SMARTY Money Back Explained – How Does SMARTY’s Data Discount Work?

When you get a SIM only plan from SMARTY, the network pays you back for any unused data at the end of the month. This article explains how the SMARTY money back feature works.

Smarty money back plans

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SMARTY is a UK mobile virtual network operator, meaning they don’t have their own underlying network infrastructure. SMARTY is owned and powered by the Three Network. The carrier offers contract-free 30-day SIM-only plans at super competitive prices.

At the time of writing, SMARTY only provides 4G and 3G coverage. Additionally, SMARTY doesn’t provide a pay as you go service. They don’t offer phone plans either. SMARTY keeps it simple, you get UK calls, texts and data. No fancy extras besides Wi-Fi Calling and of course, their data discount scheme.

In this article, we’ll explain how SMARTY’s data discount plans work and take an in-depth look at how good the network’s coverage and data speeds are.

Table of Contents

1. How Does SMARTY Data Discount Work?

– How to Apply The Discount to Your SMARTY Account

– Downgrading to a New SMARTY Plan

2. SMARTY Data Discount Plans

3. SMARTY Big Data Plans

4. Network Coverage & Data Speeds

– 4G & 3G Coverage

– 5G Coverage

5. Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

6. Frequently Asked Questions

How Does SMARTY Data Discount Work?

SMARTY offers an innovative and unique data discount on selected plans dubbed ‘Data discount plans’. Basically, you receive a discount for your leftover data. Keep in mind that SMARTY’s big data plans don’t come with this feature.

The MVNO keeps £5 from your monthly charge to cover their basic costs of running the network. After this base charge, you’ll earn a discount for any unused data you have each month. At the moment, this offer is only available on the network’s 1GB, 2GB and 3GB data plans. We think it’s a great deal, especially if you’re a light data user.

At the end of each month, SMARTY will calculate how much you’re owed and give you a discount that you can use on your next bill. The best part is SMARTY calculates your unused data in MBs rather than GBs, meaning you’ll get exactly what’s due. Compared to the rest of the market, this type of data rollover scheme from SMARTY is unique and we love it!

How to Apply The Discount to Your SMARTY Account

All SMARTY SIM only deals are 30-day, credit-check free tariffs, however you can set up your SMARTY plan to automatically renew each month similar to how a contract deal works. If that’s the case, the network will apply any discount you earn to your next plan automatically. You won’t have to do anything.

If you’re manually purchasing your plans you’ll have to renew it before any credit can be applied to your account or else you’ll lose your discount for the month. If you don’t renew your SMARTY plan for whatever reason, you’ve got a maximum of 6 months before you lose your discount. After 6 months of inactivity, SMARTY will terminate your account and you’ll also lose your number. Simply put your discount is available for 6 months, at which point your account will be terminated.

If you’re taking a break from your SMARTY plan, don’t forget to turn off auto-renew, under your account settings from your dashboard.

Keep in mind that SMARTY’s money back feature can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion provided by the network. If you’re on a free month you won’t be getting a discount for your unused data. As stated earlier, SMARTY’s Big data plans (30GB, 50GB and SMARTY Unlimited Data) are also excluded and don’t include this scheme.

Downgrading to a New SMARTY Plan

Unfortunately, if your discount is greater than the price of the new plan -minus the £5 base cost- you won’t be able to use the full discount.

SMARTY’s official website says “For example, if you earn a £2 discount by using 1GB on a 3GB plan and move to 1GB plan you would only be able to use £1 of your discount”. The network recommends staying on the same plan to maximise your discount.

You can read our SMARTY Review to discover all you need to know about the MVNO.

SMARTY Data Discount Plans

These SIM-only deals are the plans for which you get money back for unused data. All SMARTY plans include unlimited UK calls & texts, Wi-Fi Calling and unrestricted tethering in the UK. You can also roam like home in the EU.

SMARTY’s SIM only offers work on a prepaid basis, meaning you won’t have to undergo a credit check. The network also offers a 10% discount for every additional SIM you get under the same account, so you can turn your SMARTY account into a family mobile plan with no strings attached. You also get a free month when you invite a friend over to SMARTY, with no limit to how many friends you can bring over.

At the moment, only the plans listed below offer money back.

1gb-smarty-plan
2gb-smarty-plan
3gb-smarty-plan

SMARTY Big Data Plans

You can also grab a large data plan from SMARTY. The best part is their prices are incredibly competitive. Big data plan customers can’t benefit from the money back scheme, but at this price point we truly believe there’s no need for that anyway.

