Ireland’s best SIM-only deals
Find and compare cheap SIM-only deals in Ireland. Whether you’re looking for a budget mobile plan or unlimited 5G, you’ll get the best SIM-only deals here.
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What is a SIM-only plan?
It’s a mobile phone contract that includes only minutes, texts and data. You don’t get a new phone with a SIM-only deal; you only pay for airtime.
There are two ways to pay for a SIM-only deal.
SIM-only plans are cheaper than plans which include a mobile phone because you’re not paying to spread the cost of the new phone.
Remember that discount prices can increase after the introductory period, but you can move on to a cheaper deal and keep your number.
What are the advantages of a SIM-only deal?
Switching to a SIM-only, bill pay deal is ideal if you don’t want a new phone and are not locked into a mobile contract. The downside of a bill pay SIM is you don’t get a new phone, and you may need to unlock your phone.
A prepay SIM is a flexible option if your usage varies or you don’t want to commit to a monthly bill. With a pay as you go plan you can just top up with data, calls and texts whenever you need.
Here’s how bill pay and prepay SIM only compares:
SIM-only bill pay
How to compare SIM-only packages
To get the best SIM-only deal for your needs, think about how you use your phone and consider what’s important to you.
Here are some questions to guide your choice:
- Do you really need an unlimited data plan?
- How many calls and texts do you make?
- Do you make international calls or need EU roaming?
- If you’re a light user, could a prepay SIM work out cheaper?
- Do you want the security of a 12-month plan or the freedom of a 30-day rolling contract?
- Do you want superfast 5G data, and what’s 5G coverage like in your area?
Once you’ve determined your data usage and the type of plan that suits you best, 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.
What are the cheapest SIM-only plans?
The cheapest plan may not always be the best deal, so it’s important to compare all plan features - like data, contract type and coverage - before choosing.
Compare low-cost, flexible deals from MVNOs like 48, An Post Mobile, Clear Mobile, GoMo and Tesco Mobile, using our comparison tool above.
Should you get a 5G data plan?
It depends on the age of your smartphone and how you use your mobile.
If you use your mobile for watching movies, online gaming and video calling and live in an area with good 5G coverage, then it’s worth considering because all the latest Samsung and iPhones are 5G enabled.
However, if your smartphone is mainly used for calls, messaging and surfing, it’s probably not worth paying extra for a 5G data plan.
Learn more about 5G in our guide How 5G mobile works in Ireland.
Can you get a SIM-only deal for international calls?
There are some SIM-only deals that offer EU, UK or international calls as part of your monthly plan. This type of plan is ideal if you regularly make overseas calls.
Most of Ireland’s top network providers offer international calls or roaming data plans, although expect to pay more if you need lots of international minutes.
Are refurbished phones any good?
As inflation bites and consumers become more cost-conscious and sustainably aware, sales of refurbished phones jumped 5% last year.
If you’re on a tight budget, consider buying a pre-owned phone. A refurbished phone is ideal if you want to buy a phone outright and keep monthly costs down with a SIM-only deal.
Our guide Should you buy a refurbished phone? can help you decide if it’s right for you.
How to switch your mobile phone provider
Switching your mobile phone network is simple; just pick a plan, and your new provider will handle the rest. You can even take your number with you.
Just remember to check you’re out of any contract before signing up for a new plan. This will ensure you avoid early exit fees, which can be high.
If you have a bill-pay deal, you’ll 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. You may also get a variation in signal, but check network coverage before you make the switch.
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 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?
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.
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