Have you noticed that your smartphone bills are rising? Perhaps you have just upgraded to a new mobile device and can no longer afford previous tariffs due to a tight budget. These are two common situations that can be quite frustrating for those who are unaware of the options at their disposal. The main problem here is that the majority of consumers are under the false belief that they must remain trapped within a decidedly inflexible mobile phone contract. The good news is that obtaining a SIM-only deal can be an excellent option. However, it is first wise to take a quick look at some of the drawbacks of a standard smartphone contract before moving on to discuss the striking advantages of SIM-only bundles.
The Hidden Downsides of a Mobile Contract
As mentioned in the previous section, one disadvantage of a smartphone contract is the simple fact that you are locked into the terms and conditions for a specific period of time (generally between 18 and 24 months). If you do indeed decide to terminate this agreement, the chances are high that you will be forced to pay additional fees. Furthermore, you might not be taking full advantage of the terms of the contract itself. For instance, why pay for data or minutes that are not used? Unfortunately, many providers will offer deals based on commission rates as opposed to those which are the most suited for your unique lifestyle. These are some of the most common situations associated with exorbitant monthly payments. This is also why SIM only deals could represent a veritable breath of fresh air if you know what to look for in advance.
How do SIM-Only Deals Work?
It is only logical that we first explain the concept of SIM-only deals in a bit more detail. As you have likely guessed, these packages will offer you nothing more than a SIM card (with a dedicated phone number). There are three main types of available offers:
- Yearly plans
- Monthly bundles
- "Top-up" SIM cards
We can therefore see that each plan is essentially based upon usage. The main takeaway point is that you are able to select the program that best suits your personal usage requirements. The principle behind any SIM-only deal is just as easy to understand. You will be provided with a certain number of minutes, text messages, and data during each cycle. If you happen to exceed these limits, you will need to deposit additional funds. To be absolutely clear, SIM-only plans might not be the best option for those who rely upon their phones to regularly access the Internet, to stream live media feeds, or to speak with others for work-related purposes. Having said this, SIM plans are great options in terms of intermittent usage or in the event that you happen to be traveling and wish to avoid excess international tariffs that would otherwise be charged by a standard service provider. Let us now take a look at how to save money when choosing the best deal.
Choosing the Right Plan for Your Needs
The first main factor to take into account is usage. While it is always possible to deposit additional funds when needed, it is normally best to select a bundle that is capable of accommodating your requirements. This will include data usage (in terms of megabytes or gigabytes) and minutes (for voice calls and text messages). If you are confused, take a look at your previous billing statement in order to be provided with a breakdown of how your money was spent. This will offer a much clearer picture. Secondly, keep in mind that there are dozens of firms that offer SIM-only plans. Some of the most well-known providers include:
- BT Mobile
Each of these claims to be associated with the best plans throughout the industry and obviously, some are better than others. This is why it is prudent to utilise a third-party comparison portal in order to appreciate the finer points. Some critical variables to address include data limits, contract length, the cost, and whether or not you are offered unlimited voice calls and text messages. Assuming that you have found the right deal, it is then important to contact the provider in question. This will help you to avoid any unexpected surprises in the future. For example, ask if it is possible to upgrade or downgrade the existing without being subject to any additional fees. If you opt for a long-term SIM contact, are there any early termination penalties? Is the plan valid if you happen to travel overseas? Finally, why types of customer service options are you offered in the event that a question or technical issue arises?
Additional Money-Saving Tips and Tricks
Saving money involves much more than simply reducing your smartphone bills. On the contrary, many SIM-only plans offer additional benefits in terms of rewards and/or loyalty points. These can then be used towards making purchases at specific outlets. Some likewise provide cash-back options if you top-up your card within a specific period of time. Never underestimate these perks, as they can definitely come in handy. Finally, always be sure to determine the minimum deposit that you can make to recharge the SIM card. Most providers set this amount at £10 pounds although this can sometimes vary between different brands. We can now appreciate why SIM-only plans have become such popular options. Still, there are many ways in which you can maximise their benefits by reducing your expenses with the suggestions outlined above. Whether you are unhappy with your long-term provider or you have purchased your first mobile phone, it pays to appreciate the options at your disposal. There is no doubt that SIM-only plans will continue to gain popularity thanks to the sheer level of online competition, so never be afraid to think outside of the box.