Most modern gadgets store data on tiny memory cards - and the best prices are all online. Here's a rundown of the cheapest deals, including an 8GB SD card for £3 and £23 for a 64GB USB flash drive.
If you've spotted a better deal (incl postage) on any of those we've listed, please use the "suggest deals" link below to report them in the discussion.
Important! Ensure you know how to shop safely before trying these deals
Tips for shopping safely
Whether it's a retailer or restaurateur, airline or air-conditioner seller, computer shop or car rental company, there are always two main risks: either it's a dodgy company, or it's a legit company that has financial problems and goes bust.
The aim of these tips is to help you minimise the risks.
What happens if a company goes bust?
Quite simply, its customers are immediately transformed into creditors.
This hits hardest if you've ordered goods or tickets from them, and not had delivery, as then you are simply one of a line of people trying to get your money back out of the company's assets, and you usually get back much less than you paid in.
Even if you've had delivery, if the company you bought from goes under and there's a problem with the goods, it can mean you've no comeback.
While MoneySavingExpert.com endeavours to check deals are valid, we don't check companies' finances - even huge names like MFI and Woolies have folded - so it's very important you use the right strategies to stay protected where possible...
DO: Pay by credit card for goods over £100
Pay by credit card for something over £100, eg, flights, kitchens, sofas, and Section 75 laws super-charge your consumer rights.
Unlike debit cards, cheques & cash, pay in full or part (even just £1) on a credit card and by law the lender's jointly liable with the retailer. This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer, so if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if no delivery.
DO: Protect purchases under £100
Section 75 doesn't apply to purchases under £100, but there's still an option which can help. It's not a legal protection, just Visa rules, but it's a good secondary back up.
Spend on a Visa credit or debit card and, if the goods don't appear within 120 days, you can ask your bank to reclaim the cash from the seller’s bank. See the Visa Chargeback part of the Section 75 guide for full details.
DON'T: Use unfamiliar sites without checking
Bogus websites are often set up to cash in on popular products like Ugg boots and Tiffany necklaces, so be wary if it's an unfamiliar site. And don't think that because it appears on a reputable search engine, that makes it a reputable site - always check.
DO: Check the site's legit
Most folks know to look for a security padlock on a website's bottom right, but that doesn't mean the site's legit, just that payment's secure.
To find out who registered the site and when, search the Whois database. Reputable firms should also appear on the Companies House site, the UK Govt's official companies register. Be very wary of businesses with just a PO BOX or email address.
Study the site's worldwide web ranking on Alexa. Anything in the top 100,000 means it's reasonably big - a good, though not foolproof, indication of legitimacy. Do a quick Google search for other shoppers’ experiences.
DON'T: Let your anti-virus run out
Crucially, ensure your security's up-to-date - free software can be downloaded to your computer in five mins. Full details in the Free Anti-Virus Software guide.
DO: Know your distance selling rights
Many people are surprised to learn you've MORE rights buying online (or telephone/catalogue) due to the Distance Selling Regulations.
This gives a legal right to send most goods back within a week for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there’s no fault. You'll usually need to pay for the return delivery. Read Consumer Rights for a full guide.
However, of course this is balanced by the fact that, order online, and that automatically means a time gap between ordering and delivering - when the company has your money. So if it goes bust in that time, the distance selling rights don't help.
DO: Understand sometimes there's no protection.
Ultimately, there is always a risk that a company can go bust. If the above routes don't apply, then you have to make a decision about whether you're willing to take the risk of parting with your cash.
Don't be overly scared of this: every day we all make transactions based on trust, and this is part of that, but do balance up the amount you're spending against the risk. Don't give large amounts of money to a company you're not sure of.Close
The standard, postage-stamp size SD card is common in many cameras and other gadgets which need expandable storage; our top picks include these SD and SDHC cards:
- SanDisk 4GB SDHC card - £4.55 delivered at Gizzmoheaven or £4.99 in-store at Argos
- SanDisk 16GB SDHC card - £7.75 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- Transcend 8GB SDHC Class 10 card - £3.21 delivered at Amazon* (make sure you select "traditional packaging". Third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 card - £7.49 delivered at Play* (third party seller - Play prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Card - £14.35 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
High performance SD cards
The cards above are fine for regular snaps and storing media etc, but they're not exceptionally fast. If you want to record video or shoot fast-action photo sequences, you'll need one with faster read/write times to keep up.
The "Ultra" SanDisk cards below have good feedback for doing exactly that, though they cost a bit more.
- SanDisk Ultra II 4GB SD/SDHC Memory Card - £5.99 at eBuyer*
- SanDisk Ultra 8GB SD/SDHC Memory Card - £6.98 delivered at Play* (third party seller - Play prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- SanDisk Ultra 16GB SD/SDHC Memory Card - £9.99 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- SanDisk Ultra 64GB Class 10 SDXC card - £40.31 delivered at Amazon* (select standard packaing for cheaper price)
The Micro SD cards are about a quarter of the size of a standard SD card, and are most commonly used in mobile phones.
