December 18, 2020

Getting More Bang for Your Buck With Smartphones and SIM-Only Deals

How much are you currently spending on your smartphone? According to the regulatory service Ofcom, the average monthly rate throughout the United Kingdom has risen to a stifling £45.60 pounds. This can be a very real problem if you are worried about spreading your finances too thin. This is also one of the reasons why opting for a SIM-only deal could be a much better option when compared to a standard contract that can last for up to two years. It is therefore important to answer a handful of important questions. Why are SIM-free phones becoming so popular? How do SIM-only deals work and what are the advantages? These are some of the issues that will be discussed immediately below.

Why Choose a SIM-Free Smartphone?

Most smartphone providers will offer a phone and a contract as a single bundle. Although this can sometimes be the most convenient option, fees and tariffs could be quite expensive. You might also be paying for minutes and data that are never used. To put it simply, you could very well be throwing your money out of the (digital) window.

This is when the power of a SIM-free phone comes into play. Such phones are offered as standalone devices as opposed to being paired with a contract. You will therefore be required to obtain a separate SIM card in order to make calls, send messages, and access the Internet. The main advantage here is that SIM-only deals are extremely flexible and the chances are high that you will ultimately pay less when compared to a standard contract.

Furthermore, we need to keep in mind that the price of the phone is often affected by the associated contract. Choosing a SIM-free phone will often lower the amount of money that you are expected to spend. This is particularly beneficial in regards to newer models such as the iPhone SE series or the Samsung Galaxy S20.

How do SIM Only Deals Work?

SIM-only deals are rather straightforward if we can begin to appreciate their primary mechanics. The main difference between these plans and a standard smartphone contract is that you will be able to choose a plan that best suits your usage requirements. In other words, this is a much more hands-on approach when compared to relying solely upon an inflexible contract.

Let’s assume that you have found the right deal. First, you will need to deposit money (often referred to as “topping up”) towards the SIM card. These funds can then be used to make calls, to message contacts, and to access the online community. Once you have expended the available minutes, you will need to once again top-up the SIM card in order to activate its connectivity.

Another excellent benefit of a SIM-only deal involves the fact that you are not tied to a specific phone. For example, imagine for a moment that you are traveling abroad and wish to take a second unit as opposed to a more expensive primary model. In this case, you can simply switch the SIM card to the device in question. This phone is then equipped with the associated phone number and all of the services outlined above. Such flexibility is simply not possible if you purchase a phone that has already been equipped with a one-off SIM card.

What to Look for in a Good SIM Package

So, are there any features to keep in mind when choosing a SIM-only provider? Cost is an obvious point to mention and this will naturally be based upon your existing budget. However, also take a look at the different plans that the company in question has to offer in order to come across the most amenable package.

Another point to highlight in these modern times is 5G connectivity. 5G wireless services are set to eventually replace existing 4G networks. Although this will not happen overnight, 5G is already being offered in major metropolitan areas and this level of coverage is set to increase in the coming years. This is why it makes perfect sense to partner with a SIM-only plan that is able to offer 5G connectivity. in advance.

We should once again address the topic of flexibility before moving on. For example, will it be possible to switch a current SIM-only plan when needed (such as if you suddenly require more minutes or data usage between billing cycles)? Always be sure to read the “fine print” associated with any bundle before making a final decision. Finally, will the provider charge you any type of fee if you wish to cancel the contract before it is set to expire? When in doubt, always make it a point to contact a customer representative. You can also employ the objective expertise of third-party comparison websites in order to obtain side-by-side examples of each deal.

Mistakes to Avoid

There are a handful of common errors that should be highlighted, as these can actually cost you money in the long run. Perhaps the most prevalent involves choosing a SIM-only plan that does not provide you with sufficient minutes and data usage. Once again, this can be avoided by examining the ins and outs of the contract itself. Some consumers could also make the mistake of recharging their SIM cards a bit at a time. While this may appear to represent the least expensive option, additional surcharges may cost you in the long run.

Moving Past the Contractual “Buzz”

SIM-only deals are set to reshape the entire wireless community thanks to their flexibility and convenience. As there are so many providers, the associated rates tend to be highly competitive and this is great news for the average consumer. These are some of the main reasons why such bundles could represent a welcome alternative to standard smartphone contracts. Still, always make it a point to take into account the suggestions stressed above. You will be able to save a significant amount of money while enjoying all of the mobile services that you have come to rely upon.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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