Giffgaff SIMs: what are goodybags and are they good deals?

GiffGaff SIMs - also known as Goodybags - have shot through the ranks to become one of the most popular options around. But what is it that makes this network a household name?

There is a few benefits that help Giffgaff stand out. Firstly, like a few other networks, Giffgaff operates on 1-month rolling contracts, allowing you to decide how long your contract ends up being.

Past that, Giffgaff is pretty affordable, offering some decent data plans without blowing your costs through the roof. And now that it offers 5G SIMs as well, those with the iPhone 12, Samsung Galaxy S21 or another 5G handset can use a phone to its full extent with this network.

Despite the brand's motto of "The mobile network run by you", Giffgaff is actually run by O2 - the same network that Giffgaff uses for its coverage and speeds across the UK.

This means that Giffgaff Goodybags all run on a reliable network and, like many other SIM only deals, uses one of the four main networks, "piggybacking" off its connections.

Below we've gathered all of the best GiffGaff SIMs and answered some key questions you might have.

Is Giffgaff a good network?

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In a nutshell...yes. Giffgaff has been a tried and tested network for years with a good reputation. Head over to Trustpilot and you'll find a score of 4.4 out of 5 from well over 10,000 reviews.

As we mentioned above, Giffgaff uses the O2 network so it is making use of award winning connections and speeds and if you do find any issues with the network, the 1-month rolling contracts mean you can try it out and leave if you're not a fan of it.

Giffgaff sims

Does Giffgaff have good coverage?

This is more of a question of how good is O2's coverage as for Giffgaff, it will be absolutely identical...and the answer to that question is yes. O2 has great coverage, reaching 99% of the UK.

O2 also has great coverage in more remote parts of the country and is well equipped in built up cities. As for speeds, while it isn't the fastest (EE has that award), it is certainly one of the best all round performers. 

Giffgaff SIM only deals

What benefits does Giffgaff offer?

Giffgaff is actually surprisingly light on added benefits when compared to some other networks and Giffgaff's list of benefits is somewhat vague, listing: A network run by you, no automated impersonal phone lines and clear and concise plans".

If you dig a little bit deeper, Giffgaff does have some added benefits most obviously in its "payback" scheme. This is a system that rewards you with payback points (that can be converted to cash twice a year).

You earn these points through referring other people, giving advice on forums and helping improve the Giffgaff server. Past that, the network's benefits are similar to others - 5G, affordable bills and rolling contracts.

Giffgaff SIMs

Giffgaff SIMs

(Image credit: Giffgaff)

What SIM card size do I need?

You don't need to worry about this at all. Whatever you sign up for you'll receive a 'trio-sim'. So whether your phone takes a micro SIM, nano SIM or a classic standard SIM, you're covered.

Giffgaff SIM only deals

How do 1-month rolling contracts work?

For those who are looking to keep things flexible, a 1-month rolling SIM will be the best option. As the name suggests, they only tie you in for 1-month at a time. If at any time you decide to cancel your contract, you won't have any more months to pay off.

Realistically, these are the best kind of contracts available, especially as they are often priced similarly to 12 and 24 month plans.

SIMO deals with Giffgaff

Does Giffgaff offer 5G connectivity?

Yes, Giffgaff quite recently began to offer 5G. However, unlike some networks like Three and Vodafone, 5G doesn't span all of its plans. You have to select specific options to get 5G.

These are known as "Golden Goodybags". They range from a 9GB plan all the way up to an unlimited data plan. Surprisingly, these are priced pretty similarly to the rest of the network's plans meaning you don't have to rack up costs for 5G.

sim only deals

How does Giffgaff compare to other SIM providers?

Realistically, Giffgaff falls somewhere in the middle. It's not the cheapest option or the one with the most features and the fastest speeds - consider it a jack of all trades for the SIM only world.

However, if there's a certain aspect of Giffgaff you like but want to see another option, there's plenty of competition. For rolling contracts, Voxi, Smarty and iD Mobile all offer 1-month rolling plans.

For O2 connections, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile are alternative options or of course, O2 itself. And for 5G, well...most networks now offer it with just a few exceptions like Smarty, iD Mobile and Lebara.

Alex Hughes

Alex is a journalist who has written extensively about all things broadband, SIMs and phone contracts, as well as scouring the internet to land you the best prices on the very latest in gadgets and tech. Whether that be with the latest iPhones and Android handsets, breaking down how broadband works or revealing the cheapest SIM plans, he's in the know, and will help you land a bargain.