If you’re an Aussie looking to travel abroad, swapping to (or sticking with) Vodafone just for the international roaming has usually been the way to go. It might be slightly more trouble than just picking up a travel SIM or a local one, but it’s generally worked out to be easier than all the other options.
For context, here’s a quick rundown of the Vodafone plans that are eligible for $5 per day roaming.
The way that this particular perk for postpaid customers works is that those who travel overseas in an eligible country have access to the same data allowance that their Vodafone plan would give them in Australia rather than pay for additional roaming-specific data. While Vodafone’s prepaid plans aren’t eligible for $5 roaming and the list of supported destinations isn’t all-encompassing, it’s still as set-and-forget as international roaming can get.
There’s no bill shock waiting for you at Sydney airport, just a $5 surcharge for each day you make use of Vodafone’s best perk.
If you’re looking for a cheap phone plan that’ll let you take advantage of this perk for as little as possible then our pick of the lot here is the Vodafone $45 Small SIM only plan.
Priced at $45 per month, this mobile plan comes with standard calls and text, unlimited international texts, 5G coverage and no excess charges if you go over that data cap.
One important detail to note here is that endless data won’t be accessible overseas. If you go over your allowance, you’ll be charged an extra $5 per GB by Vodafone. That’s not ideal, but it’s definitely better than standard roaming rates.
Speaking of which, you’ll get a total of 80GB per month to play with here if you sign up before July 3, 2023. That’s 40GB on top of what you ordinarily would get with this particular plan, and you get it forever rather than just for six months.
If you’re looking for a mobile provider that’ll let give you a lot of data and make it really easy to take it overseas, Vodafone is a standout option. However, Optus recently revamped its own international roaming offering with a new take on $5 per day roaming.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a quick rundown of the Optus plans that have access to the provider’s $5 Daily Roaming Pass.
As opposed to Vodafone’s take on international roaming, $5 with Optus gets you 5GB of data that you can use overseas. That add-on expires after 24 hours but is available to customers with a postpaid Optus Choice Plus, Optus Plus Family or Optus Plus Kids plan. You can also pay $35 upfront and get 35GB to use over the course of a week.
Customers with older Optus plans have to use the old Roaming Pass instead, which is priced at $10 but only includes 1GB of data plus overseas calls and texts in select destinations. This add-on expires after 24 hours, but there is an option to pay $50 and get 5GB with seven-day expiry instead.
While Optus’ roaming arrangement isn’t quite as intuitive and easy as Vodafone’s is, you could end up with a lot more inclusions on the plan itself.
For example, Optus’ $89 Promo Plus is currently discounted to $69 per month. This plan includes 500GB of excess charge-free data, standard calls and text, 5G coverage where you can get it, unlimited international calls to 35 destinations, a discounted rate on Optus Sport and the ability to save on other subscriptions via the provider’s SubHub platform.
The only thing to remember here is that you’ll only pay the discounted rate if you sign up before the end of June and until the first twelve months with Optus are up. After that point, you’ll be bumped up to the usual $89 per month. However, since it’s a no-contract plan, you are free to shop around at that point and look for a better deal elsewhere.
Fergus Halliday is a journalist at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
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