O2 offers Big Bundles on Pay As You Go with unlimited minutes & texts from £5/month. An allowance of 4G data is available from £10/month.

In the UK, O2 has updated their Pay As You Go bundles with a range of plans now starting from a £5/month for unlimited minutes & unlimited texts. For a £10 monthly top-up, you’ll additionally get 6GB of data. This increases to 15GB of data for £15 and 100GB of data for £30.

Customers on O2 Pay As You Go can also benefit from rollover of unused data, access to the O2 Priority app and £10 of free credit when signing up to the service.

Get O2 Pay As You Go SIM Card (Free) →

In this article, we’ll review O2’s Pay As You Go service and the Big Bundles that are available on it. We’ll start by looking at the price plans and features available, before comparing O2’s Big Bundles to those available on other networks. Finally, we’ll look at the coverage on O2 and how you can keep your current phone number when moving to the service.

Bundles & Pricing

O2 is one of the largest Pay As You Go mobile networks in the UK.

Most Pay As You Go customers will be on the O2 Big Bundles plan. Here, you’ll top-up your phone every month, converting your credit into a 30-day allowance of minutes, texts and data. You can get unlimited UK minutes and unlimited UK texts for £5/month, with an allowance of mobile data included from £10/month.

It’s also possible to get an International Big Bundle which includes an allowance of phone calls to selected international destinations.

As of November 2019, O2 has withdrawn their traditional Pay As You Go plan from new customers. On the Classic Pay as You Go plan that was previously offered, it wasn’t necessary to top-up your phone every month.

Big Bundles

On O2’s Big Bundles plan, you’ll convert your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day allowance of UK minutes, texts and mobile data. The cheapest £5/month bundle comes with unlimited minutes and texts, but with no data included on the bundle. For mobile data, you’ll need to choose a Pay As You Go bundle starting from £10/month.

The following table shows a list of O2’s current Big Bundle plans:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedNo data£5.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited100GB£30.00

Order O2 Pay As You Go SIM Card (Free) →

You’ll currently get £10 of free credit when you order an O2 Pay As You Go SIM card on the £5, £10, £15 or £30 Big Bundle plan. Simply top-up your SIM card and text FREE10 to 21500 within 28 days of receiving your SIM.

All of your Big Bundle allowances last for 30 days. Any unused allowances will expire along with the bundle, except from data which can be rolled over into the following month if you renew your bundle automatically. O2 will try to automatically renew the same bundle when your current one expires so you’ll need to top-up before this expiry date to benefit from data rollover.

Note that the minimum top-up on O2 is £10 each time. For the £5 Big Bundle, you’ll still need to top-up by £10 each time. However, you can do this every other month. The £10 of credit from one top-up can be used over two different months (£5 for the first month’s bundle and £5 for the second month’s bundle).

International Big Bundles

O2 Cat - SIM Card

If you regularly need to make phone calls abroad to other countries, O2 also offers two International Big Bundles as an alternative to their regular Big Bundles.

You can choose from the following International Big Bundles:

  • £10 International Big Bundle: 500 minutes to the UK and 29 other destinations, 5000 UK texts and 5GB of UK data.
  • £20 Premium International Big Bundle: 1000 minutes to the UK and 48 other destinations, 250 additional minutes to Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa, 5000 UK texts and 15GB of UK data.

The following destinations are included on International Big Bundles:

  • Alaska*
  • Australia*
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh*
  • Belgium
  • Brazil*
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada*
  • China*
  • Colombia*
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam*
  • Hawaii*
  • Hong Kong*
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India*
  • Israel*
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico*
  • Mongolia*
  • Netherlands
  • Nigeria†
  • Norway
  • Pakistan†
  • Peru*
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico*
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa†
  • South Korea*
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • US Virgin Islands*
  • USA*

* These destinations are only included on the £20 Premium International Big Bundle.
† On the £20 International Big Bundle, you’ll get 250 minutes for calling Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. These countries are not included within the 1000 minutes.

On the International Big Bundles, you can still benefit from data rollover and access to the O2 Priority app. However, you won’t get £10 of free credit for signing up and activating your SIM.

If you’re calling a destination that isn’t listed above, you can check the per-minute calling rates on O2’s website.

Data Rollover

O2 offers data rollover for unused data allowances when you automatically renew your Big Bundle. The renewal needs to happen automatically so you’ll need to top-up your account with enough credit before the end of your current bundle.

To give an example, if you have 2GB of remaining unused data on the £10 Big Bundle, you’d receive an extra 2GB of data in the following month’s bundle. This would increase your normal 6GB data allowance to 8GB.

