BT Basic – Super cheap line rental and broadband (from £5.10pm) you probably didn’t know about

We’ve all been there, find a cheap broadband deal, get pleased with yourself, then realise the sneaky sods then add landline rental on top (as if anyone really uses a landline anymore anyway). It’s not cheap either, with the big boys charging up to £19 per month for it.

But here’s a deal some of you can get with BT, which because of its Universal Service commitment, they actually run at a loss when you get this tariff.

BT Basic

What is BT Basic?

If you’re on certain types of benefits which I’ll get into, BT offers a super cheap monthly line rental of £5.10 that comes will an allowance of £1.50 to spend, with unlimited free weekend calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers (though no clue who you ring with those numbers). Cheap right?!

If you need broadband too (and who doesn’t?), you can get BT Basic and Broadband, which will set you back £9.95 per month (including the line rental), which gets you 12GB usage (light internet browsing) and virus protection.

It’s not a huge amount of data to be honest. BT says you get about half an hour of browsing the internet a day, stream enough video to watch one film a month (so don’t do that), upload 100 photos to Instagram or Facebook, or play online games for an hour a week. It’s not going to be good enough if you’re a family who love being online, but it will work for others.

It’s cheap though, so if you are on benefits, it’s worth thinking about getting this tariff – staying careful not to go over your allowance, because it will cost you – and then using other people’s or public WIFI to properly browse, stream and download. That said, don’t do internet banking or anything with passwords/credit cards on public WIFI, as there are lots of scammers out there waiting to take advantage.

BT Basic

Who can get BT Basic?

So as I have said, it’s for people on benefits. If you’re not – no biggie, I have you covered.

You need to receive:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA)
  • Guaranteed pensions credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit, with zero earnings

There are a few exceptions, which you can read about on this page.

I’m eligible for BT Basic, but I’m stuck in a different contract

Eligible? Keen? Stuck on a pricey deal? Well, here my friends is how you get out of a sucky broadband contract you don’t want to be in. I’m an evil genius – though it is totally legit.

Ofcom has come down on telecoms companies because they were frankly taking the mick, so they have strict rules to follow – which they don’t. If you have bad internet speeds, bad service etc, you can leave. So do.

How do you apply for BT Basic?

It’s nothing to do with the Job Centre or anything (phew), and there’s loads of info here. You need to call up and ask for an application form – they don’t readily advertise this. It’s a free number – 0800 800 864 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday).

They say that they’ll ask you about the calls you make to ‘make sure BT Basic is the best package for you’. To me, that screams they are going to try and put you off (remember – they’re losing money), and suggest you need to more data.

Look, you might. Or you may be ok with half an hour a day etc. Think about it, but don’t get swayed by sales tactics.

You’ll also have to hand over some personal info, such as:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Confirm the benefit you are receiving
  • Remembering to sign and date your application before returning it in the pre-paid envelope

Just saying, they will check this info with the DWP, so there’s no point lying (not that you would obs!).

And of course, if your circumstances change and you’re longer getting one of the benefits that qualify you for BT Basics, you have to let them know, and you’ll probably get kicked off. But that’s life.


Have you heard of BT Basic before? I heard about it last year and have been meaning to write it for ages. Suppose life gets in the way eh?

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