A UK SIM Card Comparison: Which is the Best SIM Card for UK Visitors?

Visiting the UK is expensive enough without spending a fortune on phone credit. On this page I consider which might be the best SIM card for UK visitors. These two offers are good choices for those making short trips to the UK. You can order them in advance, and have them delivered to a UK address, or pick up in store.

If you use one of these offers below, when you initially activate your SIM and topup, you will be rewarded with a quote of extra credit.


Best SIM Card for UK - giffgaff




‘Good option for tourists on short trips’

Giffgaff is a ‘social network’ in that it is run by its customers, using the infrastructure of the O2 network. They offer competitive rates, but more importantly, if you top up £10 on activation, you will get an additional £5 free credit – which might last you a week or weekend away.

Giffgaff currently only send SIMs to UK addresses, but if you would like a sim posting internationally, contact me and I may be able to help.

Rates shown are for calls within UK only:


Top up App/Online/Phone Call 15p per min
Text 5p Data 5p per MB

This offer isn’t available through the Giffgaff website, but by invitation only.


Best SIM Card for UK - Tesco mobile




‘Top up once and Get Triple Credit, great for longer trips’

Tesco mobile is also a virtual network operator, again using the O2 network infrastructure. They have a plethora of offers, but perhaps the most appropriate for visits to the UK is the Pay As You Go SIM.

The main attraction for first-time users is that when you top up £10 or over, Tesco will triple the amount. If you top up £10, £15 or £20, then Tesco will give you £30, £45 or £60.

The standard tariff is called a ‘rocket pack’ which is effectively a bundle of 4G data, minutes and texts. These give reasonable rates.

See full tariff details here.


Top up App/Online/Phone/Store* Call 25p per min
Text 5000 free, then 10p per text Data 10p per MB

For security reasons, the first top up you make must be done in a Tesco store, which can be found dotted all over towns and cities across the UK.

So Which is the Best SIM Card for UK Visitors?

For short trips, where you are not likely to use over £10 credit, then Giffgaff represent the most economical option for most people.

For longer trips, Tesco Mobile is the best option.

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