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Ultimate Guide to Sim Only Deals: 100GB Data, Contract Free

Ultimate Guide to Sim Only Deals: 100GB Data, Contract Free

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Tom
2 months ago - refreshed 2 months ago
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Howdy! I have made this guide to help you:

What do you use your phone for?

Are you a chatterbox and love to call your friends? Are you a Netflix addict and watch series late into the night? Or do you play games at every chance you get?

SIM cards vary in features and benefits. Some feature free calls, free social media, or free video streaming.

To choose the right SIM card think about how you use your phone. Not sure? On Apple iPhone, go to Settings > Screen Time to see what apps you use the most. For Google Android, look for Digital Wellbeing.

What types of apps are they: social media, music, video, messaging, games or something else? Knowing what you use your phone for helps to work out what SIM you need, and importantly, to answer the next question.

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How much data do I need?

Data is the most important part of a SIM decision these days. If you watch a video, you’re using data. If you make a call on WhatsApp, you’re using data. If you post a photo on Instagram, you’re using data. Data is the stuff of the internet. Generally speaking:

  • Videos use the most data - Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video
  • Video Calls use a lot of data - FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom
  • Photos use a lot of data - Instagram, TikTok, Facebook
  • Music uses some data - Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music
  • Games use some data initially, less after you’ve installed it
  • Messages use the least data, unless they contain photos and video

Of course, there are many other things you can do on a phone including reading the news, browsing the web and shopping. A rule of thumb is that the more video and images it has, the more data it uses.

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Data is measured in ‘GB’ (gigabytes). You’ll see 1GB, 100GB and even Unlimited GB SIMs. So how much do you need? Here are some helpful pointers:

- One hour of video (in standard definition) uses 1GB

- 3-4 hours of video chat uses 1GB

- 10 hours of social media uses 1GB

- 25 hours of music uses 1GB

- 16 hours of general web browsing uses 1GB

Use this information to work out approximately how much you need. But there’s an important caveat: do not include the hours you would be doing this using WiFi.

When your phone uses WiFi, it is getting data from your home broadband provider, not through your SIM card. When your phone has the little 3G, 4G or 5G at the top of the screen, that is when it’s using your SIM card. OK, now we’re ready to move on to the exciting bits!

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What SIM is best for me?

It boils down to lots of data or not much data? Good SIM cards have unlimited texts and calls as standard, so don’t worry about that.

Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go?

The best value for money is with a pay monthly SIM card. Brands prefer it which means they make them as attractive as possible. Plus, most brands now offer contract free SIMs. That means you can cancel whenever you like - effectively the same as Pay As You Go.

How Long Contract Shall I Get?

There tends to be three options: 1, 12 or 24 months. Normally, the longer the contract the cheaper per month it is. For example,

Vodafone Unlimited Everything

  • 1 month: £37
  • 12 months: £33
  • 24 months: £15

However, before you jump to buy the long-term contract because it’s cheaper per month, there are some tips and tricks you should know.

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New Brands You May Not Have Heard Of

VOXI, Smarty, Superdrug Mobile. There are many others too (ASDA mobile, GiffGaff, iD Mobile). These new brands are challenging the old by offering new and very attractive SIM deals.

Who are they? VOXI belongs to Vodafone. Smarty belongs to Three Mobile, and Superdrug Mobile also uses Three Mobile (as does iD Mobile). Different brands, same underlying stuff. Why they do it is another story, but what does it mean for you? Better SIM deals with fewer contract obligations.

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3 Reasons to Go Contract Free

These new brands offer “contract free” SIMs. They’re not really contract-free, just rolling 1 month contracts you can cancel at any time.

  1. If they’re crap, you can cancel (hint: they’re not)
  2. Extra benefits like free unlimited social media
  3. They can be cheaper than long-term contracts

Example:

VOXI offers 6GB for £10 per month. But this also includes unlimited free social media. You could use 100GB for Instagram, SnapChat, or Facebook and not pay a thing. So there’s no need for a bigger, more expensive data plan if that’s your primary use of data.

Extra VOXI tip: It sells “add-ons” for music and video which means you can have unlimited Spotify or Netflix too.

My top tip is to look at the new brands like VOXI and Smarty, as well as GiffGaff which isn’t so new, but also offers similar things like being “contract-free”, unlimited data for not much money.

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Is There Any Reason to Go for Old Brands?

Yes. O2, Vodafone, Three Mobile and others do still have their benefits such as reward apps. O2 was the first to do it with O2 Priority: free Caffe Nero, Pizza Express vouchers, free Thornton’s. Vodafone was next with VeryMe: Free Costa, free data upgrades, discounts.

They also offer direct customer service. If you have a problem you can call them. The new brands tend not to offer that support: It’s all online.

What SIM Does Tom Currently Use?

I’ve switched over the years, but right now I am with VOXI on a 8GB plan for £10 per month. This includes the unlimited social media I mentioned earlier.

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How Do I Find All The Best Deals?

Luckily, Latest Deals has done it for you. Once a month we check all the big phone brands and update a giant spreadsheet with every SIM plan. Then I highlight my top picks.

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The giant spreadsheet looks like this, and has Tom's Top Picks at the Top.

Advanced Tip: If you want to filter and sort the Google Sheet yourself, go to Data > Filter > Create New Temporary Filter View

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And that’s it! I hope you found this guide to SIM cards useful. Please feel free to share it with a friend or family member who may be looking for a new SIM.

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About Tom

Tom Church is Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, a money saving community of 1 million+ members. His tips and advice has featured on BBC, Daily Mail, ITV, Mirror, Express and more.

5 QUICK LINKS
  1. VOXI
  2. Smarty
  3. GiffGaff
  4. O2
  5. Vodafone
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Thomas18
Thomas182 months ago

Lovely guide, thanks for sharing! I guess the most important thing to consider is the speed you get for download/ upload.

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simonlimbert
simonlimbert2 months ago

Some of your data is incorrect. As in smarty use the 3 network.

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Tom
Tom
Original Poster
Founder
2 months ago

Hey thank you for your comment, I've just looked again at the spreadsheet and can't see the error...

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If you do spot it again please feel free to let me know - appreciate any corrections!

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BrandonPeters
BrandonPeters2 months ago

3s Wuntu rewards app is no longer in operation for about 2 months now Image

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Tom
Tom
Original Poster
Founder
2 months ago

Thank you for the comment.

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CraigDenim
CraigDenim2 months ago

The 3 unlimited everything for £11/month isn’t correct. Only £11 for 6 months. After 6 months it’s £22. Am I not right?

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Tom
Tom
Original Poster
Founder
1 month ago

Yes you are correct, thank you. I will update this mistake now.

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