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Compare 12 month SIM only deals

Deal of the month
Three 12 Month Sim
£12.00per month
120GB5G data
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30GB of 5G data
12 month contract
pound icon£36 cashback reward
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£7.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

pound icon£36 cashback reward
  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
12GB of 5G data
12 month contract
pound icon£18 cashback reward
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£6.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

pound icon£18 cashback reward
  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
6GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£5.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
6GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£5.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

  • Free EU Roaming
  • Free delivery
5GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£5.00/mth monthly cost
  • EU roaming included
  • Powered by EE
  • Free delivery
70GB of 5G data
12 month contract
pound icon£48 cashback reward
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£9.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

pound icon£48 cashback reward
  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
120GB of 5G data
12 month contract
pound icon£54 cashback reward
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£10.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

pound icon£54 cashback reward
  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
25GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£6.00/mth monthly cost
  • No annual price rise
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
25GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£6.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

  • Bill capping and data rollover
  • Free Roaming up to 30GB
  • Free delivery
5GB of 5G data
12 month contract
Unltd texts
Unltd minutes
£6.00/mth monthly cost

(Prices may change during contract) Price could rise by CPI + 3.9% in April

  • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
  • Free delivery

Data last updated: Tuesday 21 May 2024 at 10:24

12-month SIM only deals

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A 12-month SIM only deal gives you the minutes, texts and data you need without paying out for a new handset, or the hassle of topping up credit. Here’s everything you need to know

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Flagship phones get more expensive each year. But if you don’t want or need the latest smartphone technology, there are real savings to be had by keeping your existing phone and getting a SIM only deal.  

That’s because when you opt for a 12-month SIM only deal, you’re only billed for your minutes, texts and data allowance. 

And, unlike with pay-as-you-go contracts, you don’t need to worry about topping up each time you run out of credit either. 

Therefore, 12-month SIM contracts aren’t just more economical, they’re more convenient too.   

Our best 12-month SIM deals this week 

Here’s our best 12-month SIM deals this week: 

  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 120GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £12.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • O2 sim only
    5G
    • Exclusive
    • 50GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • Claim £20 Amazon voucher
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 30GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £8.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 6GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • VeryMe Rewards
    • £7.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone
  • Three sim only
    5G
    • 120GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £12.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Vodafone sim only
    4G
    • 6GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • VeryMe Rewards
    • £7.00 per month
    12 month contract From Vodafone

What is a 12-month SIM? 

In a nutshell, a 12-month SIM contract offers a set allowance of texts, minutes and data for a monthly fee. As we say, they don’t include the cost of a new phone, so are a lot cheaper than most standard phone-and-tariff contracts. 

Moreover, if you don’t miss any payments, a 12-month SIM contract can actually improve your credit score. And because networks like to reward their long-standing customers, there’s often an array of incentives and freebies to choose from, too. 

12-month SIM contracts are also handy if you see a phone you like, but need time to save up cash for it – they allow you to continue using your current handset for the meantime. 

How do 12-month SIMs work? 

A SIM card is a small plastic card, no bigger than your thumbnail, that slots into the back of your phone.  

A 12-month contract is an agreement between you and your network provider, whereby you pay a set amount of money each month in exchange for a set allowance of minutes, texts and data. 

At the end of your contract, you’ll have the option to shop around for a better deal. However, if you want to leave during your minimum term, you’ll likely have to pay for the remainder of your contract all at once, as per the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

Which networks offer 12-month SIM plans? 

You’ll find 12-month SIM deals from most major UK networks, including: 

O2

O2 is one of the biggest networks in the UK. As such, it offers plenty of 12-month contracts at different price points. 

Elsewhere, O2 also has some of the best customer incentives around, including free access to popular streaming services and priority gig tickets. 

BT Mobile  

BT Mobile’s 12-month SIM only contracts come with a variety of minutes, texts and data to choose from. There’s also the BT Sport app at no extra cost with certain packages, and all SIMs are 5G enabled. 

EE 

Take out a 12-month SIM contract with EE and you’ll get great incentives like Apple Music and Brit Box to choose from, plus the UK’s widest ranging 5G coverage.  

There’s plenty of contracts available, along with the option to share data with family members for an outlay. 

