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Three's 24-month SIM only deals: are longer contracts worth it?

Three logo with a calendar

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We look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking one of Three's new 24-month SIM only contracts and how they compare on price. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 12th March 2020.


Pricing: there's currently no point committing to longer deals

Three SIM only deals

Typically save
a year

Savings against full-priced plansSee all plans

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In theory there's around a £2 saving for taking the 24-month version of a SIM only plan vs the full price of its 12-month equivalent. But we have some hidden deals that beat the full-priced versions.

On the 4GB plan, you'd save £2 a month by taking the 24-month plan vs the 12-month contract price:

But this hidden 12-month offer trumps both for price and gives you more data, meaning it's not worth committing to a longer deal:

It's a similar story on the 12GB plan, where there's a £2 monthly saving on the 24-month contract vs the full-price 12-month one:

But again, we can beat both with a hidden offer too on a 12-month deal:

On the 30GB plan, it's a £2 difference between contract lengths:

But there's no point in taking either when you can get unlimited data for the same price on a 12-month deal with this hidden offer:

And if it's unlimited data you want, even the 6 months half price offer on the 24-month contract isn't worth taking, as it works out on average to £19.25 a month, which is higher than the hidden deal:

Whereas, you can join on this hidden 12-month plan, for a straight-up £18 a month on a shorter contract:

In the next section we look for any differences between Three's 12-month and 24-month SIMs.

Useful link: See all Three's SIM only plans

What's the same?

Three's 24-month SIMs have the same extra benefits

Montage of Three's benefits

Lots of reasons to join ThreeWhy join Three?

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Other than price (which also isn't always the case), there’s no other advantage to taking one of Three’s 24-month SIM only deals vs a 12-month. There are no added perks to reward your loyalty. And you’re not missing out on any either.

Each comes with Three’s generous Go Roam inclusive roaming scheme, which lets you use the majority of your regular UK minutes, texts and data in 71 countries abroad.

24-month plans with 12GB data or more also get you Three’s Go Binge unlimited streaming data too, which lets you use selected apps like Netflix without eating into your data (full details here).

And there’s other handy stuff too. Like 5G data at n extra cost, WiFi calling, 4G calling and free EasyJet upgrades.

Useful link: See all Three's benefits


You’re committing to twice the usual max period for SIM only

Three's coverage map

Do your research before entering a long contractCheck Three coverage

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The reason Three are incentivising you with a £2 discount should be pretty obvious. You’re committing to a pay monthly contract lasting twice as long as the typical SIM only deal (24 months vs 12 months).

Getting new customers costs mobile networks huge sums of money on marketing and sales. So it’s way better for them if you join on a long deal, even if you’re paying slightly them less.

For you, it’s a trade off. You’re getting a cheaper price now. But you’re losing the ability to compare deals again in 12 months’ time to see if you could be better off switching providers.

It’s also worth thinking about what happens if you’re unhappy once you’ve joined Three. If you buy online, you have 14 days to change your mind. But beyond that, you’d have to pay to end your contract early.

So check Three have decent 5G/4G/3G signal where you’ll use your phone (use their coverage map here) to make sure that’s not going to cause you problems. And read Three's terms to make sure you're happy up front.

Useful link: Three's pay monthly terms and conditions

SIM Sherpa can help you find your next SIM only deal

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