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The best roaming SIM-only deals in 2024, based on the results of our huge customer survey

We've collected all of the best roaming SIM-only deals in one place and have based our recommendations on the results of our annual survey

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 changed since Brexit, with even the best mobile networks now charging varying amounts to access your call, text and data plans in different countries. That’s where we come in.

To help you find the roaming SIM-only deal that closest fits your needs, we’ve rounded up the best below, using our full reviews, the results of our customer-based Mobile Network Awards and the opinions of our in-house experts as a guide. We’ll outline the pros and cons of each deal, before including a link to our in-depth review.

Further down the page, you’ll also find information on how we track down the best offers for you and advice on what you should bear in mind before taking the plunge.


Best roaming SIM-only deals: At a glance

Best for the EUiD MobileView deal at iD Mobile
Best EU alternativeSmartyView deal at Smarty
Best for IndiaLebaraView deal at Lebara

The best roaming SIM-only deals this month

1. iD Mobile: The best roaming SIM-only deal for travelling in Europe

Price: £10/mth | View deal at iD Mobile

Green iD Mobile SIM card on a wooden table

Data100GB
Price per gigabyte10p
Unlimited calls/textsYes
Plan length30 days
EU roamingUp to 30GB
Percentage of customers who would recommend iD Mobile*79%
Last reviewed by Expert ReviewsNovember 2023

*According to the Expert Reviews Mobile Network Awards 2023 survey

Pros

This is a peach of a deal from iD Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that piggybacks on Three’s expansive network in the UK. Not only do you get 100GB of 5G data for £14/mth on a rolling 30-day plan, but you can use up to 30GB in the EU for no extra charge. That’s one of the most generous allowances around, in our opinion.

What’s more, we awarded iD Mobile four stars out of a possible five in our most recent review, highlighting its excellent offers on phones and SIMs, great 5G performance in the UK and free EU roaming.

Cons

iD Mobile’s customer service lags behind rivals, with just 53% of the customers we surveyed saying they were satisfied with the level of support they received.

Read our full iD Mobile review


2. Smarty: The best alternative roaming SIM-only deal for travelling in Europe

Price: £10/mth | View deal at Smarty

A Smarty SIM card on a wooden table

Data60GB, was 40GB
Price per gigabyte17p
Unlimited calls/textsYes
Plan length30 days
EU roamingUp to 12GB
Percentage of customers who would recommend Smarty*92%
Last reviewed by Expert ReviewsNovember 2023

*According to the Expert Reviews Mobile Network Awards 2023 survey

Pros

Smarty may have been replaced by Voxi as our favourite mobile network, but it remains an excellent option both at home and in the EU. In our Smarty review, we gave the MVNO four stars out of five and an Expert Reviews Recommended award for its head-turning deals, excellent 5G coverage and speeds, decent customer service scores and free EU roaming up to a fair use limit of 12GB.

That’s not as generous as iD Mobile above but should be enough if you keep an eye on your usage while on your travels. What’s more, this deal gets you 60GB of 5G data to use in the UK for an ultra-affordable £10/mth on a rolling, 30-day plan. That’s up from the usual allowance of 40GB, but make sure you get in there soon because this offer won’t be around for long.

Cons

Smarty’s customer service scores have dropped: 63% of the customers who responded to our most recent survey said they were satisfied with the company’s level of support, compared to a whopping 81% the year before.

Read our full Smarty review


3. Lebara: The best roaming SIM-only deal for travelling in India

Price: £15/mth | View deal at Lebara

Blue Lebara SIM card on a wooden table

Data30GB
Price per gigabyte50p
Unlimited calls/textsYes, plus 500 international minutes
Plan length30 days
EU roamingFull allowance, or 30GB if on an unlimited plan
India roamingUp to 10GB
Percentage of customers who would recommend Lebara*95%
Last reviewed by Expert ReviewsNovember 2023

*According to the Expert Reviews Mobile Network Awards 2023 survey

Pros

Whether you’re flying back to India to visit friends and family or heading off on holiday, in our opinion this budget-friendly deal from Lebara should be at the top of your list: it gets you 30GB of 5G-enabled data, 10GB of which you can use for free in India, for an outstanding £15/mth on a rolling 30-day plan. If that wasn’t enough, you can also use all of your allowance in the EU for free.

