How to Get Cheap International Roaming Fees
October 30, 2015
Everyone likes to bring their mobile devices along when they travel, but using your cellphone outside of its designated area can be expensive. Telecommunications companies hit subscribers with roaming charges, which effect everything from voice to texting to data. Depending on how often you use your device, this can substantially increase your next bill. Thankully, there are ways to get around these charges and still use your phone as often as you please.
International SIM Cards
Your phone's SIM card carries billing and subscriber information, which allow companies to tell where the device is being used. One way around this is to purchase a SIM card intended for overseas use. Companies like iRoam work in partnership with cellular firms around the world and those alliances allow for substantial savings on roaming charges when using international SIM cards. You simply remove the card that came with your phone and put in the international one while you are overseas.
Many providers offer International SIM cards in both pre-paid and post-paid formats. The pay-as-you-go arrangement of pre-paid means that you know exactly what you are spending. You sometimes can also make use of an auto-recharge option, which tops up your card once you have reached a certain amount, guaranteeing continued service. There are also no hidden fees with this method and the cards also almost always come with some free airtime, which helps reduce the amount you paid out for the card purchase.
A further advantage is that international SIM cards use call-back technology, which makes outgoing calls seem like they are actually incoming. As incoming calls are a cheaper option than outgoing, this saves the consumer further money.
Buy a Local SIM Card
While international SIM cards are generally the best answer, you can also buy a SIM card from a local provider in the country you visit. These are a great solution for calls made in that particular territory, but you will face higher charges when phoning or texting North America, which is the primary reason why most people switch their SIM card. If you are planning to visit multiple countries, you will need several cards and could wind up having trouble with customer service, if you are not multilingual. Also, some of these local companies do not offer even basic extras, such as voicemail, and may incorporate hidden fees.
International SIM Data Cards
If you only plan to text, that seems like something which would be relatively inexpensive. However, phone companies charge rather heavily per text, so if you plan to text as often as you do at home, be prepared for some shock when your next statement comes in. Luckily, data-only SIM cards are also available. Like their voice equivalent, come with some free air time. If you think you might also want to make calls while overseas, play it safe and ask for an inclusive international SIM card which covers texting, voice, and data.
You have likely heard about people traveling overseas without realizing that their devices were not covered under an existing plan. Fortunately, you can avoid that sort of costly shock by following one of the steps we have suggested. International SIM cards have many positive features and you can decide whether you wish for them to cover just one mode of communication or all of them.