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Whether you’re enjoying your retirement years at home or travelling the world as a digital nomad, we want you to get the most out of your mobile plan.
There’s really no “one plan to rule them all”, so it’s worth considering what you mainly want to use your phone for before you settle on a deal. Here are some aspects to consider before choosing a plan:
You don’t use your mobile phone often, but when you do it’s for the occasional catch-up or for an emergency. Since you only use your phone’s most basic facilities, you don’t want to splash the cash on high-end mobile plans.
You need: a pay-as-you-go, low cost plan for the basic essentials.
O2’s and Three Mobile’s pay-as-you-go plans are likely to be the best choices for you since they are among the lowest in cost. In fact, they have the exact same rates, but the O2 SIM can be used in older non-smartphone handsets, whereas the Three Mobile SIM can’t.
O2 and Three Mobile both offer competitive pay-as-you-go prices with calls costing 3p per minute, 2p per text and 1p per MB of data. If you only use your phone for emergencies or the odd phone call, this could be a great money-saving choice
1p mobile’s pay-as-you-go SIM also offers cheap rates, with all minutes, texts and data costing just 1p. Calls are just 1p per minute, texts are 1p per text and data is 1p per MB. However, you must remember to top up at least once every 120 days with at least £10.
If you rarely use your phone, don’t get caught out by pay-as-you-go inactivity periods. To keep your credit active, you must make a chargeable action at least once every few months.
For each brand’s inactivity period duration, see details in our mobile phone provider table.
If you’re always on the phone to your friends and relatives, those minutes can quickly add up. You need a plan that won’t hit you with a hefty bill at the end of the month.
You need: unlimited calls and texts.
SMARTY’s Multi SIM includes unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data, all for £7.50 a month. Plus, get £1.25 back on every unused GB. This is a one month plan, meaning you can cancel any time without extra hassle.
Vodafone also offers a SIM-only plan. Get unlimited minutes and texts, alongside 500MB of data each month, for just £6 a month on a 12-month contract. This is a great choice if you wish to use your phone predominantly for calling and texting, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on your plan.
giffgaff’s £12 SIM-only plan includes unlimited calls and texts alongside 4GB of data. Plus, after your third monthly purchase, you can get an extra 1GB of data included with your plan at no extra cost. No contract is necessary for this SIM, meaning you can change or cancel your plan anytime. giffgaff has won many awards for its flexible service, and is a popular choice. There are other plans, starting at £5, too.
As one of the growing community of older people who love to travel, you’ll need a full-service phone plan, because your phone isn’t just a communication line – it’s a research tool, navigation device and camera all in one.
You need: a plan that includes international data.
If you are looking for complete coverage, giffgaff offers a SIM plan which includes unlimited data, minutes and texts for £20 a month. With this plan, you can use your data, minutes and texts within any EU country at no extra cost. However, you’ll need to top up your account if you still want to access your plan while in any other non-EU country.
Lycamobile offers a SIM-only plan which includes 15GB, unlimited minutes and texts and 100 minutes abroad for £25 a month. Just like with giffgaff’s SIM, you can use this plan at no extra cost when in any EU country. Lycamobile also offers customers the option of buying international minutes, texts and roaming bundles which can help prevent overspending on trips abroad.
Caution: If you don’t use your phone often and are on a pay-as-you-go plan, make sure you don’t get caught out by your phone network’s inactivity policies.
If your phone is left inactive for too long and you are on a pay-as-you-go plan, your phone network provider may cancel your SIM card and delete your phone number. The “inactivity” period allowed by phone companies varies from around three to six months. You will need to send a text, make a call or top up your phone once during this period to reset it. Larger companies generally allow a longer period of inactivity. You can see what your provider’s policy is in the table below:
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