O2: Deals and tariffs, customer service, and My O2

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For two decades, O2 has been one of the leading names in the UK’s mobile network market. The provider is known for its flexible mobile phone contracts and extensive rewards scheme. Since June 2021, O2 has been a subsidiary of Virgin Media O2, the corporate brand of Liberty Global and Telefónica. It has over 23 million UK customers, and provides 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage across the country. O2 is the UK’s second-biggest mobile provider after EE, and it’s part of the ‘Big Four’ UK networks alongside EE, Vodafone, and Three.
Last updated in: June 2022

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about O2, including its benefits and drawbacks, tariffs, and SIM-only deals.

Why choose O2?

O2, the UK’s oldest mobile network, offers many benefits to its customers. With its wide range of tariffs, including flexible phone contracts and SIM-only plans, it caters to a variety of needs.

A major reason to choose the provider is its comprehensive UK coverage, which makes it accessible for almost everyone. Its network supports 4G technology, and its 5G coverage is growing.O2’s extensive range of rewards is also appealing and helps it stand out from competitors.

O2 coverage

O2’s 3G, 4G, and 5G networks can be accessed by 99% of the country. Other mobile providers pay to share O2’s network, which is a testament to its widespread availability. However, it’s best to check O2’s coverage in your area before signing up.

O2 speed

O2’s coverage is excellent, but it doesn’t deliver the fastest available speeds to its mobile data customers. The average UK O2 download speed is 15.6 megabytes per second (Mbps), which is slower than the speeds of EE, Three, and Vodafone.

Despite this, 92% of O2 users claimed they have ‘adequate’ speeds when browsing social media and the Internet. However, only 75% of O2 customers were satisfied with O2’s mobile data speeds when watching videos.

O2 customer service

O2 offers a good standard of support. In 2021, 91% of O2 customers were satisfied with the service. According to an Ofcom report, its customer service ranking was better than that of Three and Vodafone. However, EE scored 1% higher in this area.

What’s good about O2 benefits?

O2 is known for rewarding its customers with benefits.

  • Roam freely:
    O2 customers can travel to many European countries without paying extra for calls, texts, or data – this is known as free roaming.

    O2’s Big Bundles are tariffs with unlimited texts and minutes. Purchasing a Big Bundle allows you to use your phone with no extra cost if you’re in O2’s Europe Zone.However, when in this zone, you’ll need to pay more to make calls to countries outside of Europe.

    For countries outside of the Europe Zone, you can use an Travel Bolt On to pay a fixed daily rate for texts, calls and data.

  • Adjust your data allowance:
    By choosing an O2 custom plan, you can change your data allowance every month. This is ideal for customers’ whose data usage varies. For example, if you used 30GB of mobile data during the previous month and won’t need as much this month, you can easily switch to a 3GB monthly allowance.
  • Interest-free financing:
    O2 has long offered monthly payment plans for phones, but this now applies to other devices, e.g. headphones. When purchasing a device, you can choose a 12-, 24- or 36-month payment plan while paying 0% annual percentage increase (APR). However, you may need to pay a small upfront fee.
  • Extras:
    Selected O2 phone, tablet or SIM-only contracts will include a free bonus – known as an ‘extra’ – for up to six months. This might be a Disney+ subscription or an O2 Travel Inclusive Bolt On.

  • Perks at O2 venues

    O2 sponsors a variety of venues, where customers are entitled to bonuses:


    O2 venue Included perks
    The O2 Arena, London Access to O2 fast-track lanes
    O2 Academy Venues (nationwide) Fast-track entry at selected venues
    Twickenham Stadium, London Access to the O2 blueroom, including a free pasty and pint


    O2 Rewards and Priority

    If you’re an Pay As You Go (PAYG) customer, you can access Rewards which returns 5-10% of your top-up fees every three months. O2 provides this as extra airtime credit, or you can save your rewards to pay less for new devices or concert tickets. You can also exchange your Rewards credit for shopping vouchers.

    O2 also rewards customers through Priority. It’s free to join and offers several perks, including:

    1. Food, drinks, and shopping discounts
    2. Access to free prize draws
    3. Access to advance tickets for acts at venues
    4. Early access to Channel 4 programmes.

    You can sign into O2 Priority on its website or mobile app.

    What are the drawbacks of O2?

    Although the provider offers great coverage, flexibility, and perks, there are some drawbacks to consider:

    • O2 plans cost more than its competitors
    • Other providers offer faster 4G speeds.

    How do O2 prices compare to other mobile providers?

    Their prices are better than two of its competitors, Vodafone and EE – but Three’s prices beat those of O2.


