How to check your mobile usage

Understand how much you are likely to use on your new mobile contract so you only spend what you need to.
How to check your mobile usage

You should always check your mobile usage before buying a new SIM only contract

If you’re happy with your existing phone then a SIM Only deal can be a lot cheaper PAYG or a new mobile phone contract. But to get the biggest savings you really need to know how many minutes, texts and MB of data you plan to use.

  • Cover your monthly needs

    Buying a plan that doesn't fully cover your usage can be even more costly - as minutes, texts and data above your allowance are charged at eye-wateringly high rates.

  • Don't over spec

    Buying a plan that has more minutes, texts and data than you will ever need might offer some peace of mind, but you'll be paying much more than you need to each and every month.

  • Find a balance

    So the smart thing to do is to establish what your current maximum usage is, and choose a SIM only plan based on that.

How to check your mobile usage

Option 1 – Check your recent bills

If you receive paper bills through the post (remember that most networks charge a premium for this) then thumbing through these is one of the easiest ways to check your usage. 

If you haven’t already got an online account, creating one is very easy. You’ll need your mobile phone number, email address and a couple of bits of personal information like date of birth to confirm your identity. We recommend that you review your bills for the last year in order to get a true feel for your average (and more importantly, your maximum) usage. While it might seem laborious, it will allow you to factor in exceptional months that include things like holidays and special occasions (the sort of things that might tip you over your allowance).

Option 2 – Download an app (only for smart phone users)

Some networks offer handy apps that you can download straight to your phone. They let you check your bill and mobile usage whenever you want, and offer additional features like topping up credit, buying add-ons and details of customer service numbers.

Some networks will provide more detailed billing and usage information than others.

I know how many minutes, texts and MB of data I need. What now?

WhatSIM lists all the current deals in the market and lets you sort by the number of minutes, texts and MB of data you need to  find the very best deal. When making a selection don’t forget to consider other variables such as coverage level and whether or not you want 4G. For advice about this, read our guide to choosing the right sim only deal.