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Various logos of UK mobile networks

January Sale SIM only plans 2019: how each network's offers compare

SIM card with a January Sale label

Not all the SIM only deals each mobile network launched in their January sales have expired. We list the ones still live and flag the best value. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 31st January 2019

SIM only deals in January sales

There are some remaining SIM only offers live from this year's January sales

BT SIM card with a January sale shopping bag

Most networks launched January sales

If you're in the market for a SIM only plan, January and just afterwards are always good times to pick up a genuinely good value deal.

Even though it's late, not all the offers have expired.

In our guide below we pick through each of the networks' offers to see if they're actually a good deal, plus look at which are the best offers for a number of budgets and data amounts.

Our best-rated deals

Compare all plans

Offers per mobile network

Our best-rated deals

We've split the offers into categories

Skip straight to the type of deal you're interested in

£7.50 or less | Around 1GB data | 3GB or more | 5GB or more | 20GB or more

£7.50 a month or less

SMARTY's unbeatable two months free offer ends 4th Feb

SMARTY Mobile logoSMARTY January Sale banner

Get two months free

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

For out-and-out value in the under £7.50 category, you can't beat SMARTY's January Sale, who are letting you pay for your first month and then giving you the next two free. Choose from:

With both plans, it basically means you're paying just £6.25 for three months (£2.08 a month) or £7.50 (£2.50). And you get a short 1-month contract and coverage via the Three network (check signal here).

This deal from £12 £6 2GB deal Sky Mobile offers superb value. And you don't even need to be a Sky TV customer to be able to take it (you'd normally have to pay £10 extra). Order by 31st January 2019:

We also rate this hidden deal from iD Mobile that is reserved for people arriving on their site from partner websites like us (you won't find it advertised on main part of idmobile.co.uk):

This double data deal from Virgin Mobile was a great way to get on the superfast 4G network from EE at a great price but has now expired:

Useful link: Compare all SIM only deals at once

Around 1GB data

The cheapest 1GB deal is iD Mobile's non-sale plan

iD Mobile logoiD Mobile £5 1GB deal

See deal now

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

Basically for the last two to three years, the cheapest place to pick up a SIM with 1GB data has been iD Mobile (uses Three's network). And their regular plan still beats other January sale offers:

There was also an option to "upgrade" to unlimited minutes for just £1 more a month on iD, which has now expired:

If you're after a deal that uses EE for its coverage, this plan from Plusnet is available until 1st Feb:

Or for the same cost but on a less-flexible 12-month deal, you were able get a £20 Plusnet Reward card alongside the same monthly minutes, texts and data on a 12-month contract instead (no longer available):

These can technically be beaten for price by SMARTY's 1GB plan, which gives you two free months once you've paid for your first month, but its ongoing cost is higher:

If you're wondering why the big 4 major networks don't feature, here were the cheapest ways to get 1GB with them for comparison during the January sale period:

They don't tend to compete well in the small data plan categories. And we didn't expect these to feature in their January sales. And they did not.

Useful link: Compare all SIM only deals at once

3GB data or more

Virgin Mobile's double data deal is the best value

Plusnet Mobile logoVirgin Mobile double data deal

Double data on Virgin MobileSee full deal

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

If you're looking for a moderate amount of data and excellent 4G network coverage through EE, this Virgin Mobile deal leads on value for money (order by 18th Feb):

The Virgin deal offers more than iD Mobile's SIM only deal here, which comes with fewer minutes and less data for the same price using the Three mobile network (check coverage here):

Another good option on a short 1-month deal using EE's network is Plusnet's 4GB offer, which is available until 31st January:

Or for a deal on one of the main networks with loads of benefits like inclusive worldwide roaming and free upgrades on easyJet is Three's £11 plan with 4GB data:

Or for the less on Virgin Mobile, you were able to get way more data with their triple data SIM only offer but this expired on 22nd January:

Useful link: Use our SIM only deals comparison tool

5GB data or more

Triple data on Virgin's Red Hot Sale 2GB 6GB plan for £9 is now expired

Expired stampVirgin Mobile logoVirgin Mobile's Red Hot Sale

It was part of Virgin's Red Hot SaleSee replacement SIMs

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

In the above 5GB category, the lowest priced SIM only offer was Virgin's expired 2GB deal, which was boosted to 6GB if you ordered before 21st January:

As well as an excellent price, the deal got you some decent benefits too, such as superfast 4G via the EE network, data rollover and the ability to change your plan month-to-month.

