Our pick of the 12 best SIM only deals for March 2017

ByDuncan Heaney
SIM card

Keep your phone, get the minutes and data you need, and pay less overall. These are three main benefits of choosing a SIM only plan. We’ve compared deals across the best UK networks and rounded up the top plans.

If you're happy with the phone you've currently got, or have inherited one from a friend or relative, then you could be much better off choosing a SIM-only plan. Plenty of UK customers get a 24 month phone contract and then keep paying the same monthly cost long after that initial term has finished. Is that you? Then good news - there's a fair chance you could save by switching to a SIM-only plan, even if you stay with the same network.

We like these pay-monthly SIM-only deals, because they're great value and give you more for your money than a pay-as-you-go plan. There are 1-month, 12-month, and 24-month plans - and even more over on our mobile site. But first let's take a look at the best of the best. 

The top 12 best value SIM-Only plans in the UK

Best value 4G SIM

FreedomPop

8GB data for one month

Then 6GB a month for two months

3GB a month thereafter 

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts 

Broadbandchoices Exclusive!

£7.99    a month

30 day contract

Get deal

There's nothing better than a nice bit of 4G at a low price. And for that, we like this SIM plan from FreedomPop that gets you unlimited texts, unlimited minutes, and 8GB data upfront, 6GB for the next two months and 3GB a month thereafter. At only £7.99 a month, we'd recommend this plan for anyone who doesn't want to splash out too much, but still wants plenty of data to check Facebook and stream a bit of music on the go.  

Best all-round value SIM

PlusnetMobile

 5GB data

2000 minutes

Unlimited texts

 

£12.00 a month

30 day plan 

Get deal

Plusnet Mobile offers this perfectly balanced plan that gives you a decent bit of data each month, unlimited texts, and unlimited minutes for a great value price. It's perfect if you prefer to chat on the phone than use web-based services like WhatsApp. Plus, you'll get access to extra discounts if you've already got Plusnet broadband at home, not to mention the provider's award-winning customer service.

 

Best SIM-only contract with a voucher

BT

2GB 4GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£10.00 a month

£15.00 for non-BT  customers

12 month contract

£25.00 Amazon or Itunes Gift card

Get deal

Our selection if you fancy a deal with a freebie is with BT Mobile (www.BT.com). BT's top-end SIM only plans come with free BT Sport via the BT Sport app, which is a fantastic extra. Considering how much premium sports channels can cost, this really is a great offer - it's one of the cheapest way to get BT Sport, in fact. OK, so you don't get it on your TV, but with the app available on both iOS and Android, you can stream and watch live sport on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. 

Remember that streaming TV and video on any device uses up internet data. If you're not connected to Wi-Fi then using the BT Sport app could use up a lot of your data allowance. We reckon streaming a 90 minute game would use up around 1GB of data, which is why we recommend this plan.

  

Best SIM on a budget

1.5 GB data

250 minutes

5000 texts

Data rollover

£5.00 a month

1 month contract

Get deal

This deal from Carphone Warehouse's resident network, iD, has got a bit of everything: a nice chunk of 4G data, plenty of texts to see you through the month, and a bargain price tag. 30-day terms mean you can always switch your tariff around whenever you want, and because it's one of iD's 'Shockproof' plans, there's an automatic cap to stop you spending too much over your monthly allowance. 

 

Top SIM deal for 4G mobile data

Three SIM only deal

 

4GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

 

 

 £17.00

£9.00 a month 

12 month contract

 

 

Get deal

Three's data plan is probably the best deal you'll find if you regularly watch videos, stream music, play online games, or donwload apps whilst you're out and about. Besides, we're fans of Three - it's got good network reliability and speedy 4G included at no extra cost. 

 

Best SIM for flexible data

Sky Mobile

3GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£15.00 a month

12 month contract

Get deal

The fantastic thing about this deal from Sky Mobile is that whatever data allowance you pick, you can change it whenever you want - whether you find you need 1GB, 3GB, or 5GB. Texts and calling minutes will cost extra, but you can get an unlimited allowance added on at no extra charge if you've got Sky TV.

Best deal with free WhatsApp and Messenger

2GB 6GB data

2500 minutes

Unlimited texts

 

£12.00 a month

30 day contract

Get deal

The great thing about getting a SIM deal from Virgin Mobile is that whatever data tariff you choose, anything you send and receive through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger doesn't come out of your monthly allowance. You'll also get inclusive access to Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country, and data rollover, meaning any data in your allowance you don't use will be saved for the next month. And guess what - you don't even need to be an existing Virgin Media customer to get a Virgin Mobile plan. 

 

 Best value for money

talkmobile

12GB data

5000 minutes

5000 texts

£12.00 a month

12 month contract

Get deal

Talkmobile is offering loads of data, at a value for money on its XLarge SIM-only plan   That's perfect if you're on a budget but still want to listen to Spotify on your commute. The great thing about Talkmobile is that you'll always get good value, and with a plan like this, it's straightforward and simple to understand. 

 

 Great SIM for fast 4G internet data

EE SIM

20GB of 4G data

500MB of EU roaming data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

 

£19.99 a month

12 month contract

FREE six months of apple music

3 month access to BT sports app

Get Deal

This EE SIM only plan is a great choice if you want to keep your phone but get a 4G data SIM. EE's network is bigger and faster than any other in UK, and has even won awards for its reliability. By getting this 4G data SIM with EE, you'll benefit from faster internet speeds - perfect for streaming music, watching videos, playing games and uploading photos to Facebook and Twitter.

