Hand holding up a SIM card

Give the gift of communication and connectivity this Christmas with a great value mobile SIM deal

Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of SIM and which one will suit you or your loved ones need best.

Are you, like many of us, struggling to find a gift to buy a friend or family member this Christmas? We get it - some people can be really hard to buy for and thinking of that perfect present can be painstaking - not to mention often left until the last minute.

Well have you ever thought of giving someone a mobile phone SIM as a present? Many people actually gift mobile phone SIMs to their children who might be getting their first mobile phone for Christmas. Or perhaps it could be the perfect present for any parents/relatives who might be paying too much for services and data they don’t actually use or need? Keep in mind that if you want to get someone a new deal but they would like to keep their number, it is possible - check out our FAQ’s at the bottom of this page for more details.

If this type of gift sounds like the perfect present for a certain someone this festive season, here’s the low down on the different types of SIM and which is best for every individuals needs:

Great overall value

If you’re looking for a SIM that has a bit of everything but most just want a great deal then these great value SIMs might be exactly what you are looking for:

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
Virgin Mobile
Unlimited
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Save €25
FREE Per month
for 1 months, €25 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ Uses Three's Network

+ EU Roaming Included

+ Save €25

Lycamobile
Ireland Plus
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
50GB Data
€15 Per month
+ EU Roaming Included

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Tesco Mobile
Unlimited 30 Day 20GB
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
20GB Data
€25 Per month
+ Uses Three's Network

+ Double Clubcard points

Tesco Mobile gives you double Clubcard points when your pay your phone bill.

+ EU Roaming

EU Roaming is included. Use your minutes and texts while roaming plus 6.8GB of roaming data

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Three
Unlimited Flex Max SIM Only
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€30 Per month
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming Data

11GB of EU roaming data

+ All You Can Eat data*

* Direct debit required. Fair usage policy of 10,000 flexi-units per billing cycle for calls and texts. All you can eat data for use in ROI only. Registration required for 3plus.

+ Unlimited Flexi Units

Flexi Unit = 1 minute call or 2 text messages

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

eir mobile
eir mobile connect 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
30GB Data
Save €90
€14.99 Per month
for 6 months, €29.99 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming

Your call, text and data allowances can be used while roaming in the EU

+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ Save €90

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Heavy data users

Know someone who is an Instagram addict, loves listening to Spotify on the go or downloading videos and movies? Then a high data SIM is definitely for them:

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
Virgin Mobile
Unlimited
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Save €25
FREE Per month
for 1 months, €25 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ Uses Three's Network

+ EU Roaming Included

+ Save €25

eir mobile
eir mobile connect 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
30GB Data
Save €90
€14.99 Per month
for 6 months, €29.99 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming

Your call, text and data allowances can be used while roaming in the EU

+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ Save €90

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Three
Unlimited Flex Max SIM Only
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
€30 Per month
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming Data

11GB of EU roaming data

+ All You Can Eat data*

* Direct debit required. Fair usage policy of 10,000 flexi-units per billing cycle for calls and texts. All you can eat data for use in ROI only. Registration required for 3plus.

+ Unlimited Flexi Units

Flexi Unit = 1 minute call or 2 text messages

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

eir mobile
eir mobile complete 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
50GB Data
Save €90
€19.99 Per month
for 6 months, €34.99 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ EU Roaming

Your call, text and data allowances can be used while roaming in the EU

+ International

200 international minutes and texts

+ Save €90

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Best for calls

Want to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away or do you make a lot of calls for work or hobbies? Then a SIM with great value for money on calls is what you need:

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
Virgin Mobile
Unlimited
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Save €25
FREE Per month
for 1 months, €25 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ Uses Three's Network

+ EU Roaming Included

+ Save €25

Tesco Mobile
Unlimited 30 Day 20GB
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
20GB Data
€25 Per month
+ Uses Three's Network

+ Double Clubcard points

Tesco Mobile gives you double Clubcard points when your pay your phone bill.

+ EU Roaming

EU Roaming is included. Use your minutes and texts while roaming plus 6.8GB of roaming data

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

eir mobile
eir mobile connect 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
30GB Data
Save €90
€14.99 Per month
for 6 months, €29.99 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming

Your call, text and data allowances can be used while roaming in the EU

+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ Save €90

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

Terrific for texts

Text away as much as you like with these SIMs that are made for text-addicts:

NetworkPlan OverviewPrice
Virgin Mobile
Unlimited
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
Unlimited Data
Save €25
FREE Per month
for 1 months, €25 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ Uses Three's Network

+ EU Roaming Included

+ Save €25

Tesco Mobile
Unlimited 30 Day 20GB
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
20GB Data
€25 Per month
+ Uses Three's Network

+ Double Clubcard points

Tesco Mobile gives you double Clubcard points when your pay your phone bill.

