The best SIM only deals in December 2016

We dig out the best SIM only deals so you don't have to

SIM only deals become very popular around this time of year as people keep hold of their existing phones after taking advantage of older Black Friday deals. And why not, when monthly costs start well under a fiver?

On this page you'll find links to the best SIM only deals currently available in the UK.

SIM Only deals are usually the best option for those people who are out of contract but want to wait a while before they upgrade, or for others who have bought a phone outright and want a cheap SIM deal to use with it. If your plan is up and you don't want or need a new phone, SIM only is your best bet.

Luckily for you, SIM only deals are very competitive at the moment so there are a lot of great options as the networks compete on price. We'll start with our price comparison chart where you can find the best deals and underneath that you'll see some of the best SIM only deals that we recommend from multiple networks.

TechRadar's SIM only exclusive deal:

ID Mobile SIM only 4G | 4GB data | 1000 minutes | 5000 texts | One month | £10 per month
Yes you read that right. This deal gives you 4GB data, 1000 minutes and 5000 texts for just £10 per month and it only locks you in for 30 days at a time. Most competing deals are more expensive and will lock you into a longer contract so there really is nothing to dislike about this deal. ID is Carphone Warehouse's own network and piggybacks on Three's 4G network. Fill your boots!

View this deal: at ID Mobile

The best SIM only deals of the month are:

These are the deals we recommend most highly. We try to pick out a deal for everyone, whether you're after the cheapest possible option or the best balance between allowance and cost over one month and 12 month SIM only deals.

1. The absolute cheapest SIM only deal out there

ID sim only deals

iD Mobile | 1 month contract | 250MB data | 250 minutes | 5000 texts | £4 per month
This is the cheapest SIM only deal currently available in the UK. If you just need to keep a phone up and running for occasional use, this is a good option. Clearly 250MB is not much data at all so you'd be advised to either keep mobile data switched off or else be careful what apps are updating in the background. BUT WAIT, CHECK OUT THE NEXT DEAL FIRST!

View this deal: at iD Mobile

sim only deals

2: The best 1GB SIM only deal

ID sim only deals

iD | 1 month contract | 1GB data | 250 minutes | 5000 texts | £5 per month
For just £1 extra a month over the above deal, you can get 1GB of data instead of 250MB, which is much better value if we're honest. This SIM only deal allows for much more freedom to enjoy a bit of data away from Wi-Fi such as checking emails, browsing the net or even a bit of Google Maps when needed. Be careful what apps are updating in the background though (just tell your phone to do this while on Wi-Fi only).

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

sim only deals

3: The best 4GB SIM only deal

ID sim only deals

iD | 1 month contract | 4GB data | 1000 minutes | 5000 texts | £10 per month
Hey, where's the best 3GB deal? Looks like iD was discounting so hard they made this 4GB SIM only deal even cheaper than their best 3GB deal. Why does that remind me of a dog trying to eat its own tail? To be fair, you get 1000 minutes instead of 500 with the 3GB deal, but we think the higher data represents better value.

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

sim only deals

4: The best 20GB SIM only deal

Vodafone | 12 month contract | 20GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £22.20 per month
This is an absolute bargain for 20GB. You'll pay just £22.20 per month for 12 months, but there's £146 in cashback to claim too, leaving you paying the equivalent of just £10 per month which is extremely cheap.

View this deal: at Mobiles.co.uk

5: The best unlimited data SIM only deal

three deals

Three | 12 month contract | Unlimited data | Unlimited texts | 200 minutes | £24 per month
Sometimes, you've just gotta have all the data. Netflix marathons, epic Pokemon Go quests, constant Spotify tunes, this all you can eat data bundle is ideal for the serious mobile user who never needs to worry about poxy thing like data allowances or Wi-Fi. Shame about the comparatively low minutes offered, but how often do you use your phone as a phone nowadays? At least there's a £30 cashback incentive to claim.

