SIM Only Deals vs Pay Monthly Contracts

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a SIM only and pay monthly contract, you’re in the right place. We’ve listed some of the main differences between the two in order to help you understand how they work and decide which one’s the best for you to choose.

SIM Only Deals

SIM only contracts are just that – the SIM only! You won’t get a flashy new mobile phone handset with a SIM only contract, but if you’re happy with the phone that you currently use and don’t want a new one just yet, they can be a really handy choice.

SIM only deals are also a great option for those who don’t want to commit to signing a lengthy contract. If you’re after a phone that isn’t being released for a few months but need a good deal in the meantime, SIM only contracts can be a great option to make sure that you’ve got enough minutes, texts and data whilst you wait for the new handset to be released before you get a regular contract. SIM only deals are usually either 30 day or 12 month contracts. 12 month contracts tend to be cheaper, but you can still get great deals with a 30 day plan – and it also means that you’ve got the freedom to cancel or change your plan whenever you wish without having to pay a hefty buyout fee to terminate your contract.

View our tip pick SIM Only deals here.

If you’ve got poor credit, you might also find that a SIM only deal is best for you. Many networks are more likely to give customers with poor credit a SIM only contract deal as there’s no phone involved – if the bill isn’t paid the contract will simply be cut off and the network won’t lose out on an expensive phone handset. 30 day SIM only deals are also great for building your credit rating up so that you can get a regular Pay Monthly phone.

Pay Monthly Deals

With a pay monthly mobile phone deal, you will usually need to commit to a 24 month contract which comes with a mobile phone handset included. Depending on the network you’re choosing to go with and the phone handset and tariff that you choose, you may also be expected to pay an upfront cost in addition to the monthly cost of the contract.

Pay monthly deals can be quite expensive, especially if you’re after the latest handset or you want a tariff that includes a lot of calls, texts and data.

Pay monthly contracts can be hard to get out of – and if you’re considering getting one, ask yourself whether you’ll be able to use that same phone for two years. With new handsets being released all the time, many people sign up for pay monthly handsets only to regret it when a better, newer handset comes out just a few months later.

If you do decide that you don’t want to be in the contract before it ends, you’ll be faced with a fee to get out of the contract. This fee is usually the monthly amount multiplied by the amount of months that you have left in the contract, although some networks will offer you a discount if you pay it off all at once. Paying this is often the only way that you can get out of your current contract and into a new one, although certain phone companies offer a ‘buy out’ service where they’ll pay the fee for you if you take out a new contract with them.

Pay monthly contracts may also be hard to come by if you’ve got poor credit – they’re subject to credit checks, and most mobile phone networks won’t trust someone with poor credit with a new phone handset on a monthly payment plan.


The only downfall to a SIM only contract is that it doesn’t come with a phone handset. However, if you think about the amount that you’ll save by taking out a SIM only contract rather than a regular pay monthly contract, you might find that you’ll save enough money to buy yourself a new handset outright. SIM only is also great for those who like to change around – by taking out a 24 month pay monthly contract you’re tied in for two years, but if you have a 30 day SIM only contract you can keep your eye on new deals and get a better deal every month if you want to. SIM only contracts are also much cheaper than pay monthly contracts – and everyone loves saving money!

We hope we’ve helped clear up some questions for you about SIM only vs. pay monthly contracts! Whichever type of deal that you eventually decide to go for, we hope you find one that works perfectly for you and meets all your needs.

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