Although everyone is familiar with standard cellphone contracts and pay as you go deals, sim-only deals are a little more unheard of. As their name suggests, sim-only cellphone deals are a species of cellphone contract which allow you to pay purely for wireless as you bring your own cellphone to the contract.

The Pros of Sim-Only Deals

Sim-only deals are great for those who already have a reliable handset that they are happy to carry on using or have recently purchased a handset. As you are not paying off the cost of your cellphone in your monthly bills, your cellphone bills will be significantly cheaper.

As opposed to cellphone contracts that include a cellphone, sim-only deals are more flexible as you can opt for 30-day contracts as well as 12 or 18 month ones. Shorter contracts mean that if you find a better deal elsewhere you can easily switch over at the end of the month without incurring any early-termination fees.

Going sim-only also gives you a greater choice of plans as you can pick a plan that is specifically tailored to how you use your phone. For example, if you use the internet a lot but don’t make any calls, you can find a contract that caters for that.

Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP)

If you already have a great cellphone, you make some great savings by opting for a ‘bring your own’ phone package. A number of top cellphone companies in the US offer BYOP contracts, such as AT&T and Verizon. As you will not be paying off the cost of a new handset alongside your calls, messages and data, this type of contract is heavily discounted in addition. Some companies also waiver sim-card and activation fees. As well as Bring Your Own Phone, some companies have Bring Your Own Device policies which allow you to bring your own tablet to a prepaid wireless plan for a low fee.

Top US Sim-Only Deals

Wireless Provider Minutes Texts Internet Monthly Cost
T-Mobile Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited + 500MB 4G $40
MetroPCS Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited + 2.5GB 4G $50
Cricket Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited + 500MB 4G $40
Sprint Unlimited Unlimited 1GB $55


Things to Remember

Before signing up to any deal, make sure that you get coverage in your area and the areas you frequently travel to. All providers have a zip-code check form that tells you about the overage they offer in your area.

When comparing the various sim-only deals out there, it is important that you enquire whether or not you will be charged an activation fee. While some providers waiver this fee, there are a number of providers that hide this fee in their fine print. Similarly, find out how much you will be charged for your sim-card as this varies from network to network.