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Various logos of UK mobile networks

Black Friday SIM only offers 2019: predicting each UK network's deals

Black Friday SIM only offers

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

It might be a while until Black Friday 2019. But we've looked at previous years' SIM only deals to predict what each network will launch this year. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 3rd September 2019

Our Black Friday 2019 SIM only deal guide

What Black Friday SIM only offers will we see this year?

Black Friday sale logos

Most networks will offer Black Friday deals

Last year, we saw Black Friday sales stretching for several weeks on a number of mobile networks. There were substantial discounts, hefty data boosts and valuable freebies with SIM only plans.

This year, Black Friday falls on 29th November. That makes Cyber Monday 2nd December - only three and a half weeks before Christmas. And it's truly the best time of year to snap up a great deal on most networks.

To help you decide if you should wait before ordering, we've looked at each network's offers during previous Black Friday periods and throughout this year, to predict what they might launch in November 2019.

We don't have insider information. But we have been monitoring each provider for years. We hope you enjoy our guide and find a bargain.

Black Friday predictions by mobile network

Choose a mobile network

Here are our guesses at what Black Friday SIM only offers each network might launch this year:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
SMARTY logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo

Three: we're expecting one standout unlimited data deal

Last year’s offerThree logoRegister your interest in Three's Black Friday deals

This was Three's 2018 Black Friday dealSee current deals

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

Expected launch date: 29th November 2019
Expected end date: 2-3 weeks later

Last year, Three waited right up until Black Friday itself before launching one standout offer. And we'd expect them to do the same in 2019. Here's the unlimited data for £20 deal that they offered:

Three logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + Unlimited data = £27 £20.00 a month (12‑month contract)

That deal was only available for two weeks after launch so you had to be quick. And it was easily the best value high-data SIM in the UK during the Black Friday period.

Throughout 2019, Three have been flipping this offer on and off and it's always very popular. So we wouldn't be surprised to see it as their one and only Black Friday 2019 deal.

They could of course surprise us and reduce their new 24-month SIM only contracts in price too. Maybe with a six months half price offer as we have seen this pop up in summer 2019.

We wouldn't hold out for anything like free vouchers or free months from Three though.

Useful link: Three's Black Friday offers page

BT Mobile: big Reward Cards on SIMs may return in 2019

Last year’s offerBT Mobile logoBT Mobile Black Friday SIM only plans

BT had a Black Friday Sale last yearSee current deals

at BT.com
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 22nd November 2019
Expected end date: 30th November 2019 (at the end of "Cyber Monday")

In 2018, BT Mobile's Black Friday sale offered some valuable combinations of extra data, reduced prices and huge Reward Cards, which worked out best for BT Broadband customers (who always get a £5 per month discount on BT Mobile plans).

We thought their top deal last year was the £12 £10 plan with 3GB 5GB data, because not only did it have extra data and a reduced price but it let you claim a pre-paid Mastercard with £60 on it:

BT Mobile logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 3GB 5GB data = £12 £10.00 a month (12‑month contract)

That's just one example from the wide range of deals spread over prices and data amounts which they offered in 2018. Based on the offers from BT so far in 2019 we expect a similar Black Friday sale running for approximately ten days.

Though the offers should go live a week before Black Friday, they could surprise us on the day itself with a greater deal. Maybe an added freebie like a wireless speaker or noise-cancelling headphones.

If you're not a broadband customer with BT you're less likely to find their deals as competitive so make sure to compare all SIM only offers.

Useful link: BT's Black Friday page

EE: just a few big-data SIM only deals likely for 2019

Last year’s offerEE Mobile logoEE Black Friday banner

EE called them mega deals last yearSee current offers

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

Expected launch date: 29th November 2019
Expected end date: 13th December 2019

EE focussed their 2018 Black Friday SIM only offers on plans with big data allowances. These were genuinely great deals that had been their best prices all year, including:

EE logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 10GB 25GB data = £20 a month (12‑month contract)

Throughout the year, the best you could normally hope for with EE at £20 a month was 20GB. For last year's Black Friday they also had record deals on 40GB and 60GB plans.

EE's Black Friday SIMs last year ran for around two weeks. In 2019 we're expecting another great deal for £20 a month and potentially a discount on their new unlimited data plans perhaps below the £30 mark.

Might EE even go so far as to offer a Black Friday deal on their new 5G plans? We're very intrigued at the prospect since these new SIM only plans only launched in June 2019 with 5G data speeds in these few cities.

If you're after a SIM only plan with less than 5GB data, we wouldn't hold out hope for EE including these in their Black Friday sale. We've rarely seen this modest type of plan on offer at EE.

