It’s hard to be manage a student budget, particularly at the moment where the cost of living is higher than previous years. But fortunately, you can still save in lots of ways – just check out our deals page to see. One of the ways is through getting a mobile phone plan that’s specifically designed for students. Uswitch.com mobiles have rounded up some of the best student mobile deals to help you out, which include SIM-only plans and lots of different benefits.

The benefits of SIM-only student mobile deals

best student mobile deals

SIM-only plans have become increasingly popular for a variety of users, but they can be particularly advantageous for students who have fluctuating needs and budget constraints. Here why these types of mobile plans and deals can be ideal for students.

Flexibility for changing schedules

During exam periods, you might need more data for research or unlimited texts and calls for group study coordination. With a SIM-only plan, you can switch to a plan that caters to these needs for a month and then switch back once exams are over.

On the other hand, during summer breaks or holidays, you might not need as much data or as many minutes because you’re not studying or perhaps they’re travelling back home where you have access to Wi-Fi. Again, the SIM-only plan offers the flexibility to downgrade services temporarily.

Budget-friendly

Unlike contracts that lock you in for a year or two, SIM-only plans generally operate on a month-to-month basis. This is ideal for students who might not have a steady income or who may be studying abroad for a limited time.

Since you’re not buying a phone along with the plan, SIM-only plans often offer more value in terms of data, texts, and call minutes for the price.

Easy to manage

Many SIM only plans offer the ability to set limits, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying at the end of each month. This is crucial for students who need to manage their finances carefully. You can find even more tips on budgeting as a student here.

Swapping out plans is generally as easy as logging into an account and selecting a new plan. There’s no need to visit a store or speak with customer service, which saves time and hassle.

Because you’re only getting a SIM card, you can easily swap it between different unlocked phones. For students who have a basic phone for calls and an advanced smartphone for apps, this is particularly useful.

Future-proof

If your service provider improves their service or adds new features, you can easily switch to a plan that takes advantage of these new upgrades without any fuss.

Many SIM-only plans offer affordable international rates or even free roaming. For students studying abroad or travelling, this is a significant advantage.

The best student mobile plans

best student mobile plans

1. Lycamobile – Over 70% off

Lycamobile currently offers all students huge discounts of 70% or more. Students can get access to Lycamobile’s following deals:
  • Student National Plus plan of 15GB for £3 instead of £10;

  • Student National Plan Extra plan of 20GB for £3.50 instead of £12;

  • Student UK Plan Super Extra plan of 30GB for £4.50 instead of £15;

  • Student UK Plan Mega Plus plan of 100GB for £6 instead of £20.
All Lycamobile’s plans last 30 days, and you can leave or swap plans anytime.

2. iD Mobile – £20 off upfront on any contract and exclusive student SIM

iD Mobile is currently offering students £20 off the upfront cost of any mobile phone contract bought through iD Mobile using their student UNIDAYS account.
iD Mobile is also offering a student-exclusive SIM. This monthly SIM only subscription boasts unlimited data, minutes and texts for just £15 a month. This is a great deal, considering it’s cheaper than some of the other plans mentioned above for unlimited data, minutes, and texts.

3. VOXI – Triple data on £12 and £20 plans & first month free

VOXI is currently running a student deal that gives you triple data on selected plans and your first month, free. VOXI’s plans also come with unlimited calls and texts, but students get triple data on the following plans:
  • For £12 per month, students get 60 GB instead of 20;

  • For £20 per month, students get a huge 300 GB instead of 100.
On top of a month of free data, calls, and texts, students can pick up a massive data allowance for as little as £12 per month. Depending on how much data you actually use, this deal rivals iD Mobile’s plan of unlimited data for £15.

4. O2 – 20% off Airtime plan

One of the biggest providers in the UK, O2, is offering a cool 20% off any airtime plan when you buy a new device (phone or tablet). Your O2 Airtime Plan covers your data, calls and texts. O2 is also offering 20% off selected accessories too, exclusive to students.
To claim this discount, make sure you are signed in to either UNiDAYS or TOTUM, or you can open the UNiDAYS GRADLiFE app. Here you will find your unique O2 online basket code. Add this code at the promo code step when buying a new device on O2 Refresh.
You will be eligible for this discount up until your device plan ends, whether you are still a student or not. If you are still a student, you’ll also be eligible to renew the discount with another plan.
O2 also offers numerous other benefits that students will be keen to check out. With an O2 plan, you can access popular gig tickets 48 hours before they’re released to the general public, and you get daily offers and experiences with O2 Priority.

5. GiffGaff – Double data on their regular £10 monthly rolling plan

GiffGaff offers the general public a great deal of 20 GB of data per month for £10. If you are a student, you can double your data allowance to 40 GB free of charge. If you stick with GiffGaff into your third month, they will also give you an extra 1 GB of data should you ever run out, making your total data allowance 41 GB for just £10 a month.
All you need is a valid university email ending in .ac.uk, and use this to register or update your email connected to your account. Just make sure you activate it before 30 November 2023, or you’ll miss out.

6. Lebara – 50% of all SIM only deals for the first month

Lebara currently offers all their SIM only deals for 50% off during your first month with the promo code STUDENT22. With Lebara, you can get one month of:
  • 3GB and 1,000 UK mins & texts for £5 instead of £10
  • 15 GB and Unlimited UK mins & texts for £10 instead of £20

  • 30 GB and Unlimited UK mins & texts for £15 instead of £30

  • Unlimited data, mins & texts for £25 a month, instead of £50

You can swap or change your plan with Lebara at any time, just remember, your 50% off only lasts for your first month.

7. Vodafone – 10% off selected monthly plans

Vodafone offers students at selected universities 10% off some of their monthly plans. Students can sign up for a pay monthly iPad, tablet or SIM only plan, and if done directly through Vodafone, you can request your 10% discount within 60 days of buying your plan.
You will need a university email that ends in .ac.uk and be attending one of the participating universities. Want to find out if you’re eligible? You can find a list of participating universities here.

8. Three – Student saver plan

Three currently offers a student saver plan, available through Amazon, a fixed-term contract for 10 months. You get unlimited calls, texts, and data for £199, equating to £19.90 per month.
Despite being labelled as a student saver plan, this SIM is not exclusive to students – anyone can pick it up. So, if your student status is set to expire this September, this could be a good choice for you.
The best student mobile plans come with a range of different benefits, and there are so many to choose from. It can be really useful to make the most of all student discounts and deals to ensure you save but also get what you need during your time at uni.
After securing your student broadband deal, find the best student broadband deals and student laptop deals here.