Three offers Pay As You Go bundles from £10/month with 10GB of data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 5G at no extra cost.
Three has supercharged their Pay As You Go service in the UK with a range of new Data Pack bundles from £10/month. Customers will now get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 10GB of data on Three’s £10 bundle. You’ll also get inclusive roaming in 71 destinations and access to 5G at no extra cost.
Heavy data users can choose from three other bundles. You can get 20GB of data on the £15 Data Pack, 40GB of data on the £20 Data Pack and unlimited data on the £30 Data Pack. Like on the £10 bundle, you’ll also get unlimited minutes & unlimited texts included on all of these plans.
In this article, we’ll review Three’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll start by looking at their Pay As You Go bundles and at the normal Pay As You Go rates for customers not buying a bundle. We’ll then look at some of the features and benefits of Three Pay As You Go, before looking at how you’re able to join and the coverage that’s available. Finally, we’ll discuss how to keep your current phone number when joining Three’s Pay As You Go service.
- 1 Bundles & Pricing
- 2 Features & Benefits
- 3 321 Plan
- 4 Joining Three Pay As You Go
- 5 Coverage
- 6 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 More Information
Bundles & Pricing
As of March 2020, Three has revamped their Pay As You Go service in the UK for customers ordering a Pay As You Go SIM card through their website.
Their new Supercharged Pay As You Go service allows you to buy one-month bundles from £10/month. As well as the increased data allowance, you’ll get access to features like Go Roam, 5G at no extra cost and no need to undergo a credit check. It’s also possible to use the service without buying a monthly bundle at a cost of 10p/minute, 10p/text and 5p/MB.
Data Pack Bundles
On Three, there’s currently a choice of four Pay As You Go bundles, sometimes also referred to as Data Pack bundles. All of the Data Pack bundles include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, plus an allowance of mobile data with access to 5G at no extra cost:
At the time of writing, the allowances available on Three are significantly larger than on other major Pay As You Go networks. For instance, Three offers 10GB of data on their £10 Data Pack bundle. This compares to 6GB of data on giffgaff and VOXI, 3GB of data on O2 and Vodafone, and 2GB of data on EE.
The allowances in your Data Pack bundle will last for one calendar month with any unused allowances expiring with the bundle. If you use up all of the data in your bundle, you can buy a data add-on. It costs £5/month for an extra 1GB of data, £7/month for an extra 3GB of data or £8/month for an extra 6GB of data. Alternatively, you can pay £5/day for an unlimited data add-on. It’s also possible to use extra data at the normal Pay As You Go rate, but this tends to be more expensive at 5p/MB.
Because there’s no contract, you can change your Data Pack bundle at the end of each month (e.g. to get a different bundle with more data, or to get a cheaper bundle to save money).
Customers who joined Three Pay As You Go before the 12th March 2020 will typically be on the 321 tariff instead. On this tariff, a different range of 30 day bundles are available. The bundles include a smaller allowance of data each month (e.g. only 4GB of data for £10/month).
Pay As You Go Rates
It isn’t necessary to always have an active Data Pack on your account. Instead, if you like, it’s also possible to use Three’s Pay As You Go service on a traditional basis. Here, you’ll only pay for what you actually use on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis. There are no regular monthly fees if you choose to do this, and no need to top-up your phone every month.
The following table shows Three’s standard Pay As You Go rates:
|Voice Calls||10p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||10p/minute|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||45p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||10p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||40p|
For most regular mobile users, it will work out far cheaper buying a Data Pack. For instance, on traditional Pay As You Go, you can either make 100 minutes of phone calls or you can use 200MB of data for a £10 top-up. For comparison, the £10 Data Pack bundle gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and a massive 10GB of data (10GB is equal to 10,000MB). That’s 50 times more data than what you’d get on traditional Pay As You Go.
You’ll need to top-up your SIM card or make a chargeable activity at least once every six months to keep your SIM card active.
Customers who joined Three before the 12th March 2020 may be on a different Pay As You Go plan called 321. On the 321 plan, you’ll pay 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB. This is slightly better value if you’re looking for traditional Pay As You Go, but the range of available bundles is much less competitive.
