On the hunt for a new, affordable mobile network? At GiffGaff, you don’t get tied into a contract. Instead, you sign-up for a flexible “goodybag”. Each plan gives a generous allocation of minutes, texts, and data. £10 is the most popular. But goodybags as cheap as £6 are available. The network provides free calls and texts to other GiffGaff users. And you get £5 free credit for referring friends and family. Order your free SIM before 5pm for next day delivery. (UK Only)
- GiffGaff runs on O2’s network infrastructure, providing you with good coverage across the UK and abroad. It is one of the best value networks if you want to avoid contracts and have the flexibility to change your plan.
- The GiffGaff app is highly recommended and lets you easily manage your account, switch plans, and see your allocated allowances at a glance. It is available for Android and Apple iOS smartphones.
Here, you can order a free 4G SIM card from Talk Home, an up-and-coming London-based mobile provider offering low UK and international call rates, plus great value for money roaming. If you wish, you can top up credit to your SIM at the time of order or even add a regular plan (numerous bundles are available, depending on your budget and needs). Alternatively, you can simply order the SIM free of charge. (UK Only)
Claim a free PAYG SIM card from Tesco Mobile, a reliable and affordable provider that runs on the O2 network. This "pay as you go" SIM is perfect if you want to top-up with bundles rather than being tied into a long-term contract. It’s also a great choice if you regularly shop at Tesco. For every £1 you spend on top-ups, you will receive an extra point on your Tesco Clubcard. (UK Only)
- Tesco Mobile is a great option if you want good customer service. The network is among the best on the market for serving new and existing users. In-store support is also available in many large Tesco supermarkets.
- Tesco provides 48 “Home From Home” destinations. This means you can use your call allowance, texts, and data with no restrictions when abroad. The majority of mainland Europe is included, plus other countries and territories.
Considering a new mobile network? Sign-up for a free SIM from VOXI. The network gives you unlimited access to social apps without eating into your data allowance. VOXI has no long-term contracts so you are never tied-in and can switch networks with ease. To claim your free SIM in the post, visit the offer page and click the “I need a SIM” button, then complete the short form. (UK Only)
Here, you can request a free “pay as you go” SIM card from O2. A number of options exist depending on whether you like to text, talk or surf the Internet. Both UK and international bundles are available. Over 40 countries are eligible for inclusive minutes. With flexible tariffs and additional perks, such as O2 Priority, there’s plenty to smile about at O2. (UK Only)
- O2 is an all round solid network with affordable pricing for PAYG and SIM only plans. You can claim generous data allowances for a competitive price.
- Use O2 to qualify for O2 Priority, a popular rewards scheme, where you can claim exclusive event tickets, discounts, and various free stuff.
Grab yourself a SIM card when you register for a SIM only deal at Virgin Mobile. This network was recently voted the best value by the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards. Virgin Mobile provides an affordable, flexible way to call, text and surf the Web. Includes “Roam Like Home” in 43 countries. (Note: Virgin Mobile no longer provide “pay as you go” services. But their “pay monthly” SIMs are great value and start from only £7). (UK Only)
Order a free “pay as you go” SIM Card from Three. The network has some of the lowest standard rates in the industry, plus fast 4G and 5G connections. You can also upgrade to an Add-on, which gives you extra minutes, data, and texts for a set fee. Three’s rewards app called “Wuntu” lets you accumulate points, redeemable for money-off at popular restaurants, stores, airlines, and more. (UK Only)
Vectone specialises in “pay as you go” mobile SIM cards. They are a great option for cheap international calls to countries like India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, and others. UK-specific plans from £3 are also available. You get £5 free credit for every friend you refer. You can order the SIM on its own (no cost) or add a top-up amount at the time of order. (UK Only)
Obtain a free SIM card from Lycamobile, the network that lets you “call the world for less”. If you need to make international calls on your mobile, Lyca comes highly recommended. But it’s also a great option for affordable UK calls, data, and texts. You can choose a completely free SIM without credit, or request a SIM card and pay for a top-up bundle. (UK Only)
- Lycamobile is mainly designed for international calling, but it works just fine as an everyday network as well. Plans are available for different purposes, e.g. national, international, and roaming.
