SIM-only deals can save you money on your mobile phone bill every month. Compare the UK’s best value SIM-only deals.

A good way to save money on your phone bill is by switching to a SIM-only deal. This is a low-cost SIM card for your mobile phone with an inclusive allowance of minutes, texts and mobile data. You can keep your current phone number when changing to a SIM-only deal and will normally get lots of flexibility with either a 12-month or a 1-month rolling contract.

In this article, we’ll review and compare the UK’s best value SIM-only deals. This includes big name mobile networks like EE, O2, Three and Vodafone as well as lower-cost alternatives like giffgaff, iD Mobile, SMARTY and VOXI.

How Do SIM Only Deals Work?

A SIM only deal for your mobile phone gives you an allowance of minutes, texts and mobile data. You’ll get a new SIM card that slots into your smartphone, normally with much lower prices than what you’d pay on a normal mobile contract.

Here are some key things to know about SIM Only deals:

1. You’ll Keep Your Existing Phone Number

When switching to a SIM-only deal, it’s easy taking your phone number with you. Simply request a PAC Code from your old mobile network, either through their app, website or text message. You can then provide this code to your new network. Our PAC Code Finder can walk you through this process one step at a time.

2. The New SIM Card Slots Into Your Smartphone

When you sign up for a SIM-only deal, you’ll be sent a SIM card through the post from your new mobile network. This SIM card will slot inside your current smartphone. There’s no need to backup or to transfer any data: your phone book, photos, messages and other apps will still be there after you change your SIM card.

If your mobile phone was previously used on another mobile network, it might be necessary for you to unlock it. For more information, see our step-by-step guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

3. You’ll Always Get Coverage From EE, O2, Three or Vodafone

Regardless of which mobile network you choose, you’ll always be getting coverage from one of the four big providers.

Other mobile networks piggyback on coverage from the big four:

4. You’ll Save Money Compared To A Regular Contract

A SIM-only deal will usually work out to be much cheaper than a traditional 24-month contract. For instance, you might need to pay around £50/month for the latest iPhone on a 24-month contract with 4GB of data. The equivalent SIM-only deal would cost you around £8/month, saving you in the region of £500 per year.

Nowadays, many people decide to buy their mobile phones on a SIM-free basis and use it in conjunction with a SIM-only deal. This usually saves you a fair bit of money and gives you a lot more flexibility compared to a 24-month contract.

Compare SIM Only Deals

The following interactive comparison tool can help you to find the best value SIM card for your usage.

Simply choose how much data you want on your SIM-only deal, the maximum contract length you’d be happy with and the mobile networks you’re considering:

How much data do you want on your plan each month?

How long are you willing to commit for on a contract?

Which networks would you be happy to take a plan from?

