Buyers' Guide: SIM Only Tariffs

If you already have a mobile phone and you don’t feel like you need an upgrade but you are on the hunt for a new Sim card plan, then Sim only tariffs are what you are looking for.

Here is our guide to getting a Sim card tariff that is right for you:

SIM Only Tariffs Explained

As the name suggest, buying a Sim only deal means that all you're getting is a Sim card. Sim only tariffs make your mobile phone usage cheaper because your chosen network operator is not subsidising the cost of a handset as they do with most pay monthly tariffs. In other words, you can benefit of cheaper voice, text and internet services without having to pay for a new phone (as long as you already own one).

The biggest advantage of choosing a Sim only tariff is that you can find a good deal with a just one-month contract or even a pay-as-yo-go Sim only tariff – no 24-month contracts and no hassle!

Pros & Cons

Yes! Cheaper calls, texts and data because the cost doesn’t include the price of a handset

Yes! No lengthy contracts

Yes! You can switch provider easily

Yes! Choose between Pay Monthly and PAYG

Yes! Call other networks at a flat rate

Yes! Freebies


No! Need to own a handset

No! Your existing phone may need unlocking

What Is Your Budget?

If you can’t afford or you don’t need to buy a phone outright, then save £££’s by getting a cheap Sim only tariff.

If you are trying to keep your mobile phone costs down, there are SIM only tariffs out there starting from just £7 a month. You can get a cheap SIM only contract on Orange - with their Dolphin Sim only tariff you buy 150 minutes, 500 texts and 250MB data for £7 a month.

Deals at the £10/month price level are available for those who use their mobile phone regularly. Currently a bestseller on the market is GiffGaff's £10 goodybag which buys 250 UK minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data!

At the £15 price point, Three Mobile can offer you an amazing Pay-As-You-Go deal with 3000 texts and 300 minutes plus all-you-can-eat data for just £15.

Is Your Handset Unlocked?

Remember that if your existing mobile has come with a previous Sim card contract, then probably it is locked to that mobile network. In order to switch networks, you may need to have your handset unlocked first. Most locked handsets can be easily unlocked in exchange for a small fee. Check with your network operator or with local high street unlocking shops.