Vodafone Red plans give you access to 5G, along with larger data options and some advanced features. Compare Vodafone Red and Vodafone Basics plans.

In the UK, Vodafone offers ‘Red’ plans from £21 per month, as well as cheaper ‘Basics’ plans that start from just £7 per month.

On the Red plans, you’ll have access to Vodafone’s 5G network, and a choice of data allowances that go up to 200GB per month. In contrast, the Vodafone Basics plans are restricted to 4G coverage and a maximum of 50GB data per month.

For most people, we still think Vodafone Basics is a better value choice. Although you’re restricted to 4G coverage, this can still give you download speeds of around 25Mbps on average. That’s fast enough for pretty much anything you’d like to do on your phone, including streaming Ultra HD video. The Basics plans go up to 50GB per month, which is enough for most users (as the average UK mobile user only needs 8GB per month). The shorter 12-month contract also gives you more flexibility, compared to Vodafone Red.

If you’re looking for a more fully-featured option, Vodafone Red gives you access to 5G with download speeds that are up to 10 times faster than 4G. You can also choose from a range of data plans going up to 200GB per month, but you’ll need to commit to a 24-month contract for the best deal. You’ll also be able to add Vodafone OneNumber (for smartwatches, tablets and Alexa), and you’ll have access to international calls and premium-rate calls (additional charges will apply).

In this article, we’ll compare Vodafone Red and Vodafone Basics, looking at the features available on each and the best value deals. We’ll also look at how you can keep your phone number when you move to Vodafone.

Why Vodafone Red?
  • Access to 5G, with speeds up to 10x faster and more network capacity.
  • Larger data plans (up to 200GB data), so suitable for heavy users.
  • Compatible with OneNumber (watches, tablets & Alexa), plus international and premium calls.
Red Deals:

Increases annually on 1 April by £1.80

Why Vodafone Basics?
  • Access to Vodafone’s 4G network, and benefits like VeryMe Rewards.
  • A shorter 12-month contract and lower prices from £7pm.
  • Plans available with up to 50GB data (more than enough for most users).
Basics Deals:

Increases annually on 1 April by £1.00

Coverage: 99% population coverage (check postcode)

Vodafone Red & Vodafone Basics Compared

If you’re joining Vodafone as a Pay Monthly mobile customer in the UK, you’ll be able to choose between a Vodafone Red and Vodafone Basics plan. You can also choose Vodafone Unlimited if you want a plan with unlimited data.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of Vodafone Red and Basics:

Red Basics
Price From:
From £21 per month From £7 per month
Annual Price Increase: Increases annually on 1 April by £1.80/month Increases annually on 1 April by £1/month
Minutes: Unlimited Unlimited
Texts: Unlimited Unlimited
Data: Up to 200GB data Up to 50GB data
Speeds: 4G & 5G
(up to 10x faster than 4G)
4G
(typically 25Mbps)
Contract Length: 24 months
(1 month & 12 month also available)
12 months
Inclusive Features
UK Coverage: 99% coverage 99% coverage
VeryMe Rewards: Yes Yes
Personal Hotspot:
Yes Yes
Additional Features
International Roaming: From £2.25 per day
(plans with inclusive roaming available)
From £2.25 per day
OneNumber:
(for watches, tablets & Alexa)
From £7.50 per month Not available
International Calls: Charges apply Not available
Premium Calls (to 09):
Charges apply Not available
Inclusive Entertainment: From £8 per month extra Not available

What is Vodafone Red?

If you’re looking for a more fully-featured mobile network experience, it’s best to choose a Vodafone Red plan, as opposed to Vodafone Basics. This gives you access to the following benefits, which are not available when you choose Vodafone Basics:

