Vodafone $5 Roaming Explained

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Between airfares, hotels, and splurging on a new holiday wardrobe, travel is already expensive. So if you’re heading overseas, the last thing you need is to come home to surprise global roaming charges on your mobile phone bill.

Fortunately, there’s now plenty of options for Australians who want the convenience of using their phone overseas, without the bill shock. In addition to travel SIMs and roaming packs, there’s also Vodafone’s $5 Roaming feature.

Introduced several years back, Vodafone’s $5 Roaming is an overseas travel game-changer. Available to postpaid Vodafone customers, it’s a simple roaming solution that allows you to use your phone and plan as normal outside of Australia, without needing to calculate any complicated roaming fees.

There’s no tricky activation, no need to swap SIM cards or use a different number, and no setup costs: just use your phone as required in eligible countries, and all charges will be added to your next Vodafone bill.

If you’re planning a trip abroad and weighing up your global roaming options, here’s everything you need to know about Vodafone $5 Roaming.

How does Vodafone $5 Roaming work?

If you’re a postpaid Vodafone customer, $5 Roaming allows you to use all of your plan’s normal inclusions – that’s unlimited talk and text, plus your allocated max-speed data – in 80 selected countries. For each day you make or receive a call, send a text message or MMS, or use data, you’ll be charged $5.

This means that you can make as many calls, send as many messages, and use as much data as your plan allows, for no more than $5 per day when travelling in eligible countries. This $5 flat fee is only charged on days you actually use your phone, with each day resetting every 24 hours from when you first use your device outside Australia.

Use your plan inclusions as much – or as little – as you need, and you’ll still pay just $5 each day. However, be aware that if you do exceed your plan’s normal monthly fast data allowance, you’ll automatically receive an additional 1GB for $10.

Vodafone $5 Roaming is available to all postpaid SIM-only and phone-on-a-plan mobile customers, and is automatically activated on all plans purchased on or after 23 April, 2014 – there’s no need to set-up the service before you depart. Simply switch on your phone once you arrive at your destination, and use your plan’s inclusions as normal.

Vodafone Plans with $5 Roaming

Interested in a Vodafone plan with phone? The following table shows published Vodafone postpaid Red and Red Plus plans for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 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.

Benefits of Vodafone’s $5 Roaming

  • No matter how much you use your phone, you’ll only pay $5 per day (excluding charges for extra data if you exceed your monthly gigabyte allowance, or for any non-included/non-standard calls).
  • $5 Roaming is available in 80 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.
  • $5 Roaming is automatically activated on most postpaid plans.

Where can I use Vodafone $5 Roaming?

Vodafone $5 Roaming is available in 80 countries worldwide, including most of North and South America, Europe, and Asia. So unless you’re planning a luxe vacation through North and Central Africa, the Middle East, or Greenland, you’re likely to be covered throughout most of your trip.

The below map indicates which countries are currently included in Vodafone’s roaming offer. Countries where $5 Roaming is available are marked in red, while green countries are compatible with Vodafone’s Pay As You Go roaming.

Vodafone $5 Roaming
Image: Vodafone

If your destination is only available with Pay As You Go roaming, you’ll be subject to the rates below.

  • Calls: $1.00 per minute, to both make and receive voice calls
  • Texts: $0.75 per standard text message sent
  • Picture messages: $0.75 per PXT message sent
  • Data: $1.00 per megabyte

If you’re planning to travel via cruise ship, Maritime Roaming rates apply on selected ships. These are outlined below.

  • Calls: $5.00 per minute, to both make and receive calls
  • Texts: $0.75 per standard text message sent
  • Data: $1.00 per megabyte

What else do I need to know about $5 Roaming?

Vodafone’s postpaid plan range includes Red Plus options, which feature a limited number of full-speed gigabytes each month, plus unlimited data capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps. If you’re on a Red Plus plan, you’ll only be able to use your monthly max speed data when roaming overseas – your plan’s unlimited 1.5Mbps data isn’t available outside Australia. Regardless of which plan you’re on, once your allocated full-speed gigabytes are used up Vodafone will automatically add another 1GB of fast data to your plan, priced at $10.

While calls back to Australia and calls within the country you’re visiting are included, calls from one roaming country to another aren’t. For example, if you’re in New Zealand, you can make unlimited calls to standard Australian and New Zealand numbers, but calls to other countries will be charged at Vodafone’s international call rates. This is fine if you have international minutes included in your plan; if not, you’ll be charged per-minute call rates.

If you’re currently pooling and sharing your mobile plan data, this feature will operate as normal when one or more included accounts are used to roam overseas. However, any additional data that is automatically added using $5 Roaming will be exempt from data sharing – it’s yours alone to use.

$5 Roaming should be automatically activated for all postpaid customers. To check, log into the My Vodafone app and check your account settings – you should be able to switch the feature on or off as needed. If you’d prefer not to use the app, you can also enable or deactivate $5 Roaming by contacting Vodafone directly.

What to remember about Vodafone $5 Roaming:

  • $5 per day can add up quickly: a two-week trip could see an extra $70 added to your monthly bill.
  • $5 Roaming isn’t available throughout much of Africa, the Middle East, and parts of South and Central America. Roaming in exempt countries is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Red Plus customers won’t be able to use their plan’s 1.5Mbps data outside of Australia; instead, you’re limited to your plan’s ‘max speed’ data inclusions.
  • Calls from a roaming country to another country outside Australia are considered international calls, and will be taken out of your international call allowance (on applicable plans). If you don’t have international call minutes included on your plan, you’ll need to pay extra if you do make these calls.
  • You can deactivate $5 Roaming through the My Vodafone app at any time.

How do I roam on prepaid?

Unfortunately, $5 Roaming isn’t available on Vodafone’s prepaid plans. If you’re a prepaid customer planning an overseas trip, you’ll have two options: purchasing an international roaming add-on, or using Vodafone’s prepaid Pay-As-You-Go roaming rates.

Vodafone offers four Prepaid Roaming Add-on packs, which can be purchased through the MyVodafone app, Express Recharge, or via texting 1511 from your phone. Add-on options are below.

Price Data Talk and text Expiry
$25 100MB 30 minutes of  incoming/outgoing calls & 30 SMS 3 days
$25 200MB Not included 3 days
$35 250MB 60 minutes of  incoming/outgoing calls & 60 SMS 7 days
$35 500MB Not included 7 days

Source: Vodafone, August 2019.

Roaming Add-ons can be used in over 50 countries, including throughout North America, Europe, and South Asia. If your destination isn’t included, you’ll need to you use Pay-As-You-Go roaming – Vodafone’s prepaid rates are below.

  • Calls: $1.00 per minute, to both make and receive voice calls
  • Texts: $0.75 per standard text message sent
  • Picture messages: $0.75 per PXT message sent
  • Data: $1.00 per megabyte

No matter where you’re travelling, there’s a roaming option out there to suit your talk, text, and data needs. Just remember to shop around before you fly – nothing ruins a post-holiday mood faster than an unexpected bill.

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