Showing 169 of 169 price plans that match your criteria

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Lebara Mobile1,0001,0002GB£5.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£5.00
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£5.00
1 month
Three600Unlimited1GB£5.00
12 months
ASDA Mobile200Unlimited750MB£5.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£6.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited1.5GB£6.00
1 month
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited500MB£6.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£7.00
12 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£7.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
1 month
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£7.00
1 month
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited2.5GB£7.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£7.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile5005,0002GB£7.50
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£8.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£8.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£8.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£8.00
1 month
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£8.00
24 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£8.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£9.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited9GB£9.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£9.00
24 months
Plusnet MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£9.00
1 month
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£9.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£9.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£10.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£10.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£10.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile3,0005,0008GB£10.00
12 months
ASDA Mobile600Unlimited7GB£10.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
1 month
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
1 month
Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£10.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£10.00
24 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£10.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
12 months
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£10.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£11.00
24 months
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited24GB£12.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£12.00
12 months
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£12.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£12.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
1 month
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile5,000Unlimited8GB£12.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£12.00
24 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited2GB£12.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£12.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile3,0005,00015GB£12.50
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£13.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£13.00
12 months
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£13.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£14.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£14.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£14.00
12 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£15.00
1 month
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£15.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile3,0005,00025GB£15.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£15.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimited20GB£15.00
18 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
1 month
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
1 month
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
12 months
Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£15.00
12 months
ASDA Mobile1,000Unlimited10GB£15.00
1 month
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£15.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£15.00
24 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£15.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,0005GB£15.00
12 months
Virgin Mobile2,500Unlimited20GB£16.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£16.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£16.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£16.00
1 month
EEUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£16.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£16.00
1 month
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£17.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£17.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile05,00050GB£17.50
24 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£18.00
24 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£18.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£18.00
12 months
Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£18.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£19.00
1 month
EEUnlimitedUnlimited3GB£19.00
12 months
Superdrug MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
1 month
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimited120GB£20.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
24 months
TalkmobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£20.00
12 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£20.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£20.00
18 months
Tesco Mobile3,0005,00050GB£20.00
12 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited45GB£20.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£20.00
12 months
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£20.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£20.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£20.00
24 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,00020GB£20.00
12 months
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£20.00
1 month
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£20.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£22.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£22.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£22.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£22.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£24.00
18 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£24.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£25.00
18 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£25.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£25.00
18 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,00050GB£25.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£25.00
12 months
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£25.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£25.00
24 months
Sky MobileUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£25.00
12 months
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£25.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£25.00
1 month
ASDA MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£25.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£27.00
24 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£27.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£27.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited20GB£27.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£28.00
12 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
BT MobileUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£30.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,000100GB£30.00
12 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,000100GB£30.00
12 months
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimited50GB£30.00
1 month
EEUnlimitedUnlimited200GB£31.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£37.00
1 month

You can scroll through the full list of price plans to see currently available deals that match your criteria. If you’re not sure about how much data you’d like on your plan, see our guide to mobile download limits.

Best SIM Only Networks By Feature

Best SIM Card For Value

The best value SIM-only deal really depends on how much data you need each month. It’s important not to get carried away and to choose a plan with lots more data than you actually need.

Once you’ve decided how much data you need, the following table will show you a summary of the cheapest SIM-only mobile networks:

Data AllowanceCheapest PlanCheapest Mobile Network
500MB Data£5.00/monthLebara Mobile & Talkmobile
1GB Data£5.00/monthLebara Mobile & Talkmobile
2GB Data£5.00/monthLebara Mobile
3GB Data£7.00/monthThree & Plusnet Mobile
4GB Data£7.00/monthThree & Plusnet Mobile
6GB Data£8.00/monthiD Mobile & Vodafone
8GB Data£8.00/monthiD Mobile & Vodafone
12GB Data£10.00/monthSmarty & Three
20GB Data£10.00/monthSmarty
100GB Data£18.00/monthSmarty & Three

Alternatively, use the interactive comparison table above, selecting the amount of data you need. It will show you a list of available price plans that match your criteria.

Best SIM Card For Network Coverage

If you’re looking for the SIM-only mobile network that gives you the best coverage, there isn’t a simple answer to this as it depends very much on where you live.

All four network coverage providers claim to offer 99% population coverage, but they differ in the exact areas they cover and in the strength and type of mobile signal.

The easiest way to check the coverage in your area is by clicking through to the relevant online coverage maps for each provider:

Enter your postcode on each of the above coverage maps to see whether you’re able to get coverage where you live. Alternatively, you can read our in-depth guides to the coverage on EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Once you’ve figured out the coverage providers that work in your area, find out which mobile networks piggyback on each provider. Piggyback mobile networks offer the same underlying coverage as the host mobile network provider.

Our interactive comparison table above will allow you to filter SIM-only deals by the coverage provider they’re using.

Best SIM Card For Flexibility & No Credit Check

If you’re looking for a flexible SIM card that doesn’t require credit checks, you can choose a SIM-only deal from ASDA Mobile, giffgaff, Lebara Mobile, SMARTY or VOXI. All of them offer one-month rolling plans that you pay for in advance, with no credit check required.

