Male hand holding Sim card with sim only deals package

What is a SIM Only Deal and Why You Need It?


Smartphones have become an essential part of our lifestyle, from work, education, and social life. The whole idea of advanced technology is to make life easier, more efficient and connecting worldwide. A smartphone can be a personal assistant, help you stay organised, do social and business communications, and much more. All this is only possible with a telecom service enabling you to stay in touch anywhere and everywhere you go with the best SIM-Only Deals in the UK, providing cheap connectivity.

However, spending a hefty sum on a mobile phone contract isn’t for everyone. If you’re satisfied with your current handset, better consider a SIM-Only deal. Always staying connected shouldn’t cost you a fortune. We all love our phones. They’re our daily lifeline that keeps you connected with your mum or helps you make contactless payments when you’re in a rush.

Sim card for a mobile phone

That’s all very special, but is it worth changing or updating to a brand-new mobile phone every year or two? Well, everyone needs a wonderful plan that includes all the resources they need but doesn’t top the outgoing payments list every month. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be looking for a new contract. What you need is a perfect SIM-Only deal that gives you freedom with many benefits.

But before you complicate yourself with countless SIM-Only deals out there, let us go through the basics and get you familiar with what’s best for you.

What is a SIM-Only Deal?

A SIM-Only deal is exactly like the typical mobile phone contract or plan but without the handset. So, you’re just buying the package of call minutes, data, and text messages according to your usage.

All this means your outgoing monthly payment will be significantly less. As you’re not paying for a new handset and only for the resources you use. Additionally, the additional flexibility of increasing, decreasing or even cancelling your plan whenever you like, wherever you want. Ensuring you’re always getting the best value for money without any complications.

Are Sim-Only Deals Worth It?

A SIM-Only deal is a type of monthly contract where you’re paying a set amount every month for a bundle of resources, including minutes, data, and texts loaded onto your SIM card. Usually, the SIM card is free, and you don’t get a new phone. That’s why it’s called “SIM-Only.”

While handsets are pricey, Pay as You Go plans can be ambiguous and cause budget issues if you don’t keep a keen eye on your spending. If you don’t need a handset, which mostly you wouldn’t because upgrading to a new handset every year won’t always give you the best of what you need and what you use. With constant security and software updates, most modern phones can survive more than a year.

You can find loads of reasons to select a suitable SIM-Only deal. The first is financial – you only pay for what you need each month and not more. It’s highly beneficial for people who have low usage every month or are looking for a better value for money. Another great benefit is that you get to keep your handset and choose the network provider that suits you.

Like everything, a SIM-Only deal has its prospects and disadvantages that make it suitable for some of you while swindling others away. Let’s decode the pros and cons of a SIM-Only agreement.

Pros of SIM-Only deal

1. Flexibility

Most phone contracts bound you for 12 or 24 months with the same deal. So, you’re likely trapped in a deal that doesn’t suit your phone usage. Also, you’re likely to be overpaying for mobile data or international calling.

However, with SIM-Only deals, you are not tied to any long-term contract and are free to shift as you like. Monitor your monthly usage and change your monthly allowance to accommodate, i.e., more data or call minutes. That way, you never pay more than what you use.

2. No Strings Attached

Contract phones try to restrict you to the same network carrier over a long period. On the other hand, SIM-Only deals offer you a flexible and cost-effective mechanism with no strings attached. Furthermore, with SIM-Only plans, you get everything you need without paying for years on end. You’re not tied to a single carrier or the rules and regulations of contracts.

3. Cost Effective

SIM-Only deals are much more affordable than a phone contract. As you’re not paying for your handset, you get the best value for the network resources.

With a phone contract, you’re bound to pay for the handset along with the exclusive bundles each month. However, these bundles might not be according to your requirements. As a result, you end up paying a lot more than the actual phone price or the network resources you use.

SIM-Only deals are much more reliable and affordable than a contract phone. Providers like Talk Home Mobile’s SIM-Only deals allow you to pay only for what you use.

4. Swap Between Phones

With a contract phone, you’re tied and forced to keep the same phone and complete the whole contract before you can replace it. In some cases, even after the contract expires, the phone is locked to the same network, making it difficult to switch to a new network.

Furthermore, phone contracts usually focus on the latest handsets, which means you’re likely to pay for your usage and the most expensive device on the market.

With a SIM-Only plan, you’re free to upgrade, swap, and buy a new phone whenever you like. Swap to a different handset whenever you want. You have to select the right phone and take control of your life all the time.

5. Select Your Preferred Provider

Contract phones are tied to a network over a long period. Even if you aren’t satisfied with the service, you can’t change or switch.

But with a SIM-Only deal, you have the power to switch any moment you want. If you’re experiencing terrible internet connectivity or choppy call lines, you can get yourself a free SIM to hop onto a better network service.

6. Variety Of Products

You get a wide variety of products and services with SIM-Only deals. Ranging from prices, networks, and data caps to choose from. With all this variability, you can select the best and cheapest product that fits your connectivity needs.

7. No Credit Checks

There aren’t any hard credit checks with SIM-Only deals because you’re not buying a new phone. Everyone can afford the cheap SIM-Only plans that offer you the network resources you need without a strong credit history.


