A buyer’s guide to SIM Only Contracts

Sim only contracts are becoming ever more popular as consumers look for alternatives to sim and handset contracts that can see them locked in for as long as 24 months. Additionally, people also find that changing from their favourite handset isn’t ideal, and so they opt to keep their phone, and use the convenience of a sim only contract. In this guide we look at how sim only contracts work, and how you can search out the best deal.

How sim only contracts work

Sim only contracts are where the consumer is provided with only the sim, rather than the phone handset that usually comes along with phone contracts. These types of contracts are subject to a much shorter contract period and some don’t require a credit check to start, which can be good for those with a bad credit history.

Factors to consider when choosing a sim only contract

Sim only contracts are extremely wide and varied, with each network provider differing on what they offer in their packages.

What are your requirements?

Before looking at what’s available on the market, you need to first establish what your needs are. For example, do you use mostly call minutes? Or are you an avid texter? Whilst many packages can look great, with thousands of free texts, it’s of no use if you only send a few per month.

You should also think about how much internet browsing you do on your phone. If you’re a high user and you don’t plump for an unlimited data allowance.

Sim only contract packages and your budget

Once you’ve decided upon how you use your phone, you should take a look at the different packages available and decide which may be most suitable to you. You may need to compromise on certain features if your budget is limited, such as a lower number of free texts, or a certain, limited data allowance.

Price caps

If you feel that you may need a little help with using your phone responsibly, you should think about putting a price cap on your monthly spend. This will effectively see your outgoing calls cut off one you reach a certain spend limit.

Searching out the best sim only contract deal

There are literally hundreds of sim only contract packages, so find the right one for you can be a bit of a chore if you don’t know where to look. In this instance you should take a look at the comparison websites, where practically all the providers are compared under one roof.

Networks

Vodafone

Vodafone sim only contracts range from a 30 day rolling contract, to a 24 month plan; here is a summary of their standard 24 month sim plans:

• Unlimited minutes, data and texts at £11 per month on 24 month contract with downloading speed restricted to 2 mbps;

• Unlimited minutes, data and texts at £13 per month on 24 month contract with downloading speed restricted to 10 mbps;

• Unlimited minutes, data and texts at £15 per month on 24 month contract with no downloading speed restrictions.

GiffGaff

GiffGaff offer one of the widest range of sim only contract deals, and currently have 10 offers that range from £6 per month, to £35 per month. The offers are separated in the so callled "goody bags". At the cheapest end of their deals is unlimited UK minutes,texts and 500 MB worth of data; at the top end of their deals and they offer unlimited UK minutes, texts and data.

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