ShopO2 UK sim card

SKU: O2UK

£3

Description

A UK sim card is essential for anyone visiting the UK. It means that you can make phone calls and access mobile data for the same price as someone living the United Kingdom as opposed to the more expensive roaming rates you would be charged if you kept your regular sim card in your phone.

The O2 UK sim card features:

  • A UK mobile phone number (your UK number is printed on the sim card packaging so you can give your number out to friends and family before you travel)
  • Cheap European roaming (you can use your data allowance and you have calls to European numbers when travelling in many other European countries)
  • 1000 call minutes to phones in the UK and over 40 other countries (including Australia, Canada and the USA) when using your sim card in the UK
  • Free incoming calls (regardless of where the call originates)
  • 10GB of high-speed 4G data that you can use in both the UK and many other European countries
  • The price of this sim card includes worldwide delivery so you can get your sim card before you leave home
You need to pay for your month of mobile service (£20) in addition to the £3 cost of your sim card. This means that your cost to get started is £23.

This sim card comes set up on the 10GB UK & International Bundle tariff

Your O2 UK sim card comes with your UK mobile phone number and it is already set up on the 8GB UK & International Bundle tariff. This tariff includes:

  • 1000 call minutes to standard landline and mobile phones in the UK and over 40 other countries (including Australia, Canada and the USA)
  • Free incoming calls (regardless of where the call originates)
  • 5000 text messages to mobile numbers in the UK
  • 10GB of high-speed 4G data
  • A UK mobile phone number (your UK number is printed on the sim card packaging so you can give your number out to friends and family before you travel)
  • Cheap European roaming (you can use your data allowance and you have calls to European numbers when travelling in many other European countries)
The 10GB UK & International Bundle tariff has a monthly cost of £20. This means that you need to top up at least £20 credit before you can start using your mobile service. The minimum cost to get started (including the cost of your SIM card with international delivery plus the cost of one month of service) is £23.

Your service is good for one month from the date you add at least £20 credit (to pay for your month of service) and your service will roll over to another month as long as there is another £20 credit in your prepaid balance to pay for the next month. Your monthly service costs £20.

This means that if you top up with £25, your remaining balance will be £5 (after O2 take payment for your service) but you will have use of the included calls and data until the start of the next month of service. As long as your month is paid for, it is OK if your account balance is zero.

Your mobile service renews on the same date each month. For instance, if you start using your service on 23 January, your next month will start on 23 February. This means that it is slightly better value in October compared with February.

Using your O2 sim card in the United Kingdom

When using your O2 SIM card in the United Kingdom, your tariff’s inclusive value includes:

  • 1000 call minutes to standard landline and mobile phones in the UK and over 40 other countries (including Australia, Canada and the USA)
  • Free incoming calls (regardless of where the call originates)
  • 5000 text messages to mobile numbers in the UK
  • 10GB of high-speed 4G data

Premium calls and calls to countries outside the 44 countries that your inclusive call value is valid for incur an additional charge and you need to top up additional credit to cover these charges.

1000 call minutes included each month

O2’s 8GB UK & International Bundle tariff includes 1000 call minutes. These included call minutes can be used for:

  • Calls to standard UK landline and mobile numbers. This includes calls to UK numbers starting with 01, 02, 03 and 07 but it does not include calls to premium numbers nor does it include calls to numbers in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (which are international calls even though they share the same +44 country code as the United Kingdom).
  • Calls to landline and mobile numbers in over 40 countries (when using your phone on the O2 network in the United Kingdom):

When using your phone in the UK, your included call minutes can be used to call the following countries:

AustraliaAustriaBangladesh
BelgiumBrazilBulgaria
CanadaChinaColombia
CroatiaCyprusCzech Republic
DenmarkEstoniaFinland
FranceGermanyGreece
GuamHong KongHungary
IcelandIndiaIreland
IsraelItalyLatvia
LithuaniaLuxembourgMalta
MexicoMongoliaNetherlands
NorwayPeruPoland
PortugalRomaniaSlovakia
SloveniaSouth KoreaSpain
SwedenUnited States of America

Once your monthly mobile service has been paid for you can make calls from your 1000 minute call allowance even if your prepaid credit balance is zero.