View this deal at: buymobiles.net

sim only deals

The best SIM only deals by network are:

This is where we go through all the big networks, along with a few up-and-comers, to provide you a wide range of the best SIM only deals.

sim only deals

bt mobile deals

The best BT SIM only deals

Discounts for BT Broadband members

BT's SIM only deals have vastly improved over the original deals. This month's lineup includes an excellent £5 deal that includes unlimited calls and a £30 Amazon voucher. Actually every contract comes with an Amazon voucher, ranging from £30 to £90. BT Broadband customers get the best deals, with everyone else paying an extra fiver a month.

For existing BT Broadband customers:

12 month contract | 500MB data | 500 minutes | Unlimited texts | £20 Amazon or iTunes voucher: £5 per month at BT

12 month contract | 3GB data | 500 minutes |Unlimited texts | £40 Amazon or iTunes voucher voucher: £8 per month at BT

12 month contract | 20GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £80 Amazon or iTunes voucher voucher: £15 per month at BT

For non-BT Broadband customers:

12 month contract | 500MB data | 200 minutes | Unlimited texts | £20 Amazon or iTunes voucher: £10 per month at BT

12 month contract | 3GB data | 500 minutes |Unlimited texts | £40 Amazon or iTunes voucher: £13 per month at BT

12 month contract | 20GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £80 Amazon or iTunes voucher: £20 per month at BT

ee htc one m8 deals

The best SIM only deals on EE

EE's SIM-only deals come with double-speed 4G
If you want a cheap SIM-only deal, EE is most certainly not the network to go for. But don't discount it entirely, because if you already own a good smartphone and you want to pair it with the fastest network in the UK with a SIM-only deal, you can do that. EE's SIM-only deals all come with EE Extra 4G, which means they work with EE's super-fast double-speed 4G network, rather than with its single-speed 4G network. 

View: all 12-month EE SIM only deals

sim only deals

EE | 12 months | 20GB | Unlimited calls and texts | £20 Amazon voucher | £19.99 per month
In addition to the above allowances and the £20 Amazon voucher you also get 500MB of EU roaming data, which is super handy for checking your email or using a maps app when on your travels and away from Wi-Fi.

View this: Black Friday EE SIM only deal

EE | 12 months | 20GB | Unlimited calls and texts | £35 Amazon voucher | £25 per month
This version may look similar, but you're getting the super fast EE4G instead of the standard 'up to 60Mps' and a larger Amazon voucher. You can also add three months of BT Sport and six months of Apple Music to this bundle at no additional charge. Look for the options once you click through.

View this: Black Friday EE SIM only deal

EE | 12 months | 30GB | Unlimited calls and texts | £35 Amazon voucher | £30 per month
30GB is a huge amount of data for only £30 a month on EE's superfast 4G network. You can also add three months of BT Sport and six months of Apple Music to this bundle at no additional charge. Look for the options once you click through.

View this: Black Friday EE SIM only deal

EE | 30 day contracts | £7-£29 per month

If you want the flexibility of a 30 day rolling pay as you go contract, you may want to take a look at EE's latest promotional deals. Generally, you can get cheaper elsewhere, but EE's superfast 4G data can be a very tempting draw over the competition if you use the net away from a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are some handy tabs for people who want data focused deals, talk and text deals or everything included.

View these deals at: EE's site.

sim only deals

three deals

The best SIM only deals on Three

Three's SIM only deals with unlimited data
Three is still the only network that offers all-you-can-eat / unlimited data as an option. That's not as impressive as you might think because other networks offer large allowances too. But if you want the absolute security of knowing you can never be charged if you go over your data allowance, these deals are brilliant and they offer good value too - particularly if you're a heavy data user. The all-you-can-eat data plans come with in a few different guises - with the price changing according to how many minutes you require. There are some Three deals without unlimited data that you may want to consider too.

