Most mobile phone deals and offers are a combination of the perfect handset and the perfect tariff. For some people, the call and text package is the only important part of the mobile phone deal.
For those of us who already have the perfect handset and are simply looking for a great deal on calls and texts, the best mobile phone deal is a SIM-only deal or pay as you go SIM. A SIM-only mobile phone deal does exactly what is says on the tin, giving you a mobile phone SIM card without the handset.
SIM-only mobile deals are great if you already have a handset you love. Most UK mobile phone networks offer at least one pay as you go SIM phone deal.
Perhaps you have just come to the end of your contract and you are looking to get a new mobile phone deal. If you are happy with handset you have, then you can get a SIM card for the existing handset and carry on using it as before, only with your new number.
What is a SIM card?
A SIM card is a microchip around the size of a postage stamp holding all of a mobile phone's configuration information, for example the mobile phone number and call plan. Without a SIM card, a mobile phone will not work. SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module.
Once a SIM card has been activated it is permanently locked to the particular network, though not locked to a particular phone. That means you can easily change mobile phone handsets but keep your phone number, your friends’ phone numbers and any saved messages or photos.
Why choose a SIM-only mobile phone deal?
Maybe you want to keep a couple of different mobile phones for different purposes? Perhaps you spend a lot of time outside hiking or playing extreme sports? With SIM only plans you can keep an inexpensive basic handset for when you're off on your adventures, and a nice top-of-the range handset to pull out of your pocket in business meetings.
Which networks offer SIM-only deals?
SIM-only plans are available from all the major mobile phone networks and companies including:
- Orange SIM only
- O2 SIM only
- Three SIM only
- T-Mobile SIM only
- Virgin SIM only
- Vodafone SIM only
- EE SIM only
- Tesco SIM only
SIM-only pay as you go deals
If you already have a handset you can get a pay as you go SIM package for from one of the mobile phone networks and convert your old contract phone into a pay as you go phone.
Orange offer a range of pay as you go SIM packs that follow the same structure as their other packages. For as little as £1 you can purchase an Orange SIM card and choose the kind of pay as you go mobile deal that best suits your needs.
Orange SIM-only mobile packages are named after animals and each have different features for different kinds of mobile phone user.
Orange also offers pay as you go SIM-only customers a range of incentives to encourage regular top-ups, for example 300 free texts or 120 evening and weekend minutes for a £10 monthly top-up.
3 also offers a pay as you go SIM-only mobile deal, from as little as £10 you can get a 3G pay as you go SIM card to put into any 3G phone.
T-Mobile's SIM only Talk and Text SIM card also offers a double your credit deal for pay as you go SIM-only customers. You can get even T-Mobile SIM cards for Free with some pay as you go deals.
Virgin offer a pay as you go SIM-only deal from as little as £5. They also offer the Liberty SIM, a deal offering SIM-only pay as you go customers the best of both worlds.
There are also competitive O2 pay as you go, EE SIM only, Vodafone SIM only, and Tesco SIM only plans.