SIM Only Deals vs Pay as You Go

Wondering whether it’s best to go for a SIM only contract deal or Pay as You Go? If you don’t need a new phone and are happy using the one you currently have, these are the two best options available to you. However, which one is the best? We’ve compared the two here – read on for more information.

SIM Only Deals

Much like a regular phone contract, SIM only deals require you to pay a regular amount via direct debit each month. You’ll get a set tariff, and there’s no need to top up your phone and you don’t need to worry about running out of credit. In simple terms, SIM only contracts work in much the same way as a regular phone contract, except for that you won’t get a brand new handset included.

SIM only deals are probably the cheapest deals available to get the most from your phone. Depending on the network that you choose to go for, you can get amazing deals for less than £20 a month. Some deals are even less than £10 per month and are really great value for money.

Many people choose Pay as You Go because they don’t want to be tied into a contract, however don’t let the term ‘SIM only contract’ fool you. Although some SIM only deals do require you to sign a 12 month contract, many only last for 30 days meaning that you can cancel or change your plan whenever you like – there’s absolutely no commitment.

Many people go for SIM only deals as it’s easier to control how much they’re spending. The amount that they pay per month will give them a set monthly amount of minutes, texts and calls and many networks also allow users to put a cap on their usage so they never go over the monthly amount.

Pay as You Go Deals

With Pay as You Go, it’s completely up to the user when they want to top up their phone with credit. There is no regular monthly fee, and no need to pay any bills. Many people choose Pay as You Go because of the flexibility and freedom that comes with it.

However, Pay as You Go can be quite expensive – many Pay as You Go deals will charge you a certain amount per minute, text and megabyte which is deducted from the amount of available credit on your phone. Although many mobile phone networks do have bundles that users can buy or get as rewards for topping up a certain amount, the majority of these don’t include a good all-round amount of minutes, texts and data – it’s usually one or the other.

Pay as You Go is a handy option if you don’t tend to use your phone very much, however if you’re always on the phone and like to call, text and browse a lot you might find that opting for Pay as You Go is an expensive deal. Smartphone users may find that their phone uses background data which can eat credit away without the user even having to take the phone out of their pocket, again costing more and more money.


Based on the needs of a smartphone user, SIM only deals are recommended over Pay as You Go if you want to get the best deal for your money. Pay as You Go may be a good idea if you have a basic phone that you rarely use, however if you’ve got a smartphone that you use regularly, the cheaper option is to go for a SIM only contract to ensure that you’re only paying a set amount each month and have enough minutes, texts and data to suit your needs.

If you are considering Pay as You Go because you don’t want to be tied into a contract, consider a 30 day SIM only deal instead. Taking out a SIM only deal that is just 30 days long means that you’re under no obligation to the network to stay with them for any longer than one month, and you have the option of cancelling or changing your deal as and when you want. If you’re worried about going over your minutes or data and being charged extra, speak to experts from different networks to see whether or not they provide the option to cap your plan so that you’re guaranteed you’ll never pay more than agreed. This is also an excellent option for kids – rather than topping up your teenager’s phone every time they run out of credit, why not get them a SIM only deal and cap their usage so they can play all those YouTube videos without you needing to worry about how much of your money they’re spending.

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