O2 offers Big Bundles on Pay As You Go with unlimited calls & texts from £5/month. An allowance of 4G data is available from £10/month.
If you’re a customer of O2 Pay As You Go in the UK, you’ll need to convert your Pay As Your Go credit into a one-month Big Bundle. This gives you unlimited minutes and unlimited texts from £5/month, plus an allowance of 4G mobile data from £10/month.
The most popular Big Bundle package costs £10/month and includes 3GB of data along with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. Data rollover is available when your Big Bundle renews automatically, making it possible for you to roll over up to 3GB of additional data.
In this article, we’ll review O2’s Big Bundles tariff. We’ll start by looking at the bundles available on O2 and how they compare to the bundles available from other mobile networks. We’ll then look at the coverage on O2, how you can join the Big Bundles plan and how to keep your existing phone number when joining O2.
Stop Press: giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2, offering larger allowances for a lower monthly price (e.g. unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data for £10/month). If you’re a customer of O2 Pay As You Go, you can save money whilst getting the exact same coverage by switching to giffgaff.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 2 A Cheaper Alternative
- 3 Comparison to Alternatives
- 4 Coverage
- 5 Joining Big Bundles
- 6 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 7 More Information
Bundles & Pricing
O2 is one of the UK’s largest Pay As You Go mobile networks.
With O2’s Big Bundles plan on Pay As You Go, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit each month into a one-month allowance of minutes, texts and mobile data. Unlimited minutes and texts are available from £5/month and an allowance of 4G data from £10/month.
As an alternative to Big Bundles, O2 also offers a range of UK & International bundles. This gives you an allowance of UK & international minutes along with UK texts and a 4G mobile data allowance. As of November 2019, O2 has withdrawn their traditional Pay As You Go plan where you don’t need to top-up your phone every month.
On the O2 Big Bundles plan, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit each month into an allowance of calls, texts and mobile data. On the cheapest £5/month bundle, you’ll get unlimited minutes and unlimited texts with no data included. You’ll get data included on all bundles from £10/month.
The following table shows a list of O2’s current Big Bundle plans:
All Big Bundle plans last for one calendar month. Any unused allowances will expire along with the bundle, except from data which can be rolled over into the following month when you renew your bundle automatically. On your monthly anniversary date, O2 will attempt to renew the same bundle automatically from your Pay As You Go credit.
Please note that the minimum top-up on O2 is £10 each time. For this reason, if you choose the £5 Big Bundle, you’ll be left with £5 of credit after topping up by £10. However, you can use this for your £5 Big Bundle the following month (so you’ll need to top-up by £10 every other month).
O2 offers data rollover for your unused data allowance when you automatically renew your Big Bundle at the end of the month. For instance, if you have 0.5GB of unused data on the £10 Big Bundle, you would receive an extra 0.5GB of data the following month. This would increase your normal 3GB data allowance up to 3.5GB.
With data rollover, your Big Bundle needs to be renewed automatically at the end of the month without leaving any gaps. You can roll over up to 100% of your normal data allowance, so the £10 (3GB) bundle is subject to a total data cap of 6GB. The £15 (6GB) bundle is subject to a total data cap of 12GB, the £20 (10GB) bundle is capped at 20GB and the £30 (20GB) bundle is capped at 40GB. You’ll lose your data rollover should you change your price plan or bundle.
For more information, see our guide to data rollover on UK mobile networks. As an alternative, we’d suggest also having a look at giffgaff. On giffgaff, you’ll get 6GB of data along with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts on the £10 goodybag. From your third goodybag purchase onwards, this is boosted up to 7GB per month giving you a simpler and more flexible alternative to O2’s data rollover feature.
Out of Bundle Charges
Customers who exceed the inclusive allowance on their Big Bundles plan will pay O2’s standard Pay As You Go out-of-bundle rates. These are 35p/minute, 15p/text and £1/day for up to 50MB of data (this will buy you O2’s Web Daily bolt-on). If you use more than 50MB of data during one day, you’ll be charged another £1/day for up to 50MB of additional data.
