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What are the best SIM-only deals in Ireland right now?

What are the best SIM-only deals in Ireland right now?
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

Are you currently shopping around for a new mobile carrier but are not sure where to start? Never fear! In this article we break down the best SIM-only deals currently on offer from Ireland’s leading mobile networks.

The mobile phone landscape has fast become a moving target when looking for value, and with flagship smartphones now incredibly expensive it's become even harder. One useful way to keep your living costs down this year is to either keep your current phone and change plans or buy your smartphone outright and resell it after. These are, of course, not the only options.

If you're intent on changing your network provider then one of the easiest ways to get the best value for money is by opting into a SIM-only plan. A SIM-only plan is, quite literally, when you only purchase a SIM, which comes with an allocation of data, texts and minutes depending on the plan you choose.

SIM-only plans are generally much cheaper because you don't incur the cost of buying a phone.

Whether you're currently out-of-contract and perusing the market or just looking for a cheaper deal in general, SIM-only plans are an accessible and flexible way of getting a tailored plan to suit all your network needs.

So, in the interest of speed and convenience, check out the tables below comparing the best value billpay and prepay SIM-only deals currently on offer on the Irish market.

SIM-Only Prepay Plans:

Prepay

Price

Calls

Texts

Data allowance

Extras

Three

€15 every 28 days

Three to any network calls

60

1GB

Access to 3Plus rewards

Add 5G data to any Prepay plan for an extra €5 every 28 days

€20 every 28 days

Free Three to Three calls

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Access to 3Plus rewards

10GB EU data

 

€30 every 28 days

Three to any network calls

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Access to 3Plus rewards

14GB EU data

30 international minutes

Vodafone

Chat Extra - €20 every 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

10GB

Any unused data rolls over to next month provided you top-up

10GB EU data

 

Smart Extra - €20 every 28 days

Unlimited Vodafone calls + 100  any network minutes 

Unlimited Vodafone texts + 100 any network texts. 

20GB

Any unused data rolls over to next month

20GB EU data

 

Vodafone X - €20 every 28 days

100 any network minutes + unlimited weekend calls

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited (Max speed of 10Mbps)

Access to Vodafone rewards including Level Up and Fantastic Days

Unlimited EU data

 

Extra - €30 every 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

30GB

Any unused data rolls over to next month

100 international minutes

30GB EU data

Eir

€14.99 every 30 days for 12 months, €29.99 per month thereafter*

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Free Eir sports package

30GB EU data

 

€19.99 every 30 days for 12 months, €34.99 per month thereafter**

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Free Eir sports package

200 international minutes

50GB EU data

Tesco Mobile

€15 per 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Free Tesco Mobile to Tesco Mobile Texts

15GB

Double your data allowance to 30GB when you register your Tesco Clubcard to your mobile account. Boost €5 in Clubcard vouchers to €15 in top-up.

Virgin Mobile

€15 per 30 days

500 minutes

500 minutes

5GB

500 minutes of international calls

5GB EU data.

 

€5 for 6 months, €25 per month thereafter

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

11.7GB EU data

Lyca Mobile

€10 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

25GB

Unlimited calls to Poland and Romania

SIM-Only Billpay Plans

Billpay

Price

Calls

Texts

Data allowance

Extras

Three

€14.71 every 30 days (Half-price until 2021)

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Access to 3Plus rewards

19GB EU data

Add 5G data for €4.92 extra p/m

Vodafone

€25 per month for 6 months, €35 per month thereafter (12-month contract)

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited (Max speed 10Mbps)

Unlimited calls and texts to EU mobiles and landlines

100 International minutes and texts

 

€35 per month for 6 months, €45 per month thereafter (12-month contract)

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Unlimited calls and texts to Europe, Australia, US, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, and 500 international minutes and texts. 5G ready.

GoMo

€12.99 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited*

10GB of data to use in the EU

Tesco Mobile

€10 per 30 days

100 minutes to any network

100 texts to any network

1GB

N/A

€20 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network.

Unlimited to any network.

Unlimited

300 international minutes to select countries

48

€7.99 per 30 days**

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

100GB

10GB EU/UK roaming. Ability to carry over, borrow, share, and swap data

*80GB cap; fair usage policy applies.

**Available until November 10th 2020

As we can see from the above tables, when the cost of a handset isn’t factored in (i.e. when only service plan costs are considered) the difference between billpay and prepay isn’t huge.

Given that most plan types (regardless of whether they are prepay or billpay) include set monthly prices for “unlimited” usage, the distinction between the two is becoming narrower.

This is especially true as we see more and more of a demand for increased data over say a text or call allowance within a bundle.

SIM-only plans can be a very valuable service for those who have come to the end of a contract and who would like to tide themselves over until they find a deal that best suits their needs.

Oftentimes SIM-only plans are utilised in this vein as a useful substitute to staying on an expensive plan long after it has been paid off.

There are a variety of different offers available from providers, as evidenced above, and can depend on whether you're a new or existing customer so make sure and clarify this before signing up.

Which SIM-only plan is right for me?

When it comes to choosing the best plan for your individual needs, there are a few factors that you'll need to consider. You must decide which elements are a priority to you and rank them in order of importance. These elements include: calls and texts allowance, data allowance, price, network coverage, data download speed as well as any network sign-up incentives or extras that might catch your attention.

Many of these are covered in the tables above, but if you’re curious about data coverage and speed in your area, it's worth having a look at this piece. 

As always here at bonkers.ie, we recommend that you thoroughly suss out all of the options available to you before making any decisions, especially where long-term contracts are concerned!

Don't forget that the above plans are just a selection of the many plans on offer from each network and don't consider plans which include handsets in the contract.

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