Planning a trip overseas? You may be prepping for an Instagram-worthy holiday, but those vacation snap uploads can add up quickly when you’re using data abroad – especially if you haven’t done your roaming research first.
If you’re currently on a postpaid or prepaid Telstra plan, or considering signing up for one, you may be concerned about the cost of using your phone outside Australia. Global roaming costs can add up quickly, especially if you’re using data – and there’s no quicker way to kill post-holiday vibes than with a sky-high phone bill.
Luckily for Telstra customers, the company does offer several international roaming add-ons and solutions. Postpaid customers can use Telstra’s easy International Day Pass option, while prepaid plan users have a selection of data roaming packs to choose from.
Roaming with Telstra International Day Pass
If you’re heading to a major or popular destination, you’ll most likely be able to use Telstra’s International Day Pass roaming option with your postpaid phone plan. This service is priced at $10 per day (or $5 per day in New Zealand), and gives you the following daily inclusions:
- Unlimited standard voice calls
- Unlimited standard SMS and MMS
- 200MB of data per day
Telstra International Day Pass is available to use in over 70 countries worldwide, including most of North America, Europe, Asia, and various countries throughout Africa and the Middle East. Again, the service is also available to use in New Zealand, but at lower rate of $5 per day.
Eligible customers can activate International Day Pass online through Telstra’s online My Account feature, or through the Telstra 24×7 app. Once you’ve switched on Day Pass, you’ll automatically be charged $5 or $10 for each day you use your Telstra service in included countries outside Australia.
International Day Pass is priced at a flat $5 or $10 for each day that you use your phone, with the included 200MB allowance expiring at the end of each day. If you do exceed your 200MB daily allowance, Telstra will automatically add a further 500MB for $10; this data is available to use over 31 days, with the $10 fee added to your Telstra bill.
As International Day Pass is an optional feature that accompanies your existing plan, you won’t need to swap SIMs or use a different phone number. Simply activate Day Pass, then use your phone as needed, and pay off the daily charges in your next bill.
Telstra plans with International Day Pass
International Day Pass is available on most postpaid Telstra plans, with the exception of some older plans with included global roaming features (for example, the now-removed $199 Ultimate plan). If you’re on a newer postpaid plan, you’re most likely eligible to activate and use the service when travelling; if you’re unsure, check with Telstra before you jet off.
The following table shows all published postpaid Telstra 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.
Where can I use Telstra International Day Pass?
Telstra International Day Pass can be used in more than 70 countries worldwide, including the UK, the USA, China, Indonesia, India, and Canada. Exceptions include most of Africa and South America, as well as parts of Asia and Eastern Europe.
The below map indicates which countries are currently covered by Telstra’s International Day Pass. Dark blue countries are compatible with International Day Pass, while countries shaded light blue will instead require pay-as-you-go roaming. If your planned destination is grey, you won’t be able to roam in that country on a Telstra plan.
Benefits of Telstra’s International Day Pass
- You’ll only pay $5 or $10 on days you actually use your phone, and can make as many calls or send as many messages you like without being charged extra.
- International day Pass is available in more than 70 countries, including the UK, the USA, New Zealand, and most of Europe and South East Asia.
- You’ll get to use your existing number and SIM card when travelling.
- International Day Pass can be easily switched on or off on most postpaid plans, via Telstra’s My Account portal or the Telstra 24×7 app.
Pay-as-you-go international roaming
If you’re a postpaid customer heading off to a country that isn’t covered by Telstra’s International Day Pass, you still have the option of pay-as-you-go global roaming. Essentially, you’ll simply pay per-minute for each call you make or receive, as well as for each message you send and every megabyte of data used.
Pay-as-you-go roaming rates vary from country-to-country, and you may not be able to access data roaming in all locations. It’s best to check rates before you depart, but just as an example, below are the current per-use charges for roaming in Pakistan:
- Calls: $1.50 per minute, to both make and receive voice calls
- Texts: $0.75 per standard text message sent
- Data: $3.00 per megabyte, charged per kilobyte
Keep in mind that pay-as-you-go rates mean your bill can shoot up quickly, particularly if you’re using data. Going by the above rates for Pakistan, you’ll pay more than $3,100 to use a gigabyte of data – so this isn’t a great option if you want to maintain internet access when travelling.
Prepaid international roaming
If you’re on a prepaid plan, you’ve still got roaming options: Telstra offers its prepaid customers the choice of adding one of three International Roaming Browse Plus Packs for data use in selected countries.
As international prepaid data use is normally charged at $3.00 per megabyte, this is a much more affordable alternative to paying hundreds (or thousands) in roaming costs.
International Roaming Browse Plus Packs:
- $29 pack: includes 100MB of data, to use over 30 days
- $85 pack: includes 300MB of data, to use over 30 days
- $160 pack: includes 600MB of data, to use over 30 days
Each of these packs can be added to your account at any time via Telstra’s online My Account option – simply log in, select your prepaid number, then hit the ‘balance and recharge’ tab and add your choice of roaming pack. You’ll need to first make sure you have enough recharge credit on your account to cover the purchase of a Browse Plus pack.
If you’re planning to make or receive calls and texts while travelling, these will be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis from your plan’s recharge credit. Again, these rates will vary depending on the country you’re in, so be sure to keep your account topped up if you’re hoping to regularly call home.
Roaming on cruise ships with Telstra
If you’re planning on taking a cruise, your mobile device will most likely be connected to your ship’s satellite when roaming. Calls, text, and data used on cruise ships outside Australia will be charged at pay-as-you-go roaming rates, even if you’re near a country that’s covered by Telstra’s International Day Pass; rates will vary depending on where you’re travelling.
Overall, if you’re a Telstra customer getting ready for an overseas jaunt, there’s several options available if you’re hoping to use your phone on your travels. However, if you’ve yet to commit to a mobile provider, you may want to look into alternative roaming services – such as travel SIMs, or Vodafone’s $5 Roaming – before you jet off.