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Three's new plans explained: Lite vs Value vs Complete

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We review what you get with each tier of Three plan on phone contracts and SIM only to see if it's worthing taking Value or Complete. Last updated: 4th September 2023.

Three's new plans in a nutshell

There are now 3x tiers of plans on Three

Phone with icons of various Three benefits

Lite Read Three's guide

at Three.co.uk
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Three have been doing a fair amount of rejigging of their technology behind the scenes and they’re now able to offer more types of products than before. As part of this they’ve introduced new tiers of plan:

You’ll now have the choice between a Lite, Value and Complete plan when you sign up to a phone contract or a pay monthly SIM only deal with Three. But with choice comes confusion, so we’re here to help.

In this guide, we pick through the differences between Three’s Lite, Value and Complete plans, both in terms of the benefits you get with each and their prices.

What is a Lite plan on Three?

It's a new name for Three's general plans. Despite the name, they've not stripped anything out. You get full speed 5G, WiFi calling etc, you just don't get some of the extra benefits we outline below.

What is a Value plan on Three?

It's the name for their mid-range of pay monthly plans on SIM only and phone contract, which include a number of added benefits that we go into below that you don't get with Lite plans.

What is a Complete plan on Three?

Complete plans are the name of Three's highest end plans available on SIM only and phone contracts, which include the most amount of added benefits, which we go into below.

We can help you decide whether it’s worth paying that little bit extra to get more.

Where to first? Lite plans | Value plans | Complete plans

Lite plans

There’s nothing newly stripped out of Three’s Lite plans

List of Three's standard plan benefits

Everything you always got from ThreeGet a Lite plan

at Three.co.uk
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Most people will likely continue to join Three on a Lite plan. They are the cheapest option per GB that Three offer. And will probably be enough for most users.

What we like about Three’s move to offering tiered plans is they haven’t stripped anything new out of their Lite plans. Not like EE, who cap speeds with Essentials or Vodafone who cut 5G from Basics.

With Three’s Lite plans you get everything you’ve long got with Three: 5G/4G/3G, WiFi calling / 4G calling, Three+ (their rewards app). It’s what it says: they're 'Lite' on added features, it’s not a budget no-frills option.

If you’re not a regular traveller abroad and aren’t interested in extra fluff like entertainment subscriptions with your mobile deal, Three’s Lite plans are our recommended choice for you. Otherwise, see Value plans below.

Useful link: See our hidden deals on Three

Value plans 

The best benefit is inclusive EU and worldwide roaming

Roaming built in banner

Value plans include up to 28 daily passesWhere you can go

at Three.co.uk
(opens in new window)

We were pretty annoyed when Three took away inclusive EU and roaming as standard on their pay monthly plans. We sent them straight to the bottom of our best networks for roaming rankings.

While on a Lite plan, you’ll have to pay a daily charge to access your usual minutes, texts and data allowances while abroad. With Value plans, Three include a certain number of these daily passes, so you won't have to spend extra.

All these deals are Value plans:

At the moment, you’ll get 28 daily roaming passes included with a 24-month Value plan, per year (14 with a 12-month). As you’d expect, every day you’re abroad, you’ll use one of those up. So it’s 14/28 roaming days a year.

That’ll suit most people doing the odd holiday once or twice a year. The list of 71 worldwide and EU destinations is impressive too. But remember you’ll still pay in countries not on the list or if you run out of passes.

Useful link: See terms and conditions for Value plan roaming passes

Extended warranty if you take a phone contract on Value plan

Extended warranty explanation

An extra's year cover for defectsRead full terms

at Three.co.uk
(opens in new window)

If you’re only interested in a SIM only plan, skip this section. But if you’re looking to take our a phone contract from Three, there’s a nice little bit of added value to taking a Value plan:

You’ll get an extended warranty up to 3 years on the phone you take from Three. The normal manufacturer standard you’d get anyway is 24 months (or it can drop to 12 months on iPhone).

It’s important to understand this isn’t insurance. You can’t lose your phone or damage it and expect a replacement. Or if the battery gets old and doesn’t hold its charge, it’s not covered. See full terms here.

Instead, it covers anything a normal manufacturer warranty covers, like if any of the parts of the phone stop working due to their original build quality or just not lasting that long. Hopefully, it’s a benefit you’ll never use.

