giffgaff SIM-only deals explained
If you’re considering which SIM-only mobile provider offers the best value for money, it’s hard to look beyond giffgaff and its one-month plans.
There’s an excellent range of data allowances to choose from, with most plans offering unlimited call minutes and texts at reasonable monthly prices.
In this guide, we’ll take you through what you get from giffgaff, and how to choose the right SIM deal for you.
What SIM-only deals can I get from giffgaff?
Monthly allowances range from 100MB data with 150 minutes and 500 texts, up to sort of unlimited data (you can download as much as you like, but speeds are reduced if you exceed 9GB in a month) with unlimited minutes and texts. Most giffgaff SIM plans come with unlimited texts, in fact, and quite a lot have unlimited calls too - so it's easy to find a plan if you're a chatterbox.
Perks and benefits
- EU Roaming - enjoy using your allowance, data, minutes and texts in the EU and selected destinations at no extra cost
- Payback - each time you do something to earn Payback points (like bringing mates to giffgaff or helping out on the community) points will be added to your account. You can then convert these points to cash, top-up credit or a donation to charity
- Change your plan each month - you can change your giffgaff plan each month or cancel anytime (as all giffgaff plans are one-month contracts)
- Tethering - all giffgaff plans allow tethering, so you can use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot
How to compare giffgaff SIM-only deals
Comparing giffgaff SIM deals is easy - just use the table at the top of this page. You can see all the deals together, compare what you can get, and filter them down so you only see the ones that suit what you need.
Think about things like:
- Allowance - how much data and how many minutes and texts do you need per month?
- Contract length - choose between a 12-month or a 30-day plan
- Price - if you have a budget, choose the maximum you want to pay each month in the cost filter
Click on the deal you like best, and we'll take you to giffgaff's website so you can sign up and get started.
If you're not convinced giffgaff is the network you want, that's no problem - you can compare its deals right next to those from other providers too. Just select the networks whose SIMs you'd like to see and we'll show you the lot. Or, compare all SIM deals here.
Can I get an unlimited data giffgaff SIM?
Well... sort of. giffgaff does offer what it calls an unlimited data package, which also includes unlimited calls and texts - and is probably the best value SIM-only deal of this type. However, speed restrictions apply after 9GB of data usage on this plan.
What's the cheapest giffgaff SIM-only deal?
The cheapest mobile SIM deal you can get from giffgaff is a one-month contract that comes with 100MB data, 150 minutes, and 500 texts. This is fine if you don't use your phone much and just want a bit of service, but not so much if you're a heavy user.
To find the cheapest deal that fits your use, use our comparison table. Adjust the filters to make sure you only see SIMs that have enough monthly allowance for you, and then sort the whole table by monthly cost. You'll see the lowest-priced deals right at the top.
You'll generally find that 12-month plans work out cheaper per month than one-month ones, so it's worth the commitment if you really want to save money. And sometimes there are limited time deals that are worth pouncing on - keep an eye out for those.
Is a giffgaff SIM deal cheaper than a phone contract?
Yes, it's almost always cheaper in the long run to buy a phone outright and take out a SIM-only deal.
As all giffgaff SIM-only deals are one-month plans, if you do want the benefits of a longer contract (like lower upfront costs, a nice new phone in your hand today, and free screen replacements), it’s worth seeing what other networks can offer.
Can I upgrade a giffgaff SIM-only deal?
giffgaff offers flexible one-month plans so you always have the option to upgrade and change your plan month to month.
Can I keep my number if I switch to a giffgaff SIM-only deal?
Yes - it's almost always possible to keep your current phone number when you switch to a new network.
1) Choose a new SIM-only plan - compare deals and sign up to one that you like the look of. Your SIM will be sent through the post to you. While you're waiting...
2) Contact your current provider and request your PAC (porting authorisation code) - you can request your code in a few ways - online, via text and even by post if you're really old-school. If you phone, they may try to talk you into sticking with them, but stick to your guns if this happens. They'll send you the PAC as a text message within two hours.
3) Give the PAC to your new network - when your new SIM arrives, it will have a new number. To change it to the old one, contact your network and give them the PAC code. They'll take care of porting the number over. It could be as fast as one working day before the old number's transferred, but be aware that on occasion it can take a little more time.
It may sound complicated, but it's very simple in practice. If you want a bit more detail, check out our full guide to keeping your phone number:
What size SIM card do I need?
There are three SIM card sizes you can get:
- Standard SIM card - 15mm x 25mm, commonly used in older feature phones
- Micro SIM card - 12mm x 15mm, used in some smartphones, primarily older models
- Nano SIM card - 8.8m x 12.3mm, used in most modern phones, including popular handsets like the iPhone 8 and Samsung Galaxy S8
Don't worry if you have no idea which size your phone takes. Most networks will send you a 3-in-1 SIM, designed to fit into any handset. It'll come encased in plastic, and you can pop it out into the size you want.
In other words, don't stress about SIM size when comparing deals. Whichever you choose, the SIM card will fit in your phone.
Does my phone have to be unlocked to use a giffgaff SIM?
Some phones are locked onto a particular network, and will need to be unlocked before you can use another company's SIM. Fortunately, this is really easy to do. To find out if your phone is locked, pop in a friend's SIM card - they'll need to be on another network obviously. If it works, then your phone is good to go - otherwise, you'll need to contact your current operator and ask them to unlock it.
Different networks have different rules on unlocking. Some examples are:
- Three - all handsets are unlocked out of the box.
- O2 - phones are locked, but O2 will unlock them for free when you're out of contract. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customers will have to pay though.
- Vodafone - phones are locked, but Vodafone will unlock for free.
- EE - phones are locked, but EE will unlock for free - so long as you're out of contract. PAYG customers must wait 12 months after purchasing to unlock.
Those are just the major networks. To find out more about unlocking your mobile, check our full guide:
More SIM-only deals
Take a look at the SIM deals you can get from other providers too:
- Asda Mobile SIM-only deals
- EE SIM-only deals
- giffgaff SIM-only deals
- iD Mobile SIM-only deals
- Plusnet Mobile SIM-only deals
- Sky Mobile SIM-only deals
- Smarty SIM-only deals
- Tesco Mobile SIM-only deals
- Three SIM-only deals
- TPO Mobile SIM-only deals
- Virgin Mobile SIM-only deals
- Vodafone SIM-only deals
- VOXI SIM-only deals