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Lyca Mobile's pay monthly contracts: are they worth it?

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We look at whether Lyca Mobile's new pay monthly SIMs are a decent option or whether pay as you go is the way to go Last updated: 5th January 2024.

Contract SIMs on Lyca Mobile

Lyca Mobile now do pay monthly SIM contracts

Lyca Mobile's pay monthly contract benefit banner

No need to top up or buy bundlesSee the deals

at lycamobile.co.uk
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Historically, Lyca Mobile were a network primarily for people who needed international calls. They remain among our top-rated providers for calling other countries. But Lyca are changing too:

For a few years now, they’ve offered UK plans. These still include some international minutes. But they’re mainly meant for everyday usage in the UK. Lyca have also successfully switched over to using EE’s network.

There's no contract for any of these plans:

But even up until 2023, this was all based around pay as you go, where you buy a monthly bundle up front. But now Lyca are offering ‘proper’ contracts - where you sign a minimum term and pay by direct debit.

In this guide, we look at whether you’re better off joining Lyca on a contract or a pay as you go SIM. What are the benefits? Are there any disadvantages? Read on to find out what we think.

Useful link: Our full Lyca Mobile network review

Benefits of Lyca's pay monthly SIMs

Lyca’s contract SIMs are well priced

Other than the fact they use EE’s quality network, there’s no denying the main appeal of Lyca in general is their low prices. And they’ve made their pay monthly contracts extremely competitive.

That applies vs their own pay as you go bundles and the whole contract market. Take a look under each of the dropdowns to see how their contracts currently compare per data amount:

There’s not always a price advantage vs their own pay as you go bundles, because Lyca often throw in some eye-opening introductory offers for your first few months. But if you’d like a more consistent price, read on.

Useful link: Other networks that use EE

Your price won’t go up until at least 2026

No mid-contract price rises text banner

Fixed price during your contractRead their FAQs

at lycamobile.co.uk
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We think the strongest benefit to Lyca’s pay monthly SIMs is their fixed prices. On pay as you go, Lyca can technically raise the price of renewing your bundle with just a month’s notice.

On their contract SIMs though, Lyca have promised not to raise your monthly cost until at least 2026. And even then they’d still have to give you a month’s notice. That applies on 1-month and 12-month contracts.

Lyca aren’t unique in offering no mid-contract price rises (see our guide here) but it’s still a welcome move, when people are worrying about other bills going up. Plenty of networks don’t offer it.

This doesn’t mean that the price of Lyca’s pay as you go bundles definitely will go up in the meantime though. If anything, they seem to fall constantly. So it’s a good benefit but not the be-all and end-all.

Useful link: Best networks for no mid-contract price rises

Any pay monthly contract SIM has advantages vs PAYG

Screenshot of Lyca Mobile's app

Manage spend caps in Lyca's appSee all app features

at lycamobile.co.uk
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It’s also worth thinking about the advantages paying monthly for any SIM only deal has over buying bundles up front. The main one in our opinion is not having to manage your SIM constantly.

When you move to a contract from pay as you go, you no longer have the faff of topping up. You don’t have to do anything like text bundle codes to buy your plan. It all just happens automatically for you.

It’s also much easier to have any extras you use charged automatically to your bill, after you’ve used them. That could be things like calling premium numbers or roaming outside inclusive areas.

On pay as you go, you have to go through the pain of buying add-ons and topping up with credit. On pay monthly, you just use what you want immediately and pay later.

But if you don’t like the sound of that, Lyca have built in some very nice spending caps too. You can choose to disallow all extra spending, so it’s impossible to wrack up any bills beyond your basic plan.

Useful link: Networks with the best spending caps

There are ways out of long commitments

Even though you’re signing a contract, with Lyca’s pay monthly SIMs we would say there’s still a fair amount of flexibility built in - if you’re worried about committing for a longer period.

If you’ve not been with Lyca Mobile before, you do have the option of first joining on a 1-month contract (or even pay as you go). The 1-month contracts are a little more expensive but you’re not tied down.

You can switch to a 12-month contract later on any of these:

It’s then possible to switch to a 12-month contract later to get the lower price. You can do that whether you’re on a 1-month contract or a 1-month bundle. Just log in when you make your purchase.

Or even if you’re happy to go straight in for a 12-month contract, you’re covered by a 14-day returns period. If you’re not satisfied - Lyca will cancel it for free. So you can order, test it out and then decide.

You can upgrade to a contract on any of these plans:

Useful link: Compare all SIM only plans with us

Downsides of Lyca's pay monthly SIMs

The extra commitment isn’t always reflected in the price

eSIM banner

You can join PAYG instantly on an eSIMHow it works

at lycamobile.co.uk
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Of course, pricing on any network changes frequently so we can only really take a general look at how Lyca's pay monthly plans shape up compared to their pay as you go ones.

On an ongoing long-term basis, we'd say Lyca's contracts are just about better priced than their PAYG. It's just that they do a lot more short-term promotions on their pay as you go bundles.

It's not uncommon to see Lyca offering plans for 99p or £1.99 for 3 or 6 months on pay as you go, even if the plans do go up to £8 or more later. It can feel like why would you bother going for pay monthly?

There's nothing actually stopping you from joining Lyca on pay as you go, banking the cheap introductory period and then switching to a contract deal with a lower ongoing cost.

Useful link: Compare all Lyca Mobile SIMs

There aren’t any added special perks for paying monthly

Man pointing at roaming lettering

EU roaming and now even in IndiaSee countries and limits

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By and large, there's almost no difference between Lyca's pay monthly vs pay as you go. As per above, the main extra benefit is the lack of price rises until 2026. And general convenience of a contract.

Everything else about your experience is the same. Same coverage and speeds, same EU and India roaming. There aren't any clever unique benefits to reward you for committing to a contract.

Something like VOXI Unlimited Video or Social Media data would be excellent - where you can use certain services without it using up your data. Or maybe something useful like data rollover.

At the moment, we can still see people looking at Lyca Mobile's contracts and asking - "what's in it for me to commit to a longer contract?". Other than a lack of price rises, Lyca haven't got a great response yet.

Useful link: Our full Lyca Mobile review

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