Want to save money on your mobile phone plan? Here's how I'd do it

A cheap SIM only deal will help you cut down on your phone bill

SIM only deals
(Image credit: Pexels)

The cost of living crisis has affected so many aspects of our everyday lives, whether that’s filling up the car with petrol or keeping your home lit. To curb the price rises, many of us are cutting out unnecessary purchases and trying to minimise our monthly outgoings.

One of the best ways to do this is to cut down on what you spend the most on. For most of us (myself included), phone bills are the thing we spend the most money on so if you’re looking to keep the costs down, I recommend switching to a SIM only deal (opens in new tab).

The best SIM only deals (opens in new tab) are a great way to minimise your monthly phone bill, especially if your contract has come to an end or you’ve just found a bargain on a SIM-free phone.

As T3’s resident Deals Writer, I’m always on the lookout for the best deals to help save our readers money, especially during the cost of living crisis. I highly recommend a SIM only plan as they typically come with no upfront costs and huge amounts of data for amazingly low prices. Most SIM only providers are also very lenient in terms of contract length so you don’t have to worry too much about being stuck in a 2+ year long contract if you’re unsatisfied.

With so many mobile providers and retailers on the market, it can be overwhelming to find the best supplier and prices for you. I’ve rounded up my top three places to shop for the best SIM only deal and what you can expect to find from each retailer.

1. Smarty (opens in new tab)

Smarty SIM only deals

(Image credit: Smarty)

The top of my list has to be Smarty (opens in new tab). If you’re new to Smarty, Smarty is a SIM-only mobile network that’s owned and powered by Three. Smarty SIM only plans are some of the best on the market, as they come with super-fast speeds, unlimited calls and texts and big data plans on a no contract basis. This means you can start and cancel your Smarty SIM at any time for total flexibility. Due to the cost of living crisis, Smarty has also promised new and existing customers that they won’t face any annual price rises so you’ll stay with the same SIM at the same price for however long you want it for.

Right now at Smarty, they’re offering extra data on their most popular plans (opens in new tab). For example, you can buy the 30GB data plan for just £10 a month and you’ll receive an extra 30GB. The 50GB data plan is also available for just £15 and you get an extra 150GB of data.

2. Three (opens in new tab)

Three SIM only deals

(Image credit: Three)

As owners of Smarty, it’s unsurprising that Three (opens in new tab) also have amazing SIM only deals with no upfront costs. In comparison to Smarty, Three does have contract lengths on their SIM only plans so you can choose a 1 month, 12 month or 24 month Advanced Plan. Three Advanced Plans offer data, texts and minutes and a range of premium extras, including 5G ready capabilities, roaming and personal hotspots.

I’d recommend going for a big data plan from Three, either 100GB or unlimited data. These typically have the most money-saving features and incentives available and the 100GB plan from Three is currently available for just £12 a month (opens in new tab). Three are also running deals where you can get the first 6 months of your SIM contract for half price, helping you save money straight away.

3. EE (opens in new tab)

EE SIM only deals

(Image credit: EE)

The last supplier on my list is EE (opens in new tab). Similar to Three, EE has huge data plans at cheap prices on 1, 12 and 24 month contracts with no upfront costs. The best EE SIM only deal I’ve found is on the 150GB data plan which is just £20 a month (opens in new tab) or you can get the 200GB data plan for just £23 a month.

EE is well known for its SIM only deals and their smart benefits and add-ons that come with their data SIM packages. With an EE Family Account, you can share data with your family whenever you want and you can add Apple Music and Apple TV+ for free for 6 months.

BONUS: Vodafone (opens in new tab)

Vodafone SIM only deals

(Image credit: Vodafone)

I couldn’t resist adding a bonus supplier to the end of this list so my final choice is Vodafone (opens in new tab). While the prices aren’t as low as the main three above, they’re still incredibly competitive with no upfront costs, unlimited texts and minutes, plus speed and roaming features.

Vodafone also has multiple SIM plan options including Vodafone Basics, Vodafone Red and Vodafone Unlimited. Vodafone Red is my top choice as it’s a healthy middle between the Basics and Unlimited in terms of benefits, features, coverage and price.

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As T3's resident Shopping Expert and Deals Writer, Beth covers deals, discount codes, how to save money and seasonal holidays, including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon Prime Day, Boxing Day and Easter sales. Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting DIY craft projects that will probably end in disaster!