View: all Three SIM only deals

Three | Unlimited data | Unlimited texts | 200 minutes
12 month contract - £24 per month | 1 month contract for £27 per month

Three | Unlimited data | Unlimited texts | 600 minutes
12 month contract - £27 per month | 1 month contract for £30 per month

Three | Unlimited data | Unlimited texts | Unlimited minutes
12 month contract - £32 per month | 1 month contract for £35 per month

sim only deals

Three | 12 month contract | Unlimited data | Unlimited texts | 200 minutes | £24 per month
Sometimes, you've just gotta have all the data. Netflix marathons, epic Pokemon Go quests, constant Spotify tunes, this all you can eat data bundle is ideal for the serious mobile user who never needs to worry about poxy thing like data allowances or Wi-Fi. Shame about the comparatively low minutes offered, but how often do you use your phone as a phone nowadays? At least there's a £30 cashback incentive to claim.

View this deal at: buymobiles.net

sim only deals

ID sim only deals

The best SIM only deals on iD

Cheap SIM-only deals all on one-month contracts
iD is a good option if bargain basement prices are what you covet. This is a network run and owned by Carphone Warehouse - it piggybacks on the Three network and offers many of the benefits that entains, including European roaming etc. It's an excellent option if you want great value with perks.

View: iD SIM only deals

sim only deals

iD | 1 month contract | 250MB data | 250 minutes | 5000 texts | £4 per month
This is the cheapest SIM only deal currently available in the UK. If you just need to keep a phone up and running for occasional use, this is a good option. Clearly 250MB is not much data at all so you'd be advised to either keep mobile data switched off or else be careful what apps are updating in the background.

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

Alternative option: You could also pay £1 more to get the same deal with 1.5GB data which seems like much better value to us!

sim only deals

iD | 1 month contract | 2GB data | 250 minutes | 5000 texts | £7.50 per month
The iD/Carphone Warehouse team is really cleaning up with these cheap SIM only deals and has been the go-to store for the cheapest low data deals for a while. If you're prone to viewing a few YouTube videos away from Wi-Fi, this 2GB option may suit you better than the aforementioned 1GB deal. Not bad at all for an extra £2.50 a month.

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

deals on iD

iD | 1 month contract | 4GB data | 1000 minutes | 5000 texts | £10 per month
Hey, where's the best 3GB deal? Looks like iD was discounting so hard they made this 4GB SIM only deal even cheaper than their best 3GB deal. Why does that remind me of a dog trying to eat its own tail? To be fair, you get 1000 minutes instead of 500 with the 3GB deal, but we think the higher data represents better value. And because it's a one month contract, you can cancel at any time.

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

deals on iD

iD | 1 month contract | 6GB data | 2000 minutes | 5000 texts | £12.50 per month
iD is the network owned by Dixons Carphone - the company behind Carphone Warehouse, Mobiles.co.uk and e2save.com - not to mention Currys and PC World. It piggybacks on the Three 3G/4G network and is usually a pretty cheap way of getting up and running. And because it's a one month contract, you can cancel at any time.

View this deal: at iD/Carphone Warehouse

deals on iD

o2

The best SIM only deals on O2

A reliable network with great coverage
We've browsed all of the SIM-only deals available on the O2 network, and they're not great compared to the competition for bundles including the usual 1-5 GB of data.

View: all O2 SIM only deals

sim only deals

O2 | 12 month contract | 16GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £30 per month
This O2 deal is the largest data bundle O2 do at time of writing and is pretty pricey compared to the large data deals offered elsewhere. You've got to be a pretty hardcore O2 fan to go for this if we're honest. You can see their smaller data bundles though the link below too.

View this deal: at O2

deals on iD

cheap sim only deals at talk mobile

The best SIM only deals on Talk Mobile

Has been known to double the data on some of their deals in Sales
The lack of a high street presence has allowed them to invest in some super cheap deals for SIM only customers on monthly or 12 month contracts.

View: Talk Mobile SIM only deals

sim only deals

Talk Mobile | 30 day contract | 1GB data | 500 minutes | 5000 texts | £7.50
Back down to 1GB this month after a double data deal previously. We'd opt for iD's offer above, or maybe consider the 4GB deal below for just an extra £2.50 a month over this one.

View this deal: at Talk Mobile

sim only deals

Talk Mobile | 30 day contract | 4GB data | 1500 minutes | 5000 texts | £10
Talk Mobile has doubled its usual 2GB data deal at no extra charge to 4GB this month for its 30 day rolling contract. A very tidy deal for just £10 a month on this short-term contract deal.