Data rollover is capped at 100% of your normal bundle allowance. For instance, the £10 bundle normally comes with 6GB of data. You can therefore rollover a maximum of 6GB per month, making a total of 12GB per month if you do this. You’ll lose your data rollover when changing price plan or bundle, or when leaving a gap between the renewal of your bundles.

For more information, see our guide to data rollover on UK mobile networks.

Out of Bundle Charges

Top Up Logo

If you exceed the inclusive allowances on your O2 Pay As You Go Big Bundle, you’ll pay 35p/minute and 15p/text. You’ll also pay £2/day for using mobile data. These charges will also apply if you don’t have an active bundle on your account.

Because of the incredibly high £2 daily charge for using mobile data, we wouldn’t recommend using mobile internet on your phone unless you have a Big Bundle with inclusive data. This means the £5 Big Bundle (which only includes minutes and texts) is unlikely to be suitable for anyone with a smartphone. Even very light data users will likely be better off on the £10 Big Bundle with data included.

The following table shows out-of-bundle rates on O2’s Big Bundles plan:

Calling Rates:
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
Messaging Rates:
Text Message (SMS) 15p
Picture Message (MMS) 45p
Internet Rates:
Mobile Data £2/day

The prices in this table are stated for UK-to-UK only. If you’re travelling abroad or making an international phone call, higher charges will normally apply. Source for pricing information: O2 [1, 2].

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.

Classic Pay As You Go

O2 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, you could use your phone at a simple rate of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB.

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 instead (they charge 1p/minute, 1p/text and 1p/MB with coverage from EE).

For more information, see our guide to traditional Pay As You Go tariffs in the UK.

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

5 Pound NoteO2’s entry-level £5 Big Bundle comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and no data. This bundle is only really suitable if you don’t want to use data whilst you’re away from the home (as you’ll pay £2/day for accessing the internet on this plan).

An alternative option that might be worth considering is ASDA Mobile’s £5 Pay As You Go bundle. On ASDA, you’ll get 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data for £5/month. This means you’re able to use the internet whilst you’re out and about. ASDA Mobile offers 4G coverage from EE.

Another alternative is giffgaff’s £6 goodybag. This gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data (the coverage on giffgaff also comes from the O2 network).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ASDA Mobile200Unlimited750MB£5.00
EE250Unlimited500MB£5.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedNo data£5.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£6.00

£10 per month bundles

10 Pound Note

At the £10/month price point, O2 is currently offering a Big Bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of data.

It may also be worth having a look at the £10 bundle from VOXI. For £10/month, you can get 6GB of data and endless social media data on VOXI. The coverage on VOXI comes with Vodafone.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£10.00
EE100Unlimited4GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00

£15 per month bundles

15 Pound NotesO2 offers a £15 Big Bundle with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB of data.

Around this price point, you can also consider VOXI’s £15 bundle which come with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 15GB of data and endless social media data.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£15.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
Vodafone250Unlimited5GB£15.00

£20 per month bundles

20 Pound NoteO2 doesn’t currently offer any Pay As You Go bundles at the £20 price point. Instead, their next bundle up costs £30/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data.

For £20/month, some worthwhile alternatives are available elsewhere. For instance, giffgaff’s £20 goodybag comes with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 80GB of data. Alternatively, a £25 goodybag with Always-On data is also available (giving you unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 80GB per month).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited45GB£20.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited10GB£20.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£25.00
EE3,000Unlimited10GB£25.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited100GB£30.00
EEUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£30.00
Vodafone3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00
EE3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00

For more information, please see our full comparison of the UK’s best value Pay As You Go bundles.

Coverage

2G, 3G and 4G Coverage

In the UK, O2 offers 99% population coverage on their 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks. Customers on O2’s Pay As You Go service are able to access this 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.

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:

Check O2 Coverage (o2.co.uk) →

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.

5G Coverage

Unfortunately, 5G coverage isn’t currently available to customers on O2 Pay As You Go. Instead, the maximum download speeds on O2 Pay As You Go are currently limited to 4G.

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 in the following locations:

Now Live60 towns and cities are live on O2 5G (July 2020)
Aberdeen, Ashford, Banstead, Basildon, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Chatham, Chesterfield, Coventry, Dartford, Derby, Dundee, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Esher, Gateshead, Gillingham, Glasgow, Grays, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Lowestoft, Luton, Manchester, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Rainham, Redhill, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, South Shields, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunbury, Sunderland, Thundersley, Warrington, Weybridge, Windsor, Worthing, York
Planned &
Announced
14 towns and cities planned
Birkenhead, Cambridge, Hove, Kingston-upon-Thames, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Portsmouth, Southampton, Wolverhampton (Summer 2020)
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Eton, Guildford, Reading (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. This allows you to share your Big Bundles data allowance with other devices. If you’re using an older version of the iPhone, however, 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.

