Three SIM-only deals explained
Three is a network known for having reasonable prices, lots of options, and some impressive extras… and for being one of very few mobile networks to offer unlimited data plans. You'll find all that and more with its SIM-only deals, including a vast amount of choice over allowances and features.
Read on and we'll take you through the Three SIM deals you can get, and how to find the best one for you.
What SIM-only deals can I get from Three?
There are absolutely loads of SIM deals available from Three.
You can get either a rolling 30-day deal or a 12-month contract; and can choose any allowance from 500MB data with 200 minutes, all the way up to unlimited 'All-you-can-eat' everything. That latter one includes unlimited data, and it really does let you download as much as you like. Every single SIM has unlimited texts too.
Three also gives you a choice between two kinds of plan: Essential or Advanced. An Essential plan is cheaper, and gives you just a basic service and allowance, but with an Advanced one you get a whole lot more. Advanced gives you better roaming, the ability to tether devices to your phone, free calls to customer service, and 'Go Binge'. With Go Binge, you have unlimited use of a handful of apps - including Netflix, Apple Music, and SoundCloud - that doesn't come out of your data allowance.
Perks and benefits
A Three SIM can give you access to certain extras, though they're not all available on every plan. They include:
- Wuntu app, for exclusive offers, vouchers, other rewards just for Three customers
- Feel At Home, which lets you use your allowance abroad - in EU countries with Essential plans, and in 71 countries worldwide with Advanced plans
- Up to 30GB tethering allowance, depending on your plan - though only with Advanced deals
- Go Binge, which gives you unlimited data use on certain apps (again, only with Advanced)
- Free Wi-Fi on the London Underground
How to compare Three SIM-only deals
Finding the best Three SIM deal for you is easy - just take a look at everything you can get in our comparison table. Adjust the filters so you only see the most relevant deals, sort them how you like, and select the one you like best.
You can choose between things like:
- Data allowance
- Calls allowance
- Essential vs Advanced plan
- Contract length
Then just pick the one you want, and click through to go to Three and sign up.
Can I get an unlimited data Three SIM?
For some people, their mobile phone has become an extension of themselves. They spend most of the day staring at the screen and feeding on data - messaging friends, checking email, streaming music, browsing the web, watching Netflix…. they're more phone than human now. If you're one of those people, you're probably interested in a plan with unlimited data.
Three's the only major network that really offers this kind of plan. The company's all-you-can-eat tariffs will let you watch, read and listen to as much as you want online, without any concerns of data running out.
That said, even heavy users may not need an unlimited deal - particularly since they tend to be among the more expensive plans. There are lots of big data options available too, which may well provide enough data to sate you, while not costing quite so much.
We recommend using our guide to data usage to get a general sense of how much data you actually need. Alternatively, you can compare deals right now with the below:
What's the cheapest Three SIM-only deal?
Three has a vast array of SIM plans, and that means you'll find deals at various price points. If your budget is on your mind, you'll be pleased to know there are cheap Three SIMs that still have a lot to offer.
The cheapest SIMS are Essential plans - though bear in mind these do come with a few sacrifices. Roaming outside of Europe is much more expensive, there's no Go Binge, and you'll need to buy an add-on if you want to tether.
12-month plans are also cheaper per month than 30-day ones, and of course lower allowances carry lower price tags too. The lowest priced of all has 500MB data and 200 minutes on a 12-month contract.
To find the cheapest one that suits you, select what you need from your plan in the comparison grid, and sort the deals by cost. The cheapest Three SIMs will be right at the top.
Is a Three SIM deal cheaper than a phone contract?
Generally, yes. The vast majority of the time, buying a phone outright and getting a SIM-only deal is cheaper over two years than a mobile contract with a handset.
That's the case with Three, too. You can save up to a good hundred quid or so by choosing SIM-only - and since SIM contracts are shorter, you can upgrade to a cheaper deal sooner as well.
Still, Three's contract deals aren't half bad - the difference in overall cost for slightly older or less fancy phones is actually pretty low. If you'd rather not splash out on a handset upfront, a Three contract can give you all the same benefits as its SIM plans and make your costs more reasonable.
Can I upgrade a Three SIM-only deal?
Yep, Three has a range of upgrade deals especially for its existing customers.
If you initially take out a SIM-only deal and later decide you'd rather have a phone contract, it's easy to change it. On a 12-month SIM, you can upgrade up to a month before your contract ends; and with a 30-day SIM, you can access those special upgrade deals after just three months.
We recommend taking out a 30-day deal if you reckon you might want to change or upgrade soon. Because you're only contracted in for a month, you're free to change, switch, or cancel your plan at any point.
Can I keep my number if I switch to a Three 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 do I need?
SIM cards come in three sizes: standard, micro, and nano. With Three, however, there's no need to work out which one you need to get.
All of the network's deals come with clever multi-SIM cards, which let you pop out the right size for your handset. That means Three SIMs will work in any phone, provided it isn't locked to another network.
Does my phone have to be unlocked to use a Three 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
- Lebara Mobile SIM-only deals
- O2 SIM-only deals
- Plusnet Mobile SIM-only deals
- Sky Mobile SIM-only deals
- Smarty SIM-only deals
- Tesco Mobile SIM-only deals
- TPO Mobile SIM-only deals
- Virgin Mobile SIM-only deals
- Vodafone SIM-only deals
- VOXI SIM-only deals