When it comes to sorting out a new mobile or upgrading, choosing the shiny new handset is the fun part – and most of us baulk at figuring out what we need from our network.

Maybe you're one of the lucky sorts who knows exactly how much data you need and use every month. Or you know you haven't sent an actual text message since 2012, so that's never going to be an issue for you (same here.) But for some of us, it's not that simple.

Picking a contract that covers all your bases is hard work, especially when your needs change all the time. You might realise you want more data for streaming when you're going on holiday and don't want to miss your favourite shows. It might be that you decide you don't need as much data one month when you're working from home and close to the Wi-Fi. Either way, making quick changes to your contract can seem like way too much faff.

That's where O2 Bolt Ons come in. And boy, are they handy in a pinch.

What is a Bolt On?

Bolt Ons are lovely little extras you can use to "top up" your monthly needs. They come in lots of shapes and sizes, like extra minutes, texts or data, and they won't break the bank. In fact, they start from as little as £3.

If you're with O2, you can manage your Bolt Ons in the My O2 app (and if you're not with O2, you can start adding them once you are.)

Even better, if you've set a Spend Cap (which is very responsible of you, if we do say so), the price of a Bolt On isn't included – because a Bolt On is a one-off.

What kind of Bolt Ons are available?

You can strap a Bolt On onto your monthly bill for all kinds of things because they've been created to make sure you never run out (even in an emergency.)

And just an FYI – some Bolt Ons are recurring, and some are one-and-done. Either way, you can manage them in the My O2 app.

Calls & Texts.

Though we might not run out of texts as often as we did before the days of WhatsApp and iMessage, there are times when only a text will do.

If you're more traditional and prefer a phone call, the limit on your monthly minutes can creep up without you even noticing – so adding a Bolt On boost of minutes might be just the thing to keep you chatting if your contract doesn't include unlimited minutes.

Whichever way you prefer to communicate, there's a Bolt On to help, including MMS Bolt Ons so you can send 50 extra pictures and video messages a month.

How much? £5.11 a month, so not too bad.


Good ol' data. What we do without it, eh? Well, we'd struggle to stay connected, which is why O2 offer a range of Bolt Ons to boost up your data both in the UK and in the Europe Zone.

Here are a few of the available options:

· 100MB One-off UK and Europe Zone Data for £3.50 a month.

· 500MB One-off UK and Europe Zone Data for £6.50 a month.

· 1GB One-off UK and Europe Zone Data for £10.50 a month.

· 2GB One-off UK and Europe Zone Data for £13.50 a month.

· 4GB One-off UK and Europe Zone Data for £16.99 a month.

· 8GB One-off UK and Europe Zone data for £22.99 a month.

· 12GB One-off UK and Europe Zone data for £30.50 a month.

Of course, if you're going (or calling) further afield than Europe, you'll want the International Bolt On, which offers you 1p per minute calls to international mobile and landline numbers when you're on a Pay Monthly contract with O2. And it's only £3 a month, which is a bargain, really.


Bolt Ons aren't all about that moment of panic when your data or minutes run out – they can be for your peace of mind, too.

There are two types of insurance Bolt Ons – one for tablets, and one for mobiles.

The Mobile Insurance option starts at £3 per month and offers loss, theft and damage cover. Or you can choose to only get damage cover (starting at £6 per month.)

The Tablet Insurance option covers the same loss, theft and damage cover from £9 per month, or just damage cover from £5.50.

Next Generation Text Service (NGTS).

O2 think it's important for everyone to be able to stay connected, which is why there's a Bolt On for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired.

The Next Generation Text Service Bolt On can be used for discounts on NGTS calls, and even better – it's free!

Our favourite O2 deals right now.

Love the sound of easy, convenient Bolt Ons when you need them? We get it – so here is our pick of the best O2 offers at the moment.

Apple iPhone 13 with 350GB data for £38/month and £0 upfront cost.

Samsung Galaxy S22 with 100GB data for £29/month and £0 upfront cost.