Sunday, 12 January 2014

Which Pay as You Go Sim?

Pay as you go sims are a good way to budget your calls. Although the air time rate is rather higher, it is perfect for those who do not use voice calls often. And you can top up as rarely as you can, depending on your need. One of my PAYG sim for example, has been topped up more than a year and the sim is still active. This means a good alternative to a monthly subscription for the kids which is just intended mainly for receiving calls and sending a few texts.

All operators in the UK has a PAYG equivalent. What made me choose a particular network depends on my calling needs. Below is the list of my PAYG's and the specific reason why I liked them.

For free international calls, freebie rewards

For international calls, this is my main SIM card. It gives you free international allowance on top of the money you paid. For £10, in my tariff, I have free 60 minutes to call the Philippines and other destinations included in the list below.

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea - South, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam

The £10 top up can be used to call the UK at 30pence a minute and 14 pence per texts. But I do not use the £10 to call or text but again "recycle" the credit for another international call by texting the word "Bcall" (without the qoutes) to 80550 for a £5 international credit. This credit can be used to any BT line or from a monthly subscription mobile using it's free minutes. The text is chargeable by 14pence so the remaining £4.86, I again send the word "Bcall" to 80041 for a £3 credit. So an additional £8 to call international destinations with cheaper rate using BT Phone or another pay monthly mobile using the included free minutes. See the tool rate below.

Another perk from PAYG vodafone is for every top up, you earn points that can be exchanged. I turn my points into Amazon e vouchers and use it to purchase products at amazon.

Get your free sim card here!

For half price movies, free international calls

If you are a movie fan, this is the PAYG sim for you. Orange offers Orange Wednesdays on Vue cinema that let's you buy a movie ticket for two for the price of one. This is a good offer for 2 adults. If you are a family with two kids, you are better off with the in house cinema family deal offer.

Orange has also an international call freebie if you choose the Camel variant which gives you free 60 minutes international call to these destinations:

Antigua, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, USA, Virgin Island US.

Philippines is not included in the list, that's why this SIM is only for the cinema's buy one get one offer for me. Still I can use the topped up money  to buy an international credit using the "Bcall" method.

The cost of calling to a UK number cost 20p per minute, UK texts are 10p and overseas texts are 15p. This is lower than the Vodafone price.

Get your free sim card here!

For unlimited text and calls. 

I've been with O2 PAYG two years ago. In fact I still have the SIM card with at least £3 top up on it. The last top up I did was over a year already but the number is still active.  The reason why I have chosen O2 was the free international call bundle, your country tariff, that they have before. But unfortunately, it was abolished and replaced by a different international country pricing. There is no longer free calls but a flat rate cost for a destination country, like if I want to call the Philippines or place a text to a mobile or landline, would cost me 10pence a minute or per message.

O2 rewards is still available with every top ups and applied as a 10% off on the money you spend. Your £10 top up to O2 unlimited tariff can be eligible to unlimited O2 to O2 texts, £15 can give unlimited O2 to O2 calls.

Cost of calls are 25pence for landline and mobiles, 15pence per text.

Lebara Mobile
For low top up, low international calls on other destinations, free calls, unlimited data

This is one of the specialist international sim providers. The cost of calls to the Philippines is pegged at 14pence per minute. Taking this into consideration on my case is not really a good deal for me. I have been with them about 4 years ago when the international bundles from the UK sim card providers were not yet available. 

Ongoing promotion for this SIM provider are free lebara to lebara calls, low top up of £5, and extra credit if you pay at least £20 in one go. These promotions should be used in 30 days and can not be extended unless you top up another £5. 

There is also an option of unlimited data, UK data plus, for the internet users. This is an ongoing promotion at the moment and  the price is £12 which is valid for 30 days. This includes 500 UK minutes, unlimited texts and free lebara to lebara calls. 

Standard UK minutes and texts costs 15 pence.

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