A SIM only deal is a mobile phone contract where you pay a standard monthly fee for your data, calls and texts, but don’t also pay for a phone each month on top.
And with the single biggest factor affecting the cost of phone contracts being paying off the handset itself, it’s no surprise that SIM free plans are considerably cheaper, with the average Brit apparently spending £92.06 more a year than they need to on an overpriced phone contract, according to research from HandsetExpert.com.
So if you’ve already got a decent phone that you’re happy with, we’ve rounded up the very best SIM only deals out there this January 2018 below, to help you save even more.
The best thing about sim only, is that there’s so many different options up for grabs, from £5 a month contracts from Tesco, to unlimited internet from Three, or an array of different freebies when you buy from Carphone Warehouse.
Best SIM only deal we’ve seen this month
But a kind member of deals forum HotUKDeals has tipped off fellow users about an insane data deal that’s set to launch tomorrow – and people are very excited about it.
People have also spotted a few advertisements promoting the deal, so we reckon it must be true.
This month’s best SIM only deals
From bonus data to cheapest monthly cost, there’s plenty of other options in the SIM free market right now.
The cheapest SIM only deal:
£3.99 per month for 500MB of data, 5000 texts and 500 minutes on on iD Mobile via Carphone Warehouse.
idmobile’s insane SIM only deal is also only a 30 day contract, meaning you aren’t tied to anything, although it doesn’t include any fancy bonus add-ons. Get it here.
Best SIM only deal with lots of data:
£10 per month for 5GB of data, 5000 texts and 1000 minutes on idmobile.
This bargain is even available on a 30 day contract. Get it here.
Best PAYG SIM only deal
£5 per month for 250MB data, 100 minutes and 100 texts on Tesco mobile.
After a specific network?
Here’s the top deal from each of the networks – including any bonus benefits they offer on top of the usual allowances.
The best Carphone Warehouse SIM-only deal
£13.50 a month for 2GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts on a 12 month contract on Vodafone, plus a free £25 gift card. Get it here.
Carphone Warehouse compare all the networks to find you the cheapest deal, so you can easily compare your price to everyone else in the market, also taking into consideration all the freebies from each network.
So if the above plan isn’t for you, you can browse the cheapest options from the likes of EE, o2 and idmobile, all on the same, easy-to-use page.
Carphone Warehouse are also hosting a huge £10 million giveaway this Christmas, the chance to win a prize with every new phone, broadband and TV contract, SIM Only deal, or purchase over £4.99.
The best Tesco SIM only deal
£5 per month for 250MB of data, 100 minutes and 100 texts on pay as you go. Get it here.
For a 12 month contract, you can get 1GB of data, 500 minutes and 5000 texts for £7.50 a month. Get it here.
Tesco don’t offer much in terms of add-on extras, opting instead to award families that add more than one contract on their account. In this case, you can get up to 200 bonus Clubcard points, up to £2 off your bill or up to 500 extra minutes.
The best 3 SIM only deal
£28 per month for unlimited data, unlimited texts and unlimited minutes on a 12 month contract. Get it here.
Three’s bonus extras such as Feel At Home and a 30GB personal allowance hot spot are only available on its higher priced packages, the lowest being its 4GB of data for £12 a month.
The best Vodafone SIM only deal
£41 per month for 40GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts, on a 12 month contract, plus a £25 Currys PC World gift card, via Carphone Warehouse .
On Vodafone, SIM only packages start at 250MB starting at £9.50 for 250MB, so if you want a low cost deal – head elsewhere, as they prefer offering lots of data for much less than their competitors.
If you do decide to invest in lots of internet, Vodafone’s pay monthly SIM only plans all come with Vodafone Global Roaming, which lets you use your plan in over 100 destinations worldwide, exactly as you would at home.
The best EE SIM-only deal
£21 per month for 20GB of data unlimited minutes and texts on a 12 month contract. Get it here.
EE claim to give out triple-speed internet with all their data plans. You’ll also get three months free access to the BT sport app.
The best o2 SIM-only deal
£19 per month for 10GB internet, unlimited minutes and unlimited text on a 12 month contract. Get it here.
SIM only contracts on o2 will all be able to download the Priority app with their new contract and reap the freebies and discounts. Top deals on the app include £1 meal deals, early access to tickets, free coffee and cinema tickets, plus money off high street eateries.
The best iD Mobile SIM-only deal
£5 per month for 1.5GB of 4G data, 5000 texts and 500 minutes on a 30 day contract. Get it here.
With each of iD Mobile’s SIM only plans, you’ll also get to choose a free feature to add on to your purchase. The two free options include Data Rollover (saving unused data to roll over next month) or Capping (controlling your spend with a pre-set £5 cap that can be adjusted upwards).
The best Mobile Phones Direct SIM-only deal
£10.99 per month for 1GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts on a 12 month contract on EE. Get it here.
Mobile Phones Direct also give you up to £48 cash back in return for your SIM free purchase (such as the one above). As they work by comparing the prices of several networks, you may also be able to bag some bonus extras, depending on what you choose.
The best Virgin Media SIM-only deal
£9 per month for 4GB of data, 300 minutes and unlimited texts on a 30 day rolling contract. Get it here.
The above deal usually only includes 300MB of data, but has been momentarily increased. Virgin Media’s benefits also include free messaging on Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, plus a data rollover each month if you don’t use all your allowance.
Worried about losing your number? Don’t be, it’s super easy to switch over – just like any other mobile phone contract.
Still not sure if SIM free is best for you? Give it a trial. One of the beauties of SIM free is that there’s lots of options which let you quit any time. Lots of networks offer a no contract SIM that you pay a monthly fee for. Just because you don’t want a full contract, doesn’t mean you have to revert back to good old pay as you go.