Sunday, December 4th, 2022 6:07 PM
What is the least expensive way to stay in touch when I am out of the country
1 year ago
ACE - Sage
For postpaid users, the least expensive is to add international day pass and then turn off data roaming and leave it off. Dismiss phone calls, and don't send any text messages. Or put your phone in airplane mode on any day you do not intend to use service . You can turn on Wi-Fi whenever you have a wi-fi network available and make Wi-Fi calls and text and receive Wi-Fi calls and texts as if still in the USA. This means Wi-Fi call and text back to the United States are no charge. **Calls or texts to numbers in a foreign country are charged as long distance over Wi-Fi.
This will allow International day pass to be available only in an emergency, but you will not use service.
If your intention is to use service occasionally, it is still cheaper to use international day pass which only charges you $10 per day on any day you use service. You are using service anytime your data roaming is on and you connect to a local network even if data is only working in the background. Or you make or receive a phone call or send a text message. Incoming text message is free.
Pay per use can be extremely expensive. The typical charges are $3 per minute for phone calls and 50 cents for any regular SMS text sent. Data is $2.05 per megabyte. Not a typo! Using 1 GB of data on a foreign Network could cost you more than $2,000.
If you are a prepaid customer your options to roam maybe very limited or very expensive. AT&T prepaid rooms for free in canada, mexico, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. There is limited roaming for prepaid customers for a $35 per week add-on in the following countries.
ACE - Expert
The least expensive way is to use WiFi calling but that may or may not work from all countries. The next least expensive depends on what you mean by “stay in touch”. If that only involves texting, the least expensive could be paying by the text. It costs $0.50 to send a text, received texts are free. If you don’t need data and don’t make any calls and send less than 20 texts a day, that is cheaper than paying for the day pass. However, you risk running up massive charges if you start using data as detailed above.
And I'm going to follow up after @sandblaster reply...
You can limit your usage as he says. But I strongly encourage everyone to add international day pass as a safety net!!
If you do not control your phone properly, or are not confident in controlling your phone while you are outside of the USA, you risk astronomical charges. International day pass will at least assure that your charges are limited to no more than $100 per bill cycle. International Day passes 10 charges per cycle cap is a lot better than thousands in roaming charges