SIM-Only Deals

  • Get cheaper data, minutes and texts plus keep your existing mobile
  • Great value SIM only deals from only £5 a month
  • Unlimited data on SIM only from £17 a month
  • Compare SIM only on 4G data plans

Choose your SIM card

1. Choose your SIM card

Which SIM card do I need?

A SIM card is the small microchip that sits in your mobile phone and is the thing that makes your phone connect to a network so you can make calls, texts and go online. The type of SIM card you need depends on the phone you'll be putting the SIM card into. If you've already got a SIM card in your phone then you can remove it and check the size with the measurements below.

What kind of SIM card does my phone need?

There are effectively 3 different types of SIM card - they are Standard, Micro and Nano. Below is a list of common mobile phones and which type of SIM card they take.

Standard-SIM card

A Standard (or Regular) SIM card fits your old school non-smartphones and is 25mm x 15mm in size. This is the most common SIM card and is used in tonnes of phones like old Blackberry handsets, Nokia Asha, Samsung Galaxy Ace and many older handsets.

  • iPhone 3GS
  • Blackberry 9720, Bold Touch 9900, Curve 9320, 9360 and Torch 9800
  • HTC Desire, Desire 310, C, HD, X, One V and Wildfire S
  • Huawei Ascend G300, G330, G510 and P1
  • LG L70 and Optimus L5 II
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace, Ace 2, Fame, Music, Nexus, Note, S, S2, S3 Mini, S3 Mini VE, Y, Young and Nexus S
  • Sony Xperia E, E1, J and Miro

Micro-SIM card

The Micro size SIM card is for most of the smartphones you'll see in the market today and is 15mm x 12mm in size. It fits the likes of the iPhone 4S, older HTC Ones, Samsung Galaxy handsets, most Nokia Lumia phones and the Sony Xperia Z2.

  • Apple iPhone 4 and 4S
  • Blackberry Z and Q series
  • HTC Desire 300, 500, 510, 601, 620, M7, One Max, One Mini, One S, X+, XL, HTC Windows Phone 8S and HTC Windows Phone 8X
  • Huawei Ascend G6, Mate, P6, P7, W2 and Y530
  • LG G Flex, G2, G2 Mini, G3, G3 S, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Optimus G
  • Motorola Moto E, G and RAZR
  • All Nokia Lumia phones apart from the 930 and 1520 (which are Nano)
  • Samsung Ativ, Galaxy Ace 3, K Zoom, Note 3, Note 4, Note Edge and Note II, S3, S4s, S5, S5 Mini and Young 2
  • Sony Xperia M, M2, S, SP, T, T3, Z, Z1 and Z2 (not the Z3, which uses Nano)

Nano-SIM card

The Nano SIM measuring 12.3mm x 8.8mm, is for the latest phones like the iPhone 5C and 5S, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Xperia Z3s, HTC One M8 (and M9), Moto X and Nokia Lumia 930 and 1520, Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 as well as the Sony Xperia Z3.

  • Apple iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus
  • Blackberry Passport
  • HTC Desire 610, 816, One Mini 2
  • Nokia Lumia 1520 and 930
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
  • Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact


OK, we said 3 types, but there is a magic fourth type of SIM card and it is called a Combi SIM, short for combination. This is effectively a Standard SIM card with a Micro SIM card inside it, which can be popped out to work on handsets that need Micro SIMs. They networks produce these as they cover more handsets and cheaper to manufacturer. Some networks also call this a multi-fit SIM. This SIM card size will fit phones that require either Micro or Standard SIM cards.

2. Compare UK SIM-Only tariffs

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What does SIM-only mean?

A SIM-only plan is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a mobile deal that gives you just a SIM card but not a handset. It’s ideal when you’re happy with the mobile phone you already have, or if you prefer to buy a phone outright from a retailer.

It works exactly the same as any other pay-monthly mobile plan: each month you’ll get a tariff of data, texts, and calling minutes for a set cost, although it’s usually cheaper per month than a handset contract.

You can also get pay-as-you-go SIM-only deals, where you buy credit for your SIM that you can use for calls, texts, and mobile data.

Are SIM-only deals any good?