For more information, see our in-depth article about tethering on UK mobile networks. You can also see our guide to mobile broadband services in the UK.

Joining Big Bundles

New Customers

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 to the 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) Text BIGBUNDLE5 to 21300
£10 Big Bundle (with 6GB data) Text 10DATABB to 21300
£15 Big Bundle (with 15GB data) Text 15DATABB to 21300
£30 Big Bundle (with 100GB data) Text 30DATABB to 21300

It’s also possible to change your Pay As You Go plan by logging in to the My O2 website or app. Alternatively, call O2’s automated service on 2202.

Keeping Your Phone Number

It takes around one working day to transfer your phone number over to O2 Pay As You Go.

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:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to O2

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Pay As You Go bundles are available on O2?
O2 currently offers the four following Pay As You Go bundles:
  • £5 Big Bundle: Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and no data.
  • £10 Big Bundle: Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB data.
  • £15 Big Bundle: Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 15GB data.
  • £30 Big Bundle: Unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB data.

You can also get an International Big Bundle which comes with minutes for calling the UK and either 29 or 48 international destinations.

How do I get £10 of free credit on O2 Pay As You Go?
When you order an O2 Pay As You Go SIM card through this link, you can get £10 of free credit when you activate and top-up your SIM card within 28 days of getting it. Once you’ve done this, text FREE10 to 21500 to claim your £10 of free credit.
How much do I need to top-up by each time?
You’ll need to top-up your SIM card with at least £10 of credit each time. If you choose the £5 Big Bundle, this top-up can give you two months of usage.
What are the standard Pay As You Go rates on O2?
If you don’t have an active Pay As You Go bundle on your account, you’ll pay 35p/minute and 15p/text. You’ll also pay £2/day for using mobile data on your phone. Because this is fairly expensive, we’d recommend using mobile data only if you have an active bundle on your account.
What coverage will I get on O2 Pay As You Go?
You’ll get 99% population coverage on O2’s 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks in the UK. You can check the availability of coverage in your area by entering your postcode on O2’s online coverage map.
Will I get access to 5G on O2 Pay As You Go?
No. 5G coverage isn’t currently available on O2 Pay As You Go. You’ll need to choose an O2 Pay Monthly plan if you’d like to access 5G coverage on the O2 network.
Can I keep my current phone number?
Yes. It’s easy 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. You should then provide O2 with this PAC Code after ordering your Pay As You Go plan.

More Information

For more information about Big Bundles, please see O2’s official website. You can also order a free O2 Pay As You Go SIM card.

Your Comments 84 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 84 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, it isn’t possible to pay for your O2 Pay As You Go service using Direct Debit. If you’d like to pay by Direct Debit, I’d recommend choosing a Pay Monthly SIM card instead.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Marion Evans said:

    I am on a £5 big bundle what gigabyte is this ie 2? also can I log onto WhatsApp and is this free within the £5. I pay per month?

    • Hi Marion,
      Sadly, the £5 Big Bundle doesn’t include any mobile data. If you’d like to use mobile data, it’ll cost you £1/day for up to 50MB of data. This will very quickly add up to a lot of money so I’d recommend choosing a different mobile network or different plan if you’d like to do this.
      Saying that, if you’re only using wi-fi (e.g. whilst you’re at home), there will be no charge from O2 for this. Therefore, you could use WhatsApp on wi-fi without paying any extra.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • so i am trying to start a £10 month bundle , but how do i get to have a £10 month unlimited credit please may you tell me .

    • Hi Nansija,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you looking to have £10 of credit that doesn’t have a time limit on how long you can use it? If so, you can switch to the Classic Pay As You Go plan. Alternatively, the £10 Big Bundle will give you 1 month of usage with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 2GB of data.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

        • Hi there,
          The £10 UK & International bundle comes with 250 minutes, 5000 texts and 2GB of data. The minutes can be used to call other UK phone numbers, or numbers in 40 selected countries abroad.
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

  • Hi,
    I’m moving abroad for a bit so have cancelled my contract for a pay as you go sim. I did this yesterday but stupidly didn’t ask what sim o2 would be sending me because I just assumed it would be a basic one. A Pay as you go £10 Data Big Bundle Triple Sim is on its way but does it get renewed automatically every month/ do I have to top up every month? Because I literally just need to use it until I go away (on Tuesday) and then when I come back (whenever that will be) so I will be going months without actually needing to use the sim.

