How do no credit check SIMs work?
When purchasing a SIM only contract through a mobile network, you have probably encountered a credit check. The reason networks have credit checks when purchasing SIMs is to cover to them in case a customer with a poor credit history racks up a large bill and then fails to pay.
However, several networks in the UK have realised there are a large number of consumers looking for a deal with poor credit history. By paying for a SIM plan up front customers can avoid a credit check as it covers off the risk for the network.
This works in a similar way as a PAYG plan works but being in the form of a SIM only plan that is rolling over every month means you get much better value for your data, minutes and texts.
Several large networks have good no credit check SIM deals, if you want to skip directly to these plans click here.
Otherwise you can read on as we run through each of the networks offering no credit check SIMs and the different benefits each of these providers offer.
Not just for bad credit customers!
These plans are designed for everyone and not targeted specifically at individuals with poor credit. They offer great value and are effectively 30 day or 1 month plans that work on a rolling basis.
Customers can fail a credit check for a number of reasons, not just a poor credit rating. It could also be if you are under 18 or if you have recently moved to the UK.
These plans are great if you’re looking for flexibility. You aren’t tied down into a plan and can leave whenever you want and take advantage of any offers available with a different mobile network. As you’re on a monthly deal, if you suddenly need to use more data or don’t need a contract for a period of time you can easily transfer to a higher data usage plan or not renew your bundle.
All the following networks offer no credit check SIM only deals
SMARTY SIM only no credit check – Get money back for data you don’t use!
SMARTY are a fairly new network which piggybacking on Three and they have the unique perk of giving you money back for the data you don’t use. At the end of each month they calculate how much of your data allowance was unused and take it off your next bill.
They also don’t require you to pass a credit check, as there is no direct debit – you pay up front through a debit or credit card. You also have the option of keeping the plan rolling over each month of manually renewing it.
All their SIM only plans come with unlimited minutes and texts and start as low as £6.25
Check out our detailed SMARTY review here to find out more.
Giffgaff – No credit check SIM with unlimited data.
Giffgaff has no credit checks with all of their SIM deals. Customers pay for the plans up front and the plans are limited to no one.
Running on the reliable O2 network, which won the uSwitch 2018 award for the most reliable network with 99% coverage you are unlikely to run any coverage issues.
Giff Gaff provides affordable and flexible deals for all consumers with their range of ‘goody bags’ that will satisfy any customer from those looking for a low value option to data hungry users with an unlimited data plan option.
Half Cooked has done a detailed giffgaff review if you want to learn more.
iD Mobile have SIM only plans starting from £3.99, a bargain if you pass a credit check. However iD Mobile still offer a PAYG option for customers if they aren’t able to pass a credit check.
iD Mobile have two PAYG options. Firstly, you can top up and use their excellent PAYG rates (1p per MB of data, 2p per text & 3p per minute). Alternatively they have a number of low cost bundles starting from £5
iD Mobile also runs on the Three network which means you get 99% population coverage in the UK & data speeds second only to EE.
Tesco Mobile – Rocket pack deals
Tesco Mobile runs on the O2 network providing their customers with 99% population coverage and they keep their customers happy, with the fewest complaints out of all the networks.
Tesco have a PAYG option that works very similar to a SIM only deal. Customers top up and convert their credit into a Rocket Pack which are bundles with a monthly set of data, minutes and texts. For a £10 Rocket Pack, you get 3GB of data, 500 minutes and 5000 texts.
Again, no credit check is needed with these rocket packs as they are pre-paid.
Vodafone – PAYG deals with data rollover.
Vodafone have several SIM only deals available to customers but unfortunately all of them require customers to pass a credit check. However, Vodafone also offer a great range of PAYG deals as an alternative.
The first option is a straightforward top up and use, with the added perk that if you hit £1 in a day, you get unlimited call, texts & 500MB of data for the rest of the day. The other option for customers is a Big Value Bundle, which effectively works as a SIM only deal. Customers get 30 days of minutes, texts & data which come at a much better rate. Plus anything you don’t use in the month gets rolled over to the following month.
As a Vodafone customer, you also get access to VeryMe rewards. VeryMe rewards offers weekly discounts and giveaways that change dependent on your interests. As a PAYG customer, as long as you have topped up £10 in a 6-week period you can access these rewards which can lead to daily/weekly savings on things like coffees and meals.
If you want to learn more about VeryMe rewards and some of the other great perks of becoming a Vodafone customer follow our comprehensive Vodafone review.
EE – Get the fastest data speeds in the UK
EE have the fastest data speeds in the market, with average 4G data speeds of around 30 MB/s – well ahead of its competitors. EE requires credit checks on the majority of its SIM only deals but has introduced their Flex SIM only plan which has no credit check.
The reason for no credit check is that customers pay up front to receive a monthly bundle of minutes, texts & data. A great perk of their Flex SIM plans are that customers hold onto the data you don’t use for the following month. Also for every 3 months a customer stays they get free data as a reward.
These plans start from £10 with which customers get 4GB of data, going up to a 20GB option for £30 for data hungry users.
If you want to learn more about EE, Half Cooked’s detailed review is linked here.
O2 – Great everyday discounts with O2 priority
O2 have a range of PAYG deals that work similar to a SIM only contract. All of O2’s SIM only contracts require a credit check, but their Big Bundles are an option for customers looking for a no credit check SIM only plan option.
Customers pay for a monthly bundle of minutes, texts and data up front, these are then available to the customers for 30 days. Alternatively, customers can use their credit at 3p per minute, 2p per texts & 1p per MB of data.
A great addition to being an O2 customer is that you get access to the daily offers and early gig access from O2 priority. You can get free coffees and meal deals every week which can lead to some serious savings. Customers will also get access to 15,000 and more O2 Wi-Fi hotspots located all around the UK.
If you’re interested in becoming an O2 customer, check out our detailed O2 review.