1. Must Buy Your Phone

You’ll have to buy a new phone from your pocket as you’re not getting a new phone with the contract. If you’re planning to switch your phone and can’t afford the expensive new entrants in the market, you better opt for a contract phone with payment divided into many months.

2. Unlock Your Handset

Most phones are carrier locked, and if you want to switch before a certain time, you’ll have to pay a hefty sum to get the phone unlocked. So, check the contract rules and regulations before you choose to go with SIM-Only plans.

Difference Between SIM-Only Deals And Pay As Deals

If you’re not looking to change your mobile phone soon, PAYG and SIM-Only deals are your best options. You can enjoy the cheap SIM card and top up whenever you need it. Or go with a PAYG plan and refill your account once you spend your balance.

With PAYG deals, you must buy credit in advance and use the cellular service for as long as the credit lasts. Once you run out of credit, you can top up manually or set up an auto top-up that automatically adds credit when it falls below a certain threshold amount.

Some network providers offer you value bundles of data, minutes, and texts when you top up your account by a certain amount. However, it’s the type of deal that suits people who don’t use their phone very often or don’t have data needs.

SIM-Only deals come in many forms, depending on your needs and requirements. For example, like a regular phone contract, SIM-Only deals can last 18 months, 12 months, three months, or on a rolling monthly basis. They are billed monthly for the duration with set out terms. And the resources such as data, call minutes, and messages allowance is renewed every month. That way, you get an allowance of resources suiting your needs and budget. You’ll know what you’re opting for and what you pay for that.

With a SIM-Only plan, you pay a monthly amount for a set amount of call minutes, data, and text messages. It’s much more flexible than a monthly contract and can last as short as 30 days, after which you can decide if you want to stick with it or move on. SIM-Only is the easiest way to save money on connectivity without getting into long-term contracts while keeping using your existing smartphone.

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing A Sim-Only Deal In 2022

A contract is easy, and consequently, you pay a lot over a longer period. There aren’t any hidden costs, plan complexities, rules, and regulations with SIM-Only. A SIM-Only deal is much cheaper with no long-term contract. Let’s explore the factors you should consider before opting for a SIM-Only plan in 2022.

Cheap Mobile Deals

Offering a holistic mobile deal that includes call minutes, mobile data, and text messages at a much low price. Stay connected with your loved ones in any country worldwide at the cheapest possible rates.

Unlimited Data

Some providers give you the flexibility to choose your data plans, even offering unlimited media data. Voxi and similar providers offer unlimited data plans so you can enjoy unlimited streaming, gaming, and much more with exclusive service for you.

Cheap International Calls

The best solution for people often making international calls. The SIM-Only plans, usually offered by MVNO’s like Talk Home Mobile, Lyca, and Lebara, offer you the cheapest international calling solution. Spend less while enjoying more connectivity with all these networks.

Multi-network SIM Cards

Some providers allow you to roam across multiple networks, in essence, giving you the freedom to enjoy the services of more than one mobile network. That means the Sim can connect with up to three networks, one being the leading network that it utilises by default whenever in reach. Reduces the time you go without roaming.

Wide And Strong Coverage

The network you select should offer a wide area coverage with strong signal strength wherever you go. The quality of service should meet specific standards and have the best coverage in your area.

Mobile Networks Offering the Best SIM-Only Deals in 2022

Which network offers the best SIM-Only mobile deals in 2022? All the UK’s key network providers – Three, O2, EE, and Vodafone, offer SIM-Only deals. But it would be best if you didn’t opt for the leading providers as the “piggyback” providers provide a much better solution at a lower price yet with a reliable network service.

At the same time, major mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) – Talk Home, Google Fi, ID Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Voxi, GiffGaff, and Sky Mobile offer a much cheaper version of the SIM-Only deals.

The MVNOs offer the top and best SIM-Only deals you can enjoy with benefits like the same coverage as their parent network but at a much less cost overhead. Some MVNOs also offer 5G connectivity, so you can enjoy the super-fast speeds and stay connected anywhere you go with minimum latency.

The best SIM-Only deals you can find in 2022 are:

  1. Talk Home Mobile
  2. Google Fi
  3. Voxi
  4. Sky Mobile
  5. GiffGaff

To find out what comes with each of these providers, head over to our comprehensive guide on SIM-Only deals.

How Much Data Should I Look For In A SIM-Only Deal?

Your data requirements should determine how much data you should look for in a SIM-Only deal. Usually, an average mobile user only needs around 2GB to 3GB per month for general phone use. As shown in the 2019 stats, UK citizens use on average 2.9GGB mobile data per month. That amount covers only a limited use like checking email, browsing the internet or updating social media accounts.

However, if you are a heavy user and love to stream videos, listen to music and podcasts, and play video games, you’ll likely need more data. To check how much data you’re using, all you need to do is look at your network statistics app on your phone. Most Android and iPhone devices have network usage data shown in the “Settings” app. Here you’ll find a detailed breakdown of your monthly data usage.

With all this information, you can predict your future mobile data usage, allowing you to decide the kind of SIM-Only plan you need. Unless you intend to change your data usage, you can utilise the stats to choose a deal that fulfils your data requirements.


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