The following table shows out-of-bundle rates on O2’s Big Bundles tariff:
|Voice Calls||35p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||30p/call (when outside of allowances)|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||55p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||15p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||45p|
|Mobile Internet||£1/day (up to 50MB/day)|
Outgoing phone calls are charged for on a per-minute basis. This means the length of all phone calls will be rounded up to a full minute before the charge is calculated and deducted from your account. For instance, a 61-second phone call will be charged as 2 complete minutes (2 minutes x 35p/minute = 70p). There is also a minimum call charge equivalent to 1 minute, so you’ll pay a minimum amount of 35p per call.
UK & International Bundles
As an alternative to their Big Bundles plan, O2 also offers a range of UK & International bundles. These work in much in the same way as Big Bundles, except that you can also use the inclusive minutes for calling another 48 destinations. You’ll also get O2’s International Bolt-On included, allowing you to make international calls from 1p/minute.
At present, O2 offers the following UK & International bundles:
- £10 UK & International Bundle: 250 UK or international minutes, 5000 UK texts and 2GB data
- £15 UK & International Bundle: 500 UK or international minutes, 5000 UK texts and 5GB data
- £20 UK & International Bundle: 1000 UK or international minutes, 5000 UK texts and 10GB data
You can see a full list of inclusive destinations and per-minute rates on the O2 website.
Classic Pay As You Go
Previously, O2 offered a Classic Pay As You Go plan where it wasn’t necessary to top-up your phone every month. Instead, it was possible to use the plan with no credit expiry and with a simple 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB rate.
Unfortunately, the Classic Pay As You Go SIM card was withdrawn from sale in November 2019. If you’re looking for a similar plan, consider getting a 1pMobile SIM card (they charge 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB with coverage from EE). Alternatively, Three continues to offer a traditional Pay As You Go service charging 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB.
For more information, see our guide to traditional Pay As You Go tariffs in the UK.
A Cheaper Alternative
For a better value alternative to O2’s Big Bundles, we’d recommend joining giffgaff and getting one of their goodybag bundles.
giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2 with goodybag bundles that start from just £6/month. As giffgaff uses the O2 network for coverage, you’ll get signal in the same places you would on O2 (with the benefit of lower prices and larger data allowances).
giffgaff currently offers a choice of seven goodybag bundles:
To give an example, giffgaff has a £10 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data. This is double the amount of data you’d get on O2’s £10 Big Bundle. Alternatively, giffgaff has some cheaper goodybags like the £8 goodybag with 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.
On goodybags costing £10 and more, giffgaff will boost your monthly data allowance by 1GB from your third goodybag purchase onwards. This means you can have 7GB of data on the £10 goodybag, 11GB of data on the £12 goodybag, 16GB of data on the £15 goodybag, etc.
Customers without a goodybag bundle will pay 15p/minute, 5p/text and 5p/MB. You’ll also get free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls and texts providing you’ve topped up at least once in the last 3 months.
For more information, please see our full review of giffgaff. Alternatively, you can order a free SIM card from the giffgaff website.
Comparison to Alternatives
In the following section, we’ll compare O2’s Big Bundles to rival offerings from other mobile networks.
£5 per month bundles
O2’s entry-level £5 Big Bundle comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and no data. In our opinion, this bundle is only really suitable if you don’t need access to data whilst you’re away from the home (as you’ll need to pay £1/day for up to 50MB of mobile data on this plan).
As an alternative, if you’re a fairly light smartphone user, we’d recommend ordering a SIM card from giffgaff instead. For £6/month, you’ll get 300 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data.
The following bundles are available for £5/month:
For a lower-cost alternative to O2’s £10 Big Bundle, it’s worth investigating giffgaff’s £8 goodybag. This will give you 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.
£10 per month bundles
At the £10/month price point, O2 is offering a Big Bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data.
For a better value alternative, we’d recommend having a look at giffgaff which is the low cost sub-brand of O2. For the same £10 monthly top-up, giffgaff will give you 6GB of data (double the amount of data you’ll get on O2). This is also boosted automatically up to 7GB per month from your third goodybag purchase onwards.
£15 per month bundles
O2 offers a £15 Big Bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data.
For a better value alternative, giffgaff offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB of data. You’ll get this on their £15 goodybag, with the same coverage you’d get on O2.
