What Are My Pay As You Go Options?

Mobile phones are a big investment for most people. And paying a monthly fixed fee can get expensive. If you’re a big phone user, then you can benefit from monthly contract deals, which tend to have large limits for calling, texting and data usage. However, for lighter users, pay as you go plans tend to be more economical. Lighter users don’t need the large calling, texting and data limits that are offered by a monthly contract, and often end up paying for services that they don’t use. With pay as you go you pay only for what you actually use. Whilst prices per minute of calling, per text message and per MB of data used tend to be higher on pay as you go tariffs than with a monthly contract, you can still end up saving money because you’re only paying when you’re using your phone. Today we’re looking to compare pay as you go tariffs to find out which companies offer the best rates. If you’re looking for a new pay as you go calling plan, then read on to find out exactly what your options are.

How to Compare Pay as You Go Tariffs…

When you compare pay as you go tariffs you obviously need to look at a few of the charges. You need to know the cost of calling per minute, and whether that cost is impacted by which network you’re calling, or if you’re calling a land line phone. You also want to know the cost of text messages and data. In our list we’ve also given you a breakdown of what a ten pound credit top up will give you. But you also want to look at special deals that networks offer you. With pay as you go plans it’s common that networks offer a range of special services, some of which may or may not appeal to you.

With O2…

O2’s pay as you go tariff is called O2 Go, Go, Go. Calling to other O2 numbers is cheap, with the first three minutes of a call costing 25p, and each additional minute costing 5p, so it’s a good choice if a lot of your friends and family have O2 numbers. To other networks calls are a standard 25p per minute, and a call that goes to voice mail costs you 15p. Text messages are 12p each. You get a standard 250 MB of data included in a ten pound top up. A simple tenner top up per month gets you seventy five calling minutes, five hundred text messages and your 250 MB of mobile data. O2 does offer several special options to pay as you go customers. The first is O2 Rewards, where you get ten per cent of your top ups back every three months (so if you spend a tenner a month you’ll get three pounds of free credit every three months). The second is O2 Tracks, giving you the top forty chart hits downloaded for free to your mobile. The last is O2 Priority Moments, which lets you access special offers at the touch of a button with big discounts.

With Orange…

Orange’s plan is called Orange Starter, and it’s a pretty simple idea. Calls are all a standard 25p per minute, no matter who you’re calling, and texts are 12p. Your mobile data is a maximum cost of two pounds per day, no matter how much you use. As far as your ten pound top up, that rather depends. As part of the Orange plan you’ll choose one of Orange’s animal plans, each of which gives you special advantages (some give you more free text messages, some give you cheap international calling, whilst others give you lots of data), so what your top up gets you depends on which animal plan you’re on. As far as special deals go, you can have Orange Magic Numbers, which lets you chat for an hour with any of your three chosen phone numbers and pay for only a minute. There’s also Orange Wednesdays, which offers two for the price of one cinema tickets and pizza.

With T-Mobile…

T-Mobile has another simple plan with T-Mobile Talk. Calling is a standard 25p per minute charge no matter who you’re calling, and texts are 12p. As for data, as long as you top up at least fifteen pounds a month you have as much data as you want. With every ten pound top up you get a hundred free UK calling minutes. T-Mobile aren’t great at special offers, but you do get five free “Call Me Back” texts, which you can send to let your friend’s know that you’re out of credit and can’t call them.

With Virgin Mobile…

Virgin Mobile’s Virgin Media Starter plan is very similar to T-Mobile’s plan. Calling is 26p a minute, no matter who you’re calling, but texting is still just 12p per message. Mobile internet costs 50p per day for a maximum of 25 MB. And you get the five free Call Me Back texts as well. If you happen to subscribe to another Virgin service, such as broadband internet or television, you’ll get free calls to other Virgin numbers thrown into the deal.

With Vodafone…

Vodafone’s Simply plan is another option. Calling is a standard 25p per minute, no matter who you’re calling, and texts are 12p. Mobile internet costs a pound per 25 MB, with a maximum charge of five pounds per day. With a ten pound top up you also get a hundred free calling minutes, three hundred text messages and 50 MB of internet data. Special offers aren’t up to much, but Vodafone Family is pretty nice. For a five pound fee (which only one of you has to pay) you can call three other people on your contact list as much as you want. You also get Vodafone Freebee Reward points every time you top your phone up with credit, which you can use for instant advantages (such as free minutes) or save them up for a bigger deal later on.

Sam Jones knows he can compare pay as you go tariffs online. Using sites like uSwitch.com can really help to get the best deal possible.