Features & Benefits
For customers on Three’s Pay As You Go service, a key benefit is being able to use your mobile phone abroad in 71 destinations at no extra charge. The Go Roam Around The World offer covers your usage in most European countries, the USA, Australia and more.
In our opinion, Three’s Pay As You Go service is a really good option for customers who occasionally travel abroad. You can use the SIM card to stay in touch with friends and family whilst travelling, and you can continue using your favourite applications like social media, messaging and maps.
To get the best value when travelling abroad, we recommend buying either the £10 or £15 bundle. You can use up to 20GB of your data allowance abroad when travelling in Europe and up to 12GB when travelling to a Go Roam country outside of Europe.
It’s possible to get unlimited data (also known as all-you-can-eat data) for £30/month on Three’s Pay As You Go service. With the £30 Data Pack, you’ll get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data at up to 5G speeds.
There are no fair usage limits on Three’s Pay As You Go service – the only requirement is it needs to be for your own personal, non-commercial usage. The unlimited data allowance can be shared with other devices through the tethering or personal hotspot feature on your phone.
For more information, see our full guide to unlimited data on Three.
5G At No Extra Cost
A unique selling point of Three’s Pay As You Go service is the ability to access 5G at no extra cost. Unlike all other UK mobile networks, you can access 5G on any of Three’s Pay As You Go bundles without paying anything extra.
The benefits of using 5G on Three include faster download speeds, more network capacity and a reduced amount of latency. According to Three, they’re building the UK’s fastest 5G mobile network, with 140MHz of 5G spectrum (significantly more than any other network).
You’ll need a 5G-ready handset and will need to be in a 5G coverage area to access 5G on Three.
No Credit Check
There’s no need to undergo a credit check when joining Three’s Pay As You Go service. This makes it an ideal option for people who don’t want to undergo a credit check or for people who aren’t normally able to pass one (e.g. under 18s and people who have recently moved to the UK and have only a limited credit history).
If you’re happy to undergo a credit check, you can also consider a Pay Monthly SIM card from Three.
Most customers who joined Three Pay As You Go before the 12th March 2020 will be on a different Pay As You Go plan known as 321.
On the legacy 321 plan, you’ll have access to lower Pay As You Go rates (3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB). However, the range of Pay As You Go bundles available to you are less competitive (e.g. you’ll get 4GB of data instead than 10GB of data for £10/month). For this reason, it might be worth upgrading to the newer Pay As You Go plan as you’ll get a lot more data for your money when buying a one-month bundle.
The following table shows a list of Pay As You Go bundles available on Three’s older Pay As You Go plan:
for 30 days
for 30 days
for 30 days
for 30 days
for 30 days
for 90 days
If you’re ordering a Pay As You Go handset from Three, you’ll still be given a SIM card from Three on the 321 plan. Rates of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB are also still available on the Data Reward SIM card.
Joining Three Pay As You Go
The easiest way to join Three’s Pay As You Go service is by ordering a free SIM card through their website. The SIM card will be sent to you through the post and can be inserted into any unlocked smartphone to take advantage of the Data Pack bundles.
If you’d like to buy a new mobile phone at the same time as joining Three’s Pay As You Go service, a selection of Pay As You Go phones are available through the Three website. Handsets are available from a range of manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Honor, Google, OnePlus and others. There’s a selection of 5G-ready smartphones allowing you to access 5G coverage on Three. You’ll be given a SIM card on the 321 tariff when buying a Pay As You Go phone from Three.
3G & 4G Coverage
In the UK, Three offers 99.8% population coverage. This includes 98.3% population coverage on their 3G network and 99.8% population coverage on their 4G network.
Before joining Three’s Pay As You Go service, we’d strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Three’s online coverage map:
Unfortunately, Three doesn’t provide any 2G coverage. For this reason, if you’re using an older 2G-only handset, it won’t be possible to receive any coverage from Three. You may also experience problems when using a Three SIM card in a dual-SIM smartphone.