Useful link: EE's Black Friday page

giffgaff: we're not expecting anything special on SIM only

giffgaff's £5 free credit offer

There's always their free joining creditGet £5 free credit

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 29th November 2019 (phone contracts only)

giffgaff are fairly cheap year-round and you can already get £5 free credit with them when you join via our special invite page here. For Black Friday their SIM only prices probably aren't going to get much lower.

They have to be careful about bold giveaways for new customers, because having only 30-day plans means all their existing customers can also move easily on to any new deal.

For that reason, Black Friday has usually been a pretty muted event on giffgaff in the past. They could again offer slight discounts on phones or possibly bring back the £10 free credit deal from summer 2019.

If you want to join giffgaff on a SIM only, your best shot at squeezing some extra value out of your deal is to use our free £5 credit offer here, with your first £10 top up or goodybag purchase.

Useful link: giffgaff's Black Friday page

iD Mobile: we predict a month of mobile markdowns

Last year’s offeriD Mobile logoiD Mobile Black Friday SIM

iD Mobile's 2018 Black Tag EventSee current deals

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

Expected launch date: 15th November 2019
Expected end date: 10th December 2019

Last year, iD Mobile got way out in front by launching sales early, cunningly calling their sale the "Black Tag Event" (probably to get round advertising regulations) and running the sale for nearly a month.

They're nearly always a strong candidate to pick up a SIM only plan cheaply with a modest amount of data, including during the Black Friday period. We thought this was their best 2018 deal:

iD Mobile logo

500 minutes + Unlimited texts + 3GB 4GB data = £8.00 a month (1‑month contract)

iD raised their prices and streamlined the plan options in summer 2019. So for Black Friday 2019 we think they're likely to boost data allowances a bit on medium data plans, similar to other offers they've had this year.

But with the refreshed prices and plans in place they might also discount the monthly cost of a SIM via a hidden offer which you'd be able to access through this page.

The main bulk of iD's offers in the event will probably be on smartphone contracts rather than SIMs. That's where their headline claim of savings up to £330 came from last year.

Useful link: iD Mobile's special offers page

O2 could bring back cheaper big data SIMs for Black Friday

Last year’s offerO2 logoO2 Black Hole Friday Offer

O2's 2018 Black Hole Friday offersSee current SIM offers

at O2.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 29th November 2019
Expected end date: 13th December 2019

Last year, we found that O2's best Black Friday SIM only deals all came on plans with large data allowances ranging from 15GB to 60GB.

We thought this 20GB offer was likely to be the most popular option from O2 then, though it wasn't any better value than deals we had seen at other times in the year:

O2 logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 20GB data = £22 £20 a month (12‑month contract)

In 2019 we've noticed O2 pushing hard on 18-month contracts. Maybe they'll surprise us on Black Friday with an epic deal on those below £30 a month for 100GB plus a free gift. We'll have to wait and see.

Based on last year, we're thinking O2 will launch their sale on the day itself and run it for around two weeks. Enough time to decide whether to commit for 18 months (and be unable to renew on Black Friday 2020).

Useful link: O2's Black Friday page

Plusnet Mobile: we expect a mixed bag of moderate offers

Last year’s offerPlusnet Mobile logoBlack Friday on Plusnet Mobile

Plusnet's Black Friday sale banner from last yearSee current deals

at plus.net
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 28th November 2019
Expected end date: Various per plan

We've seen Plusnet Mobile regularly chopping and changing deals and the Black Friday period was no exception. In November 2018, Plusnet offered the cheapest way to join a provider that uses the EE network:

Plusnet Mobile logo

1500 minutes + Unlimited texts + 2GB data = £6.50 a month (1‑month contract)

Plusnet Mobile logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 3GB data = £7.50 a month (1‑month contract)

We expect Plusnet to change their deals rapidly over the 2019 Black Friday period too. As their 12‑month plans are still pretty new, they may reward long-term commitment with a prepaid Mastercard offer.

Don't hold out for Plusnet to slash prices wildly but they will almost certainly be in around the cheapest SIMs over the Black Friday period.

Useful link: Plusnet's SIM only deals page

Sky Mobile: double data could make a comeback

Last year’s offerSky logoSky Mobile double data offer

Sky doubled data on their 1GB plan in 2018See current offers

at Sky.com
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 15th November 2019
Expected end date: 6th December 2019

Last year, we'd rarely seen Sky Mobile put their SIM only plans in any kinds of promotion. So their 2018 Black Friday double data offer was very welcome:

Sky Mobile logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 1GB 2GB data = £6 a month (12‑month contract)

If they bring this deal back for Black Friday 2019, it'll be very competitive. Especially for customers with a Sky TV subscription who can stream it without using any of their data allowance.

They might even go further than last year's offer by also doubling their 2GB plan up to 4GB or by repeating a great offer we've already seen in 2019: 2GB for £8, 8GB for £10 or 12GB for £12 a month.