    Competitor Provider with better prices Notes
    EE O2 O2’s custom plans and pay-as-you-go options are cheaper
    Three Three Three’s monthly plans, pay-as-you-go tariffs, and handset deals are cheaper
    Vodafone O2 O2’s SIM-only deals are much cheaper


    O2 tariffs, packages, and deals

    The provider offers a range of tariffs and deals for SIM cards, as detailed below.

    O2 Pay As You Go plans

    The provider offers PAYG plans, which include a SIM card to use on your existing phone. These plans let you top up whenever, and include a specified quantity of calls, texts, and data.

    They offer flexibility without the commitment of a contract. PAYG customers can also enjoy Priority, £10 free credit, and up to 10% of top-ups back with Rewards.


    Data allowance Monthly cost Minutes included Texts included
    14GB £10 Unlimited Unlimited
    30GB £15 Unlimited Unlimited
    60GB £20 Unlimited Unlimited
    200GB £30 Unlimited Unlimited


    How to top up?

    On an PAYG Plan, you can top up whenever you like. There are multiple ways to do this:

    • Top up online with My O2.
    • Set up auto top-ups on My O2.
    • Call 4444 to top up with your card.
    • Purchase a top-up voucher and call 4444.

    Our broadband experts are here to help

    Free service - Available Monday to Friday from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm

    O2 SIM-only deals

    The provider allows you to choose between 30-day, 12-month, and 24-month SIM plans, with longer plans offering more data for less each month.

    These are the top SIM-only deals currently offered, arranged by length of Airtime Plan.

    Best 30-day deals:


    Data allowance Monthly cost Minutes included Texts included Extras offered
    1GB £20 1000 Unlimited N/A
    20GB £26 Unlimited Unlimited N/A
    Unlimited £36 Unlimited Unlimited N/A


    Best 12-month deals:


    Data allowance Monthly cost Minutes included Texts included Extras offered
    5GB £15 Unlimited Unlimited
    • One month Disney+ for free
    • Double data for Virgin Media customers
    20GB £20 Unlimited Unlimited
    • Three months free of subscription service*
    • Double data for Virgin Media customers
    Unlimited £34 Unlimited Unlimited
    • Six months free of subscription service*
    • Exclusive benefits for Virgin Media customers


    Best 24-month deals:


    Data allowance Monthly cost Minutes included Texts included Extras offered
    5GB £11 Unlimited Unlimited
    • One month Disney+ for free
    • Double data for Virgin Media customers
    75GB £18 Unlimited Unlimited
    • Six months free of subscription service*
    • Double data for Virgin Media customers
    Unlimited £32 Unlimited Unlimited
    • Six months free of subscription service*
    • Double data for Virgin Media customers
    • Free Apple Music for up to six months



    *Subscription services include Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited, Audible, McAfee, and others.

    O2 Plus Plans

    Plus Plans refer to tariffs that include extra bonuses. You can get a Plus Plan with select phone, tablet, or Pay Monthly SIM deals.
    Benefits include:

    • Up to six months of free Apple Music
    • A free O2 extra for up to six months
    • International roaming in 75 countries
    • A three-year warranty when you upgrade your phone.

    Plus Plans are available for O2’s phone and tablet deals or its pay-monthly SIMs. You can choose a tariff with a data allowance of your preference.


    O2 product Tariff options (monthly data allowance)
    12-month Pay Monthly SIM 30GB, 75GB, 150GB or Unlimited data
    24-month Pay Monthly SIM 10GB, 30GB, 75GB, 150GB, or Unlimited data
    Pay Monthly phone 30GB, 75GB, 150GB or Unlimited data
    Pay Monthly tablet Any tariff of 2GB or above


    The prices of the Plus Plans will vary depending on your chosen data allowance.

    For example, a 150GB 12-month SIM card Plus Plan (£24 per month) costs less than an Unlimited data 12-month SIM card Plus Plan (£34 per month). Similarly, regardless of data allowance, 12-month contracts come with slightly higher monthly costs than 24-month plans, e.g. a 150GB 12-month Plus Plan costs £24 per month, while a 150GB 24-month Plus Plan costs £22 per month.

    O2 custom plans

    The provider offers you flexibility with its custom plans. These tariffs let you choose:

    • Upfront costs
    • Contract length and monthly payments
    • Your monthly data allowance
    • The included ‘extra’

    For example, as opposed to choosing a pre-built plan for an iPhone 13, you can design your own custom plan. In this case, you’re in control of how much you pay upfront for the phone, which can be between £30 or £740. You can then choose a plan length between three and 36 months, and finally, you can choose a monthly data allowance between 3GB and Unlimited data.

