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Which network is best for international roaming?

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Mobile Roaming Charges

Changes in the law mean that you can use your UK allowances while you're roaming in the EU for no extra charge. So as long as you're travelling somewhere in Europe, it doesn't matter which network you're on, right?

Wrong. Some networks offer inclusive roaming in countries outside the EU. While others don't. What's more, if you're canny and choose your network wisely you can even get inclusive roaming in destinations much further afield.

Below we take a look at each network in turn to see what's on offer.

Three

Network - Three

Three’s ‘Feel At Home’ offer lets you use your at–home allowance of calls, texts and data without paying extra in 60 locations.

These are in Europe and beyond, including USA, Australia and New Zealand. You can see the full list of countries here: Three Feel at Home.

It's worth noting that Feel at Home is reserved for customers on Three's Advanced Plans.

Calling numbers within a country will cost extra. But you'll be notified of the rates by a text message from Three when you arrive at your holiday destination.

If you're on a Three Essential Plan, you'll still be able to use your allowance for no extra charge in the EU from 15th June. But you won't qualify for free roaming in locations further afield.

To find out how much you could save, use the special calculator on Three's website.

Three also has a £5 per day Euro Internet Pass for other destinations.

Find out more about roaming on Three with our FAQ.

Vodafone

Network - Vodafone logo

Vodafone offers two roaming schemes.

Roam-Free lets you use your regular monthly allowance of calls, texts and data in 50 European countries for no extra cost.

Roam Further allows you to access your monthly allowance in a further 60 countries for an additional £5 per day.

**Find out more about roaming on Vodafone with our FAQ.

O2

Network - o2

All O2 pay monthly and business customers qualify for inclusive roaming in 47 European destinations. These are deemed to be in O2's Europe Zone.

The picture for pay as you go customers is less clear-cut. While they get inclusive roaming in most of those locations, they don't qualify in Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland.

That's easily remedied, though, by signing up for an O2 Travel Bolt On.

Find out more about roaming on O2 with our FAQ.

EE

Network - EE

All existing EE pay monthly and pay as you go customers get inclusive roaming to 48 European destinations as part of their mobile, mobile broadband or tablet allowance.

EE has also introduced a new range of 4GEE Max plans for new and upgrading customers that allow customers to use their monthly allowances across 53 destinations worldwide.

These include EU countries as well as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. This covers over 80% of time EE customers spend overseas.

Find out more about roaming on EE with our FAQ.

Virgin Media

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Virgin Media offers inclusive roaming in 43 destinations with its Roam Like Home scheme. These include 28 EU locations, as well as locations in Europe but outside the EU, such as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Gibraltar.

Roam Like Home also includes some countries outside Europe, such as Canary Islands, French Caribbean, Martinique and Reunion.

Find out more about roaming on Virgin Media with our FAQ.

iD Mobile

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iD Mobile offers inclusive roaming in 52 destinations in the EU and beyond with its Roam Like Home scheme.

The offer applies to SIM-only contracts, pay monthly mobile phone contracts and pay as you go.

Find out more about roaming on iD Moblie with our FAQ.

Sky Mobile

Sky Mobile logo

All Sky Mobile customers are able to use their mobile data, calls and texts in 36 European locations for no extra cost.

For customers with Unlimited Calls and Texts as part of their plan, all calls to landlines and mobiles and all texts sent within the EU are included.

If you're on Pay As You Use calls and texts, you'll pay the same rate as you do in the UK.

The other big benefit of Sky Mobile as far as roaming goes is that if you've already stored a trove of unused data your Sky Piggybank, you can use the data when you're in Europe too.

Find out more about roaming on Sky Mobile with our FAQ.

So which is best?

That largely depends on where you like to holiday.

While EE and Three's Roam at Home and Feel at Home schemes really stand out for the breadth of locations they cover, if you tend to travel mostly in the EU or within Europe you may feel you're paying for a service you don't really use. Especially given that those plans don't come cheap.

Conversely if you like to venture further afield on holiday, Three and EE's plans could save you a lot of money.

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