Whether you’re looking for a student contract or a sim-only deal, we show you how to save money on your student mobile phone purchase with the big UK providers today:

Mobile Phone Student Discounts

Many mobile phone providers now offer a student discount. They usually consist of either a percentage off your monthly contract or a fixed amount such as 100 or even 200 pounds off your monthly phone contract. Students should click on the relevant provider above and see if they specifically offer a discount. There may also be a discount code available through Student Beans, Unidays or NUS Totum.

Mobile Phone Deals to Save You More

But did you know that there are even more ways for students to save on their mobile phone outgoings and that there are discounts on mobiles available? The first tip that we have is that if you are happy with your phone and it’s coming to the end of your current contract then a SIM only deal could save you a lot. It is now really easy to change phone providers and you get to keep your same number too.

When looking for a new SIM only deal check your previous phone bills to see how many minutes and data you use. You can then Compare new SIM only deals to see which suits your usage needs. There are some cracking new SIM only deals out there and they start from as little as £5 per month and some unlimited data deals for under £20 a month.

If you need a new phone first ask your current provider to see if they can upgrade you to a better monthly deal and a new phone that suits your needs and can help you save money. However you might want to check that buying a separate phone and SIM only deal might save you more. For instance, you might find the latest Apple phone on a handset only deal and then a cheap SIM only contract for your specific usage for £10 a month. This could be actually a lot less than your current monthly contract costs.

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Student Discount on Mobile Phones

There’s no avoiding them – mobile and smart devices are an everyday must-have for everyone, and at university, they’re used for a lot more than just making calls and sending texts.

Your mobile phone may well be the most expensive thing you own; and next to your laptop, it’s certainly going to be the most expensive thing you carry around all day so make sure you get a student discount. But there are ways on keeping costs down for both your mobile phone handset and data usage for students… you’ve just got to know how to do it. Who does know? The Student Discount Squirrel, DUH!

How Can A Mobile Phone Help You At Uni?

Of course, you need a mobile phone for making calls and sending texts (to your uni mates, uni staff for admin purposes and your family back home), but there’s so much more you can do with a decent smartphone. Don’t forget:

  • Sync your university email inbox with the Mail app on your phone to ensure you can see important emails on-the-go and not just when you remember to log in!
  • Set up a security ‘find my phone’ app to ensure you have GPS tracking on your devices; a necessity in case any of them go walkabout and you need to trace them
  • Install audiobooks apps and keep an eye out for discounted or free books that can help you study as you walk about and get other things done
  • Download apps for bars, restaurants or venues you’re planning on visiting – they often have app-exclusive money-off discounts that you won’t be able to access anywhere else
  • If you have a social media following of over 3,000+ on anyone channel, sign up for an ad agency such as Tribe or Takumi. You’ll receive offers of paid posting for documenting your student life and the products you use along the way
  • Lots of universities use encrypted apps for essay and work submissions and feedback. If yours does, make sure you have the latest version downloaded so you can keep up-to-date with messages from lecturers or other uni staff
  • Use a tasklist app such as Todo or Trello to set yourself goals and to-do lists so you’re always on top of what you need to be
  • If your societies or clubs use Facebook or another social media channel to group, post notices and hold discussions, ensure you have the relevant app installed
  • Download a couple of group game apps such as Heads Up – next time you go a party that’s not turning out to plan, you can at least attempt to liven things up a little.

How Student Discounts Work On Mobile

Buying a mobile phone isn’t much like purchasing anything else, not least because you’re usually spending much more than you would on most other things you buy! Student discounts on mobile phone purchases don’t tend to work as standard discounts too – there’s not usually a fixed percentage off a price upon presentation of your student card. Instead, there are several forms that a mobile phone discounts may take to save money:

  • A set amount or set percentage reduced from the cost of the phone when buying it outright
  • As set amount or set percentage reduced from the cost of the ongoing monthly contract, when signing up for a fixed term
  • A free phone rather than buying a fee for it when signing up to a fixed term ongoing monthly contract
  • A free ‘add-on bundle’ when signing up to a fixed term ongoing monthly contract, i.e. additional data usage, additional minutes
  • A free unrelated subscription when signing up to a fixed term ongoing monthly contract, i.e. free access to Disney Plus or free access to Netflix (be careful with these and always remember to cancel, or you will be charged when your free trial ends!).

When shopping around for deals, it’s important to work out exactly what the discount or add-on you’re received is worth – both in monetary terms and in value to you.

To Go Pay As You Go, Or Contract?

A Pay As You Go phone relies on the ‘topping up’ of minutes, texts and data through cash input whenever you need it; a pre-paid option that allows you to control exactly what you spend. A Contract phone is a contracted monthly agreement with a mobile phone service provider for a set ongoing monthly amount of calls, texts and data.

Contracted mobile phone agreements are only available to those aged 18 and over, so realistically may not have been an option for you previously. However, they typically do represent better value and ways to save money on an ongoing basis and ensure that you always have minutes, texts and data to use; as well as absorbing the cost of the phone handset itself into the ongoing contract cost. However, it is a contract, and you legally need to pay it on time. Not doing so can affect your credit rating negatively and may result in legal consequences.

Emergency calls bypass all payment systems and can be made even when you have no credit or signal – so you don’t need to factor safety like this into your purchase decision.

Do Students Need Mobile Phone Insurance?

A mobile phone is one of the most expensive things you’ll carry around with you, and probably the most expensive thing. Most retailers offer mobile phone handset insurance for a fixed cost each month, but before you invest, be sure of the following:

  • What limitations are there on claiming? It’s sensible to have a robust liquid damage and accidental damage policy – and many insurers don’t cover these instances happening in licensed premises, no matter how it happened
  • Is there a hefty excess to pay when claiming? It needs to be affordable
  • Are you already covered? Some bank accounts cover mobiles as standard, so ask yours if you’re unsure
  • What’s the replacement turnaround? It’s important that you’re contactable even while waiting for a new handset
  • Does your policy cover you for loss as well as theft?

Make sure your mobile phone purchase is an informed one. Cover all bases, research well and make the right decision for you.