Let's be honest - if they could, most networks would only offer lengthy mobile contracts to keep customers around for as long as possible. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you want to save more money over time, a 12-month SIM only contract is well worth a look.
Put simply, a SIM-only deal gives you a SIM card that contains minutes, texts and data, without the extra cost of a handset on top. And you can opt for either a 12-month SIM-only contract, or 30 day SIM-only plan.
The problem with 30-day SIM-only plans is, because they are so flexible, they can be expensive, too. That’s because, as we say, mobile networks are more likely to offer competitive prices and extra benefits to longer-serving customers. So, to get the cheapest rates per month, you might be better off with a 12-month SIM-only contract.
Why choose a 12-month SIM-only contract over a 30-day SIM plan?
Although you might not realise it, there are actually quite a few reasons to opt for a 12-month SIM only contract, over a 30-day plan.
Here’s some of the key ones:
- Cost - as we say, because your provider will want to keep you as a customer for as long as possible, it will be more inclined to offer a good deal on a 12-month SIM-only contract. Downside is, you won’t have as much flexibility as a 30-day rolling contract, but if you choose the right plan, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Credit history - when you take out a 12-month SIM-only contract, you commit to paying a set amount each month - just like any other contract you agree to. To that end, a 12-month SIM-only contract can actually improve your credit rating. Of course, if you miss a payment, this will negatively affect your credit score, which makes choosing the best deal all the more important!
- Keep your old phone - with both a 12-month SIM-only contract and a 30-day SIM-only plan , you get to use your existing handset. So, if you already have a handset you like, or you’re simply not bothered about owning the latest device, a 12-month SIM-only contract might just be for you.
Which networks offer 12-month SIM-only contracts
Thankfully, you’ll be spoiled for choice when you go about choosing a contract.
In fact, larger networks like Virgin Mobile and Sky offer some seriously competitive 12-month contract deals. That said, smaller networks like Tesco mobile and Plusnet will likely offer cheaper deals, even if their extras aren’t as enticing.
Find the best 12-month SIM-only deals
12-month SIM-only deals with unlimited data
When you pick a SIM-only deal - be it a 12-month contract or 30-day plan - data is important.
So, before you choose a plan, have a think about how much data you’ll need. For example, if you watch a lot of movies on-the-go, stream lots of music or watch your favourite TV shows online, then you’ll likely need a plan with unlimited data, or a big data bundle.
On the other hand, if you don’t use your phone very often - perhaps to send the odd email - a cheap plan with a few gigabytes will be more than sufficient for you.
Cheapest 12-month SIM only deals
The good news is, there are a lot of cheap 12-month SIM-only contracts around. But picking the best one for you can be tough - especially with all the different plans and tariffs.
With that in mind here’s a few important things to consider:
- Data, minutes and texts allowance - put simply, a lower allowance will cost more than big data bundles with loads of texts and minutes. This might sound obvious, but it’s still important. That said, it’s still important to make sure you get enough minutes etc for what you use your phone for.
- Existing customer deals - if you’re a currently an existing customer with a big network - perhaps for your TV - you might be entitled to some great deals. To that end, keep an eye out for special upgrade deals that could save you money.