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. We've also rounded up the best back to school tech for college and university, as well as the best back to school sales.
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. You can also choose from six months of Apple Music or three months of BT Sport for free. This deal is available to new and existing EE customers.
If you're an EE customer you'll just need to log in, see your upgrade options and enter your student code at check out. If you don't qualify for an upgrade yet, you can still get the 500MB safety net by texting "STUDENT" to 150. New customers will need to just pick a phone or SIM deal and use the student discount code at checkout.
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).
The 20% discount also applies to accessories.
To get the O2 student discount, you'll have to sign into UNiDAYS to get your discount code. You'll have to then buy the new phone specifically on the O2 Refresh tariff and add your discount code. If you forget to add your code, sign into UNiDAYS and get a stores code and text it to 61202.
You can find all the info on O2's student mobile phone deals here, including how to redeem your discount in-store.
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 the 10% discount on Vodafone monthly plans on tablets, smartphones, or SIM contracts. This is useful if you need a device along with a contract.
After you buy a Vodafone monthly plan, fill out the online discount form to apply for the student discount. Head to Vodafone's student discount page for more details.
Three student SIM-only plans
Three is straight to the point with its SIM-only student contract deals. There are two 30GB plans to choose from, both with unlimited minutes and text – though each has different monthly rates depending on whether you choose the 12-month or one month option.
The plans also include Go Roam, which lets you use your data, texts and minutes abroad with no extra cost.
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 fair bit 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.
It has an Unlimited plan too for £25 per month which you can cancel at any time.
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
- Unlimited - uncapped data, £25 per month