With a SIM-only deal, you’ll save more, get more of what you want (data), and have the option to leave any time you like. What’s not to like!?
Best SIM-Only Deals UK
EE SIM-Only Deals
- 25GB of Data + Unlimited Calls & Text (Free Roaming in EU) – £20 Per Month
- 50GB of Data + Unlimited Calls & Text (Free Roaming in EU) – £25 Per Month
- Unlimited Data + Unlimited Calls & Text (Free Roaming in EU) – £34 Per Month
Three SIM-Only Deals
- 24 Month SIM + Unlimited Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts + 5G-Ready – £10.00 Per Month
- 12 Month SIM + Unlimited Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts + 5G-Ready – £22.00 Per Month
- 1 Month SIM + Unlimited Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts + 5G-Ready – £26.00 Per Month
Vodafone SIM-Only Deals
- 12 Month SIM + Unlimited Data (Capped D/L Speed 2Mbps) + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £23 Per Month
- 12 Month SIM + Unlimited Data (Capped D/L Speed 10Mbps) + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £26 Per Month
- 12 Month SIM + Unlimited Data (No Speed Limits) + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £30 Per Month
GiffGaff SIM-Only Deals
- 2GB of Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £8.00 Per Month
- 6GB of Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £10.00 Per Month
- 40GB of Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts – £20 Per Month
Best SIM-Only Deals USA
- Get $250 Sign-Up Bonus When You Start A SIM-Only Deal With Verizon – Offers Unlimited Data & Calls, Texts.
- 8GB of Data Per Month + Unlimited Calls & Texts – $25 Per Month
- Unlimited Data + Unlimited Calls & Texts – $45 Per Month
Benefits of SIM-Only Deals
The main benefit of going the SIM-only route is money; you’ll save a fortune not being locked into a contract for two years. With a SIM-only deal, you can pick and choose exactly what you want with respect to data allowances and minutes. And best of all: if you find a better deal elsewhere, you can just leave – you’re not tied to any, one network.
You will have to source your own phone, more on that in a bit, but once you’ve done this you’re essentially a free agent. Networks make most of their money on hardware sales, effectively leasing millions of people iPhones and Samsung phones. The data and minutes are a secondary revenue stream. And remember: on a contract, you’ll pay WAY more for a phone than you would if you bought it outright, either direct from the retailer or via somewhere like Amazon.
For me, SIM-only is the ONLY way to run a phone. You get more bang for your buck, you’re not tied to a network for years at a time, and if you find a better deal elsewhere, well… you can just go out and get it. Example: Say you’re with O2, but Three starts offering Unlimited Data on one of its SIM-only deals. Well, because you’re not tied to O2 by a contract, you’re free to ditch it and move your business over to Three. All you’ll need is a PAK code.
Buying a Phone Outright (Versus Contract) – PROS & CONS
OK, so you want to go the SIM-only deal route, but you’re not exactly cash-rich. How do you buy an expensive phone outright if you’re not loaded? Simple: you don’t. Plenty of retailers run 0% finance on their handsets that you can take over 12 months, spreading the cost of a new device over the next year. Average monthly payments for an iPhone 11 direct from Amazon would be £20 a month or something like that.
Samsung also runs a 0% finance offer on ALL of its products, so you can pick up any Samsung product, be it a phone, a TV, or a washing machine, and pay it off over 12 months with 0% APR. Being fiscally aware of your options, and leveraging them correctly, is the #1 way to lower your monthly costs and still get the phone you want. Phone contracts are a con, so always finance the handset yourself.
How To Save Money Buying Phones (What I Do)
Alternatively, you could save a heap of money buying a refurbished phone. I tend to bang on quite a bit about refurbished phones, but the reason for this is because I love value for money and I hate paying over the odds for products – especially phones. Refurbished phones look and function as good as new, but you can pick them up for about 40% less. Case in point: I saved about $400 on a refurbished iPhone X last year.
And an iPhone X, even in 2019, is really all most people need. It’ll get software updates from Apple until well into the mid-2020s, the camera is great, and it looks more or less identical to Apple’s newer iPhone 11. It’s just a hell of a lot cheaper, and the reason for this is simple: somebody else has already taken the depreciation hit.
Where To Buy Refurbished Phones:
Alternatively, you can buy older flagship models. This tactic is something I’ve done over and over again during the past several years. Right now, you can pick up the excellent Google Pixel 3 XL, for instance, for around $500. I’d argue it is a better overall phone than Google’s newer, and infinitely more expensive Pixel 4 XL.
This is just one example. There are tons of options for acquiring cheaper phones. You just have to be a little savvy and think outside the box. My preferred way to get cheap phones is buying them refurbished. I tend to use Amazon or Gazelle for this. And once I have a new phone, I then shop around for the best possible SIM-only deal.
If you do all of the above correctly, you could reduce your monthly phone expenses by around 30%-40%. SIM-only plans are cheaper than contracts. Plus, buying a phone outright – either through finance or refurbished – will lower your monthly hardware costs. These two things combined result in a drastically reduced monthly phone bill.
And that’s what everybody wants, right?