5G pay as you go SIM cards

29 June 2022

5G is now available on most UK networks, but not all of them offer it on Pay As You Go – some networks don’t have a Pay As You Go service at all, while others do have one but currently limit you to 4G.

With that in mind, we’ve created this guide explaining which networks you can actually get 5G on with Pay As You Go.

Even with this being less widespread than 5G on Pay Monthly, there’s still a wide choice of networks offering 5G Pay As You Go, so you should be able to find the right fit.

Which networks offers 5G Pay As You Go SIM cards?

Three, Vodafone, Asda Mobile, CMLink, Giffgaff, Lebara, Lyca Mobile and Smarty Mobile all offer 5G on Pay As You Go, which for the purposes of this article we’re counting as either literally topping up and just spending what you use, or signing up for a no-contract plan or bundle that doesn’t require a credit check either.

In some cases 5G is available across the board, while in others it’s only available with bundles (or only with certain bundles). Below we’ve detailed each network’s 5G Pay As You Go offerings, so you can see exactly what’s available.

Three

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

10p per min, 10p per text, 5p per megabyte

Restrictions:

12GB roaming allowance

See deals

Three offers 5G on every plan at no extra cost, which means that for Pay As You Go, you can get 5G either with a bundle, or just paying for what you use.

For the former, there are a few different options available, all of which come with unlimited minutes and texts, and all of which last 30 days – so it’s just your 5G data allowance (and the price) that varies. You can get up to unlimited data here, allowing you to Pay As You Go with no restrictions.

For the latter, you’ll be paying 10p per minute, 10p per text, and 5p per megabyte.

Three’s Pay As You Go plans also support tethering, and you can roam at no extra cost in 71 destinations in Europe and beyond (up to a fair usage limit of 12GB). Though note that 5G isn’t available when roaming.

You can also access the Three+ app, which houses exclusive offers and discounts from other brands.

Vodafone

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

Only some bundles include 5G, 25GB roaming allowance, free roaming only offered until June 8th

See deals

Vodafone offers 5G on Pay As You Go, but only as part of select bundles. At the time of writing, that means you can get it on a 30-day bundle with unlimited data, minutes and texts, or one with 100GB of data, along with unlimited minutes and texts.

Until June 8th, 2022, you can also roam in 51 destinations (up to a fair use limit of 25GB) at no extra cost, with 5G available in some of those places.

After that date you’ll need to purchase one of Vodafone’s Europe roaming Extras to roam in Europe. There’s also an Around the World Extra which lets you roam in 73 additional destinations.

In any case, Vodafone also offers tethering, plus access to the VeryMe Rewards app, which includes treats and discounts from other brands.

You can also roll over your data, giving you a second chance to use it (if you’re not on an unlimited data plan).

Asda Mobile

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

Only some bundles include 5G, 25GB roaming allowance

See deals

Asda Mobile offers 30-day bundles, some of which come with 5G data. Specifically, at the time of writing you’ll get 5G with any bundle that costs at least £10 per month.

There’s a slight exception to that when it comes to unlimited data bundles, of which Asda Mobile offers three. Only the top price one of these will offer 5G speeds, but all three of them benefit from the increased bandwidth offered by 5G.

Asda Mobile also allows you to roam at no extra cost in 36 European destinations (up to a 25GB fair use limit, and with 4G speeds), and you can tether.

CMLink

Max 5G bundle allowance:

100GB of data, 2000 minutes, unlimited texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

Only for personal/non-commercial use

See deals

CMLink offers 5G as standard on its 30-day bundles, but you do need to purchase a bundle or add-on to access data at all – if you just top up you only have minutes and texts.

The network tops out at 100GB of 5G data, which is less than some networks, but still more than most people will need. It also allows free 4G roaming in 45 European destinations, along with mainland China and Hong Kong.

Plus, you’ll get international minutes to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and the US with its bundles.

Giffgaff

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

650GB per month and 11 tethered devices, 20GB roaming limit

See deals

Giffgaff offers 5G as standard on all of its 30-day Goodybags. The network suggests that you need a Goodybag to access 5G, so presumably simply topping up will limit you to 4G data.

Its Goodybags also include unlimited minutes and texts, and allow you to roam (using 4G) across much of Europe (up to a 20GB data limit). You can also tether – though there’s a limit of 11 devices that can be connected at once when doing this.

Lebara

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

25p per min, 19p per text, 9p per megabyte

Restrictions:

Variable roaming limit

See deals

Lebara offers 5G as standard on all of its 30-day bundles, and you can get up to unlimited data with these, along with unlimited minutes and texts. The network also lets you top up and just spend as you go, and while it’s not entirely clear from the site whether this includes 5G, a support agent assured us that it did.

Its bundles are worth buying anyway though, because as well as your UK allowances you also get international minutes to call 42 destinations. Plus, you can tether, and you can roam (using 4G) across the EU – and even in India – at no extra cost. There is a fair usage limit on data when roaming, but this varies depending on your bundle.

Lyca Mobile

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

19p per min, 12p per text, 12p per megabyte

Restrictions:

20GB monthly roaming cap

See deals

Lyca Mobile offers 5G as standard, whether you simply top up or buy a 30-day bundle. In the latter case, you can get up to unlimited data, minutes, and texts, and you’ll also in most cases get some international minutes which you can use to call abroad.

Additionally, Lyca Mobile lets you tether, and you can roam (using 4G) at no extra cost in much of the EU (up to a 20GB fair use limit).

Smarty Mobile

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

12GB roaming limit

See deals

Smarty doesn’t let you pay as you go the old-fashioned way – by topping up and spending your credit directly, but it has a range of no-contract bundles, all of which come with 5G. You can get up to unlimited data, minutes, and texts, and you can roam (using 4G) across the EU – up to a 12GB monthly fair usage limit. Tethering is supported too.

VOXI

Max 5G bundle allowance:

Unlimited data, minutes, and texts

Standard rates with 5G:

N/A – 5G requires a bundle

Restrictions:

12GB roaming limit

See deals

VOXI – like Smarty – doesn’t let you top up and just spend your credit, but it does offer 30-day plans with no contract or credit checks.

These all come with 5G, and can include unlimited data, minutes, and texts. The network also allows tethering and roaming, with the latter even supporting 5G in some places. However, there’s a 20GB roaming limit.

Many VOXI bundles also allow you to use unlimited data for select social media and video streaming services without it affecting your allowance.

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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