For more information, see our full guide to the coverage on Three. Alternatively, see our overview of how mobile coverage works in the UK.
Unlike most other mobile networks, Three’s Pay As You Go service includes access to 5G at no extra cost. To use it, you’ll need to make sure you have a 5G-ready smartphone and you’ll need to be in a 5G coverage area.
At present, 5G coverage is available in the following UK towns and cities:
|Now Live||68 towns and cities are live on Three 5G (May 2020)|
Aberdeen, Abingdon-on-Thames, Aldershot, Aldridge, Balloch, Barrow-in-Furness, Basildon, Bath, Bedford, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Blackpool, Borehamwood, Bradford, Brighton, Brookmans Park, Cannock, Cardiff, Chatham, Clayton-le-Woods, Coventry, Crawley, Cullingworth, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Glasgow, Gorebridge, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Heanor, Hedge End, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Inchinnan, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Leyland, Liverpool, London, Lower Stondon, Luton, Maidstone, Manchester, Mansfield, Motherwell, Neston, Newquay, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Peterborough, Plymouth, Preston, Reading, Redcar, Royston, Sheffield, Slough, St Albans, Stevenage, Swadlincote, Swindon, Telford, Westhoughton, Wickford, Wigan
For more information, see our guide to 5G coverage in the UK.
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). It’s a great way to share a mobile broadband connection from your phone onto other devices.
From April 2018 onwards, it’s been possible to use tethering and personal hotspot in the UK and Europe. Some limitations still apply to tethering when you’re travelling to a Go Roam country outside of Europe.
Prior to April 2018, the use of tethering and personal hotspot was not permitted on Three Pay As You Go.
For more information, see our full guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
On Three, international roaming is enabled automatically for all customers on Pay As You Go.
For customers visiting one of 71 destinations (including most of Europe, the USA and Australia), it’s possible to use your mobile phone abroad at no extra cost through the Go Roam offer. For more information, find out about the international coverage on Go Roam.
If you’re visiting a country that’s not covered by the Go Roam offer, additional charges may apply for your usage when abroad. Please see the Three website for full details about their international coverage.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re joining Three’s Pay As You Go service from another mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to bring your phone number with you.
To start off, order your new Pay As You Go SIM card from the Three website. Once you’ve done that, request a PAC Code from your old network. You can get this through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. The PAC Code will authorise the transfer of your phone number to Three.
After your new SIM card arrives from Three, fill out this number transfer form on their website. After submitting your PAC Code through that page, your phone number transfer will then be scheduled by Three (normally to take place on the next working day).
For step-by-step instructions on how to transfer a phone number to Three, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
For more information about transferring a phone number between mobile networks, see our guide to using a PAC Code.
Frequently Asked Questions
|What bundles are available on Three Pay As You Go?||
Customers on Three’s New Pay As You Go service can choose from four different Data Pack bundles. You’ll get 10GB of data for £10/month, 20GB of data for £15/month, 40GB of data for £20/month or unlimited data for £30/month. All bundles include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, as well as access to 5G coverage in areas that support it (a 5G handset is required).
|What’s the minimum top-up on Three?||
The minimum top-up is £5 if you’re topping up online through this link. If you’re topping up elsewhere (e.g. in store or by phone), the minimum top-up is £10.
|What are the standard Pay As You Go rates on Three?||
If you don’t have an active bundle on your account, you’ll pay 10p/minute, 10p/text and 5p/MB. Customers who joined Three before the 12th March 2020 may have access to 321 rates instead (3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB).
|Is it possible to use Go Roam with Three Pay As You Go?|
|What type of coverage will I get on Three Pay As You Go?||
You’ll get 3G, 4G and 5G coverage from Three. According to Three, they offer 99.8% population coverage – you can check the coverage in your area on their website. 5G coverage started rolling out in 2020, with 5G coverage currently available in over 60 UK towns and cities.
|Can I keep an existing phone number?||
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Ask your current mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. You can then provide the PAC Code to Three once you’ve ordered and activated your SIM card.
For more information about Three’s Pay As You Go service, please see their official website.