But they can still be used with devices that have standard SD card slots, by inserting the card into a special adapter. Below are our Micro SD card top picks, some with adapters and some without.
Micro SD cards without adapter
These are for use in mobile phone:
- Transcend Micro SD card 2GB - £4.15 delivered at Play* (third party seller - Play prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- SanDisk Micro SD card 4GB - £4.89 plus delivery at 7dayshop*
- SanDisk Micro SDHC class 4 card 16GB - £7.35 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
Micro SD cards with adapter
These are ideal for use in a mobile phone AND in your computer, making it easy to transfer pictures:
- SanDisk 2GB Micro SD - £3.85 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Kingston 4GB High Capacity Micro SD card - £4.49 delivered at Play*
- Kingston Class 4 16GB Micro SDHC card - £8.17 delivered at Amazon* (choose "traditional packaging" for the cheaper price. Third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Transcend 8GB Class 6 Micro SDHC card (with adapter) - £8.08 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- SanDisk Micro SD 8GB Card - £5.75 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Kingston Micro SDHC 32GB class 4 memory card - £12.85 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- SanDisk Micro SDHC 32GB memory card - £14.99 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- Sandisk Ultra 64GB class 10 micro SDXC memory card with adaptor - £39.20 delivered at Amazon*
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There's one big advantage with flash drive USB sticks: you'll get lots of memory for less money.
The idea with flash drives is that you load the photos on to your computer from your camera, and then save them on a flash drive for safe keeping. You can then empty your current memory card in your camera and use it for more pics. Here are some of the cheapest deals we've found:
- Integral 32GB EVO USB Flash Drive - £11.99 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- Lexar 32GB JumpDrive S73 USB Flash Drive - £11.99 delivered at eBuyer*
- Kingston 32GB Data Traveler G3 USB 2.0 Flash Drive - £12.65 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- Lexar 64GB JumpDrive V10 USB Flash Drive - £22.98 delivered at eBuyer*
- iBoutique 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive - £20.99 plus £3.99 delivery at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- iBoutique 128GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive - £45.99 plus £3.99 delivery at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
If you've got a Sony camera, camcorder, MP3 player, PDA, mobile phone or a PSP, you often need a different format of memory card - a Memory Stick. These come in various sizes, much like SD, with adaptors to fit them in different-sized slots.
However new Sony product models now support SD/SDHC cards, which are usually cheaper, so go for a non-branded SD/SDHC card - though check it fits your gadget first.
Memory Stick Pro Duo
- SanDisk 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo - £8.70 delivered at Play* (third party seller)
- Sony 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo - £7.23 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Sony 4GB Pro Duo Mark 2 Memory Stick - £8.49 plus delivery at 7dayshop*
- Sony 8GB Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo - £14.99 plus delivery at 7dayshop*
Memory Stick Micro (M2)
- SanDisk M2 2GB Card - £4.35 delivered at Play* (third party seller)
- SanDisk M2 4GB Memory Card - £6.50 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
- Sony Memory Card Stick Micro M2 8GB - £9.49 delivered at Amazon* (third party seller - Amazon prices fluctuate depending on demand, so check before you buy)
The oldest type of flash memory covered here, CompactFlash, is still the format of choice for higher-end digital SLR cameras due to its longevity and durability. There are two types of CompactFlash - type 1 and 2 - and the only difference is their thickness.
Only the thinner type 1 cards are listed, as these are the standard nowadays.
- Transcend CompactFlash Memory Card 4GB - £5.45 delivered at Gizzmoheaven
- Kingston CompactFlash (CF) Memory Card 4GB - £6.99 plus delivery at 7dayshop*
- Kingston CompactFlash (CF) Memory Card 8GB - £8.74 delivered at Amazon*
As with the SD cards above, more demanding applications will require cards that can be read and written faster. Again, the SanDisk Extreme range has some of the best feedback possible, and is basically industry standard for pro photographers.
I need more!
If you're planning to buy more than a couple of cards, you may get a better overall price buying from 7dayshop*, which offers discounts for bulk purchases.
Don't know which card you need?
If you're unsure of which type of flash memory your gadget takes, try Ritzpix's guide. It's not comprehensive, but fairly detailed. Alternatively, just Google the name of the product; you should be able to find it on a product description somewhere.
Memory cards are categorised by the speed that they can take and upload pictures. This is called "class", eg class 2, class 4.
But unless you're David Bailey or Rankin, you probably don't need to worry about the class of your memory card - as the speed is only really a necessity for sports/action shots, or making movie clips.
Got a Memory Stick Pro Duo-based gadget but only have a Micro SD card? Get an adaptor
It's really frustrating when you've built-up a stash of memory cards, then find your new camera/mobile uses a different type. In the case of Micro SD and Sony Pro Duo cards though, this needn't be an issue; you can buy card adaptors which are quite cheap and will bridge the gap between formats, making micro SD cards sit happily in Memory Stick devices.