Giffgaff mobile review 2024 - is giffgaff any good?

giffgaff icon

Giffgaff have always impressively ploughed its own furrow: unique, flexible and customer-centred. Specialising in SIM-only deals, giffgaff uses the network of its parent company O2 and offers a good selection of 30-day and 18-month plans.

Find out more about what separates giffgaff from other mobile networks. From pros and cons and customer service to network coverage and pricing, we shine a light on giffgaff and help you decide whether it’s the network for you.

What’s good about giffgaff?

  • Offers a variety of deals, from 18-month contracts to pay-as-you-go plans
  • Also offers a wide range of data allowances, from 1GB to unlimited
  • Easy to switch between monthly allowances
  • No need for a credit check if you're just getting a SIM
  • Earn cash or credit through Payback points
  • Giffgaff is a virtual network and runs on O2’s network

What’s bad about giffgaff?

  • No customer service team
  • No long-term plans available
  • EU roaming is capped at 5GB a month, which is lower than other networks
  • Handset ‘contracts’ are really peer-to-peer loans and work out quite expensive

Giffgaff plans

Rather than typical mobile contracts, giffgaff specialises in SIM-only deals that come with an allowance of data, minutes and texts. Giffgaff deals range from 1GB of data right up to unlimited data - and all include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.

You have plenty of choice in terms of monthly data allowances and contract lengths. You can get a one-off pay-as-you-go plan, monthly rolling deal or 18-month contract: whichever suits you best. Plus, they're all very flexible - even with the 18-month plan, you can change up your data allowance every month.

If you do want a new phone, giffgaff offer handset ‘plans’ which are essentially phone loans with a giffgaff SIM plan tagged on the end. Choose how much you want to pay upfront and how many months to keep paying for - find a rate right for you. However, this can be an expensive way of buying a new phone.

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
GiffGaff sim only 6GB data 18 months £8.00
GiffGaff sim only 25GB data 18 months £10.00
GiffGaff sim only 120GB data 18 months £20.00
  • GiffGaff sim only
    5G
    • 6GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £8.00 per month
    18 month contract From giffgaff
  • GiffGaff sim only
    5G
    • 25GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £10.00 per month
    18 month contract From giffgaff
  • GiffGaff sim only
    5G
    • 120GB of 5G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • download speed limit
    • £20.00 per month
    18 month contract From giffgaff

Verdict:

Verdict: Good

Giffgaff plans won’t be for everyone - particularly if you want to buy a new phone through a long-term mobile contract. But what they do, they do very well, and you’ll be pushed to find cheaper and more flexible SIM deals.

Giffgaff coverage

As giffgaff is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) which uses the O2 network, customers benefit from 99% population coverage across the UK.

Before you order it’s important to check you can get a signal in your home area using giffgaff’s coverage checker - as well as areas you are likely to frequent, such as your route to and place of work.

Verdict:

Verdict: Good

As O2’s coverage is just behind Three but ahead of EE, giffgaff mobile users should benefit from about 99% population coverage indoors. As with most networks, you may experience some gaps in service in rural areas, but in towns and cities you shouldn’t experience any connection problems.

Giffgaff pricing

Giffgaff do not offer traditional mobile contracts which include a handset but specialise in SIM-only deals. This means you’ll need your own phone in order to take out a giffgaff plan. While its SIM-only plans are reasonably-priced and extremely flexible, it’s not the cheapest option if you want a subsidised phone and can’t afford to buy a phone upfront.

Giffgaff offer a decent range of data allowances and most plans come with unlimited texts and calls. If you already have a phone and just need a SIM plan, it’s a good and cheap option.

Where you can get a handset with a giffgaff plan, these are essentially phone loans with a giffgaff SIM tagged on the end. Be aware there are cheaper ways to buy a new phone.

Verdict:

Verdict: Good

Giffgaff’s value for money all depends on the flexibility you require and whether you need a handset in your plan. If you own a phone and like the idea of switching your plan every month, giffgaff is a great network. If you do want to include a new iPhone in your mobile deal, then look elsewhere.

Giffgaff customer service

Giffgaff does not have a dedicated customer support team; instead it relies on its community of users to provide help. While this won’t be for everyone, gifgaff generally scores highly for customer satisfaction in Ofcom's annual reports. For example, Ofcom's 2023 report shows that giffgaff's customers were more likely to recommend their network to a friend.

Verdict:

Verdict: Average

There’s no official customer support to speak of but giffgaff’s community of online users do a pretty good job of answering queries.

Giffgaff’s extras and benefits

Giffgaff is something of a no-thrills network. While you do get inclusive EU roaming (subject to a 5GB monthly cap) and the ability to tether your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the only real perk is Payback points. This means you can earn points by bringing friends to giffgaff or helping out on the community. You can then trade these points for cash, credit or a donation to charity.

Verdict:

Verdict: Poor

If you’re looking for extras from a mobile network on things like social media streaming and event tickets, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Giffgaff keep things very simple and very stripped down.

Overall verdict

Giffgaff is a little different to most major mobile networks, as its main offering is its range of SIM-only deals. That’s great if you like the flexibility of changing your plan every month, but not so good if you don’t own a phone and need a subsidised handset as part of a mobile contract.

There’s not much in the way of perks and the lack of a dedicated customer support will put some people off, but you can tether your phone on all its plans and it’s one of the few networks to still offer inclusive EU roaming (though this is capped at a rather low 5GB a month, compared to other networks offering the same thing).

If you own your own phone and are looking for cheapish SIM-only deals, giffgaff is a good option.

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