There are several ways to top your phone up across all networks as a Pay As You Go customer. We've outlined these methods and have broken it down by network.
If you're looking to change your network, see our round up of the best SIM-only deals.
Auto top-up (scheduled top-up) and web top-up
The fastest way to top up is to set up auto-payment, which is available with most network providers. Though it's self-explanatory, auto top-up directly charges your credit or debit card a certain amount on a date of your choice or a pre-selected frequency (for example weekly or monthly).
O2 has two of auto-top up options: regular top-up and low balance top-up. Regular top-up lets you choose how much you want to top up and how often. So you could set your phone to top up on a specific date at the end of the month.
A low balance top-up balance tops up your phone with a specific amount every time the balance goes below a certain threshold. O2 has a useful FAQ page if you’re interested in learning more about auto-top up.
To set up auto top-up with O2, you first need to sign into My O2 where you can set your auto-top up preferences and payment details. If you don’t have a My O2 account, you can register here with your O2 phone number.
There’s also the My O2 app for iTunes and Android which you can download here.
The EE network also covers Orange and T-Mobile. You can access top-up options for all three here.
To top up, log into your EE account. Next, go to Menu, then Top up. You can access this service via the app as well (for both iOS and Android).
Vodafone customers can set up auto-top up in two ways: over the phone or via the My Vodafone app (available for iOS and Android).
Over the phone, call 18829 for free from your Vodafone number to set up your first top-up payment. You should then be able to choose how frequently you want the payment to be made. You can choose from weekly, monthly, or every 30 days.
On the My Vodafone app, choose Top Up in the main menu and then Auto Top Up.
If you're traveling, see our dedicated article on how roaming costs work on Vodafone.
To auto-top-up on Three, first log into My3 account, where you can register your credit or debit card by clicking on “Add Card”. This saves your card details for future use.
To set up an auto top-up payment, go to Topping Up, then Top up. Finally, choose “Setting Up Regular Top Up”. You should be able to choose how much you want to top up and how often.
You can read more about setting up and cancelling auto-top-up with Three here.
Tesco Mobile customers can top up between £10 to £30 by logging into the Tesco Mobile website here. Tesco Mobile does not have an app for Pay As You Go customers yet.
Once there, choose the Regular Top-ups option from the menu on the left and then Regular Top-ups again.
Next, you can choose from weekly or monthly payment options from a drop down menu which shows your phone number. There, you should also see other registered numbers if you’re paying for a friend or relative.
You can now choose the amount you would like to set up for recurring payments.
Click Add, and a confirmation notice should soon appear.
Tesco also provides 10% discount off each weekly or monthly top-up.
Read more on auto top-up here.
Top up over phone
If you prefer topping up manually, you can always top up over the phone. There are a few ways to do this depending on which network you're with.
O2 customers can can top by credit or debit by calling 4444 (free to call) directly from their phone. Landline callers can dial 08456 062 277. If you're looking to top up from abroad you can still dial 4444 for free from your O2 phone, though you can call *111*# instead if dialing 4444 does not work.
You can also call EE to top up by calling 150, and then choosing Top Up. When you call the first time, you will need to set up a PIN which helps make topping up more secure. You can also change this PIN by calling the same 150 number.
Vodafone customers can call 2345 for free to top up over the phone.
Three customers can dial 444 for free from their phone to top up. You will need to register your credit or debit card first. To do this, you can either call 333 first and then follow the Top-up instructions. Or, you can register your card through your My3 account.
On My3, go to Manage Cards from the Top-up section, and then Add Card.
Tesco Mobile customers who want to top up over the phone can call 4444 for free and top up with a credit or debit card. This won't work for new SIM-only customers, however. First-time payments need to be made through another method (online, for example).
Top up at a cashpoint or ATM
Most major networks also let you top your phone up from a cashpoint, which is convenient if you don't have your phone with you but need to top up anyway. You just have to find an ATM with the green "top up" symbol (pictured above).
O2 customers can add between £10 to £50 when topping up at a cashpoint. Simply log in as you usually would and choose the top up option. The instructions should present itself on the screen.
EE customers topping up at a cash machine need to choose Mobile top-up from the menu and then follow the on-screen instructions. You may see EE/Orange or EE/T-Mobile as payees – either option works with an EE SIM.
Three customers can top up at the following bank cash machines:
- The Coventry
You will need to enter your phone number and then the amount you want to top up.
Vodafone customers can top up not only at cash machines, but also supermarkets and Top Up kiosks. You simply have to find a place with the green top-up symbol.
Tesco Mobile customers can also top up at cash machines – again, look for the Top Up symbol. Once the payment is made, you should see a “Top-Up Successful” message and receive a printed confirmation receipt.
Top up over text
A few networks also let you top up by text message, though not all of them. Topping up via text is not available for O2 and Three Mobile.
If you have a registered credit or debit card with EE, you can text 150 to top up. If you haven’t registered your card, you can do this on your My EE account or by calling EE customer service at 0800 956 6000. The format of the text is as follows:
"CR + last four digits of your card + an amount between £5 and £95".
So if you wanted to add £10 on a credit card that ends with 0123 you would send the following text:
"CR 0123 10"
To top up via text with Vodafone, you need to have first topped up over the phone at least once before. After this, you should be able to top up just by texting:
"TOPUP + the amount you want to add + the last four digits of your card".
So if you wanted to add £10 on a credit card that ends with 0123 you would send:
"TOPUP 10 0123"
Tesco Mobile users can top up via text as well. Text “topup” to 64545 with the amount you want to top up (anywhere from £10 to £10 in £5 increments). For example, if you want to top up £10, text “topup 20”
You should get a text asking for 2 digits out of your 4 digit PIN, such as the first and third digit. Read more on setting up a Tesco PIN here.
Reply with the text “PIN” followed by the 2 digits requested. For example, if your PIN is 1234, you would send “PIN 13”.
You should get another text from 64545 confirming your top-up was successful. You can only top up between £10 and £30 in £5 increments.
Top up by voucher
Top up vouchers are cards or printed receipts which you can buy from your network provider’s store or from participating supermarkets and shops. They often have a 16-digit code which you can redeem by entering into your online network account, app, or by calling in.
You can buy an O2 voucher from any store with the green top up logo. The voucher remains valid for a year. To redeem, call 4444 from your phone, or 08456 062 277 if you’re calling via landline, and enter the number on the receipt. You can top up anywhere from £10 to £50.
EE customers can pick up e-vouchers from EE stores or participating retailers. e-Vouchers can either be a card or printed receipt with a 16-digit number. These vouchers are valid for six months.
You can top up with a voucher via text or over the phone. With text, send: "VO + the 16-digit number to 150". There must be a space between VO and the code.
To top up with a voucher over the phone. Call 150 from your phone and listen for the instructions guiding you through the top-up process. You should receive a confirmation text once the top-up is successful.
Vodafone customers can activate vouchers through the My Vodafone app. If you don’t have the app, you can redeem the voucher from your phone or on the computer through this site.
To redeem it by phone, dial *#1345* and then the Top Up voucher number, then # (hash).
For example, if your voucher code is 123456789123, you would dial *#1345*123456789123#
Three Mobile allows you to buy top-up vouchers worth anywhere from £10 to £50 in £5 increments. The voucher comes with a 16-digit code. To top your phone up, call 444 from your Three phone and enter the code when asked.
You can top up with a voucher on your My3 account via your phone or desktop.
Tesco Mobile customers can buy top-up vouchers from Tesco stores. You can redeem it by calling 4444 from your phone, through the Tesco Mobile app, or calling 0345 940 0000 from landline.