+ EU Roaming

EU Roaming is included. Use your minutes and texts while roaming plus 6.8GB of roaming data

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

eir mobile
eir mobile connect 30 Day
30 days Contract
Unlimited Minutes
Unlimited Texts
30GB Data
Save €90
€14.99 Per month
for 6 months, €29.99 thereafter.
+ 4G
+ EU Roaming

Your call, text and data allowances can be used while roaming in the EU

+ eir Wi-Fi calling

Plan is Wi-Fi calling enabled

+ Save €90

Choose Plan

Click on the 'Choose Plan' button. You will be directed to your deal on the network site. Follow the steps to sign up for your new plan.

We understand that like with any purchase, you are bound to have questions regarding buying a mobile SIM. So below we have pulled together a few helpful answers to some of the most common questions around SIM-only deals:

SIM-only FAQ’s

Can I keep my mobile number?

Yes, this is called ‘porting’ your number and is a huge benefit - it means you won’t have to communicate a new number to all your contacts. Your new provider can sort out moving your old number to your new network when you’re signing up.

How do I compare SIM-only packages?

When comparing SIM-only deals, consider what’s most important to you, for example do you need an unlimited data plan, or do you mainly use your phone for calls and texts? Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, Switcher.ie’s SIM-only comparison can help you to easily compare relevant deals.

We’ll show you all the best package deals on the market, displayed with the key features highlighted so that you can simply and quickly choose the best SIM-only deal for you.

How do I switch mobile phone provider?

When you’re comparing deals, you may find that the best plans are available from a different provider. Don’t panic! Switching mobile phone network is actually relatively straightforward - your new provider will handle the technical bits of the switch.

In terms of what you need to do - firstly, make sure you’re out of contract before signing up to a new plan - this will ensure you avoid early exit fees, which can be high. If you have a bill-pay deal, you’ll also need to contact your current provider to cancel your plan, and - once you’ve paid your final bill - cancel any direct debits.

On a practical basis, all that will happen when you change network is that you’ll see a new provider’s name on your phone, and on your bills. You may also experience slight differences in coverage, depending on who you switch from and to.

How much data do I need?

The amount of data you need will depend on what you mainly use the internet for on your mobile.

If you mainly use the data on your phone to browse the internet and send messages via Whatsapp or another messaging service, you’d be considered a light user, while streaming a lot of video content or music would make you a heavier user.

Data packages are normally measured in GBs, which is 1,024MBs. To give some context, visiting a website uses up around 1MB, while watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1GB for every hour of SD video, and up to 3GB per hour for HD video.

Is a 30-day or 12-month SIM-only contract best for me?

The kind of contract you go for will totally depend on your circumstances. If you’re going for a new provider and want to test out the service and coverage, you could go for a shorter-term contract to try it out. It’s likely you could get a cheaper deal by locking into a longer contract, however, so if you’re happy to do this, you could save money.

What SIM card do I need?

The SIM card you need will depend on what kind of phone you have. There are three kinds of SIM cards - nano SIMs, micro SIMs and standard SIMs. If you’ve bought a new phone, there’ll be instructions with it which tell you what size SIM it takes, so take a look at these.

If your SIM is too big for your phone, you can cut your SIM card to resize it, while if you need a bigger SIM card, your provider should be able to provide this for you.

What are the advantages of SIM-only deals?

SIM-only plans are cheaper than deals that include a phone. So, if you’ve paid off your phone - and are still happy with your handset - you’ll make a saving by switching to a SIM-only deal.

If you’re out of contract, you can also move to a SIM-only deal with your current provider, rather than rolling on your contract which includes the cost of your handset - although it’s worth noting that some networks will automatically move you to a plan-only price once your handset is paid off, so make sure to check with your provider.

SIM-only plans are also a good way to check how a new network performs without locking into a 2-year deal.

You could also decide to buy your phone outright, and then go for a SIM-only deal - it may work out cheaper than paying it back as part of your monthly mobile cost, but this will depend on your provider.

What is a SIM-only plan?

Basically, a SIM-only plan does exactly what it says on the tin - you’ll get a SIM card, with an allocation of data, texts and minutes, but the deal won’t include a phone. Because you’re not paying off the cost of a phone, SIM-only plans are generally cheaper, and so you will save money by going for one of these.

What is a data-only SIM?

A data-only SIM is a SIM card which is generally used with a tablet. It doesn’t include an allowance for calls and texts, instead you’ll just get a data allowance, so you can get online on your tablet outside of WiFi areas.

Who provides SIM-only cards?

In Ireland, SIM only deals are provided by operators such as eir mobile, Lycamobile, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone - basically, all mobile operators offer some kind of SIM-only deal.