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Best free Pay As You Go SIM cards

9th April 2024

Best Free SIM Cards

If you’re shopping for a Pay As You Go SIM card you’ve got a whole bunch of options, with numerous networks offering them alongside numerous packs, prices, and perks. But what if you don’t want to spend any money upfront?

In that case, your options are more limited, but there’s still quite a bit of choice. To make things easier, below we’ve highlighted the best free Pay As You Go SIM cards available right now.

These are SIM cards that you can order without either buying a pack alongside them or paying for the SIM card itself – so they’re completely free.


Extensive roaming and exclusive discounts

With Three – and all of the following networks – you can either order a SIM card with no allowances and top up later, or you can order it pre-loaded with a pack or credit amount of your choice.

In the case of Three specifically, the available pack options top out at unlimited data, and 5G is included, so this can be seen as a premium Pay As You Go option. Lower allowances are of course also available, but all packs come with 5G.

Every pack also comes with unlimited minutes and texts, and you can roam for free in 71 destinations, with a 12GB fair use limit on data when abroad.

You’ll also get access to the network’s Three+ app, packed with exclusive offers and discounts from other brands.

Outside your pack you’ll be charged 35p per minute, 15p per text and 10p per megabyte.

Order free Three PAYG SIM >


Data Rollover and weekly rewards

Vodafone offers a number of Pay As You Go bundles and they top out at unlimited data, as well as supporting 5G. In the case of Pay As You Go Plus (which is the main Pay As You Go service advertised by Vodafone), 5G comes as standard, but note that on its ‘Big Value’ bundles you’ll only get 5G on the 100GB and unlimited data packs. Though these Big Value bundles do additionally come with data rollover.

Other perks of Vodafone’s Pay As You Go service include access to Vodafone’s VeryMe Rewards service. This includes weekly treats, giveaways, and prize draws. However, roaming costs extra.

Bundles are the standard way to use Pay As You Go on Vodafone, and they’re quite pricey compared to most Pay As You Go offerings. But Vodafone also offers Pay As You Go 1, which for £1 each day you use your phone gives you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 50MB of data. So that’s okay if you talk and text a lot but mostly stick to Wi-Fi for data.

Order free Vodafone PAYG SIM >

Asda Mobile

Low prices but capped speeds

If you’re after a cheap Pay As You Go plan then Asda Mobile is a good choice, as its bundles – which top out at unlimited data – are less expensive than most alternatives. That said, be careful about which one you choose, as despite advertising 5G, some of the bundles cap your speeds at very un-5G like levels.

Choose one of those plans and you’ll save additional money, but just make sure you know what you’re paying for. The top bundle offers speeds of 150Mbps though.

Outside of bundles, Asda Mobile’s Pay As You Go rates are lower than most, with the network charging 15p per minute, 10p per text, and 10p per megabyte. Being so cheap there isn’t much in the way of extras, but you can roam at no additional cost in 46 European destinations (up to a 5GB fair usage limit).

Order free Asda PAYG SIM >


A wide range of bundles

Giffgaff isn’t the cheapest Pay As You Go network or the most expensive, sitting somewhere in the middle, but what it does have is a wide range of bundles that you can select from, so you have more choice over your allowances than on some networks. And yes, 5G comes as standard.

Technically, you can’t get a true unlimited data plan on Giffgaff Pay As You Go, but you can get an 80GB ‘always on’ bundle, which does give you unlimited data but reduces your speeds to 384kbps from 8am to midnight once you’ve used 80GB. Or you could just choose a truly unlimited 30-day SIM Only bundle, which functionally isn’t much different to Pay As You Go.

Choose to go without a bundle and you’ll pay 25p per minute, 10p per text and 10p per megabyte – which we wouldn’t recommend. The Pay As You Go bundles (which all last 30 days) are much better value.

With Giffgaff you can also roam at no extra cost in 38 European destinations (up to a 5GB fair usage limit).

Order free GiffGaff PAYG SIM >


Cheap rates and international perks

Lebara – like Asda Mobile – offers some of the very cheapest bundles that can be paired with a Pay As You Go SIM card. These also top out at unlimited data and include 5G.

But with Lebara – unlike Asda Mobile – there aren’t any speed caps, and you also benefit from minutes that you can use internationally, to call 42 countries, so this is a great choice if you’re regularly calling abroad. You can also roam in both the EU and India at no extra cost – with a fair usage limit of 30GB.

Asda Mobile is still worth considering over Lebara if you just want to Pay As You Go without a pack though, as while Asda Mobile is fairly cheap for that, Lebara charges 25p per minute, 19p per text, and 9p per megabyte.

Order free Lebara PAYG SIM >

What other networks offer Pay As You Go SIM cards?

While the options above are – in our opinion - the best free Pay As You Go SIM cards, they aren’t the only options.

EE, O2, iD Mobile, Lyca Mobile, 1pMobile, and Tesco Mobile offer Pay As You Go SIM cards as well, and in the case of Lyca Mobile you can also get the card completely free of charge.

The others are technically ‘free’ too, in that the card itself won’t cost you anything, but you will have to buy a pack or top up in order to get it, so you’ll still be spending money during the order process.

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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