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Turning SIM off

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

We're off abroad for 10 days and I only need my phone for connecting to Wifi (unless we have an emergency) so I'm thinking the best way to avoid unexpected charges is to turn the SIM off in my phone's settings.  Is there a problem with doing this as most websites suggest Airplane Mode (which doesn't stop background data as I understand it) and few suggest turning the SIM off.  Thanks.


SMARTY Commentator
SMARTY Commentator

Airplane mode will turn off all connections on your phone.

Airplane mode is a setting on a mobile device that disables all wireless communication functions, including both cellular and Wi-Fi connections.

Where are you going ? If it’s within the EU, you can use your phone as you would in the UK, with a data allowance of 12 GB.

See here : 

Thanks for your reply - we're not within the EU so don't have any allowance.  It seems to me that turning the SIM off is easier than using flight mode and then having to turn wifi back on again - is there a reason not to do that?

SMARTY Superhero
SMARTY Superhero

@SteveEld_968413 Unless you keep a large amount of credit in your account, you need not fear unexpected charges. The reason for that is that smarty do not run credit accounts as do some of the large contract networks and so cannot send you a bill. (They can only use any credit that you have added to pay for the odd out-of-plan use).


I do want to keep some credit in my account in case I need it in an emergency while abroad so there is a chance of unexpected charges. My question was whether there is a reason for not turning the SIM off? Thanks.

Don’t overthink this - Turning on Airplane mode or turning the sim off will both have the same effect - You can use your phone as a paperweight or doorstop, but it won’t incur any charges, which is what you want to achieve. Depending on where you are staying, in may be worth leaving your phone at home, and using a hotel phone or public phone box in an emergency. 

Remember one important thing though, whether you put your phone in airplane mode, which no, won’t allow even 1 kb of data through, or turn the sim off, you can reverse either action to use your phone in an emergency, BUT if you switch your SIM off or turn on airplane mode, friends, family, neighbours, colleagues etc will not be able to contact you in an emergency. So, heaven forbid a family member gets ill, or your house gets broken into, no one would be able to contact you quickly and easily to let you know.