How do Tesco Mobile upgrades work?

Tesco Mobile have proven themselves a quality and affordable mobile phone operator since their launch in 2003, and over the years the brand has expanded. Tesco Mobile is competing against some of the biggest phone providers out there and thanks to their excellent value mobile upgrades they definitely stand out as one of the best.

But how exactly do Tesco Mobile upgrades work and is it worth your time and effort to get one?

With this step-by-step guide, we explain everything you might want or need to know about upgrading your mobile phone plan with Tesco Mobile.

Tesco Anytime Upgrade

The launch of flexible contracts has proven a big change for the mobile phone industry and O2 Refresh and giffgaff’s offering have been huge hits.

Since the mobile industry has woken to the idea of proper flexibility when it comes to packages, Tesco launched their Anytime Upgrade package to compete with the industry’s key players.

But what exactly is it?

Well, the clue is in its name, you can upgrade your phone at any time. Of course, there are a couple of rules to abide by, but as long as you do, you won’t be stung by any hidden fees or extra costs.

Upgrading your Tesco Mobile Pay Monthly account

Whilst Tesco Mobile does offer the Anytime Upgrade plan, more details below, you can still buy into their Pay Monthly plans.

Typically, you can upgrade when you want, but you may need to pay an early upgrade fee. This is worked out differently to the Anytime Upgrade, other pay monthly tariffs and SIM only.

Find out when your contract ends

To avoid paying any early upgrade fees, you can check your upgrade options for free online, this way you’ll know whether or not you’ll have to pay to exit your current contract or you’re due a new one soon.

You won’t be able to upgrade if you’ve upgraded or changed your tariff in the last month or you haven’t paid your recent bills.

Early upgrade fees

To leave your pay monthly tariff early, there will be an Early Upgrade Fee. Tesco Mobile simply work this out by multiplying the amount agreed to pay each month by how long’s left on the contract minus the VAT. To earn a 30% discount on this fee, all you have to do is simply choose an Anytime Upgrade deal when you upgrade.

If you have a SIM only when you can upgrade depends on how long you’ve been with Tesco Mobile. If you have a 12 month SIM only deal, there’s no early upgrade fee to pay at all if you upgrade to another device.

Use the upgrade shop on the Tesco mobile site to find out if you can upgrade at no extra cost, or how much an early upgrade fee would be for you. You can also speak to someone at Tesco Mobile to get more information if you wish.

Swapping SIMs

If you buy a new phone and want to keep your Tesco Mobile SIM only contract, all you have to do is pop your old SIM in your new device. With this, you’ll keep your existing number.

However, you might find that your new phone needs a different size SIM to your current phone. In the event of this, you can still keep your same number and tariff; you’ll just need to do a SIM swap, which is actually relatively easy.

Before you start your SIM swap, you need to ensure you save your contacts to your phone, rather than your SIM. Also, back up anything important like photos and videos. This is because anything on your SIM won’t be transferred.

If you’re a pay as you go customer, any credit, Rocket Pack or Bundle will also be transferred.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Text SWAP to 23424 from your original SIM card. It’s free
  2. Tesco will then text you letting you know your number will be moved
  3. Tesco will again text you asking you to reply with the serial number of your new SIM card – this is either a 13 or 19 digit number
  4. Tesco Mobile will then text you asking you to put your new SIM into your phone. Your number will be on your new SIM within 24 hours

How Anytime Upgrade works

Tesco Anytime Upgrade might just sound too good to be true but read on to find out how it works, and whether it’s the right plan for you.

Split costs between phone and tariff

Like O2 Refresh and giffgaff, the Tesco Mobile Anytime Upgrade works by splitting the cost of your phone and your tariff, allowing you the choice to upgrade whenever you want.

You still have a single Direct Debit coming out of your account each month, this is just split into two, which covers the cost of your monthly usage and the cost of your device.

The two separate contracts that this single payment covers are:

  • Your usage contract is for your monthly minutes, data and texts
  • Your phone or tablet contract is for your device payments

This means that upgrade fees are lower because you simply need to pay up the remaining cost of your device you want to change. This is a big contrast to traditional contracts, which make you pay the front up tariff and phone costs in one big sum if you want to upgrade early.

For example, if you pay £20 a month for your phone and there are six months left, all you have to do is pay £120 and you can get a new device.

Also, if you’re still happy with your handset at the end of the contract, Tesco will automatically reduce your monthly payments to your usage contract, so you only pay for your minutes, data and texts.

You’ve also got the option to pay off your device contract early and keep making the usage payments each month.

