Free Sim Cards
Sim only phone deals are slowly becoming more popular, especially with people who have their hearts set on one particular model of phone, one that perhaps is not available on an economical monthly deal – or even for a Pay-As-You-Go contract.
Sim cards are sometimes offered free from service providers, or for a very low nominal fee – about £1.00 or so. Often, in order to attract and keep customer, providers will offer free products for a low investment. The final advantage of these informal contracts is that they are only of a very short duration, usually one month or thirty days.
- Tesco Mobile has a good basic sim only package, with the card essentially free and low cost calls and texts on their month by month contracts – which can start at around £7.50 per month for 5000 texts and 250 minutes. Tesco also offers good deals on purely pay-as-you-go sim card deals, where loading the card with a certain amount of money, usually £10 per month can see your phone credit being tripled, effectively giving you free calls and texts for modest usage. Tesco also links its loyalty card, the Clubcard, to mobile phone activity, earning double and sometimes triple points for the card-holder – a small but significant boost to the finances over the course of a year or so.
- EE – the result of a merger between Orange and T-Mobile – offers very good sim only deals, catering to the standard small sim chip and the new, minute 'Nano-sim' as is required by the iPhone 5. You can choose your package online, based on the phone you own, or opt for a 'combi-sim' that should fit into most types of phone. Along with O2, EE also offers a data only monthly sim deal, perfect for popping into a compatible tablet for browsing, surfing and messaging on the go.
- This costs around £15.00 per month, and rolls on a 30-day contract. T-Mobile has a good range of tempting offers to keep their sim only customers sweet, such as free texts for every top-up of £10 or more, and for a further £5.00 they will allow free internet too - an ideal way for a budget conscious social networker to stay in touch with all his or her family and friends without needing to count the minutes spent online. Despite EE being the overall 'top company' the websites for both T-Mobile and Orange are still in good working order, and offer more comprehensive deals that the managing company. (This may change over time)
- O2 offers free unlimited texts with all its 30 day sim only contracts, with carrying amounts of data and talk time, depending on the monthly price paid, which range from £11.00 to £36.00. It is worth noting that the higher cost monthly sim deals allow unlimited talk alongside the unlimited texts and a very generous amount of data – perfect for those busy people who are always on the go and rely on their smartphones to deal with emails and social media.O2's pay-as-you-go scheme is designed to keep customers loyal, with a fair base rate (around 75 minutes, 500 texts and 250mb of data for about £10.00) which then doubles after three months, making it an excellent deal.
- The company 3 (Three) offers a good cheap sim only deal, starting at around £6.90 for a rolling twelve month contract and £9.90 for a 30 day deal. These contracts come with a generous 5000 texts and 200 minutes of talk time. Data begins at around 500mb and you can opt for more of the three features to create the perfect package for your needs.
The days of simply asking for a sim card, and loading it up with a certain amount of cash have mostly passed now, mainly due to the amazing technical ability and capacity of many of the smartphones available on the market. Blackberry's unique messaging service requires a certain amount of data, as does the iPhone's iOS system which needs to download updates and upgrades from the internet on occasion. The HTC One runs 'friendstream' almost constantly and there are many more examples; all of which could result in mobile phone owners see their precious phone credit drain away in minutes if not allowed for when choosing the package. In general, ask your phone provider about what data needs your phone will have, before you commit yourself to a package. You should have a good idea about whether you need more texts or more talk time and approximately how much of each will suit. NO matter what phone you have, and whatever your mobile phone needs are; you are sure to find the free sim to suit you!