  • You’ll have access to 5G coverage on Vodafone Red plans. Unlike the Vodafone Basics plans which are limited to 4G, you’ll have complete access to Vodafone’s 5G network on Red. If you’re using a compatible 5G phone in a 5G coverage area, your average download speeds will be around 150-200Mbps (about 10 times faster than 4G). You’ll also have access to more network capacity, which is handy if you’re using a phone in a busy urban area.
  • You can use your number on a smartwatch, tablet or Alexa (charges apply). On Vodafone Red plans, you’ll be able to add the OneNumber service from an extra £7.50 per month. This gives you connectivity on your smartwatch or tablet, with the ability to share your data as well. You’ll also be able to make and receive phone calls on Alexa devices.
  • You’ll be able to call international and premium-rate numbers (charges apply). If you’d like to call an international number or a premium-rate number (beginning with 09), this is only possible when you choose a Vodafone Red plan. Having said that, additional charges will apply for this and there are normally cheaper ways to do it (e.g. using FaceTime or WhatsApp).
  • You’ll be able to choose a ‘Euro Roam’, ‘Global Roam’ or ‘Entertainment’ plan. On Vodafone Red, you can upgrade your plan to ‘Xtra Euro Roam’ or ‘Xtra Global Roam’. This will give you inclusive roaming, either in 51 European destinations or 83 worldwide destinations. There’s also the option to add Entertainment to your plan (for inclusive YouTube Premium, Amazon Prime or Spotify). Additional charges will apply for this upgrade.

The following table shows the best Vodafone Red deals that are currently available:

Plan Data Monthly Cost
(will rise each April by £1.80)
Red

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
150GB
data
£12.50
for 6 months,
then £25 per month
24 month contract
See deal  
Red

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
150GB
data
£16.00
for 6 months,
then £32 per month
24 month contract
See deal  
Red

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
50GB
data
£21.00
per month
24 month contract
See deal  

The Vodafone Red plans are subject to an annual price increase of £1.80/month on the 1st April.

To get the best prices, you’ll need to get your Vodafone Red plan on a 24-month contract. It’s also possible to get Red SIM-only plans on a shorter 1-month rolling or 12-month contracts. However, you’ll generally need to pay quite a bit extra for this, so most people will choose the 24-month option.

If you want a plan with more than 200GB data per month, Vodafone also offers unlimited data plans.

What is Vodafone Basics?

If you’re looking for a more affordable and flexible SIM-only plan, Vodafone Basics is available from £7 per month on a 12-month contract. You’ll get access to Vodafone’s 4G network on this plan, with 99% population coverage across the UK. There’s also access to VeryMe Rewards.

There are a number of limitations worth being aware of on Vodafone Basics:

  • You won’t have 5G coverage on Vodafone Basics. On Vodafone Basics, you’re restricted to Vodafone’s 4G network. In our opinion, this shouldn’t really be a deal-breaker as 4G is already fast enough for pretty much anything you’d like to do on your phone (including video calls & watching ultra HD video). The main downside is that you might need to wait a little bit longer for large downloads, though this might not be that noticeable (e.g around 10 seconds more for a typical app to download). You also won’t get the additional capacity benefits that are available on 5G.
  • Vodafone Basics offers up to 50GB data per month. In our opinion, that’s more than enough for the vast majority of users. According to Ofcom (2023), the average UK mobile user consumes around 8GB data per month. However, if you’re a heavy user needing more than 50GB per month, Vodafone Basics won’t be suitable for you.
  • Some rarely-used features are not available on Vodafone Basics. For instance, you won’t be able to make international phone calls or premium-rate calls to numbers beginning with 09. You can, however, continue to do this through apps such as FaceTime and WhatsApp (which are cheaper as well). In addition, OneNumber isn’t compatible with Vodafone Basics. However, this only makes a difference if you have a smartwatch or tablet that you’d like to connect to your plan.
  • Vodafone Basics is for new customers only. Vodafone Basics is only available to new Vodafone Pay Monthly customers. This means, for instance, it isn’t possible to switch from Vodafone Red to Vodafone Basics.

The following table shows the latest Vodafone Basics deals:

Plan Data Monthly Cost
(will rise each April by £1)
Basics

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
6GB
data
£7.00
per month
12 month contract
See deal  
Basics

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
30GB
data
£8.00
per month
12 month contract
See deal  
Basics

  • Unlimited mins
  • Unlimited texts
50GB
data
£10.00
per month
12 month contract
See deal  

The Vodafone Basics plans are subject to an annual price increase of £1/month on the 1st April.