You won’t be compromising on quality, either: in our full Lebara review, we gave the mobile network, which runs on Vodafone’s network, four stars out of five and an Expert Reviews Recommended award for its winning mixture of value and roaming features.

Cons

Lebara’s customer service scores were lacklustre in our most recent customer-based Mobile Network Awards survey. Only 51% said they were satisfied with the support, which was one of the lowest scores. Elsewhere, performance lags behind the Three-powered MVNOs.

Read our full Lebara review


How do we find the best roaming SIM-only deals for you?

There’s nothing we enjoy more than unearthing a roaming SIM-only offer that will save you money on your travels. Below, we’ve briefly outlined the top three things we bear in mind, but we’ve written about how we find deals in more detail on this page.

  • What’s the network like? Every deal you see above will be based on the write-up we’ve previously given it, as well as the results of our Mobile Network Awards survey. If a mobile network isn’t good enough or we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend its deals.
  • Is there a range of prices? We’ll always make sure that there’s a selection of different deals for every budget, as well as outlining the other options from the same provider in a table beneath the mini-reviews.
  • Are there any catches? Unfortunately, it can be easy to fall into a price-rise trap, especially now that certain networks have decided to introduce mid-contract hikes every spring (usually the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation plus an extra 3.9%). Wherever possible, we’ll avoid recommending these deals, but if one does make the list, we’ll be transparent in the mini-review.

How to choose the best roaming SIM-only deal for you

Not sure where to start before you take the leap with one of the best roaming SIM-only deals above? Never fear, we’re here to help with a bite-size buying guide that answers the main questions you need to consider.

Where are you going?

There’s a big difference in price and allowances when travelling in the EU and further afield, with the latter usually being much more expensive. That said, there are exceptions such as Lebara, which lets you roam in India for free (up to a fair use limit).

Consequently, it’s important to double-check the small print before picking one of the roaming SIM-only deals above. We’ll always mention if any countries you’d expect to be there are missing from the list, though.

How much data do you need?

Picking the right amount of data for you can be tricky as most mobile networks now serve up a wide range of plans. There are a few general rules, however. If, for instance, you primarily use your phone when connected to Wi-Fi and do an occasional bit of social media scrolling, streaming or browsing on your commute, you should be able to get away with 20GB to 50GB.

If, on the other hand, you’re a dedicated TikTok-er, mobile gamer or downloader, you’ll need to step up to a 100GB, 250GB or unlimited plan. Not only do these provide peace of mind, but they also tend to be more cost-effective than the lower-data plans.

And beware of those: a data allowance of under 10GB is likely to disappear quickly for all but the most frugal users. There are still great low-data deals to be found, but make sure you definitely won’t be in danger of exceeding your allocation.

Added complications are the fair use limits many networks impose while you’re travelling abroad. This is typically around 10GB to 30GB of your normal allowance and mostly applies to those networks that let you roam for free, as opposed to the ones that let you pay to unlock your whole allocation.

Will you get unlimited minutes and texts?

In the UK, yes. Every deal above includes unlimited texts and minutes when you’re at home, but calling abroad is a different matter. If you do a lot of this, rather than communicating via WhatsApp or Zoom, it’s worth seeking an offer that bundles in unlimited minutes. Lebara is very good at this.

How long should the contract be?

The majority of SIM-only contracts will last for either 12, 18 or 24 months, with the longer-term deals often being more reasonable. That said, you should be careful of mid-price price hikes, which are becoming increasingly common.

You can also nab a 30-day rolling plan from awarding-winning mobile networks such as Voxi and Smarty. These let you escape at any point and shop around for a better deal, but they tend to be pricer.

What speeds can you get?

Large chunks of the UK are now covered by a 5G signal, which promises far faster speeds than 4G, though many of us are still stuck on the older standard. The easiest way of finding out what’s available in your area is to head over to Ofcom’s website, where there’s a handy checking tool.

Also, keep in mind that virtual mobile network operators (MVNOs) such as Voxi and Smarty piggyback on one of the main four networks – in this case, Vodafone and Three respectively – so you’ll be looking for the host network.

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