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SIM only mobile phones

Compare cheap SIM card only contracts and keep your phone

Compare cheap SIM card only contracts and keep your phone

Compare cheap SIM card only contracts and keep your phone

Compare cheap SIM card only contracts and keep your phone

Compare cheap SIM card only contracts and keep your phone

Compare SIM only deals

If you’re after a SIM only deal then you’ve come to the right place. Find out what call minutes, text and mobile data allowance you could get by comparing quotes quickly and easily today. Compare deals by network and search for one-month SIMs, unlimited SIM deals, data only SIMs and more.

What is a SIM only deal?

A SIM only deal means you don’t get a phone included in your contract. You’ll simply pay monthly for an allowance of minutes, texts and data.

It’s a great solution if you’re happy with your phone, or want to buy yourself a new one, without signing up to a long mobile phone contract.

What are the benefits of SIM only deals?

  • Potential savings – as you’re not paying for a phone you might be able to reduce your monthly payments and increase your call, text and mobile data allowance too.
  • Keep your existing phone or buy a new one – as you’re just paying for the SIM card, you can keep your phone or buy one outright.
  • Freedom to change tariff – You can get a 1-12 month contract, so you have the flexibility to change your deal if you want to.
  • Easier credit check – the criteria you have to meet isn’t as comprehensive as a contract deal.

How do I switch to a SIM-only tariff?

If you’re currently on a contract deal, you may have to wait for it to end to avoid paying a cancellation fee. Once you’re out of contract, you can shop around and sign up to a SIM-only deal. If it’s with a different network from the one you’re on, you might need to get your handset unlocked. Then, just pop your new SIM into your phone and you’re ready to go.

It’s easy to keep your number using ‘text to switch’ – just text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to start.

Can I get a SIM-only deal for a tablet?

If you want to use your tablet while you’re out and not connected to WiFi, you can get a data-only SIM. These are like ordinary SIM cards, but they only come with data. Before you buy, check that your tablet has a slot for a SIM card – not all do. Also check the manufacturer’s handbook to see what type of SIM you need.

What SIM card do I need?

There are three types of SIM card:

  • Standard – these are usually only found in older phones. They measure 25 x 15mm and are the biggest type of SIM.
  • Micro – slightly smaller than a standard SIM at 15 x 12 mm.
  • Nano – the smallest SIM at 12.3 x 8.8mm and often used in new smartphones.
  • eSIMs – electronic SIMs that are part of the phone are just coming onto the market. They can be found in the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, the iPhone XR and Google Pixel 2 and 2XL.

Before you order your SIM card for your SIM-only deal, check which type of SIM your handset has. If you’re not sure, check the manufacturer’s handbook.

Frequently asked questions

SIM only deals: Is there anything to consider?

You’ll need a phone – new phones can be expensive, so you’ll need to factor this in.

You could be locked in. You may need to unlock your phone if it’s tied to a network provider that’s different to the one you want to switch to.

Can I keep my current telephone number?

You can keep your current telephone number. It’s fairly simple and you can do it yourself. When you move from one network to another, simply ask your old network for a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) and give it to your new network within 30 days.

How do you get your PAC code?

Call your old network’s helpline to get your PAC code. Some networks will also let you get your PAC online.

You can also use Ofcom’s ‘text-to-switch’ service. Simply text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to get your PAC code delivered straight to your phone.

Then, ring your new network to give them your PAC code. The changeover is usually quick but can sometimes take a while.

How much data will I need on a SIM-only deal?

This depends on you and your data requirements. If you mainly use your phone at home or at work with a decent WiFi connection, you may not need much data. But if you’re usually out and about or can’t bank on finding a good WiFi signal, you may need more data.

Before choosing a new SIM only deal, review your current plan to see how much data you’re using each month. This will give you a rough guide to how much data you will need on your new plan.

Should I go for a short-term or long-term SIM deal?

A long-term SIM-only deal offers you peace of mind, knowing your price won’t change and you won’t need to look for a new deal any time soon. However, you may be missing out on the best prices in the future if you’re tied down to a long contract.

Short-term SIM-only deals can last for as little as 30 days. They’re ideal if you’re always hunting for the best price. However, you may find yourself without service more regularly if you forget to line up a new deal in time.

Ultimately, it’s down to you and what you want. But there are plenty of contract term options available, so it’s good to shop around to find the best deal for you.

How can I tell if my phone is unlocked and will accept another network's SIM?

The best way to tell is to pop in a SIM card from a different network and try to make a call (assuming the SIM card is active). If the call connects, the phone is unlocked.

My phone is unlocked. What can I do?

You can use a SIM card from any network. As long as the SIM card is active, it should work every time.

The best SIM-only deal is on a different network. Should I switch?

You may find a much better deal with a different network, so it might be well worth switching. And although there are a few steps you’ll need to go through if you want to keep your number, this should be relatively simple.

What do I do with my old SIM?

Before you do anything, be aware that your SIM card contains a lot of personal information, including the names and contact numbers of your friends and family. With that in mind, you have three options:

  • Destroy it: If you’re sure you’ll never need that SIM card again, cut the chip in half and recycle the plastic shell.

  • Recycle it: There are many companies that offer to securely collect your old SIM, wipe it and let someone else make use of it. Some will even pay for your old SIM cards.

  • Keep it: If you think your SIM might come in useful in the future – for instance, if you lose your new SIM card – you can keep it in a secure place. You can even convert old contract SIMs into pay-as-you-go SIM cards by contacting your network provider.

Will there be a credit check for a SIM only deal?

There may be a credit check, but the criteria may not be as rigorous as they are for contract phone deals.

Will a SIM-only deal improve my credit rating?

It’s certainly possible. Taking out a phone contract is a form of borrowing – your network provider ‘loans’ you a bundle of calls, texts and data and you pay them back month-by-month. If you always pay your monthly bill on time, your credit score could increase. But be aware that if you miss your monthly repayments, your credit score could go down.

What do I need to compare SIM only deals?

First, you’ll need to have a mobile phone. That’s because SIM only means the contract you take out won’t include a new phone.

Before ordering your new SIM card, you should check whether your phone accepts a standard, micro or nano-sized SIM card.

You should also make sure your phone is consistent with the type of SIM card you’re after. If you take out a contract on a 5G SIM card but your phone is only capable of connecting to 4G, you may end up wasting money.

Likewise, there’s no point taking out a SIM only plan with data included if your phone can’t connect to the internet.

For the sake of clarity, you can still use a 5G SIM card in a 4G device. In fact, any SIM should work in any device. But the speed of the network you can connect to will be limited by your phone.

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