It’s been clear for some time that switching to a SIM only deal is the sensible option when it comes to saving serious money on your mobile phone bills.
Of course, it’s hard not to be drawn to the promise of a free or discounted mobile phone that you’ll get if you sign up for a 12-month or two-year contract, which makes the latest top-of-the-line phone look like the more expensive Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
But with consumers keeping their phones for longer, combined with an increased awareness of the high cost of signing up for a contract that locks you in a network for a year or two, cheaper SIM-only deals are in high demand.
But what if your phone is already on its last legs?
says Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of price comparison website Switcher.ie.
“It can be hundreds of euros cheaper than a new phone, will be fully functional and often has very little sign of use. Exact quality depends on what grade you buy, an A-class phone is as good as a new phone.
« If you have the money to pay for a new or refurbished phone up front, you can potentially save a lot of money overall by getting a cheap deal with just a SIM card and not being tied up with an expensive monthly contract. »
In fact, if you’re still on a bill payment contract dating back to the last time you got a free or discounted phone and switched to a SIM only deal, you can see your mobile phone bills cut in half.
A couple of years ago, you might have been quick enough to sign up for GoMo with a SIM-only contract at a staggering €10 per month, but with the cheapest deals available today starting at €15 per month with providers like Clear Mobile, eir Connect and GoMo, you can still potentially achieve Big savings.
Some prepaid options can be even cheaper, such as those starting at 48 at €11 per month with unlimited minutes and 100GB of data.
If you’re not sure which plan to go with, the great thing about sim-only contracts is that they are very short – often only 30 days. This makes it easy to switch if you want to change back.
Be aware, however, that if your contract has expired and your phone is restricted to one network, you will need to request the code from your mobile operator to remove the network restrictions, leaving you free to transfer your phone to another provider. It may take a few days to get this code, so if you are planning to change the network, be sure to request it in a long time.
If you’re a heavy phone user, it’s probably a good idea to look for an « unlimited » plan, but there’s usually a « fair use » clause in the terms and conditions that gives networks a way out in case phone usage proves to be excessive.
For calls and texts, this limit is usually set fairly high, but excessive data usage has hampered many mobile users on these plans, and it could mean additional charges on your account.
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