    • Hi Francesca,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s absolutely no problem at all as you can easily change your plan to another type (e.g. to O2 Classic Pay As You Go). With Big Bundles, you will indeed need to top-up your SIM card every month. This isn’t the case if you switch to Classic Pay As You Go (though you’ll need to make sure you comply with their inactivity policy).Hope this helps,
      Ken

      • Is it possible to get a bundle for 1 month and then go back to classic PAYG? I’m going on holiday and may not have WiFi access, so I’d like to have 3G available for a couple of weeks and then go back to regular PAYG.

        • Hi Sharon,
          Thanks for your comment. Yes, I believe it should be possible to do this. You’ll just need to switch back to Classic Pay As You Go before the Big Bundle tries to renew itself automatically after 30 days. You can do this by texting CLASSIC to 21300. Note that you won’t be able to access 321 rates whilst on the Big Bundles tariff: any out-of-allowance usage will be charged at the higher Big Bundle rates (35p/minute, 15p/text and £1/day for 50MB data). However, you’ll get access to the 321 rates again after changing back to Classic Pay As You Go.
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

  • Graham Dunnett said:

    Hi Ken… I’ve run out of 20GB of data in the first 7 days. How can I get another 20GB without waiting for the end of the “official” month? I can’t figure it out…
    Thanks, Graham

    • Hi Graham,
      I don’t think you can officially start a new bundle early, but O2 Customer Services might be able to sort this out for you. You can reach them on 4445 to enquire about this.
      Ken

      • Graham Dunnett replied:

        Managed to get a new bundle. It wiped out the last Gigabyte, but that’s not a problem. Thanks for being a star.

  • How do I cancel current paygo tariff to move straight away onto to a higher bundle? Sick fed up having to top up extra £10 before new one starts and paying ludicrous amounts daily for data till new bundle start date 😣

    • Hi Roma,
      I’m not sure it’s typically possible to renew your Big Bundle early. However, it might be worth giving O2 Customer Services a call on 4455 to see if they’re able to do this for you.
      Ken

  • Ken,

    I’ll be in the UK in two weeks time and I’ll convert current Classic pay-as-go SIM to a Big-Bundle plan for the 5 weeks I’m in the UK.

    I see in your write-up that you say “All Big Bundle packages will last for one calendar month”. What happens if I switch to a Big Bundle in the middle of September, will it only last until the end of the month or will carry through to say mid-October?

    I’ll most likely opt for a 25 pound Big Bundle package with 8GB of data.

    Cheers,

    Steve

    • Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. It will last for one month after you purchase the bundle. Therefore, if you buy the bundle in mid-September, it should last you through until mid-October 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi Ken.

    With an O2 pay-as-you-go SIM on a Big Bundle, does it allow you to use your phone as a Hot-Spot?

    Cheers,

    Steve

  • HI Ken.

    With an O2 Big Bundle Pay-as-you-go plan, is roaming in the Republic of Ireland included?

    Cheers,

    Steve

      • Ken,

        two follow up questions:

        1) am I able to use my big bundle data allowance when roaming in Ireland?
        2) Are calls or text messages made back to the UK from Ireland charged separately to what my big bundle allowances include?

        Steve

        • Hi Steve,
          Many thanks for your comment.
          1) Yes, you can use your Big Bundle data allowance when roaming in the Republic of Ireland. Since July 2017, this has been possible on all UK networks.
          2) These calls are also included. When you’re travelling in the Republic of Ireland or any other UK country, you can call phone numbers in any EU country using your Big Bundle allowances.
          Hope this helps!
          Ken

  • Hello Ken

    I have an O2 £10.00 bundle.

    Can you please advise how I will be charged when I am in Gran Canaria and need to telephone a friend in England on their mobile which is not on an O2 contract? (she is with Tesco mobile)

    Will my network data allowance reduce greatly?
    Will she be charged at all?

    Hope this makes sense!

    Many thanks, Alyson

    • Hi Alyson,
      Many thanks for your comment. Since the changes were made last year to European roaming charges, you’ll be able to use your UK allowances at no extra charge when travelling in the EU (Gran Canaria is included in this, as part of Spain). You can therefore use your inclusive allowances to call friends and family in the UK at no extra cost.
      With regards to your friend, she won’t need to pay anything extra to receive your phone call. In the UK, you’ll never be charged for picking up a phone call (all additional charges related to roaming are incurred by the person who goes abroad).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

    • Hello Ken

      Thank you for helping me again and your response was 100% correct. Very much appreciated.

