Which Network Has The Best PAYG?
If you want to ditch the long term mobile phone contract that’s tying you down, then you’re probably going to need to switch to a PAYG programme. PAYG deals tend to be cheaper, since you only pay for the minutes and calls or data that you actually use, rather than for a whole package.
However, there are downsides. Handsets are not subsidized on PAYG deals, so if you’re hoping for a PAYG iPhone 5 for a sweet price, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you already have your mobile device and you just need to decide which provider to go for, then you need to see the rates below. In general, most providers are fairly equal when it comes to calling or messaging costs, so you need to check out their plans to judge them on other factors….
O2 gets you calling for 25p a minute and texts for 12p, which is pretty standard. As for mobile data, as long as you top up by a tenner a month then you get free data for that month. However, for the first three months your data is limited to just 100 MB, which isn’t much. After three months your allowance doubles…
Orange also has the standard 25p a minute calling and 12p text message rates. Their internet is capped at a maximum of two pounds a day. However, when you sign up with Orange you’ll be asked to choose one of their “animal” plans, each of which has a specific benefit (such as unlimited data, international calling minutes etc.) and as long as you top up with a tenner of credit monthly, you’ll receive your animal benefit.
T-Mobile keeps everything simple. 25p a minute calling, 12p text messages and unlimited data as long as you top up £15 a month. It really doesn’t get much more simple than that…
Virgin are a little pricier. There calls are 26p a minute, though text messages remain 12p. Data is 25p per 25 MB, which could add up pretty fast and is not capped…
The standard 25p for calling and 12p for text messaging, plus data costs a massive one pound for 25 MB. At least it’s capped though, the maximum daily data charge is a fiver. That’s still pretty pricey though…
Three is a pretty PAYG friendly network. There calls are 26p a minute, but texts are only 11p. Every time you top up your Three card (regardless of how often you do so or how much credit you add) you get a free 150 MB of data. After you use your free data, it then costs 11p per MB (so it’s worth adding credit to your phone to get free data, rather than paying the rather exorbitant price for it…).
Choosing which PAYG plan to with is just as important as choosing which contract to sign. Particularly when it comes to data, there are some pretty big differences. So choose your company carefully!