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22 Feb 2022

Seven mobile provider perks that can save you money

From Disney+ and Amazon Prime to discounted coffee and cinema tickets, find out if your mobile provider could help you shed pounds from your monthly bills
woman looking at phone

As the cost of living increases, getting the most out of anything you pay for monthly is essential. Mobile providers offer an array of perks and additional benefits beyond just calls, texts and data, to make their products more appealing.

These could include free or trial access to streaming services, discounts for other family or household members, being able to roll over data, or anything else that helps you save money and get more from paying your mobile phone bill.

Check your provider below to see if you're taking advantage of everything that's included, or you could consider switching to one that could help save you money on other subscriptions.

Best discounts and perks at 'big four' mobile networks - EE, O2, Vodafone and Three

According to Ofcom, two thirds of people are with one of the UK's 'big four' mobile providers. If you're one of them, it's worth checking to see if you're making the most of the perks and discounts on offer. You'll find benefits like 12 months of Amazon Prime Video, 6 months of Disney+ and discounted cinema tickets and coffee with some packages, which can help to make up for what are often more expensive monthly Sim payments compared to smaller providers.

Check carefully to make sure the specific bundle you're interested in includes these benefits though, particularly if you're thinking of switching in order to get them.

EE - bundled TV and music streaming

Data plans can cost significantly more with EE than elsewhere, but it has a variety of perks that might help you make savings on streaming TV, music, and video games services.

Sim-only deals start from: £18 for 250 MB of data (rolling monthly), £12 for 10GB (12 month contract).

Benefits include:

  • Smart Plan customers with mobile, laptop or tablet data Sim plans get access to Netflix, worth £5.99 a month.
  • New and existing mobile pay-monthly customers receive 6 months free Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and BT Sport Ultimate.
  • Customers can gift data amongst family members and parents are rewarded every time an additional line is added to their plan. This includes an extra 1GB data allowance for the main account holder every month and 10% off the monthly cost of each new plan added - up to a maximum of four additional lines.
  • Customers can get an Xbox Series X also for just £10 upfront when they take Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, unlimited gaming data and a Video Data Pass for £31 a month over 24 months - worth a total of over £1,100.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best EE Sim-only deals today.

O2 - Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more

O2 is expensive for low amounts of data but can be a good choice for high data users. If you enjoy subscription TV and music services, O2's perks are an attractive option.

Sim-only deals start from: £15 for 1GB (rolling monthly), £6 for 5GB (12 month contract).

Benefits include:

  • On an O2 Plus plan you can choose from up to 12 months of Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Audible, Cafeyn, McAfee Mobile security (including a VPN), or 6 months of Disney+, Amazon Music Unlimited, 6 months Free Apple Music and receive an extended warranty and Travel Inclusive Zone.
  • On Non-Plus plans you can get up to 6 months of Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Audible, Amazon Music Unlimited, Cafeyn, McAfee Mobile security (inc VPN), or Disney+.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best O2 Sim-only deals today.

Vodafone - Discovery+, family discounts and cheap coffee

As is common with the 'big four' providers, small amounts of data are expensive from Vodafone. High and unlimited data deals can be good value and be combined with entertainment options. Potentially large savings are available if you purchase a combined broadband and mobile package, then get all your family discounted Sim deals.

Sim-only deals start from: £11 for 1GB (rolling monthly), £6 for 4GB (12 month contract).

Benefits include:

  • Weekly treats, giveaways and prize draws from the VeryMe Rewards loyalty programme.
  • Can buy a Costa Coffee for £1 until 3 April.
  • Two cinema tickets from Vue for £7.
  • Vodafone pay monthly customers can enjoy 6 months access to Discovery+ Entertainment at no additional cost.
  • Vodafone EVO offers replacement battery for no cost for the length of device plan.
  • Vodafone Together - combine broadband with mobile Sims to get a £3 monthly discount and 15% discount on additional mobile Sims, which could be ideal for a family.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best Vodafone Sim-only deals today.

Three - discounts on cinema tickets and eating out

Three offers some good perks, but it's more expensive than rivals for low-cost Sim deals. Weigh up your options carefully to make sure you're getting good value from your contract.

Sim-only deals start from: £6 for 1GB (rolling monthly), £5 for 2GB (12 month contract).

Benefits include:

  • £3 weekend cinema tickets.
  • 20% off Uber Eats.
  • 2 for £10 main meals at Frankie and Benny's.
  • Access to festival tickets ahead of general release.
  • Recommend a friend scheme - up to £80 to share between you and a friend when they join Three.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best Three Sim-only deals today.

Switching provider is as easy as sending a text. Read our guide on how to switch mobile provider for more, or weigh up the best and worst mobile networks to find the provider that's right for you.

Best discounts and perks at smaller mobile providers

If you're not as interested in 'extras' and are just on the look out for a low-cost Sim, you might be better off with a virtual network. These use the infrastructure and signal of one of the big four networks and usually offer better value. Perks aren't as common, but it's always worth checking to see what extra benefits might be available. Here are three to look out for.

Giffgaff - general low prices and assorted discounts

GiffGaff, running on the O2 network, is a low-cost Sim provider that uses what it calls goodybags as rolling monthly subscriptions. While it doesn't offer a lot of additional benefits, it's good value overall.

Sim-only deals start from: £6 for 1GB

Benefits include:

  • 1GB 'emergency' data if you use up all your data, for all goodybags over £10.
  • All Giffgaff members are able to make free calls and send free texts to other Giffgaff members.
  • Payback scheme - earn credit by communicating on Giffgaff's forum, suggesting ideas or helping other members. Credit can be put towards goodybags, turned into cash or donated to charity.
  • £30 voucher for phone repairs from iSmash.
  • 60% off monthly plans with knowledge app Uptime.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best Giffgaff Sim-only deals today.

Virgin Media - free data use for some apps, plus rollover

Virgin Media also runs on O2 but has a limited range of options, with no 30-day Sim-only deals, and only two perks. However, they could be valuable if you are an avid social media user and like being savvy with your data.

Sim-only deals start from: £6 for £5 GB (12-month contract, price will rise).

Benefits include:

  • Data-free messaging on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook Messenger.
  • Data roll over so if you don't use up all your data, it'll be added to the next month.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best Virgin Media Sim-only deals today.

Tesco Mobile - family perks

If you are looking for large amounts of data, Tesco, running on O2, offers some very competitive prices, particularly as the price will be fixed. With other providers, a price increase on a high-volume data contract can cost you significantly more than when you began the contract. Unfortunately, like Virgin, there are no 30-day monthly deals.

Sim-only deals start from: £7.50 for 2GB (12-month contract, fixed price).

Benefits include:

  • Tesco Mobile prices are fixed, so the price you pay when you sign up is the price you'll pay for the length of the contract. With the cost of living rising in so many ways, this is a very useful perk.
  • Earn 1 Tesco Clubcard point for every £1 spent on Tesco Mobile bill. Points can be used to reduce the cost of upgrading or paying your existing bill.
  • Family perks - if you have more than one number on your account, each person can choose a free monthly perk. These include up to 1GB of data, up to £2 off your bill, 500 minutes, 200 clubcard points, up to £2.25 off mobile insurance, or up to 500 minutes to any network.

Use Which? Switch Mobile to compare the best Tesco Mobile Sim-only deals today.

For more money saving advice, read our guide on how to save money on your mobile phone bill.