Another still-available option that comes in cheaper than any other network's 5GB plans is iD Mobile's hidden deal that's not available on the main part of their website. Make sure you're ok with just 300 minutes though:

Another option in this category is from VOXI, whose deals are now open to customers of all ages. They use the Vodafone network for coverage and give you Endless data for social media apps too:

Coming in more expensive but letting you claim back a £60 pre-paid Mastercard, we've got exclusive hidden pricing on BT's 6GB plan, as long as you've got their broadband at home:

Order before 31st January 2019 and remember you'll need to claim that Mastercard yourself. It doesn't get automatically delivered.

Useful link: Compare all SIM only deals at once

20GB data or more

Three and Virgin battle it out for the best value

Three's latest SIM only offers

Order by 4th FebruarySee full offer

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

In the 20GB and above category, Virgin's triple data SIM only offer (ends Jan 31st) with 10GB 30GB beats other networks' deals with less data. It's an excellent way to get EE's superfast 4G without a large price tag:

The next most competitive in this category is Three, who actually have a non-January sale plan that still trumps the competition on price per GB:

If you've got an extra £3, it's definitely worth having a look at Three's unlimited data deal below, which is only available until 4th February:

That eclipses Virgin's previous market-leading deal with a whopping 120GB data (order by 31st Jan):

Or if you're after a provider that uses the O2 network, Tesco Mobile's January Sale SIM only deal here was a very competitive option but has unfortunately now expired:

After that VOXI's 1-month massive 45GB deal is worth a look, especially now they've dropped their tedious age limit:

EE had the biggest amount of data for £20 we see throughout the year with their 25GB for £20 offer here, which was only available until 29th January, so is no longer valid:

You were also able to upgrade to 60GB for £10 a month more, which would be mostly offset by being able to claim a £100 Amazon.co.uk gift card after your purchase (EE sent you instructions):

Then there's a whole group of networks offering 20GB for £20 including some of the main providers:

Useful link: Compare all SIM only deals at once

January Sale offers by mobile network

Choose a mobile network

Some have already launched January sales, others we've listed their current offers and predicted what's coming:

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

Three: last-minute unlimited data for £20 deal

Three logoThree's latest SIM only offers

Order by 4th FebruarySee full deal

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

Expected launch date: No changes expected
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW

Three have waited until the last moment to publish a new offer on SIM only. And it's this unlimited data deal, which only appears on the rarest occasions (the last time was Black Friday):

There's nothing quite like knowing there are no data limits to go over. But if you don't think you'd ever need that much, there's still very competitive pricing on some of Three's other SIMs:

We now expect that this will be all we see from Three for January.

Useful link: Three's regular offers page

BT Mobile: new January Sale offers on SIM only

BT Mobile logoBT Mobile January Sale SIM only banner

And claim a £65 Reward Card with this dealSee full deal

at BT.com
(opens in new window)

Launch date: 25th January 2019 (offers now live)
End date: 31st January 2019
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW

One of the networks to launch their January sale even before Christmas was BT Mobile. And they've now tweaked their deals for the last half of January.

These two deals aren't advertised on the main part of the BT.com website, because they're hidden for people coming via partner websites like ours (pricing is for BT Broadband customers):

Or there's extra data on two of BT's regular deals, which aren't exclusive prices like the ones above but are still decent offers:

Each of the deals only lasts until the end of 31st January, so you need to be relatively quick to take advantage.

Useful link: All BT SIM only offers on one page

EE: two decent January Sale SIM offers are now finished

Expired stampEE Mobile logoEE SIM card and an Amazon voucher

Get a £100 Amazon gift card on 60GB planSee new offers

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

Launch date: 24th December 2018
End date: 29th January 2019
Order now or wait? OFFER EXPIRED

On SIM only, EE had three promotional plans to choose from, including a massive data plan which let you claim a £100 Amazon.co.uk gift card.

Order their 60GB plan before 29th January and EE sent you instructions on how to claim back the Amazon voucher (read their offer FAQs here) on this plan:

In addition, there was also the most amount of data we'd seen for £20 in 2018/19 from EE (but didn't come with an Amazon gift card) with an improved plan: available until 29th Jan:

Or for an extra £5, there was a 40GB deal available until 29th January too:

Each plan came with EE's usual benefits of the fastest 4G speeds on average, best overall UK coverage and 6 months free Apple Music subscription.

