SIM only plans are ideal for customers who are happy with their current handset and just want a great deal on bundled calls, texts and data. The TigerMobiles.com comparison engine compares deals on Multi SIMs; they are three in one SIM cards which break down from standard sim, to mini sim and then to nano sim for use in every type of smartphone or tablet.
If you’re wondering what an SIM-only deal is then you are ordering a mobile phone SIM card without a handset. You then pay a monthly fee to get an amount of texts, minutes and data. To choose your ideal SIM-only plan just browse the offers available below. We compare a range of deals so you can find the best SIM only plan for your requirements.
£1.50 per month View Deal
Let’s start from the very beginning. Mobile operators traditionally offer two kinds of contract. The most common contract is usually known as an incentive contract, and this includes a mobile phone as well as a calling plan. A SIM only plan, on the other hand, offers you only the calling plan, so you don’t get a mobile phone included in the package. Even though you’re not getting a new mobile, you still might want to consider getting a SIM only plan.
The big advantage of going with a SIM only plan is that it’s going to be cheaper. The monthly cost of your phone plan will be less on SIM only. Why? Because while mobile operators subsidise phones bought on incentive contracts, the phone you get isn’t free, you pay a little extra each month to cover the cost of the phone. That means that if you’ve already got a great phone and don’t need a new one, or you’re willing to shop for a new phone yourself, then a SIM only plan is going to be your best (and cheapest) option.
The rather obvious downside of all this is that you’re not getting a new phone. If you don’t already have a phone to use and you opt to go SIM only, then you’re going to need to buy one. The problem with this is that you may end up paying more for the phone you buy yourself than you would if you just signed up for the standard phone contract. Very basically, if you’ve already got a phone or you’re getting a great deal elsewhere on the phone, then SIM only is the way to go, if not you’ll probably want to go phone contract.
The rules for shopping for a SIM only plan are pretty similar to those for shopping for any other kind of mobile plan, though you’re not going to need to worry about the quality of the phone you’re getting since you won’t be getting one. A SIM only plan is just a calling plan, so you’ll need to opt for a certain number of calling minutes, text messages and a mobile data limit.
While calling minutes and text messages are pretty cheap (and prices don’t vary too much amongst operators) mobile data does vary a little more, which means that data is going to be the main thing that you need to look for. You want a decent amount of data, so you don’t go over your limit (which gets pricey fast) but you don’t want so much data that you never use all of it and are stuck paying for a service that you’re not using.
The best plan for choosing a data limit is to take a look at your old mobile bills since most operators list the amount of data you use each month. You can then make a pretty good estimate for the kind of limit you need. There’s another data issue, though…
Some operators are now offering two kinds of data plans, and you’ll need to choose which you want. 3G plans are cheaper and available all over the UK. However, 4G plans will give you faster mobile internet (as long as your phone is 4G capable) which can be pretty tempting. Don’t forget that you’ll pay more for 4G though, plus not all operators have a 4G network, and not all areas of the UK have 4G coverage. If in doubt, check out your chosen operator’s web page, or ask in a local mobile shop.
When it comes to actually using your phone on your new phone plan, there are a couple of things that you’re going to need to keep in mind. Firstly, is your phone unlocked? If you originally got your phone from a mobile operator, there’s a fair chance that the mobile will be locked to that operator and won’t accept a SIM card from any other company. Fortunately, unlocking phones is relatively straightforward (ask your operator, they may be able to do it, if not find a mobile unlocking company close to you) and is completely legal in the UK.
The other concern is the size of the SIM card. Most older phone models use a large, traditional SIM card, while new models use smaller micro SIM cards. You’ll need to ensure that you’re getting the right kind of card for the phone that you’re using. Luckily, most operators offer something called a combi SIM, which is a combination of both sizes and can be snapped apart and put back together depending on which size you need. It is best to make sure that you know what you’re getting when you sign up, though!
SIM only plans can be a great and affordable option for some users. Finding a plan should be pretty easy, and aside from a couple of concerns like SIM card size, there is no difference between SIM only shopping and contract phone shopping. You might find that SIM only plans to save you cash, and that’s pretty important these days.
Yes, most SIM only deals will require you to pass a credit check. However, there are no credit check options available. Many networks offer deals that don’t require credit checks. What’s more, they’re actually very good value. What you want is called a no credit SIM-only deal. These tend to be short-term with the option to cancel or upgrade/downgrade at short notice.
SIM-only deals are great if you already have a handset you love and don’t want to change it. Or perhaps you have snagged a bargain on eBay for a handset outright and needed a SIM card for it.
SIM only plans are also perfect for customers who have bad credit and want to rebuild their credit rating. This is because there is no phone included and this reduces the risk for the phone retailer or network provider. If you take out a SIM only deal and make repayments on time, you begin to rebuild your credit rating. This makes getting a phone contract much easier later down the line.
Many of our customers choose a SIM only deal when they have several phones for different purposes. If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors or work on a building site then a SIM only deal means you can keep an inexpensive handset for when you’re out and about. Rather than risk having your iPhone getting covered in dust or dropped down a cliff you can just take a cheaper model out with you.
If you have any questions relating to our SIM only deals and whether they’re right for you then feel free to contact us for advice.