Three has overhauled its plans, with the goal of making them a lot more customisable, while in the process making them a little less simple than they once were.
As such, you might want some help in seeing exactly what’s on offer and how to get the plan you’re looking for.
That’s what this guide is for. We’ll explain the three new plan types available – namely Lite, Value, and Complete, along with how to get them and everything else you need to know about Three’s new plans.
Three now offers a choice of Lite plans, Value plans, and Complete plans when buying a smartphone on contract, a SIM Only plan, or a laptop or tablet. Note that these were briefly called Standard, Plus, and Premium plans respectively, but the names have now changed.
Below you’ll find full details of the three plan types.
|5G at no extra cost||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited data plans available||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited calls & texts||✓||✓||✓|
|Paramount+||x||✓ for half length of plan||✓ for whole length of plan|
|Roaming||x||✓ Up to 28 days a year||✓ Up to 56 days a year|
|Extended warranty||x||✓ Up to 3 years||✓ Up to 3 years|
|Screen repair||x||x||✓ included on 24-month plans when taken with a device|
Lite plans are the cheapest, as they come with the fewest extras. You get a data allowance along with unlimited calls and texts, 5G, and access to the Three+ rewards app, which has discounts, freebies, and the like from other brands.
Lite plans are very similar to, well, the standard plans Three was offering previously. The only real difference is that you can optionally add a Paramount Plus subscription to them, but this will cost extra (specifically £6.98 per month).
Value plans come with all the same things as standard plans – so 5G, unlimited calls and texts, a data allowance, and access to the Three+ rewards app. However, on top of that, Three’s Plus plans also give you a Paramount Plus subscription for half the length of your plan (at no extra cost).
These plans also include the ability to roam abroad for up to 28 days each year at no extra cost, as long as you’re in one of Three’s over 70 roaming destinations worldwide.
Finally, Value plans give you a 36-month extended warranty if taken with a device.
Of course, all these extras mean that Value plans also cost more than Standard plans.
Complete plans are the top plans that Three is offering, and as such they’re also the most expensive.
These give you 5G, unlimited calls and texts, a data allowance, and access to the Three+ app, just like the other plan types. Then on top of that you essentially get better versions of what’s in the Value plans.
This includes a Paramount Plus subscription for the full length of the plan, the ability to roam at no extra cost (in Three’s Go Roam locations) for up to 56 days each year, and a 36-month extended warranty if you take out a Complete plan with a device included.
Finally, Complete plans give you inclusive screen repairs if taken as part of a 24-month device plan.
The whole idea of these plans seems to be giving customers more choice, and that focus on choice extends to contract durations and how you spread the cost.
That means, when buying a smartphone on contract you can choose how much you want to pay upfront (from a selection of options) and how long you want the contract to be – picking from 12, 24 or 36 months, with the monthly cost adjusting accordingly. You can also choose to pay for the device outright if you prefer.
That gives you way more options than most networks allow, so you can better customise a plan to your needs and budget. The whole new process and plans are known as ‘Three Your Way,’ and the company has a page explaining it all.
Note that there are fewer options when choosing SIM Only – you simply pick from a number of pre-set plans, lasting either 1, 12 or 24 months.
These news plans come with a new purchasing process, presenting you with a lot of options as you go. So let’s quickly run through the whole process first for a Three smartphone contract, then for a SIM Only plan.
For a phone then, whether you’re buying direct from Three or using a site like ours to find the best phone deals, you first select the handset you want. So far, so simple.
As well as picking the colour and storage capacity you want, you also need to choose how much you want to pay upfront, and how long you want the contract to be – from a choice of 12, 24 or 36 months. You’ll be able to see how that adjusts the monthly cost at the right of the screen. This though is just the cost of the phone we’re looking at – not the accompanying allowances.
Tap the ‘Next, choose your plan’ button below the ‘Choose your plan’ heading and you’ll get to the allowances. There will initially probably be three options to choose from but if you don’t like the look of any of those you can press ‘See all plans’ to view other options.
Note that these plans are usually 24 months, so they won’t necessarily be the same duration as your monthly handset charges – you could for example select to pay off your phone over 36 months, which means after 24 months you’d be able to change to a different plan for your allowances, but would still have another 12 months to go before your phone is paid off.
There is a toggle for 12-month plans, but at the time of writing this doesn’t display any options in our tests. Either way, the same principle applies.
In any case, select a plan, then you’ll be able to choose whether you want to use a physical SIM – which is the removable kind we’ve been using for years – or an eSIM, which is a virtual SIM card inside the phone, and which not all handsets have.
On this screen you can also select whether you want a spend cap, and if so how much. If you set one, that will be the maximum you can spend on services outside your monthly plan (excluding VAT).
Hit ‘Next’ and you’ll be able to choose what if any relevant accessories you want to add to your order, then hit ‘Next’ again to optionally add insurance.
Then press ‘Continue’ to view add-ons. These include things like a Paramount Plus subscription if your plan doesn’t already come with this.
Add any of those to your basket that you want, then hit ‘Continue’ again and you’ll be asked whether you want to keep your number, get a new number from Three and let your old network know you’re leaving, or get a new number from Three without closing your old account. That last option lets you transfer your number later, or simply have two numbers running at once.
Those first two options then require you to enter either a PAC or STAC code. We’ve got a PAC codes guide that explains both, so head there if in doubt. Finally, head to the next screen to fill in your details and place your order.
With that done, head to the next screen to double check your order is correct, then on the next screen you need to enter your email address to get the contract offer sent to you. Tick the box at the bottom of the screen once you’ve read it, and finally head to the next screen to fill in your details and place your order.
This being a contract there will be a credit check, which also means more is asked than for a simple purchase. You’ll have to say for example how long you’ve been at your address and when you opened your bank account.
Thankfully, Three SIM Only plans are a little simpler to purchase than handset plans. First you want to select the plan you’re interested in – noting that some last 1 month, some 12, and some 24.
Once done, the process is similar to the process for handsets, so check out the above section for a more detailed explanation, but in brief you’ll be asked whether you want to use an eSIM or a physical SIM, whether you want a spend cap, what if any add-ons you want, and whether you want to keep your current number or get a new one.
Head through all these screens, enter your email to get the contract offer sent to you, then fill in your details to apply for the contract and place the order.
Three offers Lite plans, which are the cheapest option and don’t come with many extras. Then there’s pricier Value plans which give you bonus perks and inclusive roaming, and at the top end there are Complete plans which come with the most extras, but also cost the most.
Three’s SIM Only plans last a choice of 1, 12 or 24 months. Its handset plans have two components – there’s the phone itself, which can be paid off over 12, 24 or 36 months, and there’s the allowances, with this part of the plan lasting 24 months.
Three+ is an app that Three customers can use to get discounts and exclusive offers across various categories, such as food and drink, days out, shopping, and more.
Paramount Plus is a video streaming subscription service with a wide range of movies and television shows.
Lite plans don’t include free roaming, so you’ll have to pay. Costs – to roam in Three’s 71 Go Roam destinations – come in at £2 per day in Europe or £5 per day outside Europe.