£20 per month bundles
For £20/month, O2 offers a Big Bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10GB of data.
On giffgaff, you can get the same allowances for just £12/month (their £12 goodybag comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10GB of data). This will allow you to save £8/month whilst having the exact same coverage and allowances as customers on O2.
Alternatively, if you’d like a larger allowance around the £20 price point, you can choose giffgaff’s £20 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 40GB of data. A £25 goodybag with Always-On data is also available from giffgaff (this gives you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 40GB per month).
For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.
2G, 3G and 4G Coverage
In the UK, O2 offers 99% population coverage on their 2G, 3G and 4G networks. Customers on O2’s Pay As You Go Big Bundles service will have access to all three types of coverage from O2.
Before signing up to the Big Bundles plan, we’d strongly recommended double-checking the O2 coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on O2’s online coverage map:
We’d typically recommend joining O2 only if you’re able to get 3G or 4G coverage when indoors.
You’ll get the exact same coverage when using a SIM card from giffgaff so this can save you a little bit of money if you’re looking for coverage from O2. Our in-depth guide to the coverage on O2 has more information.
O2 has recently launched 5G coverage in a number of UK towns and cities, but you’ll need to a 5G-ready Pay Monthly plan to get access to it:
|Now Live||21 towns and cities are live on O2 5G (January 2020)|
Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Slough, Stoke-on-Trent
|21 towns and cities planned|
Aberdeen, Birkenhead, Brighton, Cambridge, Hove, Luton, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Northampton, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sunderland, Warrington, Wolverhampton (Summer 2020)
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Eton, Guildford, Reading, Windsor (January 2020)
For more information, see O2’s web page on 5G. This has a full list of compatible 5G handsets and price plans.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).
You can tether without any restrictions on O2 Pay As You Go, sharing your Big Bundles data allowance with other devices. However, if you’re using an older version of the iPhone, you may experience problems with this if your handset isn’t running iOS 10.1 or newer, with version 26.1 or later of the O2 carrier settings.
Joining Big Bundles
Customers who are new to O2 can join Big Bundles in one of two ways.
If you already have a mobile phone that you’d like to use on O2, you can simply order a free Pay As You Go SIM card for it. Before you set up the SIM card, you’ll need to make sure your handset is unlocked. For more information, you can read our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
If you’d like a new mobile phone to use on O2, it’s possible to buy a Pay As You Go smartphone from O2’s website. Prices range from about £20 for a basic Pay As You Go smartphone, all the way up to more than £1,000 for the latest flagship iPhone.
Existing O2 Customers
If you’re already an O2 Pay As You Go customer, you can change your Big Bundles price plan at any time. You can do this by sending a text message as follows to 21300:
|Bundle Required||Bundle Code for Opting In|
|£5 Big Bundle (no data included)||–|
|£10 Big Bundle (with 3GB data)||Text 10DATABB to 21300|
|£15 Big Bundle (with 6GB data)||Text 15DATABB to 21300|
|£20 Big Bundle (with 10GB data)||Text 20DATABB to 21300|
|£30 Big Bundle (with 20GB data)||Text 30DATABB to 21300|
|£10 UK & International Bundle (with 2GB data)||Text INTBUNDLE10 to 21300|
|£15 UK & International Bundle (with 5GB data)||Text INTBUNDLE15 to 21300|
|£20 UK & International Bundle (with 10GB data)||Text INTBUNDLE20 to 21300|
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another mobile network to O2, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.
To do so, you’ll need to ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get this through your mobile network’s website or application, or by texting PAC to 65075.
Once you have the PAC Code from your old mobile network, order your new Pay As You Go handset or SIM card from the O2 website. When it arrives, you can provide the PAC Code to O2 through this online form. Once you’ve submitted the form, the phone number transfer will be scheduled, normally for the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on moving your phone number to O2, please select your current mobile network from the drop down menu below:
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to move Pay As You Go credit from your old mobile network to O2. For this reason, you should try to use it up before moving your phone number to O2. This is because the account on your old mobile network will be deactivated after you use your PAC Code, resulting in the loss of any unused Pay As You Go credit.