      Now another question re my O2 £10.00 bundle. In Gran Canaria, I would like to occasionally be able to send a photo or important message using Facebook but, so far, cannot do so. If I have WIFI access, there is no problem, but if I am out and about and cannot access any internet network it is impossible. I contacted O2 but could only ascertain they do not have a contract with Spain (Gran Canaria) that will allow me internet access without WIFI. Can this be correct?

      Thank you again for your help….

      • Hi Alyson,
        No worries and really glad I could be of help!
        Are you able to access the internet at all when you’re out and about (e.g. using your web browser or other applications like WhatsApp)? If not, it sounds like the “data roaming” setting has just been switched off on your phone – there’s more information here about how to enable it. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to use Facebook, WhatsApp, etc when you’re out and about. After returning to the UK, I’d probably recommend switching the setting off again (just in case you go somewhere outside of Europe in the future where data roaming won’t be chargeable).
        Hope this helps,
        Ken

        • Hi Ken

          Thank you for your prompt response.

          I have now spent over 90 minutes undertaking an online ‘chat’ with 02. The problem that I am unable to get network (internet) coverage remains unresolved.

          In brief, during the online ‘chat’ it was confirmed that ‘roaming’ is switched on.

          I was requested to try networks – YOIGO, Vodafone ES.
          Movistar and Orange ES – no internet connection was possible with any of these providers.

          It was suggested Network Mode 3G only be set on my phone – this also did not work, ie no internet connection.

          A 5 day working timescale has been raised. Apparently O2 are going to correspond with networks in Spain now.

          When I bought my Samsung Galaxy A5 smartphone with the 02 £10.00 PAYG bundle I was led to believe there would be no problem accessing the internet in Spain (Gran Canaria). It appears however this is only possible with WIFI access.

          I do not think there is anything further I can do. Do you agree?

          Thank you.

          • Hi Alyson,
            Thanks for getting back to me on this. Unfortunately, I don’t really know what to suggest except from continuing to persevere with O2 to resolve this for you. I do believe your service should work in Gran Canaria, so it is likely that this is being caused by a problem on their side. If you like, you can lodge a formal complaint in writing with O2 as they may consider giving you a refund for part of the service you weren’t able to use. Do please keep me updated, and let me if you get to a resolution with O2.
            Ken

          • Hi Ken – I feel like you are my ‘penfriend’ with my continued correspondence! You are so knowledgeable and down to earth and your advice is much appreciated. I will certainly keep you updated with O2’s response and I will lodge a complaint with them. Thanks, as always. Alyson

          • Hello Ken

            Thank you for your response dated 25 Feb at 6.34

            The update is I received a ‘phone call from O2 in Leeds, UK.

            Once I had confirmed data roaming was set on my smartphone, I was directed to “Access Point Names”. I had to add a new Access Point Name and with the information given, now have Internet data access!
            I have looked at information of my previous Access Point Name and the only difference I can see is the Username is now ‘o2web’ where previously it was ‘payandgo’.

            I am so pleased this has been resolved and thank you for your support.

          • Hi Alyson,
            Thank you for the update – I’m really pleased to know the problem was resolved for you, and thank you also for sharing the solution with me (I’ll bear this in mind if anyone asks the same question in the future). Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Gran Canaria – I hope it is pleasantly warm (at the very least, warmer and less snowy than it is in the UK ;)).
            Ken

  • Jenny Mackenzie said:

    Hi Ken! As you know, I’ve written to you before expressing satisfaction with O2, but have just had a sobering reality check. I’ve had a £30 Big Bundle for over two years, which gave me 3,000 UK minutes, 4,000 texts + 20GB data. But it ran out on 31st July when I was in Switzerland for work. I arrived back yesterday to learn when I tried to renew my bundle that because I’d skipped a month, I had to accept the new, revised allowance and was gobsmacked to discover that minutes had been reduced to just one-sixth of what I got previously: 500 minutes; texts were worse: a mere one-eighth of my old allowance at 500; data was unchanged at 20GB. I now apparently have international minutes “from 1p a minute” but I did anyway cos I kept a healthy credit balance on O2 WorldChat. How can they get away with slashing their offering so drastically? (For comparison, at the same £30 price even the much-maligned Vodafone still offers 3,000 minutes, unlimited texts, 20GB data PLUS rollover of unused allowances to the next month.) O2 just lost a very loyal advocate!

    • Hi Jenny,
      Yes, unfortunately, O2 recently updated their bundles to reduce the number of minutes and to increase the amount of data (at least on lower-priced plans). It might be worth giving O2 Customer Services a quick call to see if they’ll possibly consider re-instating your minutes (you’re spending a fair bit with them so it’s possible they’ll overlook the skipped month and put you back on the old tariff). Alternatively, there are a number of mobile networks offering unlimited minutes & unlimited texts on Pay As You Go (e.g. £20/month on Three with 12GB of data, or £25/month with 30GB).
      Ken

  • Wow thanks for this article… I got all the info I needed and way more informative than the O2 website itself. Brilliant!