We'll keep an eye out for Sky's Black Friday sale to go live around a week before the big day. And we don't expect them to keep it going much longer than a few days after Cyber Monday.

Useful link: Sky's Black Friday offers page

SMARTY: possibly a rare free month offer for Black Friday

SMARTY refer a friend scheme

Refer a friend for a free monthSee current deals

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

Expected launch date: 22nd November 2019
Expected end date: 13th December 2019

We'd count SMARTY as one of the low-cost mobile providers that don't really have a lot of room to manoeuvre in terms of reducing their SIM only plan prices much further.

During Black Friday last year, they stuck to their regular plans including this 2GB option:

So far in 2019 we've seen SMARTY play around with offers like one or two months free, an Amazon gift card, or free data for a few months. For Black Friday one or more of these deals could make another appearance.

This year SMARTY have also added an unlmited data plan. We suspect this could be a prime target for a Black Friday SIM only price discount. If it is offered, this type of deal may run for up to a month.

Useful link: SMARTY's SIM only plans

Tesco Mobile: we predict big discounts on SIM only plans

Last year’s offerTesco Mobile logoTesco Mobile Black Friday SIM only

2018 savings were up to £104 a yearSee current offers

at tescomobile.com
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 25th November 2019
Expected end date: 9th December 2019

Having tracked Tesco Mobile offers for a number of years, they took us by surprise during Black Friday 2018 with significant discounts on SIMs, which we didn't think they'd offer.

There were 3x deals in their Black Friday event, with prices on SIMs reduced between £11 - £104 a year. They included this extraordinarily good 20GB offer:

Tesco Mobile logo

5000 minutes + 5000 texts + 20GB data = £25 £16.50 a month (12‑month contract)

For Black Friday 2019 we're predicting out-and-out discounts from Tesco Mobile on a range of plans with small, medium and large data amounts. The highest savings are likely to be on the biggest plans.

We think Tesco are likely to launch their sale on the Monday before Black Friday and keep it going for around two weeks.

Useful link: Tesco Mobile's Black Friday offers page

Virgin Mobile: our biggest tip for serious Black Friday offers

Last year’s offerVirgin Mobile logoVirgin Mobile flash sale SIM

Virgin's deals last year were hugeSee current deals

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

Expected launch date: 22nd November 2019
Expected end date: best deal 2nd Dec (Cyber Monday), other offers 10th Dec

We couldn't fault Virgin Mobile for fully embracing the spirit of Black Friday last year. They had 3x plans on offer plus a huge 200GB deal:

Virgin Mobile logo

5000 minutes + Unlimited texts + 200GB data = £20 a month (12‑month contract)

Virgin's other promotional deals last November were for 45GB, 24GB and 5GB plans at record low prices. We predict a similar spread of excellent bargains for Black Friday 2019.

Throughout the year we've seen Virgin launch quick flash sales so we expect their best offer in November will only last around a week and end on Cyber Monday. Their other deals should be available starting about a week before Black Friday and last 2 to 3 weeks.

Their plans all come with Virgin's regular benefits of 4G speeds up to 70 Mbps via the EE network, data rollover and free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger data.

Useful link: Virgin's Black Friday offers page

Vodafone: we're not expecting anything special for Black Friday

Last year’s offerVodafone Black Friday SIM only deals

Last year Vodafone held back See current offers

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

Expected launch date: November 29th for phones
Expected end date: mid-December 2019

A bit like EE and O2, Vodafone tend to use their reputation as a large, reliable mobile network to sell their SIM only deals, rather than huge promomotions and bargain basement prices.

For Black Friday 2018, they didn't add any extra offers. Their best deal at the time was this 20GB plan:

Vodafone logo

Unlimited minutes + Unlimited texts + 20GB data = £20 a month (12‑month contract)

For Black Friday 2019 we can't see them offering any serious promotions. Carphone Warehouse may give some large cashback options across Vodafone's SIMO range.

Vodafone could offer some deals on phones and possibly something like 100GB for £20 as we've seen this offer come up earlier this year.

Or, now that Vodafone have launched 5G-ready unlimited data plans, perhaps this could be a target for a decent offer. We're thinking either a discount on the monthly cost or a free upgrade to include entertainment subscriptions.

Useful link: Vodafone's Black Friday offers page

VOXI: could they be the dark horse this year?

VOXI logoVOXI triple data offer

VOXI have occasional data boostsSee current plans

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

Expected launch date: ?
Expected end date: ?

In 2018, VOXI dropped their age limit and boosted data on their plans, settling on these three options:

We have seen them offer a small data boost promotion on these plans, so they could potentially bring that back for Black Friday 2019 despite having been quiet in previous years.

