More than 90% of British adults have a mobile phone, and most use one every day. Whether you want to buy a new mobile phone for your teen or need to change mobile phone networks, there are two main choices. The first is a long-term fixed plan, something that often covers the cost of a new handset. The second is a SIM only plan. These types of plans have been growing in popularity and have great benefits for families and the budget-conscious. Let’s learn why SIM only deals are a smart choice for cash strapped families.
You Have Far More Options
One of the greatest benefits for families is how much flexibility these plans allow you. SIM only deals rarely tie you to a given network. Furthermore, they can be as short as 30 days.
This means you can use whatever mobile phone network provides the best service in your area, and you can switch mobile phone plans in just a few weeks if your current plan is falling short. Dual-SIM phones allow you to switch between networks and phones, and are great for those who want to keep their personal lives and business/professional lives separated.
Another option is switching out SIM cards based on where you go. This is a great way for those who like to travel a lot to save money without sacrificing connectivity. You can compare SIM only deals and pick the best SIM only deals based on the services the provider offers.
For instance, you could switch to one of Lebara’s plans that allow you to use international minutes to connect to over 41 countries for free. Lebara has some of the best SIM only deals on the market and they range from £5 a month for 2 GB of data to £35 for unlimited data plans. Lebara’s SIM only deals allow you to use tethering to share data among your family members or connect to the internet using a tablet or your laptop, which can be a lifesaver if you need backup internet access while in a remote or exotic locale.
Better Option for Teens
One of the worst things you want to do is lose control of how much your children use their phones. And you don’t want to be stuck with an insane bill because they went over their data limit. The best way to avoid this is to go with a SIM only plan with a strict cap. This will make sure that your monthly bill never blows up, and you’ll have better control over your monthly telecom spend.
And, since these are flexible, there will be no issues if their habits change. As well as this, you can easily switch from an unlimited to a capped plan if you feel like they’re using their devices too much.
Sim-only deals are the best option if you have smaller children as well. There is no point in getting them locked into a 2 – 3-year deal when you have no idea what kind of plan they will need by the time they reach their teens. Also, the phones that are offered with these kinds of deals are rarely the type you want to give to a child.
They’re More Accessible
If your credit situation isn’t the best, you might not be able to get a new phone or be eligible for a contract. Most long-term fixed plan providers will require that you pass a credit check. So, if you don’t want to go through the hassle or aren’t sure that your credit is good enough, SIM only deals are your best option.
One of the major benefits of SIM only deals for cash strapped families and families, in general, is how easy it is to get one. All you need is the money for the SIM and there might be some minor additional fees, but you can expect to get started straight away with a new plan. Since you’re not tied into a fixed monthly fee, you can pause or change the plan as and when necessary.
They Are Cheaper Overall
SIM only deals are cheaper in the long run because you aren’t making de facto phone payments as part of the monthly payment. Furthermore, you’re only paying for the services you’re using, which can make a big difference at the end of the month.
A good SIM Only deal will charge you a reasonable rate for the phone calls, text messages, and data that you use. This can result in significant savings if you rarely use your phone or regularly get hit with overage charges.
Note that while some SIM only plans include international calling, some have restrictions, and you also want to see which countries this applies to. The countries they include and the number of international minutes you get vary from plan to plan.
You Can Stick with Your Current Phone
If you are attached to your current phone or simply can’t afford to upgrade right now, a SIM only plan allows you to keep using it. Depending on the model, you might have to unlock it first. However, this is not only cheaper, but it eliminates the learning curve that may come with a new smartphone. Unlocking most phones is also something you can do yourself in most cases, though you might prefer to go to a professional just to make sure it’s done properly.
Another great thing is that you won’t have to spend tons of money on a phone that your youngest children might end up losing. You also don’t want them to be walking around with something that will stand out too much.
With a SIM only plan, you can look at refurbished options, for instance. Buying a refurbished phone is a great way to get a powerful and sometimes fairly recent phone for a fraction of the price. Tons of companies are also paying more attention to the budget market, and are releasing affordable versions of their flagship models.
For many parents, a SIM only plan is the perfect choice, because it lets them hand down their old phone to their children. This saves you money, and you won’t be as upset if they damage or lose it. You can then adjust the service based on the number of texts they send or data they use.
Also, many companies take advantage of long-term locked deals to sell mobiles that aren’t selling well or will soon be replaced. You don’t want to be stuck with a glitchy phone that no longer gets updates or one that has severe limitations when you’re 2 years into your 3-year deal.
So, instead of getting lured into a long-term fixed deal, we strongly suggest you look at some of the entry-level models on the market. Most people don’t need the most recent specs or some of the superfluous options new phones have, and won’t notice the difference. This is especially the case for those who rarely use the internet on their mobiles.
SIM only deals are the more economical choice for everyone from cash-strapped parents to uni students on a budget. The flexibility and freedom they offer is unparalleled, and this makes them a great option for those with varying needs.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.