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Virgin Mobile launches £8.50 monthly tariff

If you're strapped for cash but the thought of going pay as you go is simply too much to bear, Virgin Mobile's latest tariff may be right up your street

Unlike some other tariffs, Virgin Mobile's new £8.50-per-month contract tariff is both inexpensive and makes a lot of sense. For a mere 850 pence not only can you walk away with a free phone, such as the Samsung U600 or LG KC550, but you also get 100 free minutes and texts.

This is one of the best monthly contract deals we've seen to date, given that many people who buy pay-as-you-go phones top up £10 every month anyway. But there is a catch: you get locked in for 18 months.

Being locked in to any contract for 18 months can get really annoying, especially if you don't like your phone or you find you need more minutes or texts. Before you sign up to this contract, make sure you really like the phone and the deal.

If you want a different phone, check out 3's £9-per-month tariff, which comes with a Sony Ericsson G502 and also offers 100 minutes and 100 texts on an 18-month contract. You can also bundle that with a USB data dongle, for just £16.50 per month.