Premium numbers are not included in your inclusive call value. This includes numbers beginning with 0871 that are used many hotel chains (including Premier Inn and Travelodge).

Cheap international calls with an O2 sim card

While using your phone on O2’s network in the United Kingdom, it is cheap to call other countries that are not included in your inclusive call bundle. However, you will need to top up a little extra credit to cover the cost of these calls.

CountryCall a landline phoneCall a mobile phone
Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man55p per minute55p per minute
Malaysia5p per minute5p per minute
New Zealand2p per minute10p per minute
Singapore5p per minute5p per minute
South Africa10p per minute12p per minute

While it is unlikely that you will need to call the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) or the Isle of Man, we include rates to these countries as there are several roaming travel sim cards that are advertised as having UK phone numbers but actually have Jersey phone numbers, which are much more expensive to call (despite sharing the +44 country code with the UK). If you’re travelling with someone with one of these sim cards it is a good idea to encourage them to buy an O2 sim instead so you can call each other using your inclusive call minutes.

You need to top up additional credit to cover the cost of international calls to countries that are not included in your inclusive call bundle.

Staying longer than one month

Your service is good for one month from the date you arrive in the United Kingdom. You have two options if you’re staying longer than one month:

  1. Top up another £20 to pay for another month (which will give you another month of your inclusive call and data value)
  2. Pay O2’s higher standard call and data rates

The first option is better value and it is what most people choose; however if you’re only staying a couple of days longer than a month it is better to simply pay a higher rate for those last couple of days rather than pay for another full month.

To choose the first option, simply top up enough credit to pay for your second month and when your first month has finished O2 will deduct £20 from your prepaid credit balance to pay for your next month. If you do this before your first month has finished, any unused data will roll over to the next month.

If you choose the second option, you will be charged the following rates (which will come out of any remaining value in your prepaid credit balance):

Call UK landline30p/minute
Call UK mobile35p/minute
Send text message15p/message
Send picture message45p/message
Call O2 customer service or top-up lineFree
Voicemail35p/call
Data access£1/day

Because call charges are much more expensive if you choose the second option, this is only recommended if you are only going to be staying a few days longer than a month. If you do this, we recommend using an app such as Rebtel or Skype to make any calls.

Calls to premium service numbers

Your inclusive call value is good for calls to standard landline and mobile numbers in the United Kingdom. This is any UK number beginning in 01, 02, 03 and 07* as well as 0800 and 0808 (freephone) numbers but it does not include non-geographic service numbers and other premium numbers.

Numbers starting with 08 (except 0800 and 0808 freephone numbers), 09 and 118 are charged at a higher rate than regular phone numbers. Numbers beginning with 08 are a little bit like 1300 numbers in Australia where a lot of people think that they are free but they are actually considerably more expensive than standard phone calls.

These numbers are charged in two parts: the access charge (which goes to your phone company) and the service charge (which usually goes to the company you are calling but sometimes goes to the company they got the premium number from). O2’s access charge is 55p/minute and the service charge varies from nothing to 13p per minute bringing the maximum charge to call these numbers to 68p.

Calls to numbers starting with 084355–62p/minute
Calls to numbers starting with 084455–62p/minute
Calls to numbers starting with 084555–62p/minute
Calls to numbers starting with 08755–68p/minute
Calls to Ryanair, Travelodge and Premier Inn (0871 numbers)68p/minute

Many service numbers are used by companies that need a non-geographic number that is not tied to a specific area so they can advertise one number nationwide that is diverted to the branch closest to the customer but some of these numbers are used by companies that simply want to either avoid talking to their customers or make a little more profit from each inbound phone call.

Numbers beginning with 03 are similar to 08 numbers in that they are non-geographic numbers but these are the same price as a regular phone call and you can call these for free using your 1000 inclusive call minutes. Some companies serving tourists (for instance easyJet and the YHA) have transitioned to 03 numbers to make it easier and cheaper for their customers to call them but other companies (like Ryanair, Premier Inn and Travelodge) still use expensive 0871 phone numbers.

You may want to top up a little more than the £20 cost of your monthly service if you want to call premium numbers such as numbers starting in 0871 which are used by many hotels (including Premier Inn and Travelodge). Topping up £25 will give you an extra £5 to use to make these calls.

