If you're a student or are set to become one soon, you'll be pleased to hear that you can save money on your phone contract thanks to special student discounts.
In the past, students rolled up to Uni with a pay as you go phone they bought for under £100 all in. Easy! Not anymore.
If you want a smartphone (let’s be honest you’re a student, you want one) then it’s a good idea to consider a contract. It means you can get a very capable, high-end smartphone on a payment plan without having to pay the entire cost of a handset upfront.
And while you're trying to find the best student mobile phone deals, don't forget to check out our round up of the best phone deals this month. Some of the deals in this article are also SIM-only, so be sure to see our guide to the best cheap SIM-only deals which includes all the best deals on right now.
If you don’t mind being tied into a two-year contract, then you can get your hands on a shiny new iPhone without spending half your student loan. Here are some of the best places to look, and some of the best student phone deals.
Tech Advisor Student Deals Finder
You'll find some brilliant phone contract deals for students on our constantly updated student deals website, which we've created in partnership with Student Beans. Follow the links below to see some of the best phone contract deals we've got on our student deals site:
- iD Mobile Student Discount
- Mobiles.co.uk - £100 off iPhone XS, Pixel 3 and other handsets
- Carphone Warehouse - up to £200 off contracts
- Smarty - SIM-only bargain data plans
EE student contract discount
EE offers a 20% student discount along with a 500MB safety net each month. That’s half a GB of free data every month just to keep you from going over your data plan, and 20% off your monthly tariff, every month. This deal is available to new and existing EE customers.
New customers and existing customers who are eligible for an upgrade can get the 20% discount and the 500MB safety net, along with six free months of Apple Music. You'll need a code from "UNiDAYS" when you sign onto a new plan or an upgrade, which you can get from here.
If you're an EE customer who doesn't qualify for an upgrade yet, you can still get the 500MB safety net by texting "STUDENT" to 150. When you are ready for an upgrade you can sign up for the 20% off monthly discount. See more on EE student phone deals here.
O2 student contract discount
Like EE, O2's student programme gives you a 20% discount off your plan as well. The discount only applies to the Airtime plan, which includes your calls, texts and data – though not your Device Plan. The latter is the monthly cost of your device (O2’s monthly plans are a totaled combination of these two bills).
You have to buy a new phone specifically on the O2 Refresh tariff, then sign in via "UNiDAYS" to verify you’re a student and to get your discount code. Then simply text O2 your code at 61202. You can find all the info to O2's student mobile phone deals here.
Vodafone student contract and phone deals
Vodafone's student discount programme gets you 10% off monthly plans. If you attend a participating university, (of which there are many), you can enjoy a 10% discount on Vodafone monthly plans on tablets, smartphones, or SIM contracts. This is useful if you need a device along with a contract.
Three student SIM-only plans
Three is straight to the point with 12-month, SIM-only student contract deals. All deals include unlimited minutes and text, though have different monthly rates depending on data allowance.
Data plans at 12GB or more also include unlimited Snapchat on Go Binge, which means you're free to use the app without using up your data allowance. Here's a summary of the student deals from Three right now:
- £11 per month (usually £13 per month) - 4GB data
- £14 per month (usually £16 per month) - 8GB data
- £14 per month (usually £16 per month) - 12GB data, unlimited Snapchat
- £17 per month (usually £20 per month) - 30GB data, unlimited Snapchat
- £28 per month (usually £31 per month) - 100GB data, unlimited Snapchat
- £31 per month (usually £34 per month) - unlimited data, unlimited Snapchat
Remember these contracts are SIM-only so it won't include a phone. But if you have a smartphone hanging around and are at the end of your contract, this is a decent, cheap deal with a tonne of data.
Smarty SIM-only cheap data contracts
Smarty, powered by Three, is new to the mobile network game, but is a great choice if you're after cheap, student-friendly SIM-only data plans. What sets Smarty apart from the other providers is that it also gives you credit towards your next month's bill for any unused data at the end of the month.
If you sign up before 4 February, you also get two free months after your first month.
Every month, you get £1.25 for every unused GB, so even if you have a few MBs left at the end of the month, you still earn a small discount on the following month's bill. All plans include unlimited calls and texts too. Smarty plans come in four data sizes:
- X-Small - 1GB data, £6.25 per month
- Small - 2GB data, £7.50 per month
- Medium - 4GB data, £10 per month
- Large - 8GB data, £15 per month