Smarty
Get Deal

Smarty is a mobile virtual network operator that gives you the best of both worlds - if you're a Three customer, you get to stay on their network and get access to all the great benefits they offer, but at no extra cost.

VOXI
Get Deal

VOXI is a great option for people who want to have more data, or unlimited talk and text, but don't need the latest smartphone. You can find a range of different deals with VOXI - from just talk and text up to big data plans that are perfect for downloading movies on the go.

O2
Get Deal

O2 is the UK's largest network, providing wireless service across all major UK cities. We are proud to offer 4G and 5G connections that make your life easier by letting you do more on-the-go than ever before.

giffgaff
Get Deal

Giffgaff is a mobile phone network that uses O2's British network. They have competitively priced pay-as-you-go tariffs and affordable calling plans for all kinds of users, from those who just need to make local calls to those with high monthly usage.

Virgin Media
Get Deal

Virgin Mobile offers 4G coverage across the UK and Europe, meaning you can use your existing phone number with Virgin. It also means that you get all the benefits of being an EE customer but without paying any more for a mobile contract.

Three
Get Deal

Three is the UK's 4th largest mobile network operator and provides services in a variety of locations. They offer unlimited calls, texts and data for £18 per month with no upfront cost.

EE
Get Deal

EE is a leading communications provider with operations in over 30 countries. We offer consumers the latest 4G and 5G networks, which enable them to access content at superfast speeds. We also provide an array of broadband services including fibre-optic internet, fixed line voice and landline phone calls, mobile voice and data services as well as pay TV packages.

BT
Get Deal

BT Mobile is a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides an alternative to the established market players. They have great coverage, low prices and are trying to improve your experience with BT and telecoms in general.

Vodafone
Get Deal

Vodafone is a telecom company based in London. They provide mobile and broadband services across the world, including countries like the UK, Germany, Spain and Turkey.

Tesco Mobile
Get Deal

Tesco Mobile is the UK's most popular mobile phone network, and with over 8 million customers using their phones to shop online or collect Clubcard points. They offer everything from pay as you go plans to exclusive contracts and there are no hidden costs.

1pMobile

1PMOBILE
1p a minute, 1p a text, 1p a MB

Get Deal

You can save money with 1pMobile. It's the UK's lowest PAYG mobile rates. You get great coverage and free SIM for your phone. Calls, texts and data each cost just 1p (per minute/text/MB). Why pay more?

Asda Mobile
Get Deal

If you're looking for the best value, or want to switch between your phone and tablet on a Pay As You Go basis, then this is the service for you. Plus, with great bundle deals on pay as you go plans and SIM only bundles, there's no better time than now to sign up!

A key question to ask yourself when browsing for the cheapest phone packages is just how much do you use your phone? Modern trends see many smartphone users plumping for 5G unlimited data packages and huge data allowances, which you can use to stream HD shows, live music and sports, but what if you don’t need those things? The chances are you could be better off with a Pay As You Go deal (PAYG) because you only pay for what you use. Every major network including EE, Vodafone and Three Mobile offer PAYG phone contracts, as do Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile. You also have the option of cheap PAYG sim only deals, which cost even less because you only have to pay for your sim. Whatever your situation, there is sure to be a PAYG offer for you.

Pay As You Go Phone Deals

Your first PAYG option is to find a phone from a mobile network that comes with a PAYG deal. Most providers feature a selection of cheap PAYG with phone packages for you to choose from, with the four major networks and most MVNOs showcasing their PAYG options alongside their pay monthly plans. Some networks like Smarty specialise only in PAYG sims, meaning you have to source a handset from elsewhere, which could be a handset from a previous contract or one have bought one from a third party retailer. If you are looking to save extra money on your handset, many networks offer refurbished handsets from a variety of manufacturers.

Pay As You Go Sims

If you are looking for the best PAYG phone deals after coming to the end of your contract with another provider, you could trade in your handset for a PAYG with handset package or opt for a PAYG sim only deal to use in your current handset. It is likely that you will have to unlock your phone to make it usable with your new sim. The beauty of Pay As You Go sims lies in the fact you only pay for what you use. If you don’t require hours of airtime minutes or texts, why pay extra for them on a pay monthly contract that features unlimited minutes and texts? PAYG sims come in a variety of allowances, which network providers often call “bundles”, though Giffgaff PAYG sim only plans are called goodybags, which you can switch from month to month for more flexibility. 

How Do Pay As You Go Offers Work?

If you take out a cheap PAYG contract with a handset deal, you will most likely have to pay an upfront cost for your handset. The handset cost will, of course, depend on the handset. If you bought a brand new iPhone you would have a hefty upfront charge to deal with, as they are premium products at premium prices. For that reason, most network providers featuring the best iPhone deals spread the cost of the handset over the course of the contract, effectively loaning you the money to buy it on an interest free basis. 

The same can be said of top Android manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Google. If you are set on a PAYG plan and want to reduce your initial outlay you can always opt for a cheaper handset that sits in line with your budget. Some networks feature a wider range of handsets available on PAYG plans than others, so finding the best PAYG with handset offers often takes some shopping around. 

However, if you already have a handset you will minimise your initial costs because you won’t have to pay for a new phone. If your handset has come from a previous contract that has run its course - or you have paid early termination fees to end the contract with your supplier - you can simply text “PAC” to 65075 from your current phone to unlock it for your new sim. Every supplier, whether they are MVNOs or major networks, offer sim only deals, each with their own benefits. 

Some operators like EE send their sims out for free, at which point you have 6 months to top up before they expire. You will only get charged when you top up for the first time. Other providers charge your upfront monthly bundle cost before they send you your new sim card, with your sim ready to go when it comes through the door. Networks send out sim cards by first class Royal Mail, meaning it will arrive in your regular post between 1-2 days from your point of ordering.

When Will My Pay As You Go Package Expire?

Whether you opt to top up as you go along or pay a monthly fee with a set amount of data, minutes and texts, your PAYG credit will most likely expire after 30 days. The best Pay As You Go plans allow you to roll your unused data over to the following month, though these offers usually include terms that data can only be rolled over if you renew your deal. This means that you will face a monthly charge whether you opt for a Pay As You Go monthly package or a cheap sim only offer that requires you to top it up. 

How Can I Make The Most Of My Pay As You Go Sim?

Monitoring your phone usage is often the best way to find out if you are getting real value from your Pay As You Go sim. Major networks like Three Mobile and EE and MVNOS such as Sky Mobile and Plusnet Mobile feature dedicated apps that allow you to monitor your usage in real time, letting you keep track of the data, minutes and texts you are using. Flexible packages are often the best sim only plans as they allow you to switch your deal from month to month. If you go on holiday, you might require more data because you might be streaming more, for example. As with regular pay monthly phone deals, keeping track of your usage is the key to making sure you get the best value Pay As You Go plan.

Scroll to top