Change Your Altitude

Can You Hear Me Now? AT&T Updates International Roaming Plan

International plans on cellphone service providers have been known to be incredibly expensive. Turning on roaming on a trip could easily cost hundreds of dollars for one trip. T-Mobile shook things up with their new plans which include unlimited roaming to over 140 countries.

Sounds like there’s one more player making the international roaming game interesting.


The Scoop

AT&T announced today their new AT&T International Day Pass, which offers access to a users’ data plan for $10 a day and unlimited calling within participating countries and the United States. The plan remains on a user’s account until it’s turned off.

The program covers data access when roaming in over 100 countries – see their page to find out if your next travel destination is on the list.

According to the fine print though, the pass may be removed from your account if international voice, text or data usage exceeds overall usage for more than two months.

Rio de Janeiro Brazil pao de azucar

You could soon be making unlimited calls while visiting Rio de Janeiro.


The Takeaway

T-Mobile’s move to allowing unlimited international roaming was definitely something that drew in new users – I should know, I was one of them. Frustrated with spending at least $100 on roaming after every trip – just from occasionally switching my data on to call an Uber or to check Google Maps – I made the switch. I’ll be the first to admit that T-Mobile’s service isn’t the best – domestically anyway. As for the quality of service when traveling, it just depends on their partner service provider in the local country. Even so, any avid traveler would appreciate the option to have data when traveling at no extra cost.

Given the limitations on AT&T’s plan ($10 a day can add up pretty quickly on a long trip), I don’t know that the plan will draw in the international travelers that the T-Mobile plan does. I do think this will offer a great alternative for people who travel internationally a few times a year (current subscribers or not). I’m not sure that this will necessarily steal away too many T-Mobile customers (except for those absolutely frustrated with the service), but it at least offers an affordable option to their customers who travel occasionally.

I wonder if Verizon will be offering anything comparable soon.  (Eh, doubt it.)


Are you signing up for AT&T’s new International Day Pass? 

  • Lisette
    Posted at 01:36h, 25 January

    I recently Traveled to Canada and used the basic AT&T international passport plan. I remember paying $40 for 30 days including 200 mb of data and calls at $1/minute. The process of setting it all up was very cumbersome (an app must be downloaded prior to the visit and hotspot-like locations are needed for uninterrupted data usage).

    On the flip side my mother has Verizon and called prior to leaving and customer service set up her international plan ($2/day for Mexico and Canada). This included unlimited calls, and access to her regular allotment of data, and unlimited txt.

    I stole my mother’s phone for countless calls on the trip…in retrospect I think Verizon had the better plan compared to AT&T passport, but I will think about T-Mobile for future trips!

  • Joey
    Posted at 18:45h, 25 January

    Hey Lisette,

    I’ll be the first one to caution against T-Mobile’s service in the US – can be bleak and spotty, but honestly if you live in a big city you should be fine. I spend most of my time at work and at home on a normal week, so I usually have access to Wifi.

    T-Mobile really wins though when traveling internationally outside of North America – access to data as long as you’re in one of their partner countries. I basically leave my cellphone service on while traveling – I’ve brought it to Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, and the Czech Republic without tapping into my data allotment (traveling for 1-2 weeks at a time). It’s SO convenient if you’re an avid international traveler! (They offer the same in the Mexico and Canada – and I’ve used it there as well).

    Verizon’s deal is DEFINITELY amazing for Canada and Mexico – they (in my opinion, as a former VZW customer) have the best service, so it comes as no surprise that they partner with the best internationally as well. $2 a day is an awesome deal – though knowing me, I would eat up my data in no time 😉