* Numbers beginning in 070 have a much higher charge than regular mobile numbers as do mobile numbers in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (which look similar to UK mobile numbers). It is unlikely that you will call one of these numbers but if you get a message saying that you don’t have enough credit to call a number starting with 07, that would be the reason.

Calls to other UK numbers

Several other UK phone numbers are priced differently to standard phone calls. These include:

999Emergency (UK-wide)Free
112Emergency (UK-wide)Free
111NHS (non-emergency)Free
101Police (non-emergency)15p per call
0800 numbersToll-freeFree
0808 numbersToll-freeFree

You will need extra credit in your prepaid balance to dial 101 (the non-emergency police number).

Using your O2 sim card outside the UK in Europe zone countries

The O2 UK sim card is a great option for use throughout Europe as roaming rates are very reasonable in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion and Mayotte, Romania, Saint Barthelemy (St Barts), St Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the Vatican City.

*Northern Cyprus is not included in the Europe zone

Your first use of this sim card must occur in the United Kingdom. Once you have used your sim card in the UK, you can travel to many other European countries and use your call and data allowance there.

When using your O2 SIM card in the above Europe zone countries outside the United Kingdom, your tariff’s inclusive value includes:

  • 1000 call minutes to standard landline and mobile phones in the UK and to other countries within the Europe zone
  • Free incoming calls (regardless of where the call originates)
  • 5000 text messages to mobile numbers in the UK and to mobile phones within the Europe zone
  • 10GB of high-speed 4G data
Remember to turn on data roaming if you are travelling to Europe zone countries outside the United Kingdom.

When you’re travelling in Europe zone countries you can use your included call minutes to make calls anywhere within this zone. For instance, if you’re in Barcelona, you can make a local call to your hotel, call ahead to your next destination in France, call friends in Germany or call other people you’re travelling with who also have O2 UK sim cards.

However, international calls to countries outside Europe (including calls that would otherwise be free if you were calling from the UK) are much more expensive when using your phone outside the United Kingdom in Europe zone countries. If you need to make an international call (to someone outside the Europe zone) then you should use an app such as FaceTime, Rebtel, Skype or Viber. You can call regular phones with Skype (not just other Skype users) as long as you have credit on a Skype account.

Using your O2 sim card outside Europe

Although an O2 SIM card is a great option when travelling within O2’s Europe zone countries, it is considerably more expensive (and not recommended) outside this zone. This even applies in other European countries such as Andorra, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Switzerland that are not in the European Union as well as countries in Eastern Europe such as Albania, Belarus, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Northern Cyprus, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

How do I activate my sim card?

It is easy to set up your O2 UK sim card. It already comes with a mobile phone number and is already set up on a tariff that includes a bundle of calls and data. All you need to do is arrive in the UK, pop the sim card in your phone and add at least £20 credit.

  1. Wait until you arrive in the United Kingdom
    Your first use of this sim card must be on O2’s network in the United Kingdom.
    .
  2. Buy a top-up voucher for at least £20
    You can buy top-up vouchers from most convenience stores, newsagents, petrol stations, pharmacies, post offices and supermarkets in the UK. Simply ask the cashier for an O2 top-up voucher and you will get a printed voucher with a 16-digit top-up PIN. When you ask for your top-up voucher you need to specify which network you want it for (O2) and the value of the voucher (at least £20). We recommend topping up a little more than the £20 minimum and adding £25 will give you an extra £5 credit for those times when you may need to make a call that is not included as part of your inclusive call value. Virtually all airport terminals in the United Kingdom have branches of Boots the chemist and WHSmith newsagents, which both sell top-up vouchers. Look for one of these two shops when you arrive at the airport and you’ll have your top-up voucher in no time.
    .
  3. Pop the SIM card in your phone
    Your O2 SIM card is a tri-cut sim that will work in all phones. You need to pop out the right size to fit your phone.
    .
  4. Redeem your top-up voucher
    Call 4444 from your phone and follow the prompts. A recorded voice will ask if you are topping up with a credit card or voucher (choose voucher) and you will then be asked to enter the 16-digit top-up PIN that is printed on the top-up voucher.
Tourists visiting the United Kingdom cannot top up directly with O2 using their credit card as O2’s website and telephone support will not accept credit cards issued outside the UK. However, it is no problem using your credit card to buy a voucher from a physical location.