 View this deal: at Talk Mobile

Talk Mobile | 30 day contract | 15GB data | 2500 minutes | 5000 texts | £15 per month
15GB of data for just £15 a month on a rolling 30 day contract is an essential purchase for fans of big data who find themselves between handset contracts. Yes we're looking at you, Black Friday mobile phone deal fans.

View this deal: at Talk Mobile

deals on iD

talktalk sim only deals

The best SIM only deals on TalkTalk

Often has half-price deals once you click through!
TalkTalk is a telecoms company that also offers home phone, broadband and TV packages, so the best deals can be had if you sign up for more than one service. However, at the time of writing the cheapest deal is £6.50 per month.

View: all TalkTalk SIM only deals

deals on iD

TalkTalk | 12 month contract | 2GB data | 950 minutes | Unlimited texts | £15.50 £7.75 per month
A decent amount of data for under a tenner a month over a 12 month contract. 950 minutes should be plenty for most users and unlimited texts is a nice bonus.

View this deal and other offers: at TalkTalk

deals on iD

vodafone

The best SIM only deals on Vodafone

A solid network with some decent deals

As with O2 above, Vodafone doesn't offer the very best SIM only deals. It would rather sell you a phone and charge you £30 per month, but if you're after a cheapo deal and you don't need heaps of data or loads of minutes, Vodafone could be a good option for you. Do be aware that some of these deals are on one-month rolling contracts, while with others you have to sign up for 12 months. You can tell which ones are which under the logo which states the contract length.

View: all Vodafone SIM only deals

deals on iD

Vodafone | 12 month contract | 20GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £22.20 per month
This is an absolute bargain for 20GB. You'll pay just £22.20 per month for 12 months, but there's £146 in cashback to claim too, leaving you paying the equivalent of just £10 per month which is extremely cheap.

View this deal: at Mobiles.co.uk

deals on iD

Vodafone | 12 month contract | 5GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £15 per month
The deal above offers greater value, but this is the best deal direct from Vodafone's site today. 5GB is a decent amount and you also get a very handy 2GB of raomiang data for your holidays abroad (handy for finding places via Google Maps). Total cost over 24 months is £180.

View this deal: at Vodafone

deals on iD

SIM only deals: the other candidates

deals on iD

mobiles co uk

Mobiles.co.uk SIM only deals

Often the place with the best bargains

It's always worth checking out Mobiles.co.uk - its aggressive price cuts are often unmatched by anyone else.

View: SIM only deals at Mobiles.co.uk

sim only deals

giffgaff deals

giffgaff SIM only deals

One of the cheapest SIM-only deals in the UK

GiffGaff is very hard to beat on price – if you want to grab a cheap SIM card deal, this could be your best option. You can't argue with £5 a month. The cheap deals don't give you much of an allowance to play with, but if you just want to keep your phone going and available to use for calls and texts with the occasional bit of internet use outside of your home WiFi, GiffGaff is a strong offering.

View: all giffgaff SIM only deals

sim only deals

cheap sim only deals freedom pop

Freedom Pop SIM only deals

Putting the 'Free' in Freedom

Freedom Pop is trying something new - offering contracts for FREE. The catch being that you only pay if you do over the allowances of your bundle or opt for a larger deal. The prices for doing so vary, so be sure to take a look at the small print. It seems that they feature a different offer each week, but seeing as you can cancel at any time, they may be worth a look.

View: all Freedom Pop deals

sim only deals

virgin mobile sim only deals

Virgin mobile SIM only deals

An oldie but a goodie, offering one-month deals galore

Virgin Mobile has been going for a long time, and some of its SIM-only deals are particularly attractive. They're all one-month rolling contracts, so you can stop paying at any time if you so wish, giving you flexibility if you want to change your plan or go for a phone-inclusive deal down the line. Prices start from as little as £5.

View: all Virgin Mobile SIM only deals

sim only deals

All the SIM only deals on this page are checked every day to make sure they're still available and up to date!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Staff Writer, TechRadar Deals