You will be given a set amount of minutes on your contracts, these will include:

  • National voice calls to UK landlines (beginning 01,02,03)
  • UK mobiles
  • Listen to voicemail in the UK
  • Calls made to Tesco Mobile Customer Care in the UK

A new contract

If you do decide you want to upgrade your mobile phone, though, you will need to start a whole new contract, which lasts 24 months.

Once you decide to change your handset, the 24-month contract starts again, but you can keep the same package of minutes, texts and data.

Twenty-four months like seem a long time for some, but for others, it can be quite typical of a phone contract length. Giffgaff, however, does have the option of six, 12, 18 and 24-month contracts.

Upgrade whenever you like

Love to have the latest tech as soon as it’s released? The Tesco Mobile Anytime Upgrade plan might just be the thing for you.

You could be a week into your deal and want to change your phone, Tesco Mobile will oblige.

Of course, it’s important to note, however, that you’ll need to pay the balance for the phone before you get a new one.

There is one restriction imposed however, you can only upgrade once a month.

Early upgrade fees

As mentioned above, the Anytime Upgrade plan does have a fee if you want an early upgrade. It’s just not as steep as the traditional phone contracts.

The early upgrade fee for an Anytime Upgrade customer is the remaining balance on your credit agreement.

Unless you’ve made any one-off payments, which are completely possible to do, you simply work out your early upgrade fee by multiplying your monthly phone payments by how long you’ve left on your contract. So, obviously, the longer left on your contract the more you’ll have left to pay on your phone.

Plenty of phone choice

Tesco Mobile Anytime Upgrade’s lineup of devices is seriously impressive with the latest handsets from Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, the Sony Xperia and more. See just some of the selection available below.

Interest free

Tesco Mobile offers 0% APR, which is a real drawer if you don’t want your bill to soar over a two-year deal. It’s worth remembering though, if you have the money, buying SIM-free is always a good investment.

Network coverage

Tesco Mobile share O2’s network, and they offer speed 4G and 3G. You can use the O2 coverage checker via the Tesco Mobile website when you buy online to check coverage at your address.

  • Calls and Text Messages: The O2 network covers 99% of the UK population for calls and texts.
  • Mobile Internet: O2’s 3G network continues to grow and 4G is currently being rolled out across the UK.

Capped contracts with Tesco Mobile

If you’re worried that you might use more data, texts or calls than your current Tesco Mobile plan, you can put a cap on your monthly bill with a safety buffer, so it’ll never be higher than you expect.

These capped contracts are great because they give you complete control of how much your bill is each month. So you can use your phone with ease, safe in the knowledge that your bill will never be more than what you expect. No one wants a nasty surprise with a bill.

How to cap your contract

  • Choose your monthly tariff
  • Choose your monthly safety buffer (the most you want to spend on extras), from £2.50 to £40
  • Tesco will make sure your bill is never higher than you tariff and safety buffer
  • You get peace of mind that you’ll never overspend

Tesco Clubcard Points

Tesco Mobile’s major selling point is that you get Tesco Clubcard points for what you pay on your phone contract. Through buying a Tesco Mobile contract you will earn 1 point for every £1 spent on your monthly bill.

Trade in

With Tesco Mobile, you can trade-in your old phone for cash, or even get more for it when you join or upgrade with the phone operator.

How exactly does this work?

You can find out how much your phone is worth by inputting details online or taking it into one of the bigger Tesco stores. It’s important that you remember to save anything important and take out any memory cards you might have in it first.

Then you pick what sort of payment you would like. You will get more for your phone if you get a new contract with Tesco or upgrade, so it might be something to consider if you’re on the hunt for a new handset or contract.

  • Money off a new contract or upgrade – if you’re in a Phone Shop you can get your new contract or upgrade straightaway, or take a voucher code for later. If you Trade-in online Tesco send your voucher code the day we receive your phone. Any money left over will come off your bill.
  • Money in the bank – if you Trade-in at a Phone Shop before 1 pm, it’ll be in your account on the same day. If it’s after 1 pm, it’ll be the next working day. If you Trade-in online Tesco will pay you the day they get your phone.

Your Tesco Mobile account online

Like most mobile phone operators you can check your phone bill or previous bills, add and remove bundles and family perks from your service plan using My Tesco Mobile online. You can also update your account details and keep a general check on your mobile phone with Tesco using the dedicated site.

Tesco Mobile has won a lot of awards for their services including the USwitch Best Value for Pay Monthly, the USwitch Best Value High Street Retailer, and Pay as you Go Network winner 2016. Will you be making the switch to Tesco mobile and choosing their Anytime Upgrade plan?