A few people have recently asked me about free SIM cards on Pay As You Go (PAYG) for mobile phones, so I thought I should perhaps provide an explanation of why I think this is a good thing to look at doing and the different mobile network options on offer.
Given the current economic climate, everyone is trying to save money wherever they can and I know from experience as when I was coming towards the end of my current mobile phone contract, I didn’t really want to commit to yet another 18 or 24 month contract, especially when I don’t use all the included minutes and text messages that I’m paying for now.
An easy option for most people (and it’s what I did) is to simply keep using their existing mobile phone which in most cases is still perfectly usable. Although you’ll probably need to get your handset unlocked from your current mobile network if you’ve been on a contract and are wanting to move to a different network. However, this is usually a simple process you can do either by using their website or by contacting their customer service phone number. Alternatively, if you’d rather not have to deal with your current network at all (I’m sure most of us have had poor service from them at some point), you can usually also get your mobile phone unlocked by an independent phone repair shop or market stall.
Once your current mobile phone handset is unlocked, all you need to do is just swap out your old sim card for one of the PAYG SIM card options of the network you wish to be on. The great thing is that the mobile networks often have offers on these sim cards that mean they usually give them away for free – since they’re always trying to attract new customers to their network and away from their competitors.
Therefore, as a customer and depending upon how you use your mobile phone (you should work exactly how you use it and what you’re spending money on in terms of calls, texts, data), be sure to take advantage of these offers if you’d be better off to do so, move away from your expensive mobile phone contracts to a PAYG sim card and you can start saving a lot of money straight away, I certainly did.
With the money that you are saving by going down this route, if and when you want to replace your mobile phone for a newer model, then usually from the money you’ll have already saved, you’ll be able to buy a new unlocked handset outright whenever you want to. This means you won’t then have to sign up to another contract (now usually 24 months in length!) in which you’d end up spending far more money over the length of the contract in monthly instalments, usually 2-3 times more depending on the particular mobile phone and which tariff you end up on.
I’m a big believer in the flexibility of using a pay as you go mobile phone rather than spending far more money on a contract, for example, I’m currently using an iPhone 5S which I bought outright from Apple for around £580, which is admittedly an expensive initial outlay. However, I’ve since been using a Three Mobile PAYG sim card in it and am finding that a £10 top-up credit will usually last me around 3 months of usage. I’ve had my iPhone 5S for nearly a year now and thanks to a very reasonable price tariff that Three Mobile runs, I’ve basically spent just £40 for a year’s worth of mobile phone, text and internet usage. I may outline exactly how I use my iPhone 5S to make this possible in a separate upcoming blog post if that would be of interest?
Anyway, hopefully, this method of phone ownership and usage will also work well for you and over time, you too can also save a lot of money.
Simon Barker is the founder and editor of Zath and has over 25 years’ worth of experience of using computers and technology in general. He can normally be found researching or testing the latest in technology products.
He has provided IT consultancy services to both home and small business users for over 15 years, building PCs, fixing hardware/software problems and providing comprehensive training.
Simon always likes to get the best out of the technology products he is using, by both making informed purchasing decisions and also optimising how they are used to get the most benefits possible.