    The custom plans allow you to pay in a way that suits you. For instance, you could choose to pay £30 upfront for a 3GB per month, 24-month contract – or you could opt for a £50 upfront payment, Unlimited monthly data, and a 36-month contract. Essentially, you can customise and control the costs, data limits, and bonuses as you wish.

    This freedom over every aspect of your plan allows you to decide how much you pay each month – which is ideal if you need a new device while on a tight budget.

    woman smiling at mobile phone

    O2’s deals and incentives

    O2’s device and SIM card deals come with free incentives, which add extra value for customers. Here are some examples of the incentives that come with being an O2 customer:


    Incentive Explanation
    Free roaming in Europe Unlike other major networks, O2 allows you to use your texts, calls, and data abroad within its Europe Zone at no extra cost.
    Flexibility with plans With O2’s custom plans, you can change your monthly costs and data allowance every month.
    Interest-free financing You can pay for devices over a period of up to 36 months without any hidden interest charges.
    Extras* Many O2 deals come with free extras, such as streaming subscriptions, cheaper international calls, or cybersecurity services.
    Access to O2 Rewards O2 rewards its customers with access to discounts, prize draws, early concert tickets, or fast-track access at certain events.



    *The choice or duration of extras may vary between plans.


    What are O2 international call prices?

    The table shows the standard international call prices for their customers:


    International number Cost per minute for Pay Monthly customers Cost per minute for PAYG customers
    Ireland 19.5p 19p
    Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey 55p 55p
    EU countries 19.5p 19p
    All other countries £3.00 £1.50


    Purchasing an O2 Bolt On deal helps you avoid expensive bills. These cost an extra £3 per month for calls to over 200 countries from just 1p per minute.

    Alternatively, you can purchase an International Bundle, which offers cheaper calls from 1p per minute. These bundles also include unlimited texts, calls, and 100GB of data.

    Can I use my O2 SIM abroad?

    Your O2 SIM card works abroad, but the rates you pay vary by country and payment plans.

    If you’re in the Europe Zone, you won’t need to pay extra for calls, texts, and data. If you’re outside this zone, you can avoid standard rates with a Travel Bolt On .

    O2 Business offers

    O2 also provides services specifically for businesses. The provider’s Business offers the following products and services:

    • Work phones and tablets
    • SIMs and tariffs
    • Dongles and mobile WiFi solutions
    • Microsoft 365 and McAfee apps
    • Business broadband and landlines
    • Digital collaboration tools.

    You can purchase a business SIM-only tariff. These deals all come with unlimited texts and calls, but you can select a monthly allowance of 4G or 5G to meet your business’ needs:


    Data allowance Monthly cost of contract* 12 months 24 months
    1GB £16.80 £14.40 £12.00
    6GB £19.20 £15.60 £13.20
    20GB £24.00 £21.60 £19.20
    50GB £28.80 £24.00 £21.60
    Unlimited Not available £31.20 £28.80



    *This includes VAT.

    How good is O2’s mobile coverage?

    Their mobile coverage is extensive across the UK, so O2 customers can make calls, send texts, or use mobile data in most places.

    What speeds can I get?

    • O2 5G coverage:
      Although its 5G coverage is limited, the customers can get 5G in many major towns and cities. The rollout is ongoing, so its 5G coverage continues to improve.

      You can check O2 coverage near you with O2’s online checker.

    • O2 4G coverage:
      99% of people in the UK can access O2’s 4G network – so coverage is excellent. Nevertheless, the company is still working to connect rural areas to the their 4G network.

      The average download speed when using their 4G network is 15.16Mbps. This speed is lower than the average 4G speeds of Three, Vodafone, and EE.

    • O2 3G coverage:
      Although you can access O2’s 4G network in most places, their 3G network is still widely accessible. Its coverage includes 99% of the UK population, and the network offers download speeds of around 3Mbps. This is slower than the UK average download speed for 3G.

    • Our broadband experts are here to help

      Free service - Available Monday to Friday from 8.30 am until 5.30 pm

      Mobile roaming

      If you’re an O2 customer, you can roam freely within O2’s Europe Zone.

      If you’re outside of this zone, you’ll be subject to O2’s international call and text rates. To save money, it’s best to opt for an International Bolt On.

      O2 stores

      The provider has over 425 stores across the UK. The O2 store staff can help you purchase or upgrade your contract, and they also offer technical support. You can also pick up a device or SIM card bought from O2’s website at these stores via click and collect service.

      Find your nearest O2 store using the store locator.

      O2 customer feedback: Is it any good?

      With over 36 million connections across the UK, many people depend on the provider’s plans and services. Thankfully, reports indicate that O2’s customer service is of a decent standard.

