Virgin Mobile axing Pay As You Go: Where to head next

Virgin Mobile axes Pay As You Go services for 123,000 customers: Here are the best Sim-only deals (and some don’t require a contract)

  • Virgin Mobile will be cutting its PAYG services as of January next year 
  • The network said it had seen a 75% reduction in usage 
  • Customers will have the option to move to pay monthly or change provider 

Virgin Mobile is axing its Pay As You Go option meaning 123,000 customers will no longer be able to use it on the network. 

Those affected by the changes will be notified by October 2021 with changes taking place in January 2022.

After then, the network will cut off any PAYG customers still using this service. The move comes thanks to dwindling numbers paying this way. 

Those with PAYG will have the option to take an alternative pay monthly Sim-only plan from Virgin Mobile or can choose to move to another mobile provider with no financial penalty.

Virgin Mobile is axing its Pay As You Go services, affecting 123,000 customers as of January

Customers can use any remaining credit between being notified of the change and the date their service will end or they will have up to 12 months to claim back any unused credit once their PAYG service has ended.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: ‘We regularly review our products and services to ensure our offering reflects our customers’ needs and best supports their usage.

‘Over the last few years, we have seen a 75 per cent reduction in active PAYG use, so have decided to close our PAYG services and focus on providing even greater Pay Monthly and Sim only plans.

‘Customers impacted by this change will be notified in a clear, timely way and will be offered an alternative pay monthly plan or the option to switch provider.’

Many people have moved away from PAYG plans in recent times as more people rely on their smartphones and are swayed towards monthly contracts with large data, minutes and text bundles. 

However, there are still many elderly customers who still rely on their PAYG phones.  

Those who still have a PAYG mobile could benefit from switching to a Sim-only plan where they will pay monthly for their usage.

This is a good option for those who have a phone already or can purchase one upfront.

Sim only deals may be a good option for those who can no longer use their PAYG phone

Sim only deals may be a good option for those who can no longer use their PAYG phone

Top Sim-only deals 

One of the cheapest Sim-only deals currently on the market is with Lebara which offering unlimited minutes and texts with 3GB of data for £4.95.

Those who take up the deal via Uswitch will also get the first month for £3.47 with no contract.

Customers, again who go through Uswitch, who take up the same offer but with 10GB of data will also still be able to get the first month for £3.47 but the monthly price does increase to £6.95 afterwards. 

Smarty also offers a good deal with unlimited minutes and texts as well as 12GB of data for £7 a month. 

O2 offer unlimited minutes and texts with 12GB of data for £8 but will give customers 3 months free Disney+ as well. However, customers will be tied in for a 12 month contract. 

Similarly, Three are offering unlimited minutes, texts and data for £16 a month but customers must sign up for a year. 

ProviderMinutes and TextsDataAdditional featuresCost per monthContract length
Lebara (Uswitch exclusive)Unlimited3GBFirst month only £3.47£4.95No contract
Lebara (Uswitch exclusive)Unlimited10GBFirst month only £3.47£6.95No contract
SMARTYUnlimited12GBn/a£7No contract
O2Unlimited12GB3 months free Disney+£812 months
ThreeUnlimited30GBn/a£1012 months
SMARTYUnlimited30GBn/a£10No contract
TalkMobileUnlimited30GBEU roaming included£101 month
Uswitch Exclusive LycamobileUnlimited100GBn/a£12No contract
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedn/a£1612 months
Source: Uswitch (all prices correct as of 28 July 2021)