Vodafone SIM-only deals explained
Vodafone's one of the biggest mobile providers not just in the UK, but all over the world too - and it's so confident in the quality of its network that it promises a Network Satisfaction Guarantee. Here in the UK, you can take advantage of that with its huge range of mobile plans… including a nice load of SIM-only deals.
Here's what's available from Vodafone's SIM-only roster, and how you can find the best deal for you.
What SIM-only deals can I get from Vodafone?
There's lots and lots of choice when it comes to Vodafone's SIM-only deals. Allowances range from a tiny 250MB data and 250 minutes per month, all the way up to 50GB with unlimited calls. All its SIMs have unlimited texts as standard, and the majority have unlimited minutes as well - so it's a great network for anyone who calls and texts a lot.
You can choose between a 30-day or 12-month contract. The 12-month ones are cheaper per month and have bigger tariff options, though 30-day ones give you that extra flexibility to cancel or switch your allowance when you want.
As a special bonus, some SIMs are Vodafone Red plans, which come with a few extras. A Red Entertainment plan (12-month only) gives you a free one-year subscription to an entertainment app of your choice - either Spotify, NOW TV, or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
Perks and benefits
Pay-monthly Vodafone SIMs come with a few extra benefits, though bear in mind some of these are only available on certain plans:
- Red Entertainment gives you a free app subscription for 12 months
- Vodafone Passes, which you can buy to get free use of certain apps that doesn't come out of your data allowance - e.g. the Music Pass lets you stream and download on Spotify, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, and other music apps as much as you like
- Three-month trial of Vodafone Secure Net mobile security software
- Family discounts when you add another SIM plan or a mobile broadband deal to your account
- 10% discount for students
- Good international roaming rates, with low-cost roaming passes in 60+ countries
How to compare Vodafone SIM-only deals
We've made this nice and easy. Just use the comparison table above to see all the Vodafone SIM deals you can get, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Just select what you want from your SIM in the filters, and sort the deals by whatever factor you want - such as cost or data allowance. You can even directly compare Vodafone deals with those from other networks.
Remember to think about things like:
- Monthly data allowance
- Calls allowance
- Contract length
Once you find a SIM deal you like, all you need to do is click on it, and we'll take you to Vodafone to order it.
Can I get an unlimited data Vodafone SIM?
No, unlimited data plans sadly aren't available from Vodafone. The maximum amount of data you can get on a SIM-only deal is 50GB a month, on a 12-month contract.
That said, 50GB is loads of data - you can stream at least 30 episodes of Game of Thrones in Full HD and still have enough allowance left for several hours of Facebook. Plus, Vodafone Passes essentially give you unlimited data use on certain apps. Depending what you need all that data for, you may find it's completely covered by the right Pass and monthly allowance.
If you really, really want unlimited data, however, you'll need to look at plans from other networks - such as Three.
What's the cheapest Vodafone SIM-only deal?
The cheapest SIM-only deal you can get from Vodafone is a 12-month plan that comes with 250MB data and 250 minutes per month. It's not a bad choice if don't use a whole lot of mobile internet and don't make many calls.
If you use your phone more than that, however, you'll be better off with a bigger tariff - but you can still find one at the best price.
Select what you want from your deal in the grid, then order the results by cost. You'll see the cheapest deals that fit what you need right at the top.
Is a Vodafone SIM deal cheaper than a phone contract?
Yes, it's usually cheaper overall to buy a phone outright and choose a SIM-only deal than it is to get a contract on a phone. With Vodafone, in fact, you could save a couple hundred pounds by going this route.
Getting a SIM-only plan also means you can switch to a cheaper deal much sooner than you can on a two-year phone contract. It definitely saves money in the long run, if you can afford to buy the mobile you want right now.
Contracts do have other benefits, of course - for a start they let you get a top smartphone right now at a manageable cost.
Can I upgrade a Vodafone SIM-only deal?
You can indeed: Vodafone has a good range of upgrade deals for existing customers. If you go for a 12-month SIM and decide you'd actually rather have a new phone, you can upgrade your deal to a phone contract after just three months.
You can also 'upgrade' a SIM at any time by adding a new Pass for a bit of free usage, or by upping to a Red plan for a higher allowance and more benefits. 30-day SIMs are the easiest of all to upgrade, since you can change them whenever you like.
What size SIM do I need?
There's no need to worry about picking the right size SIM card with Vodafone! The network sends out 3-in-1 Multi SIMs as standard, which can be altered to fit any phone. Whatever deal you get, you're guaranteed to be able to use it - as long as your handset isn't locked to another network, of course.
Can I keep my number if I switch to a Vodafone 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:
Does my phone have to be unlocked to use a Vodafone 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
- Three SIM-only deals
- TPO Mobile SIM-only deals
- Virgin Mobile SIM-only deals
- VOXI SIM-only deals