At present, you can get 2GB of data from £5/month on a flexible SIM-only deal:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Lebara Mobile1,0001,0002GB£5.00
ASDA Mobile300Unlimited2.5GB£7.00
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£7.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited2GB£8.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00

Because of the flexibility that’s available to you, it’s possible to change the plan you buy as frequently as every month (e.g. to get more data or to save money by changing to a plan with less data).

For more information, read our guide to SIM-only deals with no need for a credit check.

Best SIM Card For Download Speeds

For access to the fastest download speeds, pick a SIM card that gives you access to 5G coverage on a 5G-ready smartphone.

At present, you can get a 5G SIM-only deal for as little as £5/month, with plans available from multiple different networks.

The following table shows the cheapest 5G-ready SIM-only deals available on each network:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
Three600Unlimited1GB£5.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimited5GB£10.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimited5GB£15.00
24 months
Tesco Mobile5,0005,0005GB£15.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimited60GB£24.00
18 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month

Our guide to 5G SIM-only deals has a full comparison of the options available on each network.

Best SIM Card For International Roaming

On most SIM-only deals, you’ll have access to international roaming. This allows you to continue using your smartphone when abroad in other countries. There are some notable exceptions to this, such as on Vodafone’s discounted Basics price plan which offers UK-only usage.

If you regularly travel abroad to other countries, we’d recommend getting a SIM card from Three. This is because their SIM-only price plans include the Go Roam offer which allows you to use your mobile phone in 71 destinations at no extra charge. This includes most European countries along with 20 destinations outside of Europe (including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and more).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£10.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited100GB£18.00
24 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£18.00
24 months

You can also choose Vodafone’s Unlimited Max price plan which comes with roaming at no extra cost in 81 destinations through Global Roaming Plus. Alternatively, EE offers the Roam Further Pass as a swappable benefit on their Smart SIM cards allowing you to use your mobile phone in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Best SIM Card For Unlimited Data

An unlimited data plan will allow you to use your mobile phone as much as you like without needing to worry about running out of data mid-month.

If you’re looking for a SIM-only deal with unlimited data, you can currently choose from ten different mobile networks.

The following table shows a selection of the cheapest unlimited data plans available on each network:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£22.00
24 months
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
24 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
24 months
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£27.00
24 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
Lebara MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
1 month
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
18 months

For more information, see our full round-up of unlimited data plans in the UK. As an alternative, you can also consider a zero-rated data plan which gives you unlimited data for use on certain services (e.g. for social media, video or music).

More Information

For further information about a specific SIM-only deal, please click through to the relevant website to learn more about it. Alternatively, you can read our in-depth reviews of mobile networks and tariffs in the UK.

Your Comments 135 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 135 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Thanks for all the useful information Ken. I wanted to ask about the Vodafone sim only deals for £6 and £8 that you have on the page. I couldn’t find these anywhere on vodafone’s own website so wondering how these are available. Looking at the data plan, both include additional data allowance at no extra cost (1GB for £6 and 2GB for £8) and I wanted to ask how this worked.

  • Hi Ken,
    Extremely useful information here. Thanks.
    I’m currently using 3 on a monthly rolling contract, how do I switch to the 3 deal you provided above?

    Coz I’m not switching so I don’t need a PAC code, and if I walk into the shop or logon to my3 I cannot view any deals like yours. Please kindly instruct me what I should do.

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Jon,
      Thanks for your comment. There are really two ways you can do this:
      1. You can process it as an upgrade within Three (i.e. go to Three and see what plans are available for you to upgrade to). You might not have full access to the range of price plans listed here.
      2. The table above contains lots of new customer price plans, which might be priced more competitively to attract new customers to Three. They often don’t want existing customers to move on to those plans (especially if they’re giving you more data for a lower monthly price). If you’d like to take advantage of them, you can easily port your phone number out to another network and then back in to Three. Order a free Pay As You Go SIM card from another network and use a PAC Code to move your phone number onto that network and back.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • That’s the problem I had with 3 I wanted upgrade from 4 gig data to 8 gig more data cheeper than what I was paying 3 lied we don’t sell a plan like this you can’t upgrade when it was on their website they wouldn’t budge discusting practice
      I have left 3 horible network horrible customer service

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