When every penny counts, and if you want to save some money on your phone, getting a SIM card without the handset could be ideal. With the numerous mobile plans now available on Compare My Mobile, you can choose a monthly plan, which comes with the handset, or go for a SIM only deal. With the monthly deals, you have a recurring phone bill alongside the installments for the handset. However, if you get a SIM only deal, you can use your old handset with the SIM to access the same services. Before diving into the factors to consider when choosing the best SIM only deal, let us look at the benefits of such a plan.

Why should you go for a SIM only deal?

A SIM only deal provides you with the services you need without having to buy a brand new phone. So what are the upsides to getting a SIM only deal?

Retaining your existing handset

When you get a monthly contract that comes with the handset, the bills could skyrocket depending on the type of phone you choose. Therefore, if you go for the latest handset from Apple or Samsung, which can be tempting you will incur a very high cost. Fortunately, you can keep your old handset as the chances are you love it and it still works perfectly fine anyway, and change the SIM as long as the network provider does not lock it.


Without the overhead of paying for a potentially unnecessary brand new phone alongside your mobile services, you can enjoy affordable services that are exactly what you need, unlimited data or calls etc. Once you pay your monthly bill, there are usually no additional charges whatsoever.

Short contracts

The main downside of contracts that come with a handset is the length of time they tie you down. Handset contracts could extend anything up to 24 months or more since they need to break up the cost of the phone into affordable chunks. However, SIM card deals come with flexible monthly contracts, and the maximum time for the SIM plans is usually one year.

Things to consider when picking a SIM only plan

With the numerous SIM only offers available, it can be difficult to choose the one that suits your needs best. Here are vital things to have in mind when choosing a SIM only deal:

Network coverage

It is not great to get a new SIM card that does not have the coverage you need. Therefore, you should check the coverage maps and ask around about the reliability of the network. That way, you will have a strong network connection wherever you are.

Virtual networks

Numerous network providers resell coverage from leading providers. To get the best services, you need to find out which providers are reselling coverage and from which networks.


How much data are you getting from your mobile plan? Ensure you are getting a good deal to allow you to surf at an affordable cost whilst you’re not on Wifi. Figure out your browsing needs and find a SIM plan that offers affordable rates.

Text and minutes

Does the SIM card have plans with affordable call rates and texts? If they do not, shop around for cheaper options. With many more network providers competing for a market share now, you are likely to find a convenient SIM plan.


If you are a frequent traveller, you should definitely find out what extra costs you incur if you use the phone in another country? Looking at the roaming charges and any other additional fees can help you pick the best SIM plan for you.

SIM size

SIM cards are now available in standard, Nano, and Micro sizes. Therefore, ensure the SIM you get fits your handset or is able to be adapted to suit multiple slot sizes.

Retain your number

Everyone wants to retain their existing phone number when switching SIM cards, rather than having to message everyone in their contacts explaining they’ve got a new number and to no longer use their old one. Luckily, you can easily move your number to a new SIM without breaking a sweat by getting the switch code and passing it to your new provider.

SIM only isn’t for everyone, some people love to always have the latest phone and are willing to pay the extra fee for that. However with new phones coming out more often than ever with very little difference between them sometimes, more people are sticking with their handsets and looking for a cheaper and less restricting alternative to the bog standard phone contracts. It’s just a matter of looking into your options and weighing up what’s most important to you.