EE Flex Plans Review: All You Need to Know EE’s No Contract Option
With so many mobile operators on the UK market, choosing the right company and the right deal can be tough. The largest mobile network is EE, and we’re taking a look at one of their more unique products: the flex plan. What exactly is a flex plan? Could it be the type of monthly deal you’ve been looking for? Read on to find out.
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Wait, What’s a Flex Plan?
EE market their flex plans as a sort of hybrid of pay as you go and a traditional phone contract. However, in basic terms, these are all pretty much PAYG plans. You sign up for a plan that gives you a set amount of minutes/texts/data and you pay in advance. At the end of each 30 day period, your chosen plan will automatically renew, or alternatively you can choose to cancel your plan completely or to change to a different (larger or smaller) flex plan.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to doing this. You won’t get a monthly bill that could have surprises since you’ll be paying upfront. You won’t sign a contract, which means not only is there no commitment, but there’s also no credit check. On the flip side, you’re likely to pay a little more for your service than you would if you simply signed a 12-month contract.
But if you’re looking for the dependability of having a mobile contract without actually having to sign a contract, and you’d rather pay for a service before you use it than after, then a flex plan could be a good choice for you.
EE’s Flex Plans: The Details
Initially, you’ll need to head to an EE store or to the EE website and get a Flex SIM. These plans will NOT work with a regular EE PAYG SIM. Once you’ve got a SIM card you can choose a phone plan. The current list of available plans is:
- 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 2 GB of data for £10
- 2000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 5 GB of data for £15
- 3000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 10 GB of data for £25
- 3000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 30 GB of data for £30
Your chosen flex plan will be valid for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, your account will be automatically debited for another plan, though you are free to cancel your plan or switch to another plan if you prefer.
What Happens If I Use Up My Plan Too Quickly?
Already reached the limit of your chosen plan and your 30 day period isn’t over yet? You have two options. Firstly, you can purchase an add on pack from EE. The currently available add ons are:
- 100 calling minutes for £3 valid for 7 days
- 100 calling minutes for £5 valid for 30 days
- 100 MB of data for £1.50 valid for 7 days
- 500 MB of data for £3 valid for 7 days
- 500 MB of data for £5 valid for 30 days
- 1 GB of data for £7.50 valid for 30 days
- 3 GB of data for £15 valid for 30 days
- 5 GB of data for £20 valid for 30 days
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use any data, you can just apply EE’s regular PAYG rates and… well, pay as you go. The money will be deducted from whatever payment method you’ve linked to your flex plan (bank account or credit card). Note that you CANNOT use data in this way, you’ll need to buy a data pack if you want to go online. For calls, however, the rates are as follows:
- 35p per minute to any network or to voicemail at any time
- 44p per minute to special rate numbers not including whatever fees the special rate number charges
What Else Do I Need to Know?
There are a few things about EE’s flex plans that you should probably know, both good and bad! Keep these things in mind when deciding on a plan:
EE does allow you to roll over unused data onto next month’s plan, however, you can only do this once per amount. So if you have 100 MB of data left in January you can use that extra 100 MB in February, but not in March. Have 50 MB leftover from February’s actual limit though? You can roll that over into March no problem.
Do keep in mind that EE’s flex plan automatically renew every month, taking money from y our credit/debit card or bank. It’s up to you to stop these renewals if you no longer want them. If you’re looking for a phone plan where you can add credit whenever you like, where you can buy a card at a convenience store or supermarket or use a cash machine to put credit on your phone then a flex plan is NOT for you. If this is the case you’ll need a traditional PAYG SIM card.
As an incentive, EE offers you extra data every three months as long as you keep your flex plan running. Every three months you’ll get 500 MB of data added to your limit for free. And these additions are cumulative too. So if you have a plan with a 2 GB data limit after 3 months that data limit will go up to 2.5 GB. After six months that data limit will rise to 3 GB. And so on. This is conditional on an uninterrupted flex plan though, you must consistently renew your plan.
How Does EE Compare?
So how do these prices and plans compare with what other operators have to offer? Well, the truth is that prices with EE are pretty steep compared to other companies.
With EE £10 gets you 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 2 GB of data. However, that same £10 buys you unlimited calls and texts and 3 GB of data with O2. Or unlimited calls and texts and 4 GB of data with Three. Or unlimited calls and texts and a massive 6 GB of data with Giffgaff.
£15 with EE gets you 2000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 5 GB of data. But spend £15 with O2 and you get unlimited calls and texts and 6 GB of data. Go with Three and you’ll get unlimited calls and texts and 10 GB of data. Better yet, go with Giffgaff and you’ll get unlimited calls and texts and 15 GB of data.
Things look a little better with bigger plans, though prices are still slightly higher with EE. If you get the £25 plan from EE you get 3000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 10 GB of data. But the same amount with Asda Mobile will get you unlimited calls and texts and 15 GB of data. Or go with Giffgaff and get not just unlimited calls and texts but always-on data as well for just £25.
Finally, at the high end, a £30 plan with EE includes 3000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 20 GB of data. Vodafone offers the exact same plan with the exact same price. O2 gives you a little more with unlimited calls and texts and 20 GB of data for £30. However, there’s still that £25 Giffgaff plan that gives you unlimited everything…
Yes, prices with EE are a little higher than with many other companies. However, do keep in mind that there could be other concerns. If a family member already has a SIM with EE, for example, you may end up saving money by simply adding a flex SIM to their account. You may get a discount or take advantage of a special offer. Or you might simply get better service and reception with EE.
EE’s Coverage and Tethering
EE have excellent coverage across the UK, boasting an impressive 99% coverage by population for 2G, 3G, and 4G service. That doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get great reception, however, since there are always black spots. We recommend double-checking reception in your local area before getting an EE SIM card or signing up for service. You can easily do this by either checking the coverage map on EE’s website or by using the official OFCOM coverage checker.
Do note that EE doesn’t currently offer fast 5G mobile data speeds on PAYG or Flex plans.
If you want to use your mobile data to get another device, such as a laptop or tablet, online (known as ‘tethering’) then you’ll be glad to know that EE places no restrictions on this at all, you’re free to use your data allowance however you like.
Our Top Pick
Best EE Flex Plan
Triple Data for 6 months
- 6GB Data
- 1000 minutes
- Unlimited texts
Plus data rollover, free data boosts (500mb extra free every 3 months) and solid 4G coverage across the UK.