Prior to March 2022, international roaming was not available on Vodafone Basics. It’s now available from an extra £2.25 per day (the same price that’s charged on Vodafone Red). Unlike on Vodafone Red, there’s no way to upgrade to an ‘Xtra Euro Roam’ or ‘Xtra Global Roam’ version of the plan.

On Vodafone Basics, there are no download speed limits on the 4G network: you’ll get Vodafone’s fastest-available 4G speeds. In contrast, some other networks have download speed limits (e.g. on EE’s No Frills plan).

Keeping Your Phone Number

If you’re switching from another mobile network to Vodafone, it’s a straightforward process keeping your current phone number.

To do so, start by contacting your old mobile network and asking them for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to Vodafone. You can get a PAC Code through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075.

Once you’ve gotten a PAC Code from your current network, you can order your new plan from Vodafone’s website. During the order process, you’ll be able to provide your PAC Code. Alternatively, you can wait for the SIM card to arrive and then provide the PAC Code through this online form. Your phone number transfer will then normally take place on the next working day.

For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to Vodafone, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Vodafone

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

More Information

Please see Vodafone’s official website to learn more about their Vodafone Red and Vodafone Basics plans.

Your Comments 13 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 13 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hello,
    I theory yes, however Vodafone does it somehow that GBs disappear very quickly even if all attachments closed and you do literally nothing. My previous comment was that 1.3GB disappeared just browsing linkedIn, news, and checking emails with no video or music in 5 days. So I was keeping the only one app opened Vodafone writing that comment, and 0.1GB has just been written off! Miracle by Vodafone! So to do anything and listen to music it’s a must to have unlimited. Thinking about leaving Vodafone though.

  • Hello,
    Just moved from Basic 5GB plan (I paid £18+ for some reason) to Red 5GB plan which is £15.
    Recently noticed, even being on the previous plan, GB started disappearing very quickly even if you don’t do anything but browsing LinkedIn, etc. 5 days and 1.3 GB has gone. No music, no film watching, nothing, very basic stuff like reading news and checking emails, not downloading anything huge.
    I have no idea how Vodafone does that … I’m not saying they are cheating but that’s interesting how they do it anyway.

    • Hi Tony,
      Thanks for your comment. Out of interest, what does the data usage monitor on your smartphone say and how does this data usage differ from what Vodafone is reporting? I’d personally be really surprised if they’re measuring your data usage incorrectly. Instead, it’s often the case that something’s running in the background (e.g. background app updates, cloud sync & backup services, etc) meaning data is consumed on your device in the background without you knowing.
      Ken

      • Hi Ken,
        Thank you. Probably I went to the wrong forum. Sorry. I meant what I said. I don’t do sync or cloud services as I simply don’t use it. My phone is not backed up for ages, that’s what my phone says. How it can be running in this case.
        I just don’t need to back up. Nothing on it literally. What can be run without me knowing. All apps closed. Switched off and on. Looked a couple of times on LinkedIn and Facebook. 0.1 Gb have gone. I think Vodafone is trying to trick us burning our Gbs somehow thinking we are going to go for more allowance paying them more. They are wrong. When my Gbs finish I’ll turn mobile data off.

        • Hi Tony,
          That’s very strange – I’m not quite sure why that’s happening. If you were to contact Vodafone, they should be able to give you more details on the charges including how they were calculated if you’d like to interrogate it further.
          Ken

  • Hi.. I am coming to the end of a Vodafone Red Entertainment pack, which had 25gb + Spotify/Sky and Global Roaming included.
    It seems that the new policies on offer will not have Global Roaming included, rather, they will charge £5/day usage for North America. Or am I wrong?
    I was told by a representative that if I stay on my contract, I will only lose the ‘Entertainment Option’ ie. Spotify/Sky, but will still have Global Roaming included..

    I travel to North America once a month and would like to have North America included in my price plan, as opposed to paying a ££ daily rate.

    Any help or suggestions for another carrier?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi there,
      It’s still possible to get Global Roaming Plus, which gives you up to 25GB of data each month for use in 77 destinations including the USA, Canada and Mexico. To get it, you’ll need to choose the Unlimited Max price plan which starts from £30/month on a SIM-only basis. Entertainment will cost you an extra £6/month so the total package with Entertainment starts from £36/month.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

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