Useful link: EE's full January Sale page

giffgaff: no extra special offers on SIM only for January

giffgaff's £5 free credit offer

Get £5 free credit via our order pageGet free credit now

at giffgaff.com
(opens in new window)

Launch date: N/A - nothing launched
Order now or wait? NO OFFERS LAUNCHED

From tracking giffgaff for a number of years, we'd known they were very unlikely to publish any new SIM only offers during the January sales period.

At other popular offer times of the year they also did nothing special with their SIM only plans. Although there were some discounts on phone contracts.

That's all that's happened in 2019 too. You can get get £5 free credit with giffgaff when you join via our special invite page here though.

Occasionally, you do get an extra amount of free credit as a short-term offer, so we'd thought it could be worth waiting to see if something like that gets launched. But that didn't happen either!

Useful link: giffgaff's general offers page

iD Mobile: free extra data and some hidden offers too

iD Mobile logoiD Mobile January Sale banner

Last year's January sale bannerSee current deals

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

Expected launch date: 26th December 2018
End date: Unknown
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW

The January Sale period was a little quieter on iD Mobile than we'd expected, given how much effort they put into discounts at times like Black Friday.

That said there are still some already decent offers live on SIM only plans, including these two which are hidden deals, not advertised on the main part of idmobile.co.uk:

On top of those, there were two other plans with 2GB extra data free that have since expired:

All deals have/had iD's usual benefits of spending caps, data rollover and flexible 30-day contracts. We'd thought new offers might have launched mid-month but ultimately nothing else came along on iD throughout Jan.

Useful link: iD Mobile's special offers page

O2: January Sale deals live until Feb 6th

O2 logoO2's January Sale SIMs

Plus free Netflix on select SIM only plansSee Neflix SIM offers

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

Launch date: 24th December 2018
End date: 6th February 2019
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW - not expecting better offers

O2 launched their January Sale on Christmas eve. Even though it focusses mainly on phone contract discounts, there's some of the best pricing on SIMs we've seen from them throughout the year.

As expected, the £20 for 20GB offer is back, and it's accompanied by some other high data allowance plans at competitive prices.

None of the offers are world-beating when you compare them on price with other providers (compare all SIM only deals together here).

They last until 6th February 2019.

Useful link: O2's full January Sale page

Plusnet Mobile: cheap prices on mid-range SIMs

Plusnet Mobile logoPlusnet Mobile's Reward Card offers

Pre-paid Mastercards with some 12-month plansSee qualifying plans

at plus.net
(opens in new window)

Launch date: Varies per plan
End date: Varies per plan
Order now or wait? Order now

Plusnet Mobile have been constantly changing their offers throughout the January sale period.

Their best value deal is this seriously cheap plan, available until 1st Feb:

If you need more data, their 4GB is the cheapest way to get on a network using EE on a 1-month contract currently (hurry the offer ends 31st Jan):

This plan is also available on 12-month deal, which comes in £12 a year more expensive but lets you claim a £30 pre-paid Mastercard. As long as you remember to claim and shop around again after 12 months, it's a good option:

Order by 31st January to benefit.

Useful link: Plusnet's SIM only deals page

Sky Mobile: half price data on 2GB SIMs ends Jan 31st

Sky logoSky Mobile half price offer

2GB data for the price of 1GBSee current offers

at Sky.com
(opens in new window)

Launch date: 21st December 2018
End date: 31st January
Order now or wait?
WE'D ORDER NOW

It's not been billed as a January sale as such but Sky Mobile have quietly improved two of their SIM only plans if you order by 31st January 2019:

Their billing this as "half price data" because 2GB would normally cost £12. We see it more as double data on their existing 1GB plan for £6.

For January, Sky Mobile are also waiving their normal rules that mean you'd pay £10 for unlimited calls and texts if you don't have Sky TV. That means the pricing here is now available for everyone.

We'd expect the rest of the offers in Sky Mobile's January sale to be on phone contracts rather than SIM only, so we're not expecting any new deals on top of these.

Useful link: Sky's general offers page

SMARTY: the best January Sale offer of any mobile network

SMARTY Mobile logoSMARTY's January Sale banner

Get your second and third month freeSee full offer details

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

Launch date: 23rd November - no offers published
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW - no new offers

During the last busy offers period on Black Friday, we were pretty disappointed with SMARTY's deals but they've come out fighting with an excellent offer for their January sale:

Order any of their 4x SIM only plans by 4th February 2019, and your second and third month's plan on SMARTY is free. You only have to pay in the first month (and from month 4 too if you stay).

