Virgin Mobile offers 30-day ‘JAM Packs’ on Pay As You Go. Packs come with an allowance of minutes, texts and 3G internet from £10/month.
Virgin Mobile has re-launched their Pay As You Go service in the UK, with new 30-day Pay As You Go ‘JAM Pack’ bundles. For £10/month, customers on Virgin Pay As You Go can get a JAM Pack with 500 minutes, 500 texts and 2GB of internet.
The JAM Packs tariff is available without a credit check, but doesn’t provide access to 4G coverage. Instead, customers are restricted to only having 2G and 3G coverage from EE.
In this article, we’ll review Virgin’s JAM Packs tariff including the allowances available on it and how you can buy a JAM Pack bundle. We’ll then compare Virgin’s JAM Packs tariff to alternatives from other mobile networks, before looking at the coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.
Bundles & Pricing
Customers on Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go in the UK have a choice of three 30-day ‘JAM Pack’ bundles.
The bundles will give you the following 30-day allowance of minutes, texts and data in exchange for a £10, £15 or £20 top-up:
On all three bundles, you’ll only have access to 3G speeds, as Virgin Mobile currently reserves their 4G coverage for Pay Monthly customers.
At the end of the 30 days, Virgin Mobile will automatically renew your bundle providing there’s enough credit on your account. You can check your remaining balance and allowance by texting ANY to 789000 at any time. Any unused allowances will expire along with your bundle, and will not carry over into the following month.
If you have a Virgin Mobile home phone or broadband service, you’ll also get unlimited ‘Virgin Mobile to Virgin Mobile’ calls on your handset. To qualify, you’ll need to text either your Virgin home phone number or Virgin Media account number to 789444. You’ll also need to top-up a minimum of £10 per month.
Out of Bundle Charges
If you use up the inclusive allowances on your JAM Pack, or decide not to buy a JAM Pack in any given month, you’ll instead pay Virgin Mobile’s standard Pay As You Go rates:
|Voice Calls||40p/minute (any network, any time)|
|Calls to Voicemail||26p/call (when outside of allowances)|
|Calls to Special Rate Numbers||36p/minute access charge
+ service charge from the company you’re calling
|Text Message (SMS)||15p|
|Picture Message (MMS)||30p|
|3G Mobile Internet||£2/day (up to 200MB/day)
+ an additional £2/day per 200MB thereafter
In general, we think these rates are exceptionally expensive, and there are some much cheaper tariffs available if you’re looking for low Pay As You Go rates (e.g. 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB on O2 and Three).
One small benefit of being on Virgin Pay As You Go is that calls are billed on a per-second basis and rounded to the nearest penny (albeit, with a minimum call charge of one minute or 40p per call). This is refreshing when most other mobile networks have moved to per-second billing, with the length of all phone calls being rounded up to a complete minute before charges are taken.
If you’d like to buy, change or cancel a JAM Pack bundle, you can text the following bundle codes to 789789:
|Bundle||To Buy JAM Pack||To Change JAM Pack||To Cancel JAM Pack|
|£10 JAM Pack||Text Buy JAM 10 to 789789||Text Change JAM 10 to 789789||Text Cancel JAM 10 to 789789|
|£15 JAM Pack||Text Buy JAM 15 to 789789||Text Change JAM 15 to 789789||Text Cancel JAM 15 to 789789|
|£20 JAM Pack||Text Buy JAM 20 to 789789||Text Change JAM 20 to 789789||Text Cancel JAM 20 to 789789|
If you have a debit card or credit card attached to your account, buying a JAM Pack will also top-up your account with the relevant amount of credit.
If you’d like to keep your current JAM Pack but would simply like to change it when your allowances next refresh, texting the code to change your JAM Pack will be a much better option.
If you’re currently using a JAM Pack and would like to cancel automatic renewal, you can text the cancellation code above to cancel your JAM Pack. This will cause you to move back to standard Pay As You Go rates of 40p/minute, 15p/text and £2/day for 200MB of internet.
Comparison to Alternatives
£10 per month bundles
For £10 per month, Virgin Mobile is currently offering a £10 JAM Pack with 500 minutes, 500 texts and 2GB of internet (up to 3G speeds only, using coverage from EE).
As an alternative, giffgaff offers a £10 goodybag with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of internet. This comes with more data and faster 4G speeds so would be our recommended alternative to Virgin’s £10 JAM Pack (giffgaff makes use of coverage from O2).
If you’d like to have coverage from EE, ASDA Mobile is also a worthwhile alternative that’s worth exploring. For £10/month on ASDA Mobile, you can get a bundle with 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet. However, unlike with Virgin Pay As You Go, you’ll get access to 4G speeds when using the ASDA Mobile service.
£15 per month bundles
Virgin offers a £15 JAM Pack with 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 6GB of internet (up to 3G speeds only).
For a similarly-priced alternative, giffgaff’s £15 goodybag will give you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 6GB of internet. This includes access to faster 4G speeds, along with unlimited minutes which isn’t available on Virgin Mobile’s JAM Pack.
£20 per month bundles
For £20 per month, Virgin’s flagship JAM Pack comes with 2000 minutes, 2000 texts and 10GB of data (up to 3G speeds only).
For the same monthly price, larger allowances are available on other networks. For instance, giffgaff has Always-On data on their £20 goodybag (unlimited downloads with 4G speeds on the first 9GB per month). Three is also offering a Pay As You Go tariff with 12GB of 4G internet for £20 per month.
For a complete overview of all the available options, see our in-depth comparison of Pay As You Go bundles.
2G & 3G Coverage from EE
Customers on Virgin Mobile’s JAM Packs have access to 99% population coverage across the UK. This is provided by EE’s 2G and 3G networks (this is the combined network previously formed from Orange and T-Mobile).
Before signing up for the service, we strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area on the Virgin Mobile website. When doing so, you should ignore the results for 4G coverage as this isn’t available for customers on Pay As You Go.
For more information about mobile coverage in the UK, please read our full guide on UK virtual network operators.
No 4G Coverage
Unfortunately, Virgin Mobile doesn’t yet offer 4G coverage to customers on Pay As You Go. This means customers on the ‘JAM Packs’ Pay As You Go tariff will only have access to 2G and 3G speeds.
If you’d like access to 4G speeds on Virgin Mobile, you’ll need to take a Pay Monthly contract instead. Alternatively, you can choose another Pay As You Go network like ASDA Mobile or giffgaff who both have 4G coverage.
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with other devices (e.g. your laptop or tablet).
As of April 2018, the use of tethering and personal hotspot should be permitted on all Virgin Mobile tariffs.
For more information, see our in-depth guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another mobile network to join Virgin Pay As You Go, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number. As an added incentive, you’ll also get a free allowance of 100 UK minutes.
To move your phone number to Virgin Pay As You Go, you should start by contacting your old mobile network to ask them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to Virgin.
Once you have the PAC Code from your old mobile network, you can order your new phone or JAM Packs SIM card from the Virgin Mobile website. Once this arrives and once you’ve set it all up, you can then contact Virgin Mobile customer services on 789. Once you’ve given them your PAC Code, your phone number transfer will take place on the next working day (this is providing your PAC Code is submitted before 6pm).
For a step-by-step guide on moving your number to Virgin, please select your current network from the drop down menu below:
Our in-depth guide to transferring your phone number has more information about the number transfer process.