Phone vs SIM Only Contracts


When purchasing a new smartphone, there are two key types of contract that you can obtain for it: a mobile phone contract, and a SIM only contract. Each contract has its advantages and disadvantages, however ultimately the SIM only contract is the option that works best for most people.

What are the differences between these two types of mobile phone contract?

With a mobile phone contract, smartphone users are provided with a phone handset. They then pay for the handset in set installments (almost always on a monthly basis) whilst receiving set amounts of data, minutes, and text messages to use every month. If you exceed your data allowance for the month, you will be charged an enhanced price for the use more data. With a SIM only contract, on the other hand, mobile phone users simply purchase a phone handset outright. Then, they purchase the data, minutes, and text messages that they require for this handset. This can be done either on a pay as you go basis (where you top up your phone to pre-pay for using it as required) or by means of monthly installments. With a pay as you go SIM only phone, there is no need to pass a credit check (which you will need to do if you opt for either a classic mobile phone contract or a SIM only contract which is paid for in monthly installments).

What are the advantages of a SIM only contract?

Of course, many smartphone users do prefer to take out a mobile phone contract with their handset provider. However, there are clear advantages to opting for a SIM only contract. These advantages include:

  • No need to be limited to a 12-24 month contract if you choose a ‘pay as you go’ payment model.
  • Monthly costs tend to be cheaper as you are not paying for an expensive handset as part of your monthly package.
  • You can choose the data package that works for you, paying less if you want to use less data each month, instead of having to buy the package demanded of you by a smartphone provider.
  • There is no need to pass a credit check if you choose to pay as you go, topping up your phone by card, cash or voucher whenever this is needed.


Choose the right contract for you

Now that you know the differences between phone contracts and SIM only contracts, you will be able to make an informed decision about which option is best for you. Do not simply accept the contract that is offered to you by a smartphone company in conjuntion with that shiny new handset. Do some research and ascertain whether you would actually be paying for data that you do not use with this type of contract. Many mobile phone users find that a SIM only contract is more affordable and also gives them more control over their phone usage.