Three 

With Three’s 12-month SIM plans, you’ll get 5G-ready SIM cards at no extra cost, usage alerts so you don’t max-out your allowance, plus the option to buy extra data when you need it. 

Tesco Mobile 

Tesco Mobile offers loads of affordable 12-month contract SIM deals, and you can even add a £5 safety buffer if you think you’ll go over your allowance. 

Moreover, the network scores highly for customer satisfaction. So if good customer service is important to you, Tesco Mobile is well worth a look. 

Vodafone 

Some of Vodafone’s 12-month SIM only contracts come with perks like free Amazon Prime for 12 months, and over fifty roam-free destinations.  

There’s also the option to save money by purchasing a broadband and 12-month SIM plan altogether. 

What to look for in a 12-month SIM card 

A 12-month contract is a big commitment. So it’s important to pick the right deal, with  an ample amount of minutes, texts and data.  

Data allowance  

Choose a plan with too much data, and you’ll end up paying for more than you actually need. But if you go for one with a small data allowance, you’ll be charged for the extra data you’ve used – which could end up a hefty sum of money. 

So before you pick a network to go with, have a think about how you use your phone right now. Do you tend to watch Netflix on the go, or stream lots of albums via Spotify on your smartphone? If so, you’d better off with an unlimited data SIM contract. If you're less reliant on texts and calls, try comparing data only SIMs for a deal that suits you.

Conversely, if you only check emails or social media on your phone occasionally, then go for a smaller data allowance. Around 5GB is plenty for most users. If you’re a light user you  could even get by on 1GB, though you’d only get around half an hour’s worth of browsing time per day. 

Freebies 

Some networks throw in incentives like priority gig tickets and access to popular streaming services, as well as BT Sport and Sky Sports, for free for the duration of your contract.  

These deals are great if you intend to use the freebies, though they can work out more expensive in the long-run. So be sure to consider this before you sign a contract. 

Contract length 

Don’t want to be tied to a contract for 12 months? No worries, there are plenty of other options available.  

Notably, networks like Plusnet Mobile offer 30-day rolling SIM contracts you can cancel at anytime.  

And 18-month and 24-month contracts are also available from networks such as Sky and Virgin Media. With these types of deals although you’ll be tied to a network for longer, you’ll likely save money overall. 

Pros and cons of 12 month SIMs 

Pros 

  • 12-month SIM contracts tend to be cheaper than standard, pay-as-you-go contracts. 
  • It’s easier to pass a credit check with a SIM deal. That’s because the network isn’t providing an expensive handset, so you’re considered lower risk. 
  • You get to keep your old handset. 

Cons  

  • Not as flexible as a 30-day SIM only deal. 
  • Could be tied down for a long time to a contract that isn’t right for you. 

Alternative SIM only plans 

Looking for a different type of contract altogether? Here’s some alternatives:  

Frequently asked questions

How do I find a 12-month SIM plan?

Most major networks including O2, EE, Three, Tesco Mobile and BT offer 12-month SIM plans, so you’re really spoilt for choice.

Before you start shopping around, though, think about how often you use your phone, and what you use it for. Once you’ve established the type of contract you need, you’ll be ready to start looking for the best deals.

Can I switch my SIM only deal with my existing network?

If you’re on a rolling, 30-day contract, you’ll be able to switch with 30 days’ notice.

However, if you’re currently in the early to middle stages of a 12-month contract, you’ll likely have to pay a termination charge to opt out before your minimum term expires. This usually adds up to be the number of months left on your contract, in one sum.

Will there be a credit check on my SIM only plan?

Generally, yes. With a 12-month SIM contract, your network may perform a credit check to ensure you’re capable of making your monthly payments – though this is entirely dependent on the network.

That said, credit checks on SIM contracts tend to be easier to pass because they don’t include high value, brand-new handsets.

30-day SIM contracts are the exception. They don’t usually come with a credit check because you can cancel anytime you want.

Is a 12-month SIM only cheaper than pay monthly?

Yes, 12-month SIM only contracts tend to work out cheaper than standard pay monthly plan. That’s because you only need to pay for your minutes, texts and data.

Can I keep my number when I get a new SIM?

Yes, if you intend to stay with your current network, it’s likely your number won’t be affected.

If you want to leave, just contact your network to get a PAC code. This code consists of three letters and six numbers, and allows your new network to transfer your mobile number without causing any loss of service.

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