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Activating your new SIM

Started ‎23-03-2012 by
Modified ‎07-02-2018 by

When you receive your giffgaff SIM, you need to activate it to be able to use it. This guide details everything there is to know about this important step.

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You'll be able to test the signal strength before spending any money by inserting the SIM in your unlocked phone, but payment is required to activate your SIM. You can pay using most major UK credit or debit cards, or visit your local shop and get a giffgaff top-up voucher. We also accept O2 top-up vouchers - as we run on the O2 network.

Minimum payment activation amount

  • If activating by topping up credit only, the minimum payment is £10.
  • If activating a SIM by the direct purchase of a goodybag / gigabag with a debit / credit card, there are two different minimum payments.

A) For a "referral" SIM, the minimum payment is £10. Referral SIMs (with £5 free credit bonus) are received from an existing member's "spread giffgaff" page, forum banner or other personalised link.

B) For a "free" SIM, the minimum payment is £5. Free SIMs are ordered from the giffgaff main page. Please note that free SIMs do not have a credit bonus.

Before we get started, let's make sure that your phone is unlocked and that you have coverage where you are.

Start by inserting the SIM card in your phone:

Signal Check - Proceed.jpg

Can't see a signal?

Signal Check - Do Not Proceed.jpg

  • It could be due to your phone being locked to your previous provider - don't worry, we have a handy guide which gives you advice about how to unlock your phone in our unlockapedia section.
  • If you have an iPhone which has been previously unlocked then you may need to sync with iTunes to complete the unlock. More information.
  • If your phone is not locked, you may want to check the coverage in your area.
  • You SIM may be damaged. Try checking it in another unlocked phone for a signal bar or a data connection symbol. Now dial *100# Your phone should display a message, if it's anything other than 'not active' then order a new SIM.
  1. On the home page, click Activate your SIM to begin the activation process.

  2. Enter the activation code. This is a 6 digit code which is found on the plastic card which originally held your SIM card. If you lost this code, you can use the 13 or 19 digit code printed on the SIM itself (right before 3Ggg1 or 4Ggg4).
    SIM code activation codes.jpg
  3. Register or log in. If you don't have a giffgaff account, now is the time to create one. This account will be used to manage your giffgaff phone and participate in the community. Make sure to choose a nice community member name as it won't be possible to change it afterwards.

    Important note: If you created an account and paid for your goodybag when you ordered the SIM, please log in to that account. Don't worry, we know what you paid for, so you will jump directly to step 7.

  4. Select your product. You can select a monthly plan (a goodybag or a gigabag) or you can just top up and have airtime / PAYG credit. If you top-up and you'll then be able to exchange the credit for a goodybag if you decide to do that.

  5. Select your payment method. You can use a credit card, a debit card or a voucher.

  6. Personal details. Enter the correct details of the person who will be using the SIM. 

  7. Press the 'Activate my SIM' button and Yay! You're activated. A confirmation email will be sent to you.

Once you completed these steps, your SIM card should be activated within 30 minutes to 24 hours. You'll then see the "Congratulations. You made it!" screen to confirm it. You'll then be invited to use the Setup Wizard. This last step is very important as it is used to make sure your phone settings are correct, so you'll be able to use Internet and MMS.

Also, If someone has recommended giffgaff to you, help them out by entering their phone number into the "phone number" box and they'll get 200 payback points. If a friend ordered the SIM for you then you won't have this option, but don't worry, your friend will automatically get the points.

If you have issues activating your SIM, we made a list of possible situations and how to solve them.

Purchasing with a credit / debit card

  • If you have selected a goodybag, you have the option to recur the goodybag every month. You can change recurrence during the goodybag purchase or later in "My giffgaff". If you have selected a credit value, you have the opportunity here to auto top-up.
  • The following credit / debit cards are accepted: Visa credit / debit (including Electron), MasterCard credit / debit (including Switch). We don't accept American Express or Diners Club - if you have one of these cards, you'll need to purchase a top-up voucher.

Purchasing with a voucher

  • When you go through the activation process, you can buy a goodybag with your voucher.
  • If the selected goodybag costs more than the value of the voucher it will automatically transform your voucher into credit. If the goodybag costs less than the voucher value, the extra credit will be available as airtime credit.
  • After the activation, you can buy a monthly plan with your voucher only if you use the 43430 Top-up service. Otherwise, if you redeem it online, it will automatically transform into airtime credit. 

    You can then choose to exchange your credit for a goodybag

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