Best SIM deal for free extra data

TalkTalk Mobile

1GB 2GB data

950 minutes

Unlimited texts

£7.75 a month 

12 month contract

Get deal

This TalkTalk Mobile plan normally gives you 1GB data, but get it now and you'll get a massive 2GB data a month instead. That's pretty huge, but what makes this a really big deal is that it's half price for 12 months! Just bear in mind you have to be a TalkTalk broadband customer to get it.

 

Best SIM for loads of 4G data

O2 Mobile

25GB data (4G)

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£26.00 a month

12 month contract

Get deal

O2's latest deal is fantastic for heavy users. This 12-month contract also includes unlimited minutes and texts, so you can communicate with friends and family with no restrictions. Factor in the fact that it's a 4G plan, and O2 has great coverage, and you have one heck of a bargain.

 

Best all-round SIM deal with plenty of data and texts

Asda Mobile SIM

5GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£15.00  a month

30 day contract

Get deal

We've researched the amount of monthly data, minutes and texts the average UK customer uses and searched through the networks for the cheapest way to get it. The overall best value SIM deal has to be with giffgaff. You get a decent allowance of internet data (4G), ample minutes, and unlimited texts. 

If you don't want this deal but you like the sound of giffgaff, you can click here to order a free SIM card.

 

Looking for the best SIM Only deals for an iPhone 6s? 

OK, so we picked out the best SIM-only deals for you, but thought those of you with an iPhone 6s might appreciate a bit of advice on what SIM card to get for your flashy handset. Here are the best SIM only deals to go with an iPhone 6s:

VODAFONE SIM

20GB 4G data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£22.20 a month

4GB of roaming data

12 month contract

FREE delivery

Get deal
BT Mobile

6GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£15.00 a month

£20.00 for non BT customers

12 month contract

£60 Amazon or iTunes voucher

Get deal

First up, the iPhone 6s requires a Nano SIM card size. Second, this beautiful piece of Apple technology is built to work amazingly well on fast internet. If you want to get the most out of what the iPhone 6s has to offer then we suggest going for a 4G plan. The phone has a large crystal clear display, perfect for enjoying online streaming services such as movies on Netflix and live sport from Sky and BT. For peace of mind, we suggest a heavy data allowance. Go for Three if you want lots of data, or go for BT Mobile if you want fast speed and FREE BT Sport via the BT Sport Lite app.

SIM deals on each network

Still not sure if there's a SIM only deal that's right for you? You can compare all SIM only plans by using the broadbandchoices SIM only comparison tools.

Compare O2 SIM Only deals - Join O2 to get 4G SIM deals and benefits such as exclusive offers on big High Street brands.

Compare EE SIM Only deals - EE has the fastest network in the UK and gives customers extras like EE TV and discounts on Fibre Broadband.

Compare Three SIM Only deals - With Three you can get unlimited internet data and free roaming abroad.

Compare Vodafone SIM Only deals - Vodafone's network gives unlimited data for 3 months to new SIM only customers with a 12 month contract. You can also get NOW TV, Spotify and Sky Sports Mobile app subscriptions included on selected 4G plans.

Compare BT Mobile SIM plans - BT has great discounts for existing BT Broadband customers and gives all SIM Only customers free access to the BT Sport app.

Compare all SIM Only deals

What kind of SIM card do I need?

Not sure if you need a Micro, Nano or Standard SIM for your phone? You can get a comprehensive list of handsets and their respective SIM card size on our SIM Only comparison calculator. Here's a quick overview:

Got a new phone?  If you've got one of the latest phones (like an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5C or 5S) then you will need a Nano SIM. Among many other handsets, Nano SIMs are also used in the HTC One (M9) and the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact.

Got an iPhone 4S or a Samsung phone? For the older iPhones you will need a Micro SIM. Almost all Samsung phones take the Micro SIM card too. Micro SIM cards can come on their own, or as part of a Combi-SIM - either is fine. A Combi (or combination SIM) is simply a Micro SIM card that can be popped out of a Standard SIM card template, so that the SIM card can be used for phones that take either Standard or Micro SIM card sizes.

Got a Blackberry, an old smartphone or a non-smartphone? Most of the older Blackberry handsets use the standard SIM card size. Only the Blackberry Z and Q series use a Micro SIM and the Blackberry Passport uses a Nano. Old dumb-phones take the standard SIM card size, such as the basic Samsung and Huawei handsets.

Combi and 3-way SIMs: To make things simpler, some networks now offer Combi and 3-way SIM cards. A Combi SIM is a Standard SIM card with a Micro SIM card inside. You either use it as it comes, for a standard phone, or punch out the Micro SIM if you want to use the card for a phone that takes Micro SIM cards. A 3-way SIM does the same, but also incorporates the Nano SIM card size too, meaning you can use a 3-way SIM card for any type of phone. We got there in the end!

If you're still unsure what SIM card size you need then check on our SIM Only comparison calculator that we've linked to above.

I'm ready to switch networks

Thinking about switching networks, but not sure on the next step? Check out our handy guide on switching your mobile network and keeping your number, and we'll guide you through the surprisingly simple process.

Got a question or suggestion? Post a comment below!

Find out about data-only SIM deals




Mobile phones

Find the perfect deal for you!