Three just became the network to beat for Pay As You Go deals

Three 321Pay As You Go is a popular way to manage your phone, as it leaves you free of a contract, able to use almost any device you like (and change it at any time, provided you don’t mind buying one outright), and in most cases is cheaper than a contract. Now, Three UK has launched a new Pay As You Go tariff, which is not only cheaper than a contract, but also considerably cheaper than any other PAYG tarrif out there.

It calls the tariff Pay As You Go 321, a name it has taken from the prices it charges for calls, messages and data. Anyone on the plan will be charged 3p per minute for calls, 2p per SMS, and 1p per megabyte of data. Comparing the calls and messages to Three’s competitors highlights just how cheap this is, as Vodafone, Tesco and O2 all charge 25p per minute. Messages range from around 6p to 12p, which again makes Three look incredibly good value.

The data is another story, and while it’s cheap, it doesn’t break any new boundaries. For example, GiffGaff charges 25p for 25MB, which is essentially the same as Three, and Virgin offers a similar pricing structure too. Data is always the killer on PAYG, and avoiding any hefty downloads while using 3G is recommended.

Best of all though, any top-ups you add don’t come with a 30 day limit, and expire only when they run out, something which Three will warn you about with a text message. You can order a free 321 SIM card from Three, or pay £10 to get one with the equivalent amount of credit, plus the network offers various phones on PAYG too.

About Andrew Boxall

Andy's fascination with mobile tech began in the 90s, at a time when SMS messages were considered cutting edge, but it would be at least a decade before he would put finger-to-keyboard as a freelance tech writer. In the interim he wrote about travel, formulated strong opinions about films and drove a series of audacious cars