theory, it’s possible to get peak download speeds of up to 300Mbps but actual download speeds will normally be closer to 25Mbps.
If you use more than 80GB of data in one month, your maximum download speeds will be restricted to 384kbps between 8am and midnight each day. This maximum download speed is roughly equivalent to 0.4Mbps, or the approximate speed of a basic 3G connection. It’s enough for browsing the web, using social media and instant messaging applications. However, things like streaming video from the internet are unlikely to work smoothly at this speed. If you want to restore full-speed 4G data, you can choose to renew your £25 goodybag early.
If you have the £35 goodybag with unlimited data, you’ll have access to uncapped 5G download speeds. This is subject to you having a 5G-ready device as well as 5G coverage which is currently available in 193 UK towns & cities. The maximum download speed on 5G can be as high as 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) but average speeds of 150Mbps will be much more common.
In certain areas where the mobile network is congested, giffgaff also operates a traffic management policy called Traffic Flow. This applies to approximately 2.5% of their network and impacts around 0.15% of giffgaff members with the heaviest data usage on their network. If giffgaff believes you are “using more than your fair share of network resource”, they can apply an “upper speed restriction of 100kbps for a period of 30 minutes”.
Comparison to Alternatives
Besides giffgaff, there are also many other networks offering unlimited data in the UK. As long as you’re happy to sign up for a contract, you can get unlimited data for as little as £16/month elsewhere (e.g. on Three’s unlimited data plan which also includes 5G).
If you’re looking for unlimited data without a contract, this is also available on the unlimited data plans from Lebara Mobile, SMARTY, Superdrug Mobile and VOXI. For instance, SMARTY currently offers unlimited data for £16/month with uncapped 4G download speeds on the Three network.
For more information, see our full guide to unlimited data in the UK.
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage
giffgaff uses O2 as their network coverage provider. This means customers joining the giffgaff network will get the same coverage as customers on O2.
At the time of writing, this means giffgaff offers 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. You can check the coverage in your area by entering your postcode on giffgaff’s online coverage map:
Check giffgaff coverage (giffgaff.com) →
The average download speed on giffgaff’s 4G service is around 20Mbps but this can vary substantially depending on your location and handset.
For more information, see our full guide to coverage on O2.
If you’re using a golden goodybag from giffgaff such as the £35 unlimited data plan, you’ll also get access to 5G coverage in 193 UK towns & cities. This can give you an average download speed of about 150Mbps on a 5G-ready device.
giffgaff’s 5G mobile service is currently available in the following locations:
|Now Live||193 towns and cities are live on O2 5G (June 2023)|
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
For more information, see our guide to O2’s 5G network or our guide to 5G towns and cities in the UK.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).
On both of giffgaff’s unlimited data goodybags, you can use tethering and personal hotspot to share your data with other devices. However, giffgaff says you shouldn’t tether to more than 12 devices if you’re using the £35 golden goodybag with unlimited data.
On giffgaff’s £25 goodybag with Always On data, your download speeds will be restricted to a maximum of 384kbps if you’ve already used more than 80GB of data in the current month. This applies from 8am to midnight each day. Whilst you’re still able to use tethering and personal hotspot, the speed may not allow you to do very much on other devices.
If you’re travelling abroad, you can use your giffgaff goodybag allowances in 37 European destinations at no extra cost.
On both of giffgaff’s unlimited data goodybags, a fair usage policy of 20GB per month applies in Europe. If you exceed the 20GB limit, you’ll be surcharged at a rate of 0.36p/MB (equivalent to £3.60 per gigabyte). This is charged against your Pay As You Go credit on giffgaff.
If you’re travelling outside Europe, you won’t be able to use your giffgaff goodybag allowances. Instead, you’ll pay giffgaff’s international roaming rates which range from 20p to £5 per megabyte (equivalent to £200 to £5,000 per gigabyte). For this reason, it might be cheaper to use a different mobile network when you travel outside Europe.
For more information, see our guide to using your mobile phone abroad.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another mobile network to giffgaff, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
Start by ordering your free SIM card from giffgaff. Once you’ve done that, request a PAC Code from your current mobile network. You can get one using their website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.
When your giffgaff SIM card arrives in the post, activate it and fill out the number transfer form on giffgaff’s website. Once you’ve done that, your phone number will normally be scheduled for the next working day.
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:
It isn’t possible to transfer Pay As You Go credit from another network to giffgaff so you should try to use it up before moving your phone number over.
Frequently Asked Questions
|How much does unlimited data cost on giffgaff?||
You can get unlimited data from £25/month on giffgaff. This gets you Always On data with uncapped 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month, followed by download speeds of up to 384kbps for the rest of the month (equivalent to basic 3G speeds).
If you want unlimited data with 5G and no speed restrictions, you can choose the £35 golden goodybag instead. This has a fair usage limit of 650GB per month.
|What’s the difference between the £25 goodybag and the £35 golden goodybag?||
Both the £25 goodybag and £35 golden goodybag allow you to download as much as you like. However, they differ in terms of the download speeds you’re able to get:
|What is the fair usage policy for unlimited data on giffgaff?||
The £25 goodybag doesn’t have a fair usage limit but the speed reduction to 384kbps after the first 80GB per month puts an effective limit on how much you can download in one month.
The £35 golden goodybag has a fair usage policy of 650GB per month. In addition, you shouldn’t tether or use personal hotspot on more than 12 devices.
|What download speeds will I get?||
On the £25 goodybag with Always On data, you’ll get 4G speeds which typically average around 20Mbps. This drops to a maximum speed of 384kbps (equivalent to a 0.4Mbps or a basic 3G connection) after the first 80GB of data usage each month.
On the £35 goodybag with unlimited 5G data, you can access 5G speeds with a compatible phone in 193 UK towns & cities. This gives an average download speed of around 150Mbps.
|What coverage will I get with unlimited data on giffgaff?||
giffgaff uses O2 as their network coverage provider, and offers the following coverage in the UK:
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s easy to keep your current phone number. 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. You should provide giffgaff with the PAC Code once you’ve ordered your new SIM card and plan.
You can see the giffgaff website for further information about their £25 goodybag and their £35 golden goodybag. You may also find it of interest to read our full giffgaff review.
Your Comments 27 so far
We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 27 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.
Philip Arthur said:
Since November 2020 till beginning of April this year l had unlimited calls for free.
Now, after adding more credit, for an overseas call, l am being charged for every local l make!
Can anyone tell me the reason for the above and how l can go back to having unlimited access to giffgaff?
Thanks for your comment. Are you referring to the free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls? I believe this requires you to top-up by £10, after which you’ll get free calls to other giffgaff customers for the next 3 months.
Philip Arthur replied:
No. I made regular calls to my doctor over the previous 5 months using my giffgaff and called them via landline (that is to say the sugery are not giffgaff subscribers).
How can l go back to my original account agreement between us. That is to say unlimitted calls and automatic top up each month of £8?
Ah, ok that makes sense now. I think you previously had a giffgaff goodybag bundle on your account? You can now get a goodybag from £6/month that includes unlimited calling. If so, there should be an option to buy that inside your giffgaff account area or app.
Ebony Patterson said:
I bought this plan before realising that my router arrived with a Smarty SIM already. I have good signal strength, the router is in the best spot in the flat and there are no reported network/coverage issues with O2 in the area. I have only just started using the pan and only get maximum 2-3 mbps upload and 0.5-1.5 download. When the plan runs out I will try Smarty for comparison.
I have 1 one day left on my giffgaff always on data will it run out at midnight or the time I purchased it a month ago?
Thanks for your comment. I believe all of giffgaff’s bundles run until midnight.
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