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Capped-sims: What are they?

Most people are on mobile phone tariffs with a specific number of minutes, texts and data for browsing. Go over this data allowance – either by talking for a few minutes extra or browsing the web for a bit longer than normal – and you’ll incur charges.

Tesco Mobile has recently run a study that shows teens are worse than anyone when it comes to managing the monthly mobile spend. The network found that parents across the UK are spending a fortune to support their teens’ social lives, while young people remain increasingly oblivioulsy as to how much their using a mobile phone actually costs.

The majority of British parents (96 %) who pay their child’s mobile bill in full estimate the average bill to be £40 per month. Yet, when asked what they thought their average phone bill cost, over a third of the teens (38%) questioned assumed their monthly phone bill was £10 or less.

These extra costs can bump up your bill by pounds or considerably more. If money is tight and you’re on a budget or are paying a childs’ mobile phone bill, you aren’t going to want any nasty surprises come bill time, so the solution may be a capped-sim tariff.

 

What is a capped sim tariff?

Recently introduced by Tesco and available on Sim only and Pay Monthly deals, a Capped contract means you can only use your inclusive minutes, texts and data. If you run out at any point and need to add more minutes, you have to use a Pay As You Go top-up card. Although text and call minutes are treated individually, so if you run out of texts, but have minutes left, you can still make calls.

T-Mobile also offers capped-sim cards with its You Fix tariff. Here we’ve taken a look at some different phones to compare Tesco Capped contracts and T-Mobile You Fix options

 

Blackberry Curve 8520 – TESCO

  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Phone: £50
  • Calls: 750 mins
  • Texts: 5000
  • Data: 500MB
  • Monthly cost: £20

 

Blackberry Curve 8520 – T-MOBILE

  • Contract length: 12 months
  • Phone: Free
  • Calls: 300 mins
  • Texts: 300
  • Data: Unlimited + booster
  • Monthly cost: £26

 

HTC Wildfire S – TESCO

  • Contract length: 24 month
  • Phone: Free
  • Calls: 250 mins
  • Texts: 5000
  • Data: 500MB
  • Monthly cost: £15

 

 

HTC Wildfire S – T-MOBILE

  • Contract length: 12 month
  • Phone: £50
  • Calls: 300 mins
  • Texts: 300
  • Data: Unlimited + booster
  • Monthly cost: £26

 

 

Tesco’s Capped sim tariffs are available on any of its mobile phones – we counted an hugely impressive 291 handsets phones from budget to high-end. It’s also available across 24-month and 12-month tariffs and customers can benefit from even cheaper tariffs, if they are willing to pay more for the phone up front. Tesco Mobile offers a generous call and texting allowance, although the it only works in the UK- so you’ll need to top-up if you go abroad.

T-Mobile currently only offers its You Fix tariff on 11 handsets, providing far less choice and more models at the low/mid-range side of the smartphone. Contracts are all are limited to 12 months, but you do get the benefit of Boosters for international calls.

Sim only

Sim only deals are often overlooked by many people, but they can work out out as tremendous value if you are waiting for a new phone to be launched, or just don’t want to give up your existing handset. They’re available in 12-month or 30-day rolling contracts, 12-month contracts are often cheaper, but of course, it means you are locked-in for 12 months.

Tesco is the only network that offers capped sim-only deals. iPhone and Blackberry deals include data, otherwise it’s £5 for 500Mb. Here’s a selection of tariffs for 30-day and 12-month contracts.

30-day contracts

  • £10/15: 250 minutes, 5000 texts and no data/500MB
  • £15: 250 minutes, 5000 texts, 500Mb data: iPhone Sim with BT Openzone WiFi access and BlackBerry Sim with unlimited Blackberry email and Blackberry Messenger.
  • £17.50/£22.50: 750 minutes, 5000 texts, no data/500Mb
  • £27.50/£32.50: 3000 minutes, 5000 texts, 500MB data
  • £32.50: 3000 minutes, 5000 texts, 500MB data: iPhone Sim with BT Openzone WiFi access and Blackberry Sim with unlimited Blackberry email and Blackberry Messenger.

 

12-month contracts

  • £7.50: 250 minutes 5000 minutes
  • £10/£15: 500 minutes 5000 texts no data/500MB data
  • £15/£20: 750 minutes 5000 texts no data/500MB data

 

If you’re looking to control exactly how much you spend on your monthly phone bill, then a capped sim is a great idea. We’d suggest looking at all the deals on offer to find one that is right for you.

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