Need UK SIM card in France

Apologies if this topic has been done before and (as always) sorry about the sheer naivety of my questions, but I have a Samsung phone that takes 2 SIM cards. At the moment I just have an Orange/Sosh SIM in it and I now need a UK SIM.
Barclaycard is making my life a tad more difficult as it wants to send me a One Time Code to my “UK mobile phone number starting with 07” - which I don’t have.
I never go back to the UK. Can I get a UK SIM card here in France? If so how? And, obviously, since it will be rarely used I could do with a cheap as chips option.
Thanks for any help /advice. Sue

The short answer is “Yes”

I recently got a Giffgaff card purely for UK bank acessing purposes. Pay as you Go type of thing. The only problem at all with it is that I have to send a text once a month to keep it alive!

Just sending you a PM


I have had 2 UK sims sold since Brexit, but discovered they could only be activated while within the UK. Make sure you ask your supplier if sim activation from France is possible.

I activated mine from here but they did need a UK address and I used a friend’s

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Interesting, is this because you have a new card that requires activation?

No John, but I almost never use my Barclaycard since Brexit as I find it easier to buy most things online in France. But I need remedies from Helios in Tunbridge Wells and so (unsurprisingly) when I came to pay Barclaycard just wanted to check it was me.

I had a contract with Virgin UK up until a couple of months ago, when I stopped it and got a gifgag sim. Ordered online and used my french address. It arrived promptly in the post and has worked perfectly, and saved me the monthly cost I was throwing away with Virgin👍 The only subscription I now need to rationalise is my rather pricey French mobile contract with SFR, but need to wait until the end of the year for that.


Thanks Letsmile. Can I just check, is this the one you got? It seems to use the O2 network, so how does that work in France?

Oh so it is actually a French version giffgaff how odd!

I ordered direct from giffgaff using the link below, and I just ordered the sim only option - I don’t remember exactly how quickly it arrived, but it was quick, and it worked perfectly!

Is the one you’ve shown from amazon just a data sim?


Thanks letsmile. That looks great. And they give me the option of providing a French address. :grinning:

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All sims are data, calls and texts as the link clearly shows.

xGB data - unlimited text - unlimited calls.

Beware UK cards used for roaming and not used in the UK will be detected. I’ve just had two 1p mobile cards that I sent to my daughter and husband in France receive a text warning that £1 day will be added for roaming calls. It took four months with numerous calls within France and to the UK before the warning was issued.

1p mobile = 1p minute/1p text/ 1p MB including roaming.

Thanks b33jay, but since I literally only need it so that Barclaycard can contact me how does that work?

Another thought - I’m going to need a UK mobile phone number, how does that happen?

When I got the giffgaff sim I transferred my existing UK nr, but the sim is a UK sim so UK nr.

When I recently returned to France I received the standard giffgaff text message when I landed telling me that any calls, texts or data would come out of my normal UK allowance, just like being in the UK, which was exactly the same as the Virgin sim I had. I primarily use the sim to receive security numbers/references for UK related services. Works perfectly so far :+1: For calls, texts, data I use my French nr as there is always an excess that I have never ever exhausted!

Unfortunately I don’t have an existing UK number - so what now? Anyone know please?

When you order the sim they should give you a UK number. I just stepped through the order process online and delivery is 3-5 days in Europe and the sim is free. So when you receive it you’ll see the number, and from memory, you add credit via the giffgaff app - very straightforward.

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Thank you. Here’s hoping. They tell me it’s on its way. I’ll keep you posted. :slight_smile:

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Sure you’ll be fine, and as said, it was very simple to set up, and the best bit is the credit doesn’t expire each month. I think the credit lasts 6 months from when you last used the phone, so sending a text just before the end of the 6 month period should keep it alive for minimal cost!

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I gave up trying to get a UK SIM to work without many hoops to jump through. In the end Barclaycard sent me a ‘PINsentry card reader’. It costs nothing, nothing to keep topped up either.