      Customer service

      Ofcom’s 2021 report states that 91% of O2 customers surveyed were satisfied with the customer service. This beats the satisfaction ratings of Vodafone and Three, but it’s slightly lower than EE’s ratings.

      O2 contact numbers

      O2’s customer service contact number is 0344 809 0202; calls cost a standard network rate. If you’re using a mobile on the their network, you can dial 202 for free instead.

      To contact O2’s customer service from a country in its Europe Zone, call +44 7860 980 202 for free. International rates will apply outside of the UK or O2’s Europe Zone.

      Can I online chat with O2?

      The O2 website features a virtual assistant, known as Aura. If you need to speak to a person, you can start a live online chat with an advisor.

      Switching to O2

      To switch to O2 from another network, you’ll need an O2 SIM card and a PAC or STAC code from your current provider. You can get this by texting ‘PAC’ to 65075 on your old SIM card. If you want a new mobile number, text ‘STAC’ to 75075. Once you’ve got this, send the code to O2.

      Can I keep my number?

      Yes – you can keep your number when switching. To do this, you’ll need to give the provider a PAC code, which you can get by texting ‘PAC’ to 65075.

      What to look for in an SIM contract

      Some factors to consider when purchasing an SIM contract include:


      Factor Why it matters
      Contract length This determines what you’ll pay monthly and the length of commitment you’re making.
      Price You’ll need to ensure you can afford the monthly payments.
      SIM card size For your SIM card to work, it needs to be compatible with your phone.
      What’s included Your O2 SIM contract should include what you need (calls and texts, mobile data, or all three).
      Monthly allowance You need sufficient minutes, texts, and data for your monthly usage.
      Upfront costs Before your monthly payments begin, you might need to pay a fee upfront.
      Roaming costs You might need to pay more while abroad.
      Extras The range of O2 extras you can access depends on your contract.


      How to activate the SIM card

      If you’re using a plastic Pay Monthly SIM, your SIM will be ready when it’s inserted into your device.

      The same process applies with a plastic PAYG SIM – but you’ll have to top up to activate it.

      How to get a PAC code from O2

      You can receive your PAC code by signing into My O2, calling 202, or texting ‘PAC’ to 65075.

      How long does it take to switch?

      After sending your PAC or STAC code to the provider, they’ll move you over to their network the next working day or on a date that’s convenient for you.

      How do I unlock an O2 phone?

      Most of the provider’s phones aren’t locked to their network anymore.

      To unlock an O2 phone on either a Pay Monthly or PAYG plan, call the customer service or use their online live chat. You’ll need your phone’s International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI), which you can access by dialling *#06#.

      How do I check my balance?

      The quickest way to check your O2 balance is by signing into My O2 through its website or app. You can also dial 4444 on your mobile.

      How can I pay my bill?

      You can make a card payment using the My O2 app. Alternatively, set up a direct debit by contacting O2.

      What is O2 Refresh?

      Refresh allows you to pay your monthly bill in two parts: the cost of your device, and the cost of your texts, calls, and data.

      The benefit of this is that you can trade in your phone and use its trade-in value to pay off your Device Plan. This means you can upgrade to the latest device without upfront charges.

      How to cancel an O2 contract

      To cancel your contract, contact 202 at any time.

      You’ll need to give 30 days’ notice before leaving. You’ll also have to pay off any outstanding charges.

      How to check if there’s anything to pay on my account

      You can view any outstanding balance by logging into My O2.

      How can I swap my SIM?

      If you’re changing phones and need a different-sized SIM, you can perform a SIM swap. You can request this on the My O2 app. Once it’s arrived, swap your SIM by following the instructions on My O2.

      Can I keep my O2 phone number?

      Yes – simply request a PAC code by texting 65075. Once you’ve got it, give it to your new mobile provider.

      Call us to switch your broadband provider for free!

      0330 818 6223

      Notice

      FAQ

      How can I top up with O2?

      There are several ways to top up your O2 balance:

      • Top up online with My O2.
      • Set up auto top-ups on My O2.
      • Call 4444 to top up with your card.
      • Purchase a top-up voucher and call 4444.

      How can I contact O2?

      Contact O2 by calling 0344 809 0202 or speak to an advisor on O2’s web chat.

      How can I check my O2 balance?

      You can see your O2 balance by logging into My O2 via its website or app, or dialling 4444 on your O2 mobile.

      Does O2 offer SIM plans for bad credit?

      It’s difficult to secure an O2 phone contract with a poor credit rating. However, the credit checks for SIM-only plans are easier to pass.

Updated on 30 May, 2022

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Broadband Specialist & Copywriter