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Optus International Roaming Review & Guide

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About to head off on an overseas holiday? There’s so much to think about before you leave, not to mention how you plan on uploading holiday snaps to your socials and keeping in touch with friends and family while you’re travelling.

Global roaming can really add up if you use your phone plan as you normally would in Australia, which can end up with phone bill of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can always go with a travel SIM plan, but sometimes you want to still have access to your number and plan overseas. For Optus customers on a postpaid or prepaid phone plan, or if you’re considering signing up to an Optus plan, there are several roaming options available from Australia’s second largest telco.

So, if you’re wondering about the Optus international roaming costs, or you’re looking for an Optus international roaming plan, read on to find out more about Optus international roaming and how it works.

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The following table shows a selection of sponsored SIM Only plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

What are the Optus international roaming plans?

Optus offers several international roaming plans and add ons, with plans and add ons only available to customers on certain Optus phone plans. If you’re unsure which phone plan you have, you may need to log in to your Optus account (online or through the app) or look at a recent phone bill. After these steps, if you still can’t find out what plan you’re on, you’ll need to get in touch with Optus.

Roaming plans and add ons are also typically an additional cost to your regular plan fees, so read on to find out more about the Optus international roaming costs and plans currently available.

Optus international roaming: $5 daily roaming

It might sound similar to Vodafone’s $5 a day international roaming, but what Optus offers is a little different.

  • $5 per day (in addition to your plan fees)
  • 5GB of data per day plus unlimited standard calls and SMS in Zone 1 countries
  • Auto activated when using call, text or data in eligible countries
  • Manage on the My Optus app
  • Available for Optus Choice Plus, Optus Plus Family and Optus Plus Promo plans (along with Business Choice Plus)

Optus international roaming: Optus $10 roaming pass

For customers on postpaid plans that aren’t eligible for the $5 roaming, you’ll need to add on a $10 Roaming Pass.

  • $10 for 24 hours of inclusions
  • 1GB of data and unlimited calls and SMS to Optus Zone 1 countries (per 24 hours)
  • Roaming activated through the My Optus app

The following table shows selected published Optus postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Optus prepaid international roaming

If you need Optus prepaid international roaming and you’re an Optus Flex Plus customer, you’ll need to add on one of the prepaid roaming packs, which can be purchased online or through the app.

  • $5 per day 1GB of data, 100 SMS and 100 minutes of calls in Optus Zone 1 countries
  • $35 for 7 days with 7GB data, 700 SMS and 700 minutes of calls in Zone 1 countries

Customers on other prepaid plans can add on a data roaming pack or travel credit pack, both of which can be purchased online or through the app.

  • Data roaming: $20 for 14 days with up to $210 value (equivalent to around 10GB data), with data charged at $0.02 per MB, available in 10 select destinations
  • Travel credit: $10 for 14 days, credit can be used for talk, text and data roaming in Zone 1 and Zone 2 destinations

The following table shows selected published Optus prepaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Pay-as-you-go international roaming

If you’re a postpaid customer visiting a country in Zone 2, and therefore not covered by the Optus Daily Roaming or other roaming add ons, you’ll have to use pay-as-you-go (PAYG) roaming rates. PAYG means you’ll simply pay for what you use, with these charges added on to your mobile bill. For every call you make, SMS you send, and MB of data you use (although you’re charged per 10KB), you’ll be charged the rates for these services according to the country you’re in.

While the rates appear to be similar across most countries, it’s worth checking the Optus site before your head overseas to check the rates to your destination/s. For example, these are the rates for if you were to travel to New Zealand, which is a Zone 1 destination:

  • Calls: $1.50 per minute to make and receive voice calls
  • Texts: $0.50 per standard text message sent
  • Data: $1.00 per MB, charged per 10KB

While these prices might not seem too expensive, keep in mind that these charges are per minute of calls, per text message and per MB of data used. If you were to use your phone as you normally would in Australia, these charges are likely to add up, meaning you could come home to a big phone bill. For example, going off the above rates, a 15 minute phone call would cost you $22.50, and using 1GB of mobile data will cost you $1,000. Looking at those costs, it’s easy to understand why travel packs are a much more affordable option for many of us.

Optus International Roaming

What are the Optus international roaming countries?

Optus splits its international roaming countries by zones. The Zone 1 countries are compatible with all of the Optus international roaming plans and add ons, including $5 a day roaming. If you’re travelling to a Zone 2 country, your options may be more limited.

Optus Zone 1 countries

Here are the Optus international roaming countries in Zone 1 where you can use the Optus $5 a day roaming and many other roaming passes.

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong

  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Marianas
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama

  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Samoa (Western)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, Province of China
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City (Holy See)
  • Vietnam

While there are definite advantages to switching on global roaming with your existing Optus phone plan, even with a travel pack or add on, it’s still not the cheapest way to use your phone overseas. It can be useful to have access to your Australian phone number when you’re overseas, especially if you don’t plan on using your phone much and are using secure WiFi networks while on your travels.

Young couple on holiday using phone and map

If you want to be able to use your phone as you normally would in Australia, especially for using data when you’re away from a WiFi network, you might be better off purchasing a SIM card from the country or countries you’re visiting.

While you’ll most likely need to do some research into this before you head overseas, it could be better than relying on free and sometimes unsecure WiFi networks. The downside is that if someone wants to call or text you, they won’t be able to reach you on your Australian number. You’ll also have to juggle between two SIM cards, unless you have a dual-SIM or eSIM compatible phone.

Keep in mind that many services, such as online banking, rideshare apps, etc, may require a verification code sent to your phone via SMS. If you switch out your Australian SIM card, you may not recieve these verification codes while travelling. Using the dual SIM or eSIM capabilities of your phone (if you have it) could ensure you still get important texts to your Australian number.

Before you head overseas, you’ll need to assess which option will be best for you. Have a look at the roaming rates for your destination/s and think about whether a travel pack or add on will have enough value for you. There are also specific travel SIMs you can buy, and both Telstra and Vodafone offer global roaming options, with Vodafone’s $5 Roaming one of the more well-known offerings.

FAQs about Optus international roaming

If you’re about to head off on a cruise, you can use your Optus global roaming when out at sea: however as it’s not covered by either of the country Zones, these roaming charges are higher than you’ll experience on land.

  • Calls: $4.00 per minute to make and receive voice calls
  • Texts: $1.00 per standard text message sent
  • Data: $2.00 per MB where data is available (charged per 10KB)

Keep in mind that your mobile device may be connected to the ship’s satellite when you’re roaming. As you can see from the above charges, using global roaming on a pay-as-you-go basis can be quite expensive, so it’s worth considering if this is really the right option for you.

If you’re a visitor coming to Australia, there are lots of phone plan providers out there offering SIM cards to keep you in touch with friends and family on your visit Down Under. While there are many prepaid plan providers with some great options available to choose from (with some plans available on a short-term expiry), Optus has a special Traveller SIM made specifically for visitors to Australia.

Optus offers two different Traveller Mobile plans, with SIM cards available at Optus airport stores or available as an eSIM. Both plans are available with a 28-day expiry, up to 200GB of data rollover an international call inclusions to 20 select destinations are included (with 400 minutes on the cheaper plan and 800 minutes on the more expensive plan).


Emma Bradstock
Telco Specialist
Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for the last 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.

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