  • Hi my brother is with o2 pay as you go he puts £10 a month on his phone but runs out of minutes how much more does he need to put on so he gets enough minutes to last the month

    • Hi Diane,
      Thanks for your comment. See the table here for a list of O2’s current Big Bundles. For instance, if your brother were to upgrade to the £15 Big Bundle, he would have 750 minutes per month which should hopefully be more suitable!
      Ken

  • I know most of the comments are about tariffs, but I’ve a question about unlocking phones, can only the place I’ve purchased the phone unlock it, I’m waiting for a delivery of a new phone from O2 I’ve not signed up to a tariff with them but they are sending a £10 Big Bundle triple sim but I want to used another network, but after looking on-line it’s looks like I’ve got to be with O2 12 months before I can request to be unlocked, the phone is a OnePlus 3T and is a Christmas present for my son.

    • Hi Helen,
      There’s more information here about unlocking your smartphone but in short: yes, the only “legitimate” way of unlocking your handset is directly from your mobile network (i.e. O2). Saying that, there are a couple of people on the OnePlus forum suggesting the handset might be provided unlocked (so possibly worth double-checking with O2 to see whether the handset is locked).
      Ken

  • How come 02 are way behind others? Us loyal customers don’t get any good deals like Giffgaff and ASDA. You are 100 times bigger company than those yet when you phone up and you manage to talk to someone there attitude is ‘well go with them then’.
    Sort something out for your customers who have been with you a long time like myself. As for the gurus you have in store in, they are useless arrogant and most times too busy talking c**p

  • Edward Bowden said:

    Hi Ken

    Thanks as always for this clear page.

    I’ve ordered an O2 phone online, and added a £10 big bundle sim, but it hasn’t charged me for the additional £10. Have I made £10, or will the SIM have no credit on it?

    • Hi Edward,
      Thanks for your comment. The SIM card itself should normally be free. Therefore, if you paid £10 for it, this will likely appear in the form of your first £10 Big Bundle. If they didn’t actually charge you anything, it’s possible the SIM card will have no money on it (in this case, you’ll need to top-up by £10 to get your first Big Bundle).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • linda wildman said:

    hi ive been a 02 customer for more years than i would like to admit, ive always been on £15 a month free calls and txt to 02 customers but lately my friends and family have been changing to other users as they have found better deals so now i’m paying in access of30/40 pounds a month where as before i could call and my allowance was always there as they were 02 I have tried to get in touch with customer service 4445 this is now transfered to 4444 and have to listen to all there top up etc. i have tried to chat on line but have not been able to get any joy when i ask what package would suit me with unlimited call and txt or calls to other than 02 customers the chat dies. Maybe you could advise me best deal I only use phone and txt small amount of data if any

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comment. It might be worth having a look at my guide to the best value Pay As You Go bundles. I think there are some really good deals out there – for instance you could get a free SIM card from ASDA Mobile which gives you 600 minutes and unlimited texts for £10/month (that’s any network, any time). You’ll also get 1.5GB of mobile internet.
      If you really do need unlimited calls & unlimited texts, you’ll probably be best off a SIM-only deal. You’ll need to sign up for a 12 month contract to get the best deals but there are some really good ones e.g. Three currently has unlimited calls, unlimited texts and 4GB of data for £9/month (this is a time-limited deal).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I have the 15BUNDLE and I’ve ran out of data, I have topped up another £15.00 and was wondering if anyone knows how to start your bundle early as I have tried and can’t get anywhere, my current big bundle runs out on the 6th Sept.

    • Hi Carrie,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it’s possible to renew your Big Bundle early on O2 (your only option is paying their out-of-bundle rates). If you do need to do this on a regular basis, it might be worth having a look at giffgaff instead as they allow you to renew goodybag bundles early.
      Ken

      • Hi Carrie and Ken!

