A pay as you go (PAYG) SIM card is ideal if you don’t want to sign up for a long-term contract, or you’re not keen on going through a credit check. Compare over 40 deals and across 5 trusted UK networks. Over 300,000 customers trust us to help find their SIM deal.
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Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) SIM cards are an easy way to use your phone without needing a long-term contract or lengthy payment plans. You simply pre-pay an amount of money, giving you a set amount of call minutes, data, and texts. And when you run out of minutes, you just top up again with an amount of your choice.
Pay-as-you-go SIM only deals often come with a free SIM card, too. So all you need is a mobile phone you’re happy to use.
No, you generally won’t incur additional charges when you sign up for a pay-as-you-go SIM only deal. Since you pre-pay the amount you’re willing to spend, it’s just a case of using your phone until your money runs out. Then, you’ll have to top up again to get more calls, texts, and data.
Keep your current phone number, swap phones whenever you want
Pay what you want when you want
Avoid being tied down to a long-term contract.
No credit check
You can top up from as little as £5 per spend
You may not get the best rates for data, calls or texts
PAYG deals will work out as more expensive than a traditional pay monthly package
You will need to have a phone that’s unlocked
Almost all UK networks will offer pay-as-you-go SIM cards as part of their product offering. Let’s take a look at some of the major brands you can get a pay-as-you-go deal with:
Tesco Mobile offers numerous PAYG SIM options and bundles, including calls, texts, and data.
The network’s ‘Rocket Packs’ range offers:
£10 for 5GB of data, 5000 texts and 5000 minutes
£15 for 25GB of data, 5000 texts and 5000 minutes
£20 for 50GB of data, 5000 texts and 5000 minutes
£30 for 100GB of data, 5000 texts and 5000 minutes
Tesco Clubcard holders can even get a discount on £20 and £30 packs.
O2 has a selection of four PAYG SIM-only packs to choose from:
Unlimited minutes and texts, 7GB data for £10
Unlimited minutes and texts, 15GB data for £15
Unlimited minutes and texts, 30GB of data for £20
Unlimited minutes and texts, 100GB of data for £30
The best pay-as-you-go deal for you comes down to your personal needs and requirements. Your best bet is to compare options across all networks until you find the ideal balance of allowance and cost.
Yes, you can often use a pay-as-you-go SIM card overseas. However, you will need to check your network's roaming policy first. You will likely have to pay more than you would if you used the phone at home, too.
Check out our network-by-network roaming guide for more info.