The term ‘micro SIM only deals’ refers to mobile plans or tariffs that do away with a subsidised handset and simply include a micro SIM card and a monthly usage allowance that you can use with a mobile phone you already own or are looking to purchase separately.
They are ideal for people who just want the calls, minutes and data allowances of a mobile phone deal, which is a great way to save money. Better still, because they often run on rolling contract basis and can be cancelled with just one month’s notice, they also offer consumers amazing levels of freedom and flexibility.
Whether you’re looking to cut your monthly outlay, are happy with an older phone or have bought a brand new phone contract-free and need a SIM card and a monthly allowance, micro SIM only deals are just the ticket.
What is a Micro SIM card?
A Micro SIM card is a plastic module with an integrated circuit that stores network-specific information used to authenticate and identify you as a subscriber on a mobile network.
It is about half the size of a standard SIM card (also known as the mini SIM card) and is used by most modern smartphones and tablets launched since 2010.
It’s also backwards compatible, so you can still use it on older devices using a mini SIM adapter.
To start using a micro SIM card, all you have to do is insert it into the micro SIM card slot, usually located behind the battery (if it’s removable) or on the side of the device, which may involve a removable SIM tray (on the iPhone, for example).
Why choose a Micro SIM only mobile phone deal?
By choosing a micro SIM card only deal, you are not paying nearly as much as you would be if it also included a handset. You might like to buy the latest handset separately to avoid signing up to a long-term contract. Or you might already own a handset – whether it’s your primary device or a secondary/inexpensive model to take with you on your adventures.
Keeping personal and work numbers separate is a great reason to pick up a micro SIM only deal, and they are a fantastic way to save money on roaming with many handsets offering Dual SIM support, enabling you to easily switch between your home and international SIMs.
Which networks offer Micro SIM only deals?
All the major UK networks offer micro SIM only deals in a range of 12-month contracts. These are:
Micro SIM only pay as you go deals
If you want to go one step further in saving money on your new or existing handset, you can also pick up micro SIM only deals on a pay as you go tariff that lets you top-up only as much you want or need.
Maybe your contract has run out and you don’t plan to take out a new one. Or perhaps you have already penned a new contract, but don’t want your old handset to fall out of use. With a micro SIM card deal on pay as you go, you can keep your ageing handsets around longer, or even pass them on to another member of the family.
This is why micro SIM pay as you deals are hugely popular with the young demographic. They don’t require signing any contract and allow you to keep an eye on your spending.
Micro SIM card only handsets
Micro SIM cards are compatible with almost any modern smartphone. To name just a few examples, these include Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy handsets, the HTC One range and the latest additions to Nokia’s Lumia family of smartphones.
You can find out if a particular handset has micro SIM card support or not by visiting its dedicated page at uSwitch.
Don’t forget you can also make micro SIM cards work with older handsets using a mini SIM adapter, which are widely available through mobile accessories vendors.
Looking for an even smaller SIM for your latest smartphone? Check out our best and cheapest Nano SIM only deals