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

Broadband, Phone & TV
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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 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, a SIM only, but with an assortment of data, texts and minutes allocated, naturally depending on the plan you choose. SIM-only plans are generally much cheaper because you don't incur the cost of buying a phone outright or are not paying it off monthly.

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 SIM-only billpay and prepay deals currently on offer on the Irish market.

SIM-Only Prepay Plans:

Prepay

Price

Calls

Texts

Data allowance

Extras

Three

€20 per 28 days

Free Three to Three calls

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Access to 3Plus rewards.

Vodafone

€20 per 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

10GB

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

 

€20 per 28 days

Unlimited Vodafone calls 

Unlimited Vodafone texts

20GB

Any unused data rolls over to next month. 100 any network minutes and texts. 

 

€30 per 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

30GB

Any unused data rolls over to next month. 100 International minutes.

 

€20 per 28 days for students

100 any network minutes

Unlimited to any network

30GB

Spotify Premium for 6 months.

 

€20 per 28 days for students

100 any network minutes

100 any network texts

30GB

Unlimited data, minutes and texts from 3pm-12pm Friday-Sunday.

Eir

€14.99 per 30 days for 6 months, €29.99 per month thereafter*

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Free Eir sports package. 30GB of data to use in the EU.

 

€19.99 per 30 days for 6 months, €34.99 per month thereafter**

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Free Eir sports package. 200 international minutes. 50GB of data to use in the EU.

Tesco Mobile

€15 per 28 days

Unlimited to any network

Free Tesco Mobile to Tesco Mobile Texts

15GB

€5 bonus credit.

Virgin Mobile

€15 per 30 days

500 minutes

500 minutes

5GB

500 minutes of international calls

 

€15 for 12 months, €25 per month thereafter

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

9GB EU roaming data

Lyca Mobile

€15 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

25GB

N/A.

*Get these offers for €19.99 or €24.99 respectively if you're an existing eir broadband or landline customer.

**Free for one month for new customers, three months for existing customers, and €25 per month thereafter.

SIM-Only Billpay Plans

Billpay

Price

Calls

Texts

Data allowance

Extras

Three

€30 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Access to 3Plus rewards

Vodafone

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

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited

Unlimited calls and texts to EU mobiles and landlines and 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

100 texts

1GB

N/A.

 

€12.50 for first 6 months, €25 per month thereafter (12 month contract)

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

20GB

12-month contract. 300 international minutes.

 

€25 per 30 days

Unlimited to any network

Unlimited to any network

20GB

30-day contract.

48

€9.99 per 30 days

300 minutes to any network

Unlimited to any network

20GB

7GB EU/UK roaming

€14.99 per 30 days

300 minutes to any network

Unlimited to any network

40GB

9GB EU/UK roaming

*80GB cap; fair usage policy applies.

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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