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Best roaming SIM only deals 2023: Save BIG money while abroad this December

We've collected all of the best roaming SIM-only deals in one place, whether you're off on holiday or travelling for work

The best roaming SIM only deals let you use your data allowance as if you were at home when you’re in an EU country or further afield. However, the rules have completely changed since Brexit, with mobile networks now charging varying amounts to access your call, text and data plans in different countries. That’s where Expert Reviews comes in.

To help you find the roaming SIM only deal that closest fits your travelling needs, we’ve rounded up the best below. It isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather the offers that the SIM boffins at Expert Reviews are happy to recommend after comparing them against the competition.

FEATURED DEAL: Pick up a PHENOMENAL unlimited data plan from Smarty

This is by far our favourite roaming SIM-only deal for travelling within the continent. Smarty has dramatically dropped the price of its unlimited 5G data SIM, which now costs just £15 a month, down from the usual £20. It’s also a rolling monthly contract, so you can switch providers or adjust your data offering at any time.

The best roaming SIM only deals in the UK

1. The best roaming SIM only for Europe

This Smarty roaming SIM only deal represents insanely good value for money if you’re jetting off a European trip: you can currently pick up 100GB of 5G data for just £12/mth on a rolling monthly contract. However, just make sure to be quick because this offer from our favourite mobile network overall won’t be around for long.

View deal at Smarty

2. The best roaming SIM only deal for further afield

Although it can’t quite match Smarty’s sheer quality, this Three deal is superb value for money if you’re heading further afield and are happy to pay the network’s daily charge: 120GB of 5G data for £13/mth for the first year of a 24-month deal. The price will then rise to £16/mth, meaning you’ll be saving a decent £36 overall.

View deal at Three

How to pick the best roaming SIM only deal for you

Choosing the right mobile network in the UK can be daunting with the vast array of options available. Alongside the four major networks – EE, Three, Vodafone, and O2 – there are over 20 virtual mobile networks, each offering various plans, deals, and bundles. This wide selection makes it challenging to pinpoint the best deal, especially when considering factors like coverage, reliability, customer service and price.

To assist in this decision-making process, we’ve conducted an extensive comparison of prices, plans, and features across all major networks. This comparison includes data from RootMetrics, which provides comprehensive testing of signal strength, connection speeds, reliability, and more across the UK.

Additionally, our annual reader survey plays a crucial role in understanding customer perspectives. We gather opinions on customer support, value, reliability, and 5G experiences from network users. The 2023 Mobile Network Awards are based on this year’s survey results, offering insights into the best networks as per user experiences.

Ofcom’s latest customer service report also contributes to our understanding of how different networks fare in terms of customer satisfaction. Although Ofcom’s research doesn’t cover every network, where available, it offers a valuable gauge of network performance in customer service.

When choosing a mobile network, you should consider several factors:

Budget and data

Your budget is the starting point. Mobile plans range from basic SIM-only contracts to premium options. Data is a significant consideration, especially with most contracts now offering unlimited calls and texts. While basic plans start with 500MB or 1GB, more generous 2GB to 4GB packages are available at affordable rates, with even better deals offering 10GB or more.

Contract length

Most SIM-only contracts last a month or a year, but longer-term deals can offer savings or extra data. It’s important to be comfortable with the commitment length, considering your financial situation.

Roaming and rollover features

Post-Brexit, EU roaming policies have changed, and it’s worth checking how different networks handle roaming, especially in frequently visited countries outside the EU. Rollover features, where unused data or minutes carry over to the next month, can also be a significant advantage.

Family plans and spending caps

Some networks provide the option to manage multiple SIMs under one contract, which can be cost-effective and offer additional perks. Spending caps are another way to manage costs and avoid bill shocks.

Network coverage and 5G

Checking network coverage in your area is crucial. With the rollout of 5G services, it’s also important to consider whether you have 5G coverage and a compatible device.

How do we seek out the best roaming SIM only deals for you? At Expert Reviews, we put a lot of thought into the offers we recommend and always want to get the most for your money. We’ve outlined our full deal-hunting strategy in a dedicated article, which you can read by clicking on this link.

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