Is PAYG the right choice for you?

February 23, 2011

Is pay-as-you-go right for you?

If you spend less than £15 a month on mobile phone top ups then a PAYG deal is probably your best choice. However, if you already have a PAYG deal, don’t assume there are no more savings to be made – there could be other PAYG mobile deals cheaper than the one you’re on, especially if you’ve been on the same PAYG deal for yonks. Check out our sponsored link on the right of this page!

As well as the five major mobile networks (O2, Orange, 3, T-Mobile and Vodafone) and Virgin Mobile, you should still check out the options from PAYG mobile service providers that ‘piggy back’ on one of the main operators, such as Tesco and Asda. These virtual operators often offer very cheap mobile contracts. Visit the tesco website and/or asda website for their latest offers.

The Pay as you go mobile phones, like the contract phones, are locked phones, which are sealed by the service providers providing the deal. However, the PAYG deals offer more flexibility when compared to the contract deals, as there is no signed contract involved. You can look for a change in network, whenever you feel like.

Which? magazine suggest that switching to a cheaper pay-as-you-go mobile phone deal (PAYG) can save you more than £100 a year and get you a better service . The procedure of a network change is, however, similar to that of contract phones, in PAYG mobile phones. You will need to buy a new deal with your network of choice to switch networks. The only difference will be that, since there is no contract term to serve, you can go for a change anytime at your convenience.

Pay as you go mobile phones can be particularly suited to the very young, teenagers, and the elderly. Children and teenagers who don’t have an income cannot afford a regular mobile phone contract yet they are avid and highly proficient users of mobile phone technology. PAYG is ideal for this population and also helps the paying parent to keep track of mobile phone usage.

Another growing market are the more mature ‘silver surfers’.  There are currently a significant number of elderly people who struggle to keep up with the fast paced changing mobile phone technology and are living on a tight budget; they realise that mobile phones are an essential lifeline for them – the solution- PAYG mobile phones. As discussed, PAYG mobile phones can be incredibly cheap – with basic, easy to use mobile phone handsets, and easy top up schemes – making them ideal for this growing population. For relatives concerned about vulnerable grandparents or parents, ensuring they have a pay as you go mobile can be incredibly reassuring.  Pay as you go mobile phones offer elderly people reassurance and confidence to go out and about – as having a phone at hand can be a great comfort.

However, whoever you are, whatever your age – if you find that you’re topping up your mobile credit by more than £15 a month then you might get more for your money with a pay-monthly mobile phone contract. The contract phone means you agree to pay regular straightforward monthly installments  for periods of up to 24 months and has the added advantage that you could choose a new smartphone handset such as iPhone 4 free of charge or drastically reduced. Why not check out our buy online webpage.

Topping up your PAYG mobile phone

There are a number of ways to top up your PAYG account. Vouchers are available  in most supermarkets and newsagents. Another way is to top up via certain cash machines. You can also register you card details online with your operator and pay money into your account via its website. Or call your operator and pay directly over the phone.

An easy and fast way to top up is via text message. If you register your card details most operators allow you to pay into your account simply by texting the last four digits of your card, followed by the security code and the amount you want to top up. Check your operator’s website for details on this payment method.

One of the biggest downsides of PAYG, in comparison to pay monthly contracts, is that you need to ensure there is enough money in your account when making calls – getting cut off during a call, and taking the time to top up when low on credit, can get most frustrating.

Be aware that if you don’t use your PAYG mobile for long periods, your provider may assume it’s no longer in use and deactivate your number. If this happens to you, you could lose any credit that you have on your phone. If you have a PAYG mobile for emergencies only, make a quick call on it  every few weeks so your provider knows your phone is active.

With PAYG you will pay full price for your phone – if you are regularly using more than £15 per month on top ups why not consider replacing it with an iPhone – a quality smartphone – that on a contract will not cost you the earth. Check out the latest deals on our Buy iPhone online page.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to pay monthly but don’t want a lengthy contract tie in, consider a Sim-only contract. Sim-only deals don’t include a free mobile handset, but you get more calls and texts for your money and you’re only tied in for a month at a time.


Got something to say?