When you’ve bought your phone separately, or already own it, a SIM-only plan really is the way to go. There are all kinds of benefits:

  • They’re cheap - If you've just finished your mobile contract then a SIM-only deal could save you a chunk of cash. Switch to SIM-only and you'll probably find that you can get the same minutes, texts and data allowance you've already got but for a lower price.
  • Short contracts - SIM-only deals are often available as 30-day or 12-month contracts - perfect if you want flexibility and don't want to be tied in to a long term commitment.
  • Accessible - There are SIM-only deals that don’t require credit checks, so you needn’t be held back by your financial situation.

Can I keep my existing number on a SIM-only deal?

Yes, you can keep your phone number when you change to a SIM-only deal, even if you’re switching networks. To do this, contact your current network when you want to cancel and request a PAC code. This won’t cost you anything, and they must issue it to you within two working days.

Once you’ve received your code, you’ll have 30 days to give it to your new network. They’ll then get to work transferring the number - which usually takes a working day or so.

Getting a SIM-only deal from another network

1. Make sure you’re free to switch networks. If you have a brand new mobile, you can probably get a SIM from any network you want; but if you’re using your old phone, you’ll have to check. Some networks lock mobiles so you can only get a SIM from that network.

2. Figure out what SIM you need. Work out what size your phone requires - standard, micro, or nano - and roughly what allowance you want.

3. Compare your options using our price comparison tool above, and pick a deal you like the look of.

4. Contact your existing network, and tell them you want to cancel your current plan and switch networks. If you want to keep your existing number, you’ll need to ask for a PAC code too. And if your phone is locked to the network, you’ll need to ask for it to be unlocked, which may cost you a small fee.

5. You’re ready to get your new deal. Click through to the provider’s website and sign up - and give them your PAC if you’ve got one.

What size SIM card do I need?

There are four kinds of SIM card:

  • Standard - the original sized card, and the biggest of them all
  • Micro - smaller than standard-sized
  • Nano - the smallest SIM you can get
  • Combi - a SIM that can function as either a standard, micro, or nano SIM card - just pop out the right size for your phone

To find out which size your phone needs, see the one currently in use, refer to your user manual, or look on the manufacturer’s website.

SIM-only for iPhone

The iPhone 4 takes a micro SIM; anything beyond that (iPhone 5 and above) uses a nano SIM. You can use any SIM-only plan you like in an iPhone, so long as the card itself is the right size.

Which networks offer SIM-only deals?

You can get a SIM-only deal from the following networks:

Are the smaller networks any good?

Most of the less well-known networks are mobile virtual network operators (or MVNOs for short), meaning they use the infrastructure of bigger networks. For example, Talkmobile is an MVNO that uses the Vodafone network, and giffgaff is an MVNO that uses O2.

Generally speaking, smaller networks offer good value, cheap SIM-only deals without all the fuss. They have the same coverage as the larger networks, but are able to offer lower prices due to their lower overhead costs. They tend not to advertise as much, they don't have to maintain the physical network, and they're less likely to give you the freebies and benefits you get from a big network.

No-contract SIM-only deals

A huge advantage of going SIM-only is that you can get a 30-day plan, with no long-term contract to worry about. These only run for one month - as opposed to 12 or 24 months - and roll over to the next month until you decide to cancel it. This means you have a whole lot more freedom over your plan, and can cancel it and get a better one whenever you like.

You can currently get no-contract SIM-only deals from: Asda Mobile, EE, FreedomPop, iD, LIFE Mobile, O2, Talkmobile, TalkTalk Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Three, TPO Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone.

To browse and compare 30-day SIM deals, just select 'one month contract' in the filters above.

SIM-only deals with no credit check

Unlike a phone contract plan, you may not need a credit check to get a SIM-only deal. You can get SIM-only deals without a credit check from these networks:

Which SIM-only deals allow tethering?

You can use your SIM for mobile tethering on plans from these networks: Asda Mobile, EE, FreedomPop, EE, giffgaff, O2, TalkTalk Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Three, Vodafone.

Some will only let you tether on pay-monthly plans; some have a cap on how much data you can tether; and some require you to buy a special add-on. Be sure to read the terms and conditions in full before you commit.

Read our guide to tethering for more information and a detailed breakdown of how you can tether on each network.

SIM-only deals for iPads and tablets

A lot of networks offer unique SIMs for sticking in your iPad or tablet. These have a data allowance, but no minutes or texts, since you can’t use those on a tablet. To find a good SIM-only deal for your tablet, select the amount of data you want, and look for plans that are data-only.

We recommend choosing a 4G deal for this, as you’ll get much faster and more reliable internet - perfect for browsing and using apps.