Or could they be the dark horse and come out with a freebie like an Amazon voucher? We look forward to finding out this November.

Useful link: VOXI's current plans

Types of offer for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Here are the types of offers we think are likely to launch on SIM only

Black Friday banner

Expect plenty of black

If you're thinking of waiting until Black Friday to sign up to the best possible SIM only deal, we thought you'd find it useful to know the types of offers to expect.

Based on previous years, we'd say there are 4 main categories of offer:

1) Money-off discounts
2) Gifts and rewards
3) Promotional tariffs (extra data)
4) Free months where you pay no monthly charge

In the sections below, we pick through each type of offer and list where you might be able to find that type of deal.

1) Out-and-out discounts off the monthly cost of your SIM

Discounted Black Friday SIM only deals

Some networks will just reduce their SIMs' cost

Black Friday is supposed to be about discounts, and getting things cheaper than normal. We expect a large number of mobile networks to offer outright discounts against the 'usual price' of their SIM only plans.

This is usually the most valuable type of offer, particularly if you want to join one of the traditionally more-expensive networks. But we'd advise a bit of caution when choosing your deal.

The reason we've said 'usual prices' above is that you sometimes see providers subtly increase particular plans in the run up to Black Friday so that they can be slashed during the event (called price establishing).

Our advice is to use price comparison tools like ours to compare all deals at once, rather than be lured in by a particular plan that seems like it's got a huge discount.

Networks expected to discount plans:Three logoBT logoEE logoO2 Mobile logoTesco Mobile logoVirgin Mobile logoVodafone logo

2) Extra gifts or rewards with your SIM only deal

A Plusnet Reward cardAmazon / iTunes voucher offer

Some will offer additional extras like vouchers

In 2018 we thought we'd see more networks offer free gifts, rewards or vouchers alongside their SIM only plans but this didn't really happen. Only BT really did this.

For Black Friday 2019 we're predicting a return of BT's high cash value Reward Cards. SMARTY could join the race by bringing back their Amazon voucher promo. We also think there's a chance EE and Plusnet may offer a voucher or other freebie.

As long as the gift is genuinely valuable, these can be good deals to pick up. From previous years, these have tended to be things like Amazon or iTunes vouchers or perhaps pre-paid cash cards from Mastercard or similar.

Mobile networks like these offers because it avoids them discounting the overall price of their deals. Often you'll have to jump through a few hoops to actually get the reward though.

Our advice with gifts and rewards is to check you'd actually ever use the reward and that you're not paying more than you would normally just to get the reward!

Networks with free gifts and extras:BT logoEE logoPlusnet Mobile logoSMARTY Mobile logo

3) Extra data for the same price / one-off promotional plans

Black Friday SIM with extra data

Some will offer extra data or minutes for the same price

This was the most common type of deal available during the Black Friday period on SIM only, we think because it avoids networks having to drastically cut their prices.

Look out for deals this November 2019 with more data, minutes or texts than what's regularly available with a provider. We expect double data, triple data or even quadruple data on a limited number of plans, usually 12-month ones.

We think this year's Black Friday data boosts will come from BT, iD, Sky, Virgin and VOXI as we've seen them toy with this type of offer over recent months.

We'll also be keeping an eye out for one-off promotional plans from Three, Vodafone, EE, Plusnet and Virgin. These networks are keen to attract long-term customers with headline-grabbing mega deals.

These are the favourite type of promotions among the cheaper networks because it means they don't have to cut the prices of their already low-cost deals. They can just give you more for the same price.

For customers, it's great too as it's a chance to get more for your money. We'd recommend using our comparison tool to compare all deals against one another once Black Friday comes.

Networks with one-off and boosted plans:Three logoBT Mobile logoEE Mobile logoiD Mobile logoO2 Mobile logoPlusnet Mobile logoSky Mobile logoVirgin Mobile logoVodafone logoVoxi logo

4) SIM deals with a number of months free or half price

Three's Black Friday offer last year

SMARTY's offer earlier in 2019

The final type of SIM only deal we expect to see during the Black Friday period is probably the least common: where networks give you a number of free months.

Naturally you're usually only going to see this type of promotion on 12-month or longer SIM only contracts, because on shorter 1-month deals, you could just take the free months and then do a runner!

With these types of deals, you should calculate the average monthly cost of a deal over 12 months minus how many months free you get. But remember you'll continue paying the full rate once your 12 months is up.

For Black Friday 2019 we might see a return of previous 'six months half price' promotions with O2, possibly on their 18-month contracts. Tesco could offer some free months as well.

Already in 2019 we've seen SMARTY offer an excellent deal where your second month is free. This is particularly good as they only have one-month contracts. We think this could make a comeback in November.

Most likely networks:O2 Mobile logoSMARTY Mobile logoTesco Mobile logo

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