        I didn’t think it was possible, to renew early either, Ken. So when a couple of months ago, I had used up my 5GB data on my £25 bundle a week before my renewal date, I bought a “bolt-on”, paying £6 for 500MB of data. (Still far cheaper than out-of-bundle rates.) But then I was told by Customer Services that in fact I could renew my Big Bundle at any time (though of course, it meant I lost unexpired minutes and texts). They also explained that my bolt-on hadn’t been a good option because the new £30 bundle gave me 20GB data – or an extra 15GB – for just £5 extra. I changed my bundle from the £25 to the £30 one and, to my surprise, the customer service rep told me she was reimbursing my unused £6 bolt-on. Of course, O2 isn’t ignoring the fact that they will now be renewing my bundle at £30 instead of £25 now, but it suits my needs too, so it’s win-win really. However, Carrie, I don’t think you can renew simply by text; you must call O2 to request it. But it’s a free call and done in 2 minutes. Hope this helps! 🙂

        • Hi Jenny,
          Fantastic news! Sounds like some really good customer service from the team at O2 and really awesome they were able to do this for you. As you say, this is ultimately a win-win situation: they’re making more money from you in the long-run and you’re getting a more appropriate package for your needs. I wasn’t aware they were able to start bundles early over the phone, but it’s really good to know this is possible.
          Ken

  • Previously a Lebara customer, I became fed up with the frequent changes in my UK pass allowance (always downward) and poor customer service. I switched to O2 when I discovered that a £25 bundle actually bought me FAR more. That was in December 2015 and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I now subscribe to the new £30 Big Bundle which gives me 3,000 UK minutes, 4,000 SMS, and 20GB of 4G data. Best of all, voicemail is included in the bundle and I have found customer service to be excellent. Finally, whilst it IS true that O2 international calling rates can be exhorbitant, the O2 WorldChat app brings them down dramatically (1p a minute to Switzerland, for example). I guess there is no “One-size-fits-all” answer to the best operator question, but, personally, I value the premium service a mainstream operator provides, and by choosing a bundle to suit one’s individual needs, plus the app for International calls, it can actually be cheaper than the deals offered by the no-frills virtual operators. Oh! I almost forget to say a huge “Thank You” Ken, for all the work you put into this great website!! 🙂

    • Hi Jenny,
      Thanks for the kind feedback – this made my day!
      I definitely agree that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” best mobile network for everyone and it’s definitely worth researching around to find the best network for you. I think some of the international calling MVNOs have struggled in recent years as there are now lots of alternative ways of calling abroad (e.g. using VoIP applications like O2 WorldChat, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc). This means it is therefore possible to now use a mainstream mobile network whilst also benefiting from the lower international costs.
      For me, it comes down to a combination of things like bundles, coverage, ability to tether, customer service, etc. For other people, there could also be other considerations e.g. the cost of international calling & international travel, the credit expiry policy, the ease of topping up, customer offers, etc. With this website, I’m hoping therefore we can help people to make a well-informed all-round decision rather than one based solely on the cheapest available price.
      Once again, thank you for the kind feedback as nice comments like this make everything worthwhile! Do please let your friends know about the website and feel free to get in touch if you have ideas for a new guide!
      Thanks again,
      Ken

      • Thank you for your comprehensive reply Ken! May I have a second bite at my cherry in order to respond to your very important point about tethering? (And, rest assured, I’m definitely NOT paid by O2 to be their advocate!! 🙂 ) But other users of this site might like to know that O2 has now dropped its ban on tethering which previously discriminated unfairly against their PAYG customers. I travel a lot for business, and am outraged that in 2016 several of the major hotel chains still expect their guests to pay for an often unreliable, unsecured public WiFi. That’s where the 20GB allowance in my £30 bundle is a lifeline cos I can create my own secure WiFi hotspot, & find the 4G service fast enough to enjoy the occasional streamed Amazon movie – a definite plus before bed in yet another soulless hotel room!!

  • I don’t top up every month , last time I did was before Christmas and it was my first month of big bundles, I’m going to top up in the next couple of days, do I need to select the big bundles tarif again or if I top up normally over the phone will it give me the big bundles package?

    • Hi Bridie,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, your phone should still be on the Big Bundles tariff so you can just top it up again to get the bundle 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hi Ken,

    Just wondering if you can help me? I bought a new phone Pay-As-You-Go from O2 shop near where I live and also a £10 a month sim. Over the month I have added an extra 10 top up twice, and currenly low on credit, but have 2900 texts, but when I send a text my credit goes down.

    How do I get access to using those texts?

    Cheers

    • Hi Glenn,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you currently on Big Bundles or Big Talker? With Big Bundles, you can use the inclusive SMS to send a message to any UK network. With Big Talker, the free texts can only be sent to other O2 customers. If you’re using the latter, I suspect this is why you’re currently being charged for some of the text messages.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • I topped up £10.00 and noticed after several texes my credit had gone down, I phoned 4444 and my big bundle had 250 mins 500 megabite but zero texes, as I only use this to tex my grandchildren I am unsure if someone could help me thank you so much, my credit is nearly zero from texting my son and grandchildren in a few hours. I am not sure how these work and I am sorry to bother you thank you

    • Hi Janie,
      It’s really odd that your Big Bundle is listed as having no inclusive texts. It’s probably a technical glitch on the side of O2… to get this resolved, it’s probably best to call O2 Customer Services on 4445 from your Pay As You Go mobile.
      Ken

  • Hi
    I’m on £15 per month big bundles.
    A simple question please, I’m going to Paris for my 50 soon I have an iPhone 5 I do not want to get charged heavily if I need to use my phone, any tips please?
    What do I need to turn off so not to come home to a killer bill.
    Great Site
    BW
    Richard

  • Sheryl Banks said:

    I’m a very unhappy existing customer!

