The Best Upgrade Options for your Sim Only Deal

The best upgrade options for SIM Only deals

When you have a SIM Only deal it can sometimes feel like you’re not getting the upgrades you were once offered when you were paying over the odds for a contract with a phone included.

However most providers will offer a few ways to sweeten the deal once you’ve been with them for a certain amount of time.

Whether you chose to go SIMO to pass the time until the phone you really want is released, or simply because you are happy with the phone you have, there are still deal upgrades out there for you.

If you take a 12-month SIM Only contract deal, for example with popular choices from Virgin’s huge data deals, or on a bundle with BT Mobile some providers start offering options as early as three months into your contract.

What you could get

  • A reduction on your bill
  • Money off a new phone
  • Increased data or minutes allowance

Not just phones

Many upgrade options for SIM Only deals include a phone, which may be money off, or a trade for your current phone.

However, this is not always the limit when it comes to upgrades, if you have no interest in changing phones, some providers offer other ways to upgrade your plan.

Types of upgrade

As mentioned above, phone upgrades are the most common, and in most cases, you are able to upgrade to a handset plan after just three months of a 12-month plan.

This upgrade will often come with the added incentive of some money towards the phone of your choosing.

If you choose to keep your handset, an upgrade may come in the shape of increased minutes, texts or data, or perhaps a reduced rate on your contract, but unlike with handset deals, you will normally have to wait until the end of a 12-month contract for this option to become available.


Vodafone offer 12-month contracts or 30-day rolling contract to their customers, both of which come with different perks.

In the case of the 12-month contract, there is, again, the possibility of upgrading to a handset deal after three months.

However, if you go for a 30-day contract, there are flexible upgrades available, although you’ll have to pay extra in many cases. This plan is perfect for those with a fairly sporadic income, as you can pay for the minutes, texts, and data you can afford each month.


With EE, you will be able to upgrade to a handset plan after three months, or if you wait until the halfway of your contract, EE will also throw in £20 towards the cost of your new handset.


O2 have the most varied options for SIM Only customers who are looking to upgrade their contracts.

If you are content with your existing phone at the end of your contract, then you can upgrade to a different SIM Only contract, or 02 will add credit to your bill if you re-sign the same contract without a new phone.

If you want a new phone with your upgrade, then O2 will take 25% off the cost of your upgrade, and give you money for your old phone through the O2 Recycle service. On top of that, you can use an early upgrade offer when you’re one month out from the end of your contract.

Don’t forget to upgrade

When it comes to SIM Only contracts, the options are not and black and white as they are with handset deals.

As a result many customers don’t upgrade and just continue paying the same price for the same deal.

However it is definitely worth contacting your provider and discussing the upgrade plans available.

You may end up with a brand-new phone, increased benefits, or some money off your monthly bill.

MAIN IMAGE: Andrew Gustar/CC BY-ND 2.0


Andy is an experienced freelance copywriter with a degree in Journalism, based in the North West.
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