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.
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.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Coverage
- 4 Joining Big Bundles
- 5 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 More Information
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As of November 2019, O2 has withdrawn their traditional Pay As You Go plan from new customers.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.
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:
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
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:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong*
- Puerto Rico*
- Republic of Ireland
- Slovak Republic
- South Africa†
- South Korea*
- US Virgin Islands*
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.
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
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:
|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|
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
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
O2’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.
£10 per month bundles
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.
£15 per month bundles
O2 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.
£20 per month bundles
O2 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).
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 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:
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 in the following locations:
|Now Live||60 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
|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.
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 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|
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
|What Pay As You Go bundles are available on O2?||
O2 currently offers the four following Pay As You Go bundles:
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?|
|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.