GiffGaff SIM

Get a free giffgaff Sim

I discovered GiffGaff casually when I was looking for a SIM (IoT SIM or M2M SIM) to use with the Arduino shield  SIM900 . This SIM *is not* an IoT nor M2M SIM but I chosen it since costs are easy to forecast , I got it for free and without contracts or constrains…. it was the quicker way to start with my tests.

However, apart SIM900,  acquire an UK phone number is mandatory if you are looking for a new job in UK (CV  with an UK number has more chance) or if your are moving even temporary in UK … and according to me GiffGaff SIM is a great choice… and you can get your new UK number (before moving) at your home.

I appreciated the “social/community” attitude of this operator :  with a community (forum) very active, idea labs ( ), recruiting campaigns and… stickers if you complete missions 🙂

The user portal is pretty easy to use with the balance updated in real-time. There are a lot of settings and informations…

✪ Costs

The most traffic in my case is Text (SMS message with SIM900):
I paid (pay as you go rates without using goodybag monthly bundle) right now 0.056€/SMS (£0.05/SMS).

1 SMS, in Italy, costs ~ 0.15€0.20€ (GiffGaff 0.056€)

I can’t say if I’ll have an extra costs in future (since I’m using the SIM only in Italy and GiffGaff could apply cost for the roaming > 60 days).

✪ General information

The name “GiffGaff is an ancient Scottish word that means ‘mutual giving’. That pretty much sums us up.

GiffGaff is an UK operator (based on O2 network) who allows to receive your new SIM for free in your country (in my case I received it in Italy).
GiffGaff is ideal for who is going to move to UK (temporary or not).. and wants to receive (in own origin country) the SIM before to move.
The offers is very easy to understand (I would but I can’t say the same for Italian network operators) It is very simple to understand the Terms and Conditions.

How to order a new GiffGaff SIM ?

The SIM can be required here :

Or clicking here (by inviting):

Get a free giffgaff Sim

It is sufficient fill a on-line form without provide any document and sign/accept any contracts.
You can choose the monthly plan before to receive the SIM or when you activate the SIM, once it arrives…I chosen to postpone the choice at activation (I chosen top-up).

✪ How long take to receive new SIM?

To receive (Italy) GiffGaff SIM has required : ~ 9 days
I filled the on-line form the 2017-12-28.  The 2018-01-05 (consider the holiday period) the SIM was in my mailbox. I received an email notification (with the activation instructions) one day before (2018-01-04) that I received the SIM.

✪ How much cost the GiffGaff SIM?

The SIM is for free but you have to activate it (if you decide to activate it) adding credit (not less than 10₤). If you active it within few days after you received the SIM, you’ll get an extra credit (5₤) as gift.

✪ How the SIM card is sent and what I receive?

With ordinary postal mail … you receive this:
The “”paper”” seems to be empty (without SIM) but the SIM is there hidden 🙂

✪ How I can active the GiffGaff SIM?

Following this link ( and adding credit.
It is not mandatory to active the SIM but after some time  the SIM will expire (and you can’t active it).

If you are going to use a creditcard ( not UK ) or you won’t to chose a monthly plan goodybag them select “Just need top-up credit” … se image above (the last option where GiffGaff activation wizard asks for “Choose a monthly plan”).

Warning! Issues during the SIM activation

If your phone doesn’t work and/or is not showed the signal bars (there is not network or coverage) wait few minutes and check if roaming is enabled (if you are not in UK).

When you are activating the SIM remember to select “allow roaming” on your phone setting (I did activating the SIM in Italy).

✪ How can I add credit to GiffGaff  SIM?

With creditcard or vouchers.

Voucher (online)

Creditcard / debitcard

I used an italian debitcard (postepay visa-electron)  without any issue choosing the Top-up plan (only to add credit for pay-as-you-go).

Not sure (I didn’t try) maybe for goodybags you need a UK creditcard. I guess the monthly  plans (goodybags) is reserved to who has the residence to UK.
Probably using a voucher you can active a goodybags also if you don’t have residence in UK.

Do I need an UK creditcard (or UK residence) in order to active the SIM?

No necessary for top-up: I used postpay (visa-electron debit card issued by Italian bank).
For goodybag you can use (maybe) vouchers.

✪ Are there limits in use (example if I live in Italy and I won’t go in UK)?

What to avoid: Using our services for the first time outside of the UK, using a large volume of your allowance (be that text, calls or data) in the EU and selected destinations (excluding the UK), or using our services within the EU and selected destinations (excluding the UK) for prolonged periods which don’t follow reasonable consumer holiday and travel patterns and behaviour. If you use our services outside the UK in the EU and selected destinations for 60 or more days in any four month period this is likely to be deemed to be an unfair use of our services.GiffGaff

✪ Has the SIM and expiration?

How  can I avoid that SIM expires?

Six months but it is very easy to keep alive.
Our rights to bar or disconnect your SIM Card
13.3. Your SIM Card will be disconnected unless, at least once every six months, your Account is used to:
  a) make at least one call, SMS or MMS to another number (not including calls to emergency services or Member Services);
  b) make at least one connection to the Internet;
  c) make at least one airtime credit or Bundle purchase
13.4. If your SIM Card is disconnected, you will lose any remaining credit or Bundle balance on your Account. giffgaff recycles numbers and we will not be able to reconnect once a number is disconnected and recycled. giffgaff may reconnect you if any disconnection was due to our negligence.GiffGaff

✪ How SIM works with SIM900 (Arduino shieddl)?

This SIM is not a IoT SIM nor M2M SIM but it is quite chipper and easy to get. Works fine with SIM900 (an Arduino shield) and the startup cost is low.
When you attach the GiffGaff Network (O2 network) you get, obviously, an private IP (such as

APN Setting

Username: giffgaff
Password:{Leave Blank}
Proxy: {Leave Blank}
MCC: 234
MNC: 10


AT+CSTT= "","giffgaff",""
+SAPBR: 1,1,""
If your are looking to speed up the test with your SIM900 this SIM it is ok…
I’m looking for the final IoT SIM but not found yet.
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