An O2 SIM card in your phone gives you cheap local and international calls from the UK. Its main advantage over other UK SIM cards is the excellent range of bolt-ons that give you internet access, cheap international calls and cheap European roaming.
O2's Pay & Go plans have an add-on option that lets you use data on your phone on a prepaid plan. Although O2's voice charges are slightly higher than our Lebara SIM, the O2 data charges are very good value and the My Europe Extra bolt on makes it an excellent value option for use throughout Europe. Overall an O2 SIM card is an excellent choice if you're visiting the UK and making side trips to Europe.
Call charges are as follows:
- Calls to UK landlines and O2 mobiles 25p per minute
- Calls to other UK mobile networks 25p per minute
- Video calls 50p per minute
- Calls to 0500, 0505, 055, 056, 080 and 082 numbers 15p per minute
- Calls to 07744 and 07755 numbers 25p per minute
- Calls to 070 numbers 50p per minute
- Calls to mobile phones in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man 35p per minute (this includes calls to some multi-country travel SIM cards which come with mobile numbers from Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man)
- Calls to 0844, 0845 and 0870 numbers (similar to 13 and 1300 numbers in Australia) 25p per minute
- Calls to 0871 numbers 35p per minute
- UK text message 12p
- International text message 12p
- Picture message 25p
You can set up an account on O2's website (although this entirely optional) so you can check your account balance online. If you want to do this you will need to enter a UK address (your hotel address will be fine).
The O2 UK SIM cards that we sell are already set up to give you much better value international calls than a regular O2 SIM. International calling rates are:
|Australia||3p per minute||12p per minute|
|Canada||2p per minute||2p per minute|
|France||2p per minute||5p per minute|
|Ireland||1p per minute||5p per minute|
|New Zealand||2p per minute||10p per minute|
|Singapore||1p per minute||1p per minute|
|South Africa||3p per minute||10p per minute|
|Spain||2p per minute||9p per minute|
|USA (excluding AK & HI)||2p per minute||2p per minute|
International SMS text messages cost 12p per message.
Free calls and text messages to other O2 mobiles
When you top up more than £15, you get unlimited calls and text messages to other O2 UK mobiles for one month.
|Top up value||Bonus|
|£10–14 top up||Unlimited text messages to other O2 UK mobile phones plus 50MB data|
|£15+ top up||Unlimited text messages and phone calls to other O2 UK mobile phones plus 100MB data|
The O2 UK SIM is a great option for use throughout Europe as roaming rates are very reasonable in the following countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Monaco, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Vatican, San Marino, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The cost of using your mobile with an O2 SIM in these countries is:
|Call a mobile phone or landline in the country you are visiting||18p per minute|
|Call a mobile phone or landline in the United Kingdom||18p per minute|
|Call a mobile phone or landline in another EU country||18p per minute|
|Call a mobile phone or landline in Australia||99p per minute|
|Receive a call||4p per minute|
|Send a text message||5p per message|
|Receive a text message||free|
|Access data||£1.99 per day
(up to 50MB)
Please note: While calls made within the European Union are relatively cheap, calls made to non-EU countries while roaming within the EU are considerably more expensive (calls to Australia are 99p/minute for instance). It is recommended that you use an app such as Localphone, Rebtel, Skype or Viber over a Wi-Fi connection for calls home while using this SIM card outside the UK.
Bolt ons are the best bit about O2's Pay & Go plans. These let you pay a bit more in exchange for lower call charges or extra features like unlimited data and low-cost roaming in Europe.
Rather than confuse you with the full list of available bolt ons, we will just list the four most popular ones here.
O2's Web bolt ons let you access the internet from your phone.
The Basics Web bolt on gives you access to 100MB of 3G data for £3 per month. This bolt on is ideal if you only need a little bit of data or if you will only be in the UK for around one week..
The All Rounder Web bolt on gives you access to 500MB of 3G data plus unlimited Wi-Fi access at thousands of BT Openzone and the Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK on your phone plus 20 MMS picture messages for £6 per month. This includes both 3G data and Wi-Fi access at 7500 BT Openzone and the Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots. This is the most popular Web bolt on and is ideal if you're travelling with a smartphone like the Apple iPhone.
The Works Web bolt on gives you access to 1GB of 3G data plus unlimited Wi-Fi access at thousands of BT Openzone and the Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots on your phone plus 50 MMS picture messages for £10 per month. This includes both 3G data and Wi-Fi access at 7500 BT Openzone and the Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots. This bolt on is ideal if you're travelling with a smartphone like the Apple iPhone and need more data.
To set up O2 Web bolt ons call 2425 free of charge from your Pay & Go mobile phone.
Data is only included with O2's Web bolt-ons in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. No data is included when roaming outside the UK.
You are charged £1 per day for data if you don't have a web bolt-on or if you have used all your web bolt-on allowance.
O2 Travel is a new bolt-on that gives you cheaper data while roaming in many European countries. O2 Travel costs £1.99 for 50MB data during one day while travelling in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Monaco, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Vatican, San Marino, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
In most cases this bolt-on will already be active on your account, however it is best to call O2 customer service on 4445 prior to leaving the UK to double check this otherwise you may be charged the casual European roaming rate of 19p/MB. You can add the O2 Travel bolt-on by texing TRAVELON to 21300 this feature is not already enabled on your mobile.
When you have used your 50MB daily allowance you can add an additional 50MB by texting MORETRAVEL to 21300.
O2 has excellent coverage throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can check your coverage here.
Please note the above rates are current as of 23 July 2014