Our guide to their two months free offer here goes into detail about the deals and calculates the effective cost over 3 months to be as little as £2.08 a month with the cheapest deal.

These low prices come on top a decent set of benefits too such as coverage via the Three network (check signal here), money back for unused data and more free months if you get friends to join the network.

Useful link: SMARTY's SIM only plans

Tesco Mobile's January Sale featured a few decent deals

Expired stampTesco Mobile logoTesco Mobile Christmas SIM only

Tesco's January Sale SIM only dealsSee new SIM only offers

at tescomobile.com
(opens in new window)

Launch date: 27th December 2018 - current offers end
Order now or wait? OFFER EXPIRED

Generally speaking, Tesco Mobile tend to be mid-range in terms of their pricing and they're not big discounters during promotional periods either.

Their now-expired January Sale on SIM only plans wasn't world beating. This 20GB deal was arguably the most competitive:

Otherwise, there are some other promotional plans, which offer alright pricing but do get beaten by quite a few other providers:

You get a nice package of benefits with Tesco's SIM only plans too including coverage via the O2 network, Clubcard points, and Family Perks for taking out multiple deals.

We weren't expecting anything too dramatic in terms of discounts from Tesco in January. And we'd say the deals were fairly priced, if not the very cheapest.

Useful link: Tesco Mobile's full offers page

Virgin Mobile: triple data in their Red Hot Sale

Virgin Mobile logoVirgin Mobile Red Hot Sale banner

Triple data offersSee on-sale SIMs

at virginmedia.com
(opens in new window)

Launch date: 20th December (available now)
End dates: 31st Jan (30GB and 120GB), 18th Feb (4GB)
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW

Virgin Mobile were one of the networks to have launched their SIM only sale offers prior to January, with triple data deals and one double data. And they've just launched this fresh deal too:

In addition, they have 2x existing market-leading plans with triple data, including a eye-opening 120GB data for £20 a month:

Each plan has market-leading prices when you compare between providers that use the superfast 4G EE network (check your signal on Virgin here).

You'll also get a decent list of benefits by joining Virgin Mobile that includes keeping unused data with data rollover and free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger data.

If there's a plan with the right amount of data, we'd say you're safe to order, without a better deal coming along in January. We're now not expecting new deals come throughout the rest of the month.

Useful link: Virgin's current special offers page

Vodafone's Big Winter Sale ends on 4th Feb

Vodafone logoVodafone Winter Sale SIM only deals

Just one of the promotional plansSee all deals

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

Launch date: 20th December 2018
End date: 4th February 2019
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW

Vodafone have called their sale "The Big Winter Sale". Mainly because it already launched before Xmas and it goes on right up until February. So what SIM only offers are there?

As we expected, it's mainly large data allowance plans that are competitively priced, including a 20GB for £20 offer that you never see any cheaper on Vodafone:

But if you're willing to spend a tad more, you can get more value because each of the plans below lets you pick a subscription to a music, TV or sports streaming service to be included with your bundle and gives you extended inclusive worldwide roaming:

If you're keen on joining Vodafone, we haven't seen better pricing for these bundles throughout 2018, so it's a decent time to switch to them.

Useful link: Vodafone's Big Winter Sale page

VOXI: we weren't expecting a January sale on SIMs

VOXI logoVOXI sale on phone contracts

We only expect a sale on phone contractsSee current plans

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

Expected launch date: N/A
Order now or wait? WE'D ORDER NOW - we don't expect a sale

If you didn't already know, VOXI have now started offering phone contracts in addition to their SIM only plans.

Selected phones are on sale until 31st January but we're not expecting any extra offers on their SIM only deals (we could of course be wrong).

That means, for the time being VOXI's remain like this:

These are very competively priced and luckily you no longer need to be 29 years old or younger to be able to join VOXI. Anyone can now take advantage of their deals.

Useful link: VOXI's current plans

Compare all current SIM only deals

SIM only plans available now

SIM only deals available now

Use our price comparison tool

We've combined all the current SIM only deals available into our price comparison tool, whether they're in a January Sale or not.

Find the best option for your needs by changing the amount of minutes, texts and data, and we'll show you the plans available:

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