Are you someone who needs SIM cards for occasional, minor use? You’re not alone—many customers only require a SIM card phone number to receive calls and texts once in a while and sometimes call, text, or access the Internet themselves. Therefore, paying a huge monthly sum, signing up for family plans, or topping up their balance frequently is a waste of money and only benefits the carrier. Luckily, to appease a big range of people worldwide, carriers offer a variety of plans, ranging from low-cost ones to VIP SIM numbers that can cost hundreds of dollars to reserve and maintain. Now, let’s list the best SIM cards for light users.
giffgaff is a well-known UK-based mobile network provider that promised to keep its prices static for the entirety of 2022. They offer 4G and 5G network connectivity, unlimited mobile texts and minutes, and 5 GB of European Union roaming for a mere 10 GBP monthly. SIM cards are free and all mobile phones they sell, new and refurbished, are unlocked (check our network-locked SIM card guide). Plus, they offer free delivery within the United Kingdom. You only need to use your SIM card once every 6 months.
Lebara Mobile is recognized for offering low-cost SIM card plans in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, France, Denmark, and Australia. Regardless of the country, they are renowned for offering cheap SIM card deals. For instance, in the UK, you would get 1000 mins and texts in the country, 100 mins internationally, and 3 GB of data in 4G and 5G networks in the European Union and India, all for a mere 5 GBP. There are no contracts or credit checks, and the SIM can be delivered to your doorstep.
1pMobile, another UK-based carrier, has a simple premise. You only pay 1p (1 penny) per minute, text, and MB of used data. No hidden costs and no contracts are required. Therefore, after picking a new SIM card or porting your number, you gain access to 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage in the country and European Union. Unsurprisingly, you may have to pay international/roaming rates on those calls, texts, and data. The only “downside” if it can be called that is that you must top up the SIM card every 12 days with at least 10 GBP.
4. Mint Mobile
Our United States readers, we haven’t forgotten you. The problem is that the carriers frequently try to rope users into long-term plans that are drastically more expensive. Additionally, roaming costs are rarely included and are usually charged separately. Mint Mobile solves that to a degree by offering 3-month plans for $15 monthly with unlimited texting, talking, and 4 GB of 5G or 4G LTE data across the country. You can then cancel the plan or sign up for 3, 6, or 12 more months. There are further benefits for more lines, making Mint Mobile a top choice among SIM cards for light users in US families.
5. RWG Mobile
RWG Mobile is a Welsh cellular network provider that offers monthly plans starting from 2 GBP. That one gets you 100 minutes, 100 SMSes, and 750 MB of data. Although those go up quickly, depending on what you need, there are also data-only SIMs for 4 GBP per month that net you 5 GB of data and 10 GBP data costing 7 GBP. The downside is that the network is limited to 4G for now.
6. Asda Mobile
Asda Mobile would have rated higher, but their offer will lose a bit of value on September 26, 2022. While they removed a cost of 4 pence per minute to voicemails, making it free, they upped the cost of others. Instead of 4 pence, calling is now 15 pence per minute to UK mobile/landline numbers. Texts and mobile data are also 10 pence per text/MB instead of 4 pence each. They reduced a roaming cap for the European Union from 25 GB to 5 GB, however. You can still get unlimited calls and texts and no MB for 4 GBP and the same deal with 3 GB for 7 GBP.
7. iD Mobile
iD mobile is one of the leading SIM cards for light users because it promises to save you 150 GBP yearly on phone plans compared to rival networks. Luckily, iD Mobile also offers SIM-only deals paid monthly. For instance, 6 GBP per month delivers 4 GB of 5G data in the United Kingdom (it uses Three’s network if you’re curious). You also get unlimited texts and minutes. Also, their 1-year and 2-year plans are only useful if you want a worry-free “pay a small price monthly” experience.
Lycamobile or Lyca Mobile, depending on the country, has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States. While we wouldn’t say they offer the most popular SIM cards for light users, they certainly do for those that travel a lot or don’t want to worry one bit. In the US, if you sign up for $10/monthly on a 1-year plan, you get unlimited calling and texting to over 75 countries as well as 250 MB of up to 5G data. All plans also have unlimited 2G speed data when that one runs out. As for the UK, you can expect to pay roughly 10 GBP for unlimited calls and texts and 20 GB of data in the country. You also get 100 international minutes and EU roaming.
9. Tesco Mobile
Tesco, a renowned shopping brand, has a mobile network services company. They offer prepaid, postpaid, and pay-as-you-go plans, but one that stands out for our purposes is the $10 Rocket Pack which usually gives 10 GB of data and 5000 mins and SMSes. However, you would always find it with double data for 3 months on a promotion. The next Rocket Pack costs $15 and nets you 25 GB of data but is independent of limited-time offers.
10. Tello Mobile
Tello Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), uses the T-Mobile network. Their primary business plan is offering low-cost calling, texting, and data monthly with no contracts. If you don’t want to worry, you can get unlimited everything for $29 per month, which includes free international calls to over 60 countries. Those on a budget can start with limitless text and calls with 1 GB of data for $10 a month, without international benefits. Upping that to 5 GB will cost you $19/month. Most importantly, Tello Mobile has a “build your plan” feature with variable pricing.