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Three's Essential plans scrap the perks to cut the cost

The new tariffs could save you up to a fiver each month.
Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg
July 27, 2016
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All the major UK carriers offer customer perks designed to tempt you onto their networks, such as EE's brand new bonus of free BT Sport access for six months, or Vodafone including European roaming as part of your contract. Three plays this game too, but in a new shake-up to its pay-monthly plans, it's begun offering an entirely new perk: No perks at all, in exchange for a lower-cost tariff.

To do this, Three effectively doubled the number of pay-monthly tariffs it sells overnight. Those that were available before have been renamed "Advanced" plans, while the new tier are known as "Essential" plans. These give you the same minute, text and data allowances at a lower cost, as you are sacrificing free customer service calls, tethering and Three's Feel at Home perk, which lets you to roam in 18 popular destinations abroad at no extra cost.

Three is also talking up the flexibility of these Essential plans. Penny-pinchers that were perhaps too frugal with their tariff choice can upgrade, add a tethering allowance or simply purchase extra minutes or data at any time -- for a fee, of course. The Essential tier is available on one-month and 12-month SIM-only plans, as well as a decent selection of 24-month handset plans, the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices included. Naturally, the pricing structure is pretty complex, but simply put, an Essential tariff will save you up to £5 per month, or up to £120 over the course of a contract.

Three actually launched the new tier in bricks-and-mortar stores on July 19th, but you won't find them online until tomorrow, when the carrier's website will be updated with the cheaper offerings. At which point, you'll be able to choose between customer perks or cold, hard cash savings.

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