Sign up for a 12-month SIM only deal and you’ll get all the data, minutes, and texts you need without having to top up credit or pay for a new mobile phone.
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A 12-month SIM-only contract is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a year-long SIM only mobile phone plan. You’ll get a specific amount of minutes, data and texts each month for a set monthly fee. You won’t get a mobile phone included as part of this deal, so you’ll need to use a phone you currently have, or buy a new one outright.
Smartphones are expensive, and paying off the cost of one in a pay monthly plan can mean big monthly bills, especially if you get a new model like an iPhone 14 or a Samsung Galaxy S22.
But if you’re not bothered about getting the hottest new device and already have a mobile phone you’re happy to use for the foreseeable future, a 12-month SIM only plan is an ideal way to reduce your monthly outgoings.
That’s because with a SIM only plan you only pay for your data, calls and text allowance, there’s no pricey smartphone to pay off.
And unlike pay as you go, you don’t have to go through the hassle of topping up your phone credit.
Convenient and budget-friendly, a 12-month SIM only deal could be the perfect way to get the most out of your smartphone.
While it’s shorter than a typical two-year contract, a 12-month SIM only deal is still a long-term financial commitment. It’s important you choose a deal you’re completely happy with, that includes the right amount of data, calls, and texts – as well as any extras you may be interested in.
You may think getting the most data possible is the best bet. But have you considered how much you actually need? It’s easy to be dazzled by big data deals, but if you get way more than you actually use, you’ll end up overpaying.
It’s best to think about what you primarily use your mobile phone for. If you’re big on streaming shows and music, you should probably opt for a high data, or unlimited deal.
But if you’re just into casual surfing and browsing socials, you likely won't need more than 10GB at the most.
If you only use your smartphone for the odd email or instant message, you may need even less, like 5GB.
Networks often include added incentives, like discounts on streaming services and priority access to concert and event tickets. You may also get access to TV channels, like TNT Sports (which used to be BT Sport), included in your plan. Keep an eye out for extras when you’re shopping around for the ideal 12-month SIM only deal.
You can get a 12-month SIM only deal on major UK networks, including Three, O2, Vodafone, and Tesco Mobile.
Here’s a quick overview of what the networks offer:
Three offers SIM-only deals on 12-month contracts (as well as 1-month and 24-month). You can choose from plenty of data options as well as benefits and extras.
O2 is one of the UK’s biggest networks, so you can expect to find a wide range of 12-month SIM-only deals at various price points.
O2’s extras include its priority service which gets you early access to concert and event tickets.
Vodafone offers Red Entertainment and international roaming on some of its 12-month SIM only deals. You also get connected to one of the UK’s best mobile infrastructures with coverage all around the nation.
Tesco Mobile is an excellent option for people on a budget, as it offers 12-month SIM only deals at attractive price points. You can even get Tesco Clubcard points as part of the plans.
When you reach the end of a SIM only 12-month plan on a UK network like Vodafone, Three, O2, EE or most of the other providers, you’ll usually continue rolling on the previously agreed terms until you switch to a new plan or a new network.
Yes, you can keep your current phone. And it’s really easy to do. All you need is your PAC code, which you can easily get by texting PAC to 65075. Then, give your PAC code to your new network and they’ll be able to transfer over your existing number.