NetworkDataPrice
4GB£6.00
8GB£7.00
12GB£8.00
30GB£10.00
50GB£12.00
Unlimited£20.00
All SMARTY tariffs come with unlimited minutes & texts.

Keep in mind that SMARTY’s unlimited data plan isn’t actually truly unlimited. There is a fair usage limit of 1TB (1000GB), which is quite a lot so you should be okay regardless, even if you’re tethering to multiple devices on a regular basis.

Network Coverage & Data Speeds

4G & 3G Coverage

First things first we need to address the elephant in the room: SMARTY doesn’t provide a 2G service, meaning if your device only has 2G it won’t work with a SMARTY SIM. The same applies to SMARTY’s parent network Three and all the other Three powered mobile virtual networks such as Superdrug and iD Mobile.

SMARTY customers get the same 4G & 3G coverage, as well as the same data speeds as Three customers do. Unlike some other networks, Three doesn’t limit the data speeds their MVNOs get. All SMARTY plans come with unrestricted 4G data speeds, you’ll always get the fastest download and upload speeds available.

In terms of 4G population coverage, Three is as good as any other major mobile provider, but they’re significantly behind in terms of UK geographical coverage, which is objectively more important. Three offers 4G Calling (a.k.a VoLTE or Super-Voice) and Wi-Fi Calling at no additional cost to close the gap, but sadly 4G Calling isn’t available on SMARTY. In any case, we always recommend using SMARTY’s coverage checker to ensure your frequent areas are covered.

Three’s average 4G download speeds are faster than O2, pretty much on par with Vodafone and considerably behind EE, per Open Signal’s and OOKLA’s October 2020 speed test results.

Three’s average 4G download speeds are around 22Mbps and their upload speeds are around 8Mbps. SMARTY itself wasn’t tested, but that’s because their data speeds are identical with their parent network Three.

SMARTY is one of the most popular UK MVNOs among younger mobile customers, but we must mention that SMARTY is far from ideal for competitive mobile gaming. SMARTY’s latency is higher than its competitors and this may cause problems when you’re playing a game where the connection type is P2P (player to player).

If you want the fastest 4G download speeds and best 4G network coverage in the UK, no other network can compete with EE or their MVNOs. The network’s average 4G download speeds are around 36Mbps and their average upload speeds are around 10Mbps. You can read our EE Review to discover why they’re objectively the best 4G network.

Superdrug Network Coverage 2020

5G Coverage

Unlike its parent network Three, SMARTY doesn’t offer 5G yet, but they announced that it’s coming. Sadly, there’s no date that’s been set but we know they’ll be powered by their parent network Three.

Three has the fastest 5G data speeds as well as the most 5G spectrum in the UK, plus their 5G coverage is live in 193 cities and towns across the country. This means they cover more locations than any other UK network that offer 5G. Though we must mention that Three’s 5G coverage per location isn’t as wide as EE’s.

Three’s 5G download speeds average around 201Mbps, per OOKLA. The second fastest 5G network is O2 with 5G speeds averaging around 170Mbps. Having said that, even 100Mbps is extremely fast and you would experience no issues even if multiple people were using the same connection and streaming 4K videos simultaneously.

If your area has Three 5G and you can’t wait till SMARTY starts offering 5G plans, you can always read our Three Review and discover what makes them the best 5G network in the UK. There are other great 5G SIM only deals on offer from other operators too.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

SMARTY is offering a unique data rollover feature and it’s definitely a great one. You can get up to £3 back per month, no other UK network makes a similar offer. On top of that, SMARTY’s prices are already extremely competitive and you can get an extra 10% discount on additional lines. Plus you also get Wi-Fi Calling, which is a rare feature for MVNOs offering no credit check SIM deals.

smarty-data-discount-explained-2021

SMARTY Money Back Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still get a discount if I downgrade my plan?

Yes, but at that point it may be smart to stick to your regular plan. If your discount is greater than the price of the new plan minus the £5 base cost you won’t get a full discount.

Will the discount apply automatically?

If you’ve enabled automatic renewal via your SMARTY dashboard, yes. If not, you’ll have to apply the discount manually, before your next plan starts.

Will I lose my discount if I don’t buy a new SMARTY plan right away?

No, you’ve got a maximum of 6 months before you lose your discount. After 6 months of inactivity SMARTY terminates your account anyway.

Does the discount work with free SMARTY plans?

No, promotional data and free monthly plans are excluded. You only get your money back if you make a payment.

Can I combine data discounts with SMARTY’ family/group plans?

Yes, you can. That’s in addition to SMARTY’s data discount for unused data.