Offers cheap 30-day plans
Easy to switch between a wide range of monthly ‘goodybag' allowances
No need for a credit check if you're just getting a SIM
Unlimited data on some plans
Earn cash or credit through Payback points
giffgaff is a virtual network and runs on O2's mobile phone network
giffgaff is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, which means it doesn't own its own phone network. Instead, it uses another provider's infrastructure – in this case O2's – and offers 2G, 3G and 4G coverage.
You can check coverage where you live by using our free interactive mobile network coverage map. Simply enter your postcode into the map and it will tell you how good O2's signal is in your area, as well as comparing it with the other providers.
giffgaff's main selling points Read About Us at giffgaff.com (opens in new window) When you sign up to giffgaff's SIM-only plans, there's no contract. You just register a payment card and then choose to top up, or buy a "Goodybag" plan each month (you can do this manually or set it to auto-renew).
That means there's no credit check to join them in the first place. And it means you can change plans each month. Or choose not to renew and take a break or leave giffgaff entirely, with no notice.
Their phone contracts are similar. They're based on finance and you can choose from multiple upfront costs and contract lengths. The phones are unlocked. And you're not tied to staying beyond your first month.
All that arguably makes giffgaff the most flexible mobile network in the UK. It's a strong reason to join them if you're a commitment-phobe or you've been hit with early exit fees before from other networks.
Yes, you can keep your current phone number if you decide to switch over to giffgaff. All you have to do is get your PAC Code from your current provider. Activate your new SIM, and provide the PAC Code given to you to your new choice of network. It shouldn't take longer than a couple of hours, at max a day.
Log in and click on giffgaff's dashboard and the page will automatically display your credit balance. You may also dial *100#. To check your plan you must dial *100*7#.
Head over to giffgaff.com/activate. It should take only a few minutes. In some specific situations, it may take up to 24 hours according to giffgaff's customer support, customer service is most readily available by other customers who are only too keen to help the community.
giffgaff, like other mobile networks, only offers 30-day Sims. This means that customers' contracts roll from month to month and you have the freedom to leave with just 30 days' notice.
Typically, no-contract customers are not subject to annual inflation-linked price increases on their mobile bills, either. And. although you may think that would mean increased costs, many 30-day contract providers have some of the cheapest deals around.
For example, Three offers 4GB for £10 on a lengthy 24-month contract, whereas giffgaff's offers give you 2GB more – charging the same price for 6GB with no contract.
No-contract Sims can also be useful on a temporary basis, for certain occasions like going on holiday, where some providers offer better value than others.
While you can buy a phone through giffgaff, the courses are rolled into your monthly tariff. Instead, you pay upfront or in separate monthly instalments, with the goody bag a separate bill. However, if you look to spread your costs on a subsidised phone it probably isn't your best option. The price for, say, an iPhone 11 is exactly what you'd pay if you bought it directly from Apple, while interest charges on the monthly payment push the price up to £864 over 24 months. You'll also find lower prices elsewhere for the Samsung Galaxy A51, the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Sony Xperia 10 II, amongst a bunch of others.
Instead, the best reason to come to giffgaff for its low-cost SIM-only deals. The goody bags start at £6 for 500MB with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts and go all the way up to £25 for always-on data with unlimited minutes and texts. In between, there are some other great deals, like £20 for an 80GB goody bag or £10 for a healthy 6GB. What's more, giffgaff does the odd one-off deal where, for instance, you might get 9GB instead of 6GB if you choose a recurring £10 deal. giffgaff calls this a "golden goody bag".
There are no frills, but equally, there's also no-nonsense. You can switch goody bags month-to-month, which means that you can up your allowance for going away on a trip and downsize it for the next month when you return. And if you find you're paying for an allowance that you don't actually use, there is nothing to stop you moving to the next goody bag down
Technically what's happening is that one company is borrowing network space from another. The official name for a company which does this, such as giffgaff, is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO). Catchy, huh?
Despite the long-winded name, these providers can be a lot cheaper. We often find that deals from the big networks are 50%+ more expensive than those that piggyback from it - for the same allowance. See our Best sim only deals guide for the latest top picks.
All new free giffgaff SIM cards receive a free £5 once you use your SIM which will appear on your giffgaff account.
"I joined as you get the best network with packages to suit you changeable month on month based on how YOU want to manage your account. IT'S SIMPLY BRILLIANT" shawndenton, giffgaffed since 02/09/2019
"Only just joined giffgaff but it was a seamless and very simple thing to do. It seems to be the cheapest and most generous network that exists! A lesson to the other networks possibly?, I love GiffGaff goodybags" paulcoops, giffgaffed since 14/08/2011
Experience faster downloads and less buffering with 4G as standard. We use O2's network that gives you great coverage.
Our flexible goodybags last one month. You're free to stick to your favourite, change each month or cancel anytime.
Prefer to pay as you go? Our rates are just 15p/ minute, 5p/ text and 5p/ MB without a goodybag.