Useful link: See Three's latest phone range

You’ll also get a subscription to Paramount+ included

Paramount mountain of entertainment banner

Stream films and shows on multiple devices  See what's included

at paramountplus.com
(opens in new window)

Take a SIM only or a phone on a Value plan and Three will include a subscription to the streaming service Paramount+ for half the length of your contract. Take a 24 month contract with Three for a 12 month subscription included (12 month contract = 6 month subscription).

Paramount+ itself is a new service to the UK usually costing £6.99 and contains big name films and TV shows to stream or download, across multiple devices (you don’t get free mobile data to stream it though).

It’s worth saying that once the inclusive period is up, you will be charged £6.99 a month for it, to your bill. But Three do say they’ll message you about this in advance, to give you a chance to cancel.

Whether you like this will be down to personal taste. Some will think the last thing we need is yet another streaming service in our lives. Others will say, if you’ve got it, you might as well use it to get the most out of it.

Useful link: How to activate your subscription

We calculate there’s typically a £5 difference baked in

The big question when deciding to upgrade to a higher tier plan on any mobile network is whether you’ll use the extra benefits the plan gives you, and whether they justify the extra cost.

By our reckoning at the time of writing, Three have baked in a modest £5 difference into their Value plans vs their Lite ones. So that’s the amount you have to decide is worth it.

If you’re solely interested in the roaming aspect, the Value plan will cost you £60 extra year. If you bought a daily EU roaming pass at £2, you could pay for 30 days’ roaming at the same cost. For worldwide, you’d pay £5 daily yourself, so roaming more than 12 days would cost over the £60.

But then you’ve got the value of the other benefits to consider. Paramount would cost £6.99. Extended warranty could cost, say, another £50. If you could make use of those things, Value plans start to make sense.

Overall, is it worth upgrading to a Value plan from Lite on Three? You’ll have to think about your usage, your roaming and whether you value the other benefits and do the calculations above.

All these deals are Value plans:

Complete plans

Longer lasting versions of everything you get with Value

Three premium plan benefits list

Available on phone or SIM contractsSee phone range

at Three.co.uk
(opens in new window)

The highest-end plan on Three is their Complete plan. This can be understood as getting everything you do with a Value plan but with longer durations and a couple of added perks.

While a Value plan gives you 14/28 days’ worth of inclusive EU/worldwide roaming, Complete doubles it to 28/56 days per year on a 12/24 month contract. That could be handy if you have a home abroad or travel a serious amount.

Your Paramount+ subscription will also last the full length of your contract too with a Complete plan, when it only lasts for half of your mobile contract if you take Value.

And there’s one more extra benefit on top that we go into below.

Useful link: See everything you get with Value

Get a screen repair on your phone with Complete

Screen repair

A nice benefit if you're a butterfingersRead what's covered

at Three.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Again, if you’re after a SIM only plan, this won’t apply to you but the last benefit of taking a Complete plan vs Va;ie on Three is the screen repair benefit.

At any point during your contract, if your screen breaks, you can send it to Three’s partner to get repaired. If you are the type of person that’s prone to dropping their phone or you hate cases, this a nice touch.

It’s not a free service though. You’ll have to pay Three’s partner £25 when you submit your phone. That is relatively cheap vs paying yourself though. Depending on the model, repairs could normally run into the hundreds.

And it has to be the phone you took the contract out on. And you only get to do it once. Like the warranty benefit then, this is hopefully one you won’t end up needing but is nice to know is there.

Useful link: How to claim on it

Complete plans typically cost £5 more than Value

While we can see plenty of people seeing Three’s Value plans as being worth paying a bit more for, we’d urge a bit more caution around Complete. They typically cost £5 a month than Value and £10 more than Lite.

Over the year then, that’s £60 more than Value, for an extra 28 days’ roaming and a longer Paramount+ subscription. You’ve got to know you’re going to be abroad that long to make it worth your while.

You also need to know that you’re going to smash your screen at some point! And even then, it’s going to cost you an extra £25 in one-off fees. You need to combine all the benefits for Complete to be worth it.

For us personally, Complete is probably an upgrade too far but we’re sure there are people out there, who could benefit. It’s definitely a case of pay more to get a little more with Complete. Some will be happy with that.

Useful link: Read our full review of Three

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