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Getting a cheap mobile deal doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Check out our guide on how to get an affordable tariff on the phone you want.
All UK network providers tend to offer one or two budget-friendly mobile deals. And we’re not just talking about the Big Four, which are EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Smaller networks such as Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and BT Mobile also offer cheap deals, so you shouldn’t be excluded from certain carriers on the basis of price alone. Across networks however, there will be differences in value for money.
If the cost is your main concern, then compare mobile phone deals with us and simply filter results by price or select a price range. Yet the cheapest deal doesn’t necessarily mean the best value for money, and our advice is to look at other factors.
A cheap mobile deal can be found in unexpected circumstances. For a moderately higher cost, you might get a newer handset, a considerably greater data allowance, or an international calls package.
In addition, you might be able to tap into rewards which are on offer. When you compare mobile phone deals with us, you’ll be able to see exclusive offers which include gifts, rewards and cashback. That’s right, with both Pay Monthly and SIM Only deals you can get certain benefits that can bring down your overall cost, so what might not seem like a cheap deal initially could end up being a bargain.
It’s worth knowing that pretty much every contract now comes with unlimited minutes and texts. So, data allowance is where it’s at. When looking for a cheap deal, data is something to be mindful of. Although it’s good to be cautious about underestimating your consumption (because if you do, you’ll end up paying higher rates when you reach capacity), consider how much you actually use your mobile data. With most of us hooked up to WiFi at home, at work or in public, you might not need as much as you think – and overestimating means you could pay more than you need to.
You may strike gold though and get a cheap deal with additional perks, so it’s worth shopping around.
If you want a new phone as part of your deal, then you’re looking at a Pay Monthly contract. You’ll choose a bundle of minutes, texts and data on a handset of your choice and pay for it all in monthly instalments. To say the swankiest of the latest releases don’t come cheap is an understatement: to buy these models outright could in some cases cost you over £1,000 (although these are the crème de la crème of phone technology!). Still, buying a new phone upfront often isn’t cheap, but a Pay Monthly contract allows you to choose the phone and tariff you want and pay for it in a more affordable way.
If you’re less fussed about the latest tech, then it’s easy to get a cheap deal on a new phone. Simply looking at models a generation or two older will bring down your cost, and when you compare deals with us, you’ll see a host of cheap mobile phones on affordable tariffs.
If you’re happy with your phone and don’t need to upgrade, then looking at SIM Only tariffs can be a great way to get a cheap mobile deal. SIM Only deals mean you don’t get a handset as part of your contract; you just pay for the tariff. You can either get contract deals, typically lasting twelve months or longer, or rolling-contract deals which work on a month-by-month basis; the latter give more flexibility but can cost more overall.
You’re still able to get a cheap phone deal if you have bad credit. While Pay Monthly contracts and SIM Only deals will often demand you pass a credit check, with a Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM (also known as a SIM-free deal) you don’t need to. Instead, you top up your phone with credit in order to make calls, texts or use data. If you don’t use your phone much, this is one way to get a very cheap deal.
Refurbished phones are ones that have been pre-owned and as such are cheaper. But don’t worry, you’re not inheriting someone’s old digital diary, warts and all – handsets are professionally restored, but do always make sure you buy through a reputable manufacturer. You can purchase a refurbished phone on a Pay Monthly contract, or buy a handset separately for which you’ll take out a SIM Only or PAYG deal.
Now you’ve got the inside scoop, are you ready you find a cheap deal? Use our mobile comparison tool to find yourself a bargain. From Pay Monthly tariffs to SIM Only deals, with usave you’re sure to find what you’re after.
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Last reviewed: 13 November 2020
Next review: 13 December 2020