This Small Mobile Provider Just Launched a Great International Roaming Pack

This Small Mobile Provider Just Launched a Great International Roaming Pack
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Circles.Life has added two mobile data roaming packs to its range: one good, and one not-so-good. 

The not-so-good option is called CirclesRoam Day Pass. It’s $15 for every 1GB (or part thereof) you use per day – basically a worse version of the international roaming offered by some other telcos. In particular, Vodafone charges $5 per day to use your normal plan’s inclusion overseas, while Optus charges $5 per 5GB used per day.

The CirclesRoam Monthly pack is much better. It charges $30 for every 5GB you use within a month. While 5GB per month isn’t much under normal circumstances, it can be more than enough to get you between WiFi networks while you travel, without sacrificing some of the more useful features of your phone.

Maps, navigation, light browsing, and basic online messaging are all on the table. Given the (still good) roaming from Voda and Optus can cost $5 per day, paying only $30 per month with Circles is a seriously cheap way to get international roaming, if you can stick to the data limit.

Circles.Life’s new roaming packs work in over 90 countries, including the US, UK, New Zealand, France, Japan and plenty of other popular holiday destinations. Neither pack includes phone calls, SMS or MMS, however. So don’t go phoning home or you’ll be charged extra.

If you want to get your hands on either CirclesRoam international roaming packs, you first need to have a mobile plan with the telco.

Here are Circles.Life’s SIM-only mobile plans:

As for how Circles’ $30 for 30-days (per 5GB used) monthly roaming pack compares with other options, let’s take a look at some other popular providers with cheap or easy roaming options.

Vodafone was arguably the first Australian provider to introduce affordable and simple roaming. If you’re on a Vodafone postpaid plan, you simply get charged $5 per day for access to your normal plan inclusions while in one of over 100 eligible overseas destinations.

If you don’t use your normal plan inclusions within a given 24-hour period, you don’t pay extra. Just make sure to disable your phone’s cellular connectivity until you need it or you’ll be charged that $5 as soon as your phone sends or receives a single bit of data.

Whether it works out to be cheaper than Circles depends on how many days per month you use roaming on your phone, as well as how much data you need. At $5 per day, you’ll surpass Circles’ price by the end of one week, assuming you keep usage under 5GB.

These Vodafone postpaid plans all include $5 roaming:

Optus’ international roaming is similar to Vodafone’s – $5 per day for 5GB used. This roaming is an add-on you can activate via the My Optus app. It applies to over 100 destinations and doesn’t include talk and text. 

If you do want to make calls and send SMS or MMS, the Optus Roaming Pass is $10 for unlimited national talk and text, plus 1GB of data, all for use within 24 hours.

Also, like Vodafone, whether this is cheaper depends on how many days per month you’ll need to access data on your phone, and how much data you use.

These Optus plans are all eligible for international roaming:

felix mobile probably has the closest direct comparison with Circles’ monthly roaming pack. The international roaming add-on from felix is $20 for 4GB of data, 100 standard minus of calls, and 100 texts – with a huge 365 day expiry. 

So it’s $10 cheaper for 1GB less, includes some calls and texts, and has a longer expiry period. Where it might fall short for you is its included countries, of which there are a bit more than 40, versus the over 90 from Circles.

Here are felix’s mobile plans:

amaysim is a smaller, Optus-owned telco that has some good roaming options, covering more than 90 popular destinations. It offers four roaming pack add-ons you can purchase through its app. While each pack lasts for a crazy 365 days, the data inclusions are unlikely to last you a full year. But these packs do at least include some international calls and texts, unlike the CirclesRoam Monthly pack.

The amasyim roaming packs range from $20 for 100 minutes of talk, 100 texts and no data; up to $70 for 100 minutes of talk, 60 texts and 9GB of data.

To purchase one of these packs, you first need to be on an amaysim plan:

Belong is Telstra’s budget brand. It has a single travel pack with 15-day expiry – $30 for 3GB of data, unlimited standard SMS, and 150 minutes of calls to over 30 countries.

You can also receive SMS while overseas for free (great for verification codes), and use WiFi calling when available.

Here are Belong’s mobile plans that are eligible for roaming:

Alex Angove-Plumb is a journalist at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website

Lead Image Credit: Circles.Life/Netflix

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