Best broadband offers: hurry or hold off?

neil hawkins
By Neil Hawkins

broadband special offers

There's no shortage of broadband providers advertising once-in-a-lifetime deals but it can often be hard to tell just what constitutes a genuinely great offer.

Some ISPs like to offer perpetual deals that are rarely altered, others often switch between various short-term offers in a bid to catch the eye of passing potential customers.

So: which special offers are really special?

We've put together this guide to make it clear when a really great broadband deal has come up.

We've also tried to take into account - based on our past market research - how likely it is that the provider will change the offer.

Here's how it works:

Green: If you want this provider, switch now - this is a good deal.
If you're also just looking for a good bargain but haven't settled on a particular provider or you're torn between two options, these are currently the market's best money off deals and could swing it for you.

Orange: signals any other special offers: they may of been around a while.

Red: no offer on these packages but they're still worth a look.

Green: quick, these deals might be gone soon!

Virgin Media: £75 free credit + 12 months half price

Hurry! Offer ends: 25 March 2013

There are various deals on Virgin Media's numerous packages, one of the best is currently twelve months half price on Virgin Media's pre-made collections: Essentials, Premier and VIP, plus a £75 free credit.

Customers will also get a more standard special offer of free installation worth £49.95.

Those not looking to take Virgin TV, can also get a good deal currently with £14.50 off broadband for six months when you also take a Virgin Media phone line.

Virgin are now offering a free credit offer of £75 on collections, £50 on broadband and phone or TV and phone, and £25 credit on broadband only.

What's on offer? When you join online for: Need to know:
virgin media Money off TV, broadband and phone for up to 12 months + free set up worth £49.95One of Virgin Media's Big Bundles
virgin media Save over £180 on broadband and phone + free set upVirgin Media broadband
(with a Virgin phone line)

Take a look at our full review for more information on the different packages.

BT: £100 Sainsbury's gift card

Hurry! Offer ends: 25 March 2013

BT has been offering Sainsbury's gift cards of the value of £25 or £50 for fibre customers for some time now, so this £100 offer is a good one.

BT are also currently including a discount for 6 months with their truly unlimited up to 16Mb broadband with anytime calls.

However you must sign an 18 month contract with BT meaning the savings can be eroded over time compared to other providers.

Note also though that for customers taking other BT packages, including Infinity the price is only discounted for the first 3 months.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
BT Unlimited Up to 17Mb Unlimited £5.50
for 12 mths,
then £22
More info
BT Infinity Up to 52Mb Unlimited £10.50
for 12 mths,
then £28.50
More info

Take a look at our full BT review to see details of the offers: they vary from deal to deal.

Sky: Half price Entertainment for 6 months + £25 M&S voucher

Offer ends: 28 March 2013

Sky often gives away vouchers with its TV, this one is £25 to spend at M&S.

Sky are also offering half price Sky TV Entertainment for 6 months: that's a saving of £10.75 each month. It can also be combined with a number of other money saving offers, including £5 off HD TV for 6 months.

It's available to new customers joining Sky TV online only.

What's on offer? When you join online for: Need to know:
sky Reward Choice: £100 Tesco or M&S voucher or Prepaid MasterCard
Sorry, this offer ended 16 February 2017
Any Sky TV bundle18 month minimum term. From £15 setup.
sky Sky Unlimited Broadband + line rental £18.99/mth for 12 months (then £28.99/mth)
Hurry! Offer ends 9 March 2017
Sky Unlimited broadband
(without Sky TV)
12 month minimum term. £9.95 set-up fee.

Plusnet: Half price for 12 months

Offer ends: 11 April 2013

Having offered this for a sustained period last year, this deal is back.

The deal is for the provider's broadband and phone deals: top notch customer service and either a 10GB download limit or truly unlimited usage makes it ideal for light and heavy users alike.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
Value [speed] [usage] [price+offer] [signup]
Unlimited Up to 17Mb Unlimited £20
for 12 mths,
then £27.98
More info

Plusnet: Half price fibre for six months

Offer ends: 11 April 2013

Plusnet have just upgraded their 'three months half price' on fibre offer to a six month deal.

Making this currently one of the longest money off deals available for fibre broadband.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
Value [speed] [usage] [price+offer] [signup]
Unlimited Up to 38Mb Unlimited £25
for 12 mths,
then £32.98
More info

O2: 12 months half price + £50 M&S voucher

Offer ends: 31 March 2013

As ever, O2 mobile customers reap big rewards with O2 Broadband's offers.

They're currently offering 12 months half price for O2 and non-O2 mobile customers, along with a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher too.

This deal applies to The Basics, All Rounder and The Works packages.

This is a good deal, but we've put it right at the bottom of the 'green' list, as O2 has recently been bought out by Sky and so their future isn't yet clear.

There is also the long standing £5 off the bill each month for O2 mobile customers. Although due to the Sky buyout, there is a chance this may be withdrawn after the migration to Sky.

Orange: good deals not to be missed

TalkTalk: £25 Love2Shop voucher + free for 3 months

Offer ends: 28 March 2013

TalkTalk are currently offering the first three months free on Essentials, which equates to a saving of £19.50.

At the time of writing, TalkTalk are also offering a free £25 Love2Shop voucher for all switchers, which can be spent at a range of high street shops.

This offer is new, but it's not super new, and TalkTalk are quite well known for the yo-yo effect they apply to their deals.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
Essentials Up to 17Mb Unlimited £22.95
for 24 mths,
then £25.50
More info

Primus Saver: £1.20 a month

Offer ends: 31 March 2013

If you are looking for broadband that will cover the basics at the lowest price then this deal from Primus is hard to beat.

It was a 'winter only' special offer, however while it has now been extended twice, once at the end of January and in February, it's hard to say how long it will last for: it's currently set to end 31 March.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
Saver Fastest they
can provide
Unlimited £23.60
More info

Tesco: £2.50 first 12 months

Offer ends: 1 March 2014

Tesco is offering super cheap unlimited broadband when taken with their own home phone option.

The total monthly price including line rental for unlimited broadband with evening and weekend calls is £16.25 for the first year about as cheap as home broadband gets.

This deal is currently set to end 1st March 2014: so you've got a little while yet.

Our full review Speed Usage Price
Tesco Fastest they
can provide
[usage] [price+offer] [signup]

Red: no offers on these packages at present

John Lewis Broadband: Simple pricing

In a bid to keep things as straightforward as possible, John Lewis avoids complex offers on its broadband.

That's not to say it doesn't offer value for some, read our review of John Lewis Broadband to see why.

Post Office: Home phone with broadband

Like John Lewis, the Post Office doesn't do complicated deals. It offers four different packages with either 5GB or Unlimited downloads.

Our guide to Post Office Broadband has all the information.

A note

This guide is based on what a provider has done in the past so, as much as we'd love to, we cannot guarantee that a provider will gazump itself and switch to offering an even better deal than the one displayed.


22 March 2013

I recently signed a 12 month contract with O2 on the All Rounder home phone and broadband package and was told as I'd signed before the Sky takeover the whole contract would be honoured on O2's T&C's - this is what they've agreed with Sky for their customers.

I also have the £5 additional discount, you don't have to be an O2 mobile user, if you have a friend or relation willing to apply their mobile number to your account you can also benefit from the discount. O2 largely have been great, I've had my broadband with them for a number of years.