You can do all this within 5–10 minutes of clearing immigration and customs.

  • Your sim card comes with simple step-by-step instructions that show you how to set up your sim card

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to top up this sim card outside the United Kingdom?
Because this is a UK sim card, you can only buy credit at shops in the United Kingdom but you can also top up online. If you have a UK credit card (a credit card issued by a UK bank with a UK billing address) you can buy credit online directly from O2 and if you don’t have a UK credit card you can top up online at mobiletopup.co.uk.

Can this sim card be used in data-only devices?
This sim card is designed for use in a mobile phone and cannot be used in data-only devices such as tablets or pocket Wi-Fi devices. You need to visit a mobile phone shop in the UK to buy a data-only sim card to use in a tablet or similar data-only device.

Can I use my phone as a mobile hotspot?
Yes. Unlike many other European prepaid mobile services, O2 let you tether (use your phone as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot). This wasn’t always the case and up until early 2017 this was a service restricted to customers on contract, but now all O2 customers including prepaid customers can use their phone as a mobile hotspot.

A couple of important points:

  • If you have an Apple iPhone, tethering will only work with an iPhone 5 or newer and it needs to be running iOS 10.1 or higher.
  • Tethering is only supported when using your phone on the O2 network in the United Kingdom. There is no guarantee that it will work when roaming on other networks outside the UK.

Do I need to register my service and do I need to provide ID?
No. There is no requirement to register your service or show identification when activating a new mobile phone service in the United Kingdom. Simply put it in an unlocked phone, turn it on when you arrive in the UK, add at least £20 credit and it is ready to go.

Does my phone need to be unlocked?
Yes. Your phone must always be unlocked before using a sim card from a different network. Nowadays, many phones are sold already unlocked but it is best to check that your phone is unlocked prior to travelling. If you’re on a contract, most networks will unlock your phone and many will do this free of charge.

How will Brexit affect European roaming?
These cheap European roaming rates are a result of a European Union regulation that requires that EU mobile companies do not charge high roaming fees when their customers travel in other EU countries and there is a chance that these cheap European roaming rates may be discontinued when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Brexit has been delayed until Friday 31 January 2020, however, the transition period will last until 31 December 2020 so the cheap European roaming rates listed here should remain in place until the end of 2020.

O2 have stated that they have no plans to increase roaming charges after Brexit, but it is impossible to be certain of this and there is always a small chance that roaming fees may increase in 2021 if mobile networks in other European countries decide to charge higher roaming fees to UK mobile networks.

Which countries can you ship this sim card to?
The O2 UK sim card can be posted to the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • The United States of America

We do not post this sim card to addresses in the United Kingdom or Europe. If you’re already in the United Kingdom it is quicker to simply pop into an O2 shop to buy your sim card and if you live elsewhere in the European Union, chances are that the mobile service you use at home has attractive roaming rates in the UK.

How much does it cost to post this sim card?
The £3 cost of this sim card includes worldwide delivery.

How long does delivery take?
These sim cards are posted from Australia and delivery times vary depending on where the sim card is being posted to.

The reason that we ship from Australia is that this makes delivery times much quicker for our customers living in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore and the delivery time between Australia and North America is more or less the same as having the sim cards posted from the UK. People already in the UK can get this sim card quicker by popping into a local shop and European residents will usually have cheap roaming to the UK as part of their mobile plan.

It is posted as a standard airmail letter, and the delivery is not trackable. Delivery usually takes around a week, but it is best to allow two weeks or longer in case of any delays in the postal service.

When do I need to start using my sim card by?
Our current batch of O2 UK sim cards has an expiration date of 9 October 2020. This means that you have until this date to start using your sim card after arriving in the United Kingdom. As long as you start using your service before this date, you can continue using it beyond this date as long as you make a call, send a text message or access data at least once every six months.

We regularly receive fresh stock of sim cards so just check back with us in a month or two if you’re travelling after this date.

When should I order my UK sim card?
You need to take into account both the sim card expiry date and the delivery time to ensure that you both allow enough time for delivery and that your sim card is valid when you travel to the United Kingdom.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t order your sim card any later than two weeks before you travel to the UK but usually not earlier than 4–5 months before you travel.

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