Top SIM-only deals in Ireland
Most SIM-only deals offer unlimited calls and minutes, as well as plenty of data. Here’s our pick of the best SIM deals in Ireland, based on how much they’ll cost in the first year.
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Need an alternative to bill pay?
If you’re looking for a deal with lots of data but don’t want to commit to a monthly bill, a prepay plan offers a flexible option.
It can work well if you:
- are under 18
- have a poor credit history
- use lots of data for music & streaming
- use your phone irregularly
Just choose a prepay plan with all the minutes, texts and data you need, and top up by the plan amount each month.
Need international calls?
There are some SIM-only deals that offer EU or international calls as part of your monthly plan. This type of plan is ideal if you regularly make overseas calls.
The best value pick currently is the eir mobile complete 30 day SIM, which includes 200 international minutes and texts within your monthly allowance at a cost of just €19.99 a month for the first 12 months.
You get the eir sport pack too, allowing you to watch live and exclusive sport for free.
200 international minutes & texts with eir
Plus get 50GB of your data to use across the EU
Looking for a new phone?
Check out the latest bill pay deals for these popular handsets, or read our guide on how to get the right bill pay deal.
You could also consider getting a pre-owned phone, our guide Should you buy a refurbished phone? can help you decide if it’s right for you.
Can I keep my mobile number?
Yes, this is called ‘porting’ your number and makes changing network a much smoother process.
Keeping your number means you won’t have to tell all your friends and family your new number or risk losing contact with anyone.
Your new network will guide you through the steps you need to take to port your mobile number
How do I compare SIM-only packages?
When you compare 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?
- Do you want to be tied in for 12 months or would you prefer a 30-day rolling contract?
- Do you want bill pay or would prepay suit you better?
Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, Switcher.ie’s SIM-only comparison can help you compare deals.
We’ll show you all the best mobile bill pay or SIM-only offers on the market, with key features highlighted, so you can simply choose the best plan for your needs.
How do I switch mobile phone provider?
Switching your mobile phone network is very straightforward and your new provider will handle the technical bits of the switch.
Before you make any change, check 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.
The only difference you’ll notice when you change providers is the cost and a new provider’s name on your phone and bills.
You may also experience slight differences in signal, but check network coverage before you make the switch.
How much data do I need?
The amount of data you need will depend on what you use the internet for on your mobile phone.
If you mainly use the data on your phone to browse the internet and send messages via Whatsapp or other messaging services, you’d be considered a light user. Streaming a lot of video content or online gaming would make you a heavy user.
Data packages are normally measured in GBs, which is 1,024MBs. Here are some examples of data usage:
- visiting a website uses up around 1MB
- watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1GB for every hour of SD video
- streaming TV and movies in HD uses about 3GB per hour
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’d like to try a new provider and want to test out the service and coverage, you could opt for a shorter-term contract to try it out.
Longer contracts tend to be cheaper, however, so if you’re happy to lock in for longer, you could save money in the long run.
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. Some networks will automatically move you to a plan-only price once your handset is paid off, so check with your provider.
SIM-only plans are also a good way to check how a new network performs without locking into a long term 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 and the type of phone you plan to buy.
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.
What is a SIM-only plan?
A SIM-only plan allows you to just pay for data, calls and texts. When you sign up you’ll get a SIM card with an allocation of data, texts and minutes, but the deal won’t include a phone.
SIM-only plans are generally cheaper and will save you money if you already have a phone you are happy with.
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
- standard SIMs.
If you’ve bought a new phone, there’ll be instructions with it which tell you what size SIM it takes.