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Virgin Mobile Family Plans explained: £2 discount on extra SIMs

Virgin Mobile logo with family iconVisit virginmedia.com

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We review how Virgin Mobile's new Family Plans work, their benefits and disadvantages, plus how they compare with other networks. Last updated: 20th February 2023.

How they worked

Virgin Mobile offered discounts for adding extra SIMs

Virgin Mobile Family SIM cards

We could see this scheme come backRead FAQs here

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

Virgin Mobile used to have a scheme that gave you a discount on any pay monthly plans added on top of your existing Virgin Mobile account. This discount was only available for Virgin Media broadband or TV customers.

If that was already the case, all you had to do was add any Virgin Mobile SIM only or phone contract either at the checkout or at a later time of your choosing. You can still do this but you won’t get the discount.

You’d then get £2 a month off on up to 4 added SIM only plans (£24 a year per SIM) with the potential for some genuinely impressive savings on your Virgin Mobile bill.

The scheme used to include a few extra benefits as well, so we’ll go over those further down the page as it’s very possible they might bring the scheme back.

Useful link: Read Virgin's press release

Benefits of Virgin's Family Plans

You got money off already well-priced SIM only deals

Phone and

A maximum saving of £96 a year on 4x SIMsSee plan prices

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

We rate Virgin quite highly in terms of sheer value for their SIM only and phone contracts. You can read our views on them in our full Virgin Mobile review.

Their SIM only plans are well-priced and all come with 5G. They use the O2 network, which covers more of the UK with call signal than any network and has great data coverage too (check their signal here).

You also get a few extra nice-to-have benefits for being on Virgin, like free data for messaging via Whatsapp, data rollover and free WiFi on a network of 4.3+ million hotspots.

To add your family members you’ll have to purchase a new SIM for your account and claim the family discount at the checkout. You don’t need to buy all the extra SIMs in one go, but you’re free to add them when you choose.

Useful link: Read our Virgin Mobile network review

You also got a free 3-month trial of F-Secure Safe

A phone with screen time over message

Keep your kids safe onlineSee all features

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

Parents want to keep their children safe from inappropriate material, and this is something that Virgin had clearly taken into account.

With any of their pay monthly plans you got a free 3-month trial for their F-Secure Safe (see bottom of this page). It goes nicely with the Family Plans, but other networks do provide something similar as well.

The F-Secure app lets you restrict your kids’ internet time and stop apps being used at certain times for devices on your account. This is a great way to stop your kids being glued to their phones all day.

You can keep an eye on what apps your kids are installing and you can choose from a few pre-set profiles where you can control and customise what sorts of internet media your kids can access, including videos.

Your first three months will be free, and after that you can decide whether or not it’s for you. If so it’s £3 a month to add it onto your account or you can pay £30 for the year. If not, you can remove it without hassle.

Useful link: Learn more about F-Secure Safe

Keep all your plans under one account

Four phones calling each other

Unlimited calls between your numbersHow billing works

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

If you’re the account holder you can still view and manage all the users on your account online or on the My Virgin Mobile app. Each user can see their own plan in the same way.

It’s nice to have all plans rolled into one single monthly bill rather than having to pay for multiple users on different providers.

You still can’t manage your home services (TV, broadband and so on) in the same place as your mobile bills as they’ll be paid separately.

It makes it easier to pay all your bills if everything is under one roof. It’s not something that every mobile network lets you do, so it’s good that Virgin still let you do it.

Useful link: See current Virgin Mobile offers

The discount applied to all their contracts

Clocks image

They now offer more flexibility than beforeSee SIM plans

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

Another great thing about Virgin’s family scheme was that you could add any of their plans and get a discount. But that was when they only offered 12-month contracts. These days, Virgin offer all their plans on 1-month rolling contracts.

That means if they brought back the exact same scheme now it would be even better because of the extra flexibility. It would mean you could remove plans if need be whenever you like. But you would have to give 30-days notice beforehand.

This scheme wouldn’t be quite as flexible as BT’s family plans or SMARTY’s plans that are offered without contracts, letting you switch your extra plans up and down every month or cancel them whenever you like.

But in any case, we’ll just have to wait and see if Virgin Mobile bring this scheme back.

Useful link: Mobile networks with Family plans

Disadvantages of Virgin's Family Plans

You had to be a Virgin Media TV/Broadband customer to benefit

Shimmering Virgin Media logo and caption

Only Virgin Media customers could benefitSee what else you get

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Virgin Mobile’s family scheme was completely exclusive to Virgin Media TV/Broadband customers, so if you had neither of these you couldn’t get the benefit (even as a long-term Virgin Mobile customer).

It makes sense. It was a way of roping in their existing customers to join their mobile network as well, just like Sky do. But this might end up annoying existing Virgin Mobile customers.

There was no way to game the system, as Virgin Mobile would check you had an existing Virgin Media account before letting you add the discount.

Useful link: Full Family Plan terms and conditions

Alternatives to Virgin’s family scheme

A few networks offer extra benefits on top of their discounts

EE data gifting explained

EE offer extra features as well as a discountRead more

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

We rate Virgin’s family plan scheme highly for the extra value you get out of your plans, but we would also like it if they added some benefits for doing adding plans on top of the discount.

EE’s family scheme not only gets you 20% off any additional plans, but also lets the account holder share data between users in 500MB increments. This is great for preventing users from going over their allowance.

And EE throw in an extra 1GB data boost to the account holder for every plan added, which they can then gift to other users. If Virgin offered something like this it would boost their scheme massively in our eyes.

Sky offer an interesting scheme as well. Any unused data at the end of the month goes into a users’ Piggybank, which they can then withdraw from or share with other users.

BT and SMARTY offer much more flexible 1-month SIM plans (only applies to added plans for BT). And SMARTY offer a 10% discount on already very cheap plans, meaning they’re a much better value option.

Useful link: The best networks for family plans

Other Virgin Mobile guides

Ranking mobile networks by feature