- The network operates a referral scheme, where you can earn money towards your credit if you refer friends and family. As a “pay as you go” and “SIM only” provider, you can top up your Lycamobile in a variety of ways, such as in accredited newsagents, online, or via the mobile app.
With the large mobile operators hogging much of the limelight, it is easy to bypass some of the smaller networks. However, look a little further and you will likely find some great deals, such as this free SIM from Lebara. The company has cheap international rates, plus numerous bolt-on options to expand your data, text, and call allowance. (UK Only)
- Lebara Mobile operates on the Vodafone network, which provides fast and reliable call and data connectivity in the vast majority of the UK.
- It is one of the best value networks around. Top up from as little as £5 a month for 2GB of data, 1000 text messages, and 1000 call minutes.
- Lebara has a “Refer and Earn” scheme, where you can earn additional allowances when you refer friends and family to the network.
Order a free SIM from UK supermarket chain, ASDA to take advantage of a range of 30-day bundles, each offering a generous allocation of minutes, data and text messages. ASDA uses the EE network and has access to fast 4G and faster speeds where available. Note: the SIM will be delivered as a multi-SIM, which can be adapted for any size (Standard, Micro, or Nano). (UK Only)
Free SIM Cards: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are looking to change your mobile phone network, the first step is to send off for a free SIM card. This will allow you to begin the process of switching your existing mobile network over to a new provider. There are many “SIM-only” (month-to-month rolling contract) mobile operators available in the UK that provide better value and flexibility than those offering long-term contracts. SIM-only plans allow you to cancel at any point, switch networks easily, and change your plan whenever you see fit.
Why order a free SIM card?
Ordering a SIM card online is the easiest way to begin the process of changing your mobile network. Although you can buy SIM cards relatively cheaply in supermarkets and other stores, ordering online is an efficient and stress-free method. After delivery, you can place your SIM in your handset and begin using it immediately. However, if you wish to keep your existing telephone number, you will need to follow a few other steps first. We explain how to change mobile networks and keep your number in more detail below.
Will the SIM card work in my phone?
It is important to be aware that not all SIM cards function in every handset. If your phone is locked to a particular network (e.g. locked to O2), it will only work with SIM cards that use the O2 network, or networks that use O2’s infrastructure, such as Tesco Mobile. However, if your handset is not locked to any particular network (known as “unlocked”), it will be able to accept a SIM card from any network. Note: It is useful to check what size of SIM your handset accepts before ordering. The main sizes are standard-sized SIM, micro-SIM, and Nano-SIM. Most mobile networks offer all major SIM card size options.
What is the process to switch mobile networks?
To change networks, you first need to order a SIM card from the new network you wish to join. If you want to start afresh with a brand new number, you should be ready to go. Every SIM card comes with a new telephone number as standard. But if you want to keep your existing number, you need to obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC Code) from your existing network. This code gives your new provider permission to move your number across. The process can take a couple of days to finalise. In most cases, the process is hassle-free.
What are the best SIM cards for international calls?
The vast majority of SIM-only networks offer competitively priced international calls. Having said that, Lycamobile is among the best providers for international calling. The network has very favourable dialling rates and roaming charges, plus specialist plans for travelling or calling particular areas of the world. People wishing to call India, China, Bangladesh, Australia, the U.S., and others should certainly consider Lycamobile.
What is the best value SIM-only deal?
It really depends on what you are looking for, but we think GiffGaff provides some of the best rates and network availability alongside helpful customer service. ASDA Mobile is great value for money but lacks the level of customer support of its rivals. But you can still find competitive deals with Tesco Mobile and O2. The Three network is also a great choice if you are a heavy data user and need the option of upgrading to an unlimited data allowance.