    I pay £10 per month for the works bolt on and all I’m getting is GPRS or E no 3G everytime I sit and be patient and wait for the reception to come on it’s eating into my allowance which isn’t fair

    So what can you do about that because if I don’t get back some compensation of £50 credit onto my phone allowance and the works bolt on to start working again then I’m afraid I’m moving mobile phone providers I don’t think £50 is an unfair amount and I think to have the works bolt on to start working properly again isn’t such an unreasonable request
    So I will give you a week to resolve this and if it hasn’t been successful then I’m going to go to a different mobile provider

    • Hi Sheryl,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the website you’ve reached doesn’t belong to O2 (this is an independent website writing about mobile phone deals in the UK). My recommendation is you contact O2 directly with details of your complaint – they’ll be able to take more of an in-depth look for you.
      Good luck,
      Ken

    • Hi Paula,
      Thanks for your comment. On O2’s Big Bundles tariff, you can send MMS picture messages for 35p each. As you aren’t able to use your inclusive allowances, you’ll need to have extra credit on your SIM card. If you still aren’t able to send a picture message, it’s possible you need to download O2’s picture message settings. You can do this by texting ACTIVE to 2020.
      Ken

  • I want to switch my current O2 pay as you go deal to big bundle deal but I want to keep my current number.is this ok

    • Hi Asif,
      Thanks for your comment. Yep: this is no problem at all. You can join the Big Bundles tariff by following the instructions here (text “Big 10” to 21300 for the £10 Big Bundle, “Big 15” for the £15 Big Bundle, etc). You can also change tariffs by dialling 2202 or by logging in to the My O2 website. You’ll keep the same phone number after changing your tariff.
      Ken

    • Hi NJ,
      Thanks – that’s really good news for O2 Pay & Go customers. I’ll be sure to update this article on the 7th May 🙂
      Ken

  • o2 deals aren’t great, if anything expensive. As for showincasing other phone providers such as GiffGaff – whose PAYG I tried last month. It was a total disaster as once I purchased a £12 Goodybag I found I could only call and text but NO internet. I tried to download their app only to receive notice that my device not suitable – am on Samsung Galaxy S2 still on Gingerbread version. I complained ontheir site and since to their Chief Ecxecutive but aside from a response for more details, which I dutifully provided – to date no response! There’s a brighter ending as I received a free £10 voucher at Sainsbury’s Till though a couple of staff claimed there includiny a Till Supervisor claimed there was no free credit and that

      • Hi Ken

        Many thanks for your response.

        My earlier comment – I did on my small mobile screen and inadvertently hadn’t finished it.

        When I had the GiffGaff sim – the first thing I did was to follow their instructions re APN, but not every guideline followed allowed me to complete the process. This was mentioned to GiffGaff, but no response.

        Although GiffGaff comes highly recommended on all the various sites, I won’t be using their service again, because they have failed to respond in a timely manner nor seek to resolve our issues. Even my partner who started using GiffGaff around the same time as me has issues from the beginning (different to mine) and he’s explained in detail via their online service, but their GiffGaff responder was extremely offhand in his response! Very rude! Unsurprisingly their Chief Executive – has not sought to resolve each our issues and has remained incommunicado since sending him all the info he requested when he first responded! So I’m afraid we won’t be singing the praises of GiffGaff – in fact the reverse.

        With a bit of luck on my side – 2 days ago Sainsbury’s Mobile issued me an unexpected free £10 voucher (at their till) to use their service, although I had conflicting info from 2 members of their store staff including a Till Supervisor, who claimed I’ll only get a free Sim and had to be in possession of a Nectar card. However, I pursued it and returned later that day and spoke to someone else and she said – the voucher is for free £10 top up credit along with free Sim and without being in possession of a Nectar card. She was prompt and helpful in providing me what I was entitled to. As the top up credit is for calls only I have since bought one of their one off packages, which includes internet and have had no complaints! Its been very easy to set up, a great service all round, at home and away from home!

        Thanks again for your response.

        Annee

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