The Best Pay As You Go Bundles

by Brandon Ackroyd - , Last Updated on November 13, 2019, Buying Guides

Opting for a pay as you go SIM has plenty of benefits, including saving yourself some cash. But if you want to get even bigger savings, then choosing to buy a PAYG bundle is the way to go. What’s a bundle? How does it work? What are the best options? We’ve got everything you need to know about PAYG bundles right here.

Why Pay As You Go?

top up

Let’s start off by addressing the issue of why you might want to go PAYG in the first place. With a PAYG phone plan, you don’t sign a contract, you simply top your account up with credit and that credit is then deducted as you use your phone. Depending on your operator you’ll pay a certain amount per calling minute, per text message, and per MB of data.

On the plus side, PAYG means you pay before you use, so there are no phone bills. And because there are no contracts you won’t need to pass a credit check (or be a UK resident, or be over the age of 18). You also won’t need to commit to a long term agreement, you’re free to switch operators or plans whenever you like.

On the negative side, you do run the risk of running out of credit when you most need it (like to call that cab at three in the morning after a night at the pub). You also might pay a little more, since rates with PAYG do still tend to be a little higher than those for contract customers, though that difference is getting smaller over time.

PAYG plans are the best bet for those that are light to regular phone users (big phone users will get cheaper rates on contract), those that can’t pass a credit check (or who don’t want to), and those who are looking for flexibility.

How Do Pay As You Go Bundles Work?

bundles

Many UK operators offer PAYG bundles. This basically means that rather than topping up your account and having credit deducted for each minute/text/MB of data, instead, you buy a package of minutes, texts and data. You pay upfront, so there’s still no bill or credit check. Your bundle will be valid for a month, after which you can choose to renew it (though you can renew it at any time should you run out of credit), or just go back to a traditional PAYG plan.

Bundles are a great idea because they save you money. You’ll pay less in the long run by buying a bundle than you would by just using your phone on normal PAYG.

However, there is an exception here. If you’re a super light phone user then a bundle probably won’t save you money, since you won’t be using up all the minutes/texts/data that you purchase inside that monthly limit.

PAYG bundles make life easier and cheaper too for most customers. But with over 70 bundles in the UK to choose from, and 12 different operators, which bundle is going to be right for you?

Choosing a PAYG Bundle

Choosing

There are tons of bundles to choose from, and we’ll get to some of the best options below. But first, how do you know which is right for you? There are two issues here. The first is the budget. How much are you willing to spend? There will be a range of bundles depending on your spending limit.

Secondly, you’ll need to think about usage. If you buy a bundle that’s too big (has more minutes, texts and data than you need), then you’ll be paying for services you don’t use, since all those extra minutes, texts and data will disappear at the end of the month. Go for a bundle that’s too small and you will use up all your minutes, texts and data before the end of the month and have the inconvenience of needing to buy a new bundle (plus, bigger bundles tend to be cheaper in the long run anyway, as long as you’re using most of the minutes/texts/data that you’re buying).

Deciding which bundle to buy isn’t too tough. You just need to look at your average usage. Either check out some old phone bills if you have some, or look at the usage monitor on your phone (which will be buried somewhere in the settings menu), or simply track your usage for a month and see how many minutes, texts and how much data you generally use. Then you’ll need to find a bundle that matches those limits and that meets your budget.

VOXI

Our Top Pick

VOXI

VOXI is currently our recommended Pay As You Go bundle. A £10 top-up buy gets you:

  • Unlimited minutes
  • Unlimited texts
  • 8GB data
  • Unlimited social data

Voxi uses the Vodafone network which has 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Get Free VOXI SIM

Which Are the Best Bundles?

best bundles

We can break down bundles by budget, so depending on how much you have to spend, here are your best bets!

