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Top up credit does not expire, it's the SIM you need to keep active with regular chargeable activity or top up, it is recommended this is done every 90 days.
If you choose not to have a Big Value Bundle and are on PAYG 1, you will only be charged for outgoing activity, it is free to receive and providing you have turned off your mobile data and only use WiFI you are able to keep the phone connected to the network for incoming calls and your credit will last pretty well for as long s you want it.
If you have just joined Vodafone and do not want a bundle the trick is to opt out of a Big Vale before topping up, otherwise Vodafone will just convert your top up into a bundle. See here: How do I remove my Big Value Bundle?
Further information here: PAYG
What Payg tariff are you on @tayne
For example a Big Value Bundle would use your top up every month to pay for your allowances.
For Payg1 you would pay £1 per day if you used any data, sent a text or made a call.
If you didn't use it at all then your top up credit on a Payg1 tariff would just sit there but you'd need to make some activity like making a call etc at least every 180 days or Vodafone could see your account as not been used and suspended it and then you'd run the chance of losing your mobile number and any credit on the account.
Current Phone >
Samsung Z Fold³ 5G.
Previous Phone >
Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860.
Many thanks. Just to clarify - if I turned off mobile data on a PAYG1 deal the credit would only decrease when making or receiving calls and texts up to 180 days hypothetically.
The reason I ask is that someone has bought me a large top up as a gift however I rarely use my phone (I receive ~ 1 call and receive 2-3 texts a month).
On a PAYG 1 tariff, you will only be charged for outgoing activity, incoming are not chargeable.
Just remember to keep the SIM active with some chargeable activity and providing you have mobile data turned off and just use your home WiFi connection your credit will last for just about as long as you want.
The good thing is Vodafone will send a text reminder to use the phone to avoid disconnection and you should receive this after the first 90 days of not making a chargeable connection, they also follow this up with two further text reminders.