Best PAYG Bundles For Around £5

If you’re looking to spend around £5 a month then the best bundle for you is probably going to be from GiffGaff. GiffGaff’s £6 bundle gets you 300 minutes, 500 texts, and a solid 500 MB of data, a great deal for light users who want to keep costs down. There are a few other options though with varying limits which you can compare in the table below:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
Asda Mobile200Unlimited500MB£5.00
iD Mobile150Unlimited500MB£5.00
EE100250150MB£5.00
Vodafone150250100MB£5.00
Gifffaff300500500MB£6.00

Best PAYG Bundles For Around £7.00

Up that budget just a little though and you can drastically improve the amount of data in a bundle. There are two great options for around £7.00 a month:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
Asda Mobile300Unlimited2GB£7.00
giffgaff500Unlimited2GB£8.00

Best PAYG Bundles For £10

The £10 price point is the most commonly bought package in the UK, so there are plenty of options here. Our recommendation for a £10 bundle has to go to either GiffGaff or Voxi, the former offer you unlimited texts and minutes and 6 GB of data for £10 whereas Voxi have now boosted their plan to 8GB for £10. There are plenty of other choices though:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited6GB£10.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited8GB£10.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£10.00
Asda Mobile600Unlimited4GB£10.00
iD Mobile500Unlimited4GB£10.00
Tesco Mobile5005,0006GB£10.00
Vodafone250Unlimited3GB£10.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£10.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited3GB£10.00
EE100Unlimited2GB£10.00
EE250Unlimited1GB£10.00
EE5,000Unlimited50MB£10.00

Best PAYG Bundles For £12

The £10 price point is popular, but if you’re willing to spend a couple more pounds, then GiffGaff has an awesome deal. You’ll get unlimited texts and calls and a whopping 10 GB of data for just £12, which should be more than enough for the regular phone user.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£12.00
Asda Mobile800Unlimited5GB£12.00

Best PAYG Bundles For £15

We’re getting into big data territory here, and if you’re addicted to your mobile data then for £15 you can get some great bundles. Our recommendation again goes to both GiffGaff and Voxi, both of which give you unlimited minutes and texts and 15 GB of data for £15. As for other options, here are the best:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£15.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited10GB£15.00
Asda Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
iD Mobile1,000Unlimited8GB£15.00
Tesco Mobile1,0005,0008GB£15.00
O21,0005,0006GB£15.00
EE2,000Unlimited5GB£15.00
EE500Unlimited5GB£15.00
EE1,000Unlimited2GB£15.00
Vodafone250Unlimited5GB£15.00

Best PAYG Bundles For £20

If you’ve got £20 to spend then your best bet is going to be to go with Voxi’s incredible £20 bundle which gives you unlimited minutes and texts and a massive 45 GB of mobile data. But there are some other choices to consider too:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimited45GB£20.00
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimited40GB£20.00
Asda MobileUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited12GB£20.00
Vodafone1,000Unlimited10GB£20.00
O2UnlimitedUnlimited10GB£20.00
Tesco Mobile2,0005,00016GB£20.00
EE1,500Unlimited4GB£20.00

Best PAYG Bundles For More than £20

If you’re on a big budget then there’s a clear winner when it comes to PAYG bundles. With GiffGaff you can get unlimited minutes, texts and data for just £25. Nothing else really comes close to this. Three also offer a completely unlimited bundle, but that’s going to set you back £35.

NetworkMinutesTextsDataCost
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On*£25.00
Asda MobileUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£25.00
EE3,000Unlimited10GB£25.00
EE2,000Unlimited8GB£25.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimited36GB£27.50
O2UnlimitedUnlimited20GB£30.00
Vodafone3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00
EE3,000Unlimited20GB£30.00
EE3,000Unlimited16GB£30.00
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00

*Always on data from Giffgaff means you get 40 GB of data usage per month at full 4G speed. After you use 40 GB of you’ll experience a reduced data speed of 384kbps from 8 am to midnight. You may notice activities that require high amounts of data, like HD video streaming, will be slower. From midnight to 7.59 am you’ll have full-speed data allowance.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the entire UK PAYG bundle market compared. If bundles aren’t suited to your usage, then a traditional PAYG plan where you pay on a per SMS, minute and megabyte basis might be for you. If that is the case, we’ve reviewed the best PAYG sim deals in-depth here.

Bundle pricing and the packages offered can change frequently. We check prices weekly but if you’ve noticed a mistake in data above, please contact us so we can get it updated.