Best mobile networks for international & EU roaming

By Adrian Vincent - 9 Aug 2022, 18:54 Best mobile networks for international & EU roaming

Since Brexit, networks are no longer required by law to provide free EU roaming. Most of the major networks now charge for EU roaming, with the exception being O2. However a lot of the smaller networks still do not charge for EU roaming.

If you’re a frequent traveller, you will want to pick a network that allows you to use your allowance abroad in as many countries as possible, preferably at no additional cost.

Depending on your plan and the country you are visiting, you may be able to use your regular allowance for free. If not, you may have to buy a roaming pass, or you may be charged at an out of allowance rate.

By law, the most a network can charge you when roaming internationally is £45 per month (£54 inc VAT). You can choose to opt out of this cap by contacting your network.

Which networks still have free EU roaming?

The following networks do not have any plans to introduce EU roaming charges, allowing to use your regular allowance as normal, within the fair usage policy:

  • Asda Mobile (5GB / month fair usage policy)
  • BT Mobile (50GB / month fair usage policy)
  • giffgaff (5GB / month fair usage policy)
  • iD Mobile (fair usage policy varies by contract plan)
  • Lebara (no fair usage policy for data)
  • O2 (25GB / month fair usage policy)
  • Plusnet (15GB / month fair usage policy)
  • SMARTY (12GB / month fair usage policy)
  • Talkmobile (15GB / month fair usage policy)
  • Virgin Mobile (fair usage policy varies by contract plan)

Some networks still have free EU roaming for particular plans.

If you’re a Vodafone customer on one of the following plans, you can still roam for free in the EU, with a 25GB / month fair usage policy:

  • Vodafone Limited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits
  • Vodafone Unlimited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits All other Vodafone plans will require you to pay for EU roaming.

EE customers who are entitled to a free Smart Benefit can choose the Roam Abroad pass to continue free EU roaming. If you’re not entitled to a free Smart Benefit, or you choose a Smart Benefit that is not the Roam Abroad pass, you must pay for EU roaming.

Which networks now charge for EU roaming?

Since Brexit, the following networks now charge for EU roaming:

Asda Mobile roaming

Asda Mobile

Asda Mobile allows free EU roaming, as long as you have monthly plan, known as Asda Mobile bundles.

If you're on pay as you go, will will be charged at the same UK rate, which is 10p per MB, 15p per min and 10p per text.

For plans with a data allowance greater than 5GB, you cannot exceed 5GB per month in accordance with the fair usage policy. If you exceed this limit, you will be charged 10p per MB.

For countries outside the EU, you will be charged at a separate out of plan rate.

For more information, see our guide on Asda Mobile roaming.

BT Mobile roaming

BT Mobile international roaming

With BT Mobile, you can use your regular allowance in any EU country at no additional cost, known as Roam Like Home.

In accordance with the fair usage policy, if your plan has a data allowance greater than 50GB, you cannot exceed 50GB per month. If you go over this amount, your speed may be limited.

For selected countries outside of the EU, you can get 500MB data per day with a Travel Data Pass.

If you don’t have a Travel Data Pass or you’re in a country that is not included, you will be charged an out of tariff rate, which varies per country.

See our guide to BT roaming for more information.

EE roaming

EE international roaming

From March 2022, EE customers can no longer use their allowance in the EU for free.

You will have to pay £2 per day to use your regular allowance, which will be charged automatically when visiting an EU country.

However, if you're entitled to a free Smart Benefit, you can select the Roam Abroad benefit to continue free EU roaming. This normally costs £10 per month, and also gives you access to 5 countries outside the EU, including USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Alternatively, an EE Travel Data Pass gives you a set data allowance in select countries.

See our guide on EE roaming for more information.

giffgaff roaming

giffgaff international roaming

giffgaff allows you to use your goodybag allowance in EU countries at no additional cost.

If you go over the 5GB per month fair usage policy, you will be charged at 10p per MB.

Currently, giffgaff do not sell an international pass for countries outside of the EU. You will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

See our guide on giffgaff roaming for more information.

iD Mobile roaming

iD Mobile international roaming

You can continue use your regular iD Mobile allowance within the EU at no additional cost.

However, there is a fair usage policy on the amount of data you can use, which varies depending on your monthly plan.

iD Mobile do not offer an international pass for other countries. Instead, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on iD Mobile roaming.

Lebara roaming

Lebara international roaming

You can continue to use your Lebara allowance for free within the EU, with a 30GB per month fair usage policy, or up to your allowance (whichever is lowest).

You can also roam for free in India, with a fair usage policy of 10GB per month, after which you will be charged an out of tariff rate.

Lebara do not have an international add-on for other countries. Instead, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

See our guide on Lebara roaming for more information.

O2 roaming

O2 international roaming

You can use your allowance with O2 for free within the EU.

There is a fair usage policy of 25GB per month, after which you will be charged £3.50 per GB.

For all other countries, you will need a Bolt On to use your allowance. If the country you are visiting is not covered by a Bolt On, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

See our guide on O2 roaming for more information.

Plusnet roaming

Plusnet international roaming

You can use your Plusnet allowance within the EU for free, known as Roam Like at Home.

There is fair usage policy of 15GB per month. You will be charged 10p per MB if you go over this limit.

For outside of the EU, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

Plusnet do not sell add-ons or passes for other countries. See our guide on Plusnet roaming for more information.

Sky Mobile roaming

Sky Mobile international roaming

Sky Mobile no longer offer free EU roaming. To use your allowance in the EU, you must pay £2 per day for the Roaming Passport Plus, which also covers 11 countries outside the EU. You will automatically be charged when visiting a qualifying country.

For select countries outside the EU and not covered by the Roaming Passport Plus, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on Sky Mobile roaming.

SMARTY roaming

SMARTY international roaming

SMARTY includes free EU roaming for all customers, allowing you to use your regular allowance as normal.

However, there’s a 12GB per month fair usage policy.

For countries outside the EU, you will be charged an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on SMARTY roaming.

Talkmobile roaming

Talkmobile international roaming

With Talkmobile, you can use your allowance in the EU for free.

In accordance with the fair usage policy, the maximum amount you can use is 15GB per month, after which you will be charged 0.6p per MB.

Talkmobile do not have any international passes or add-ons. Countries outside of the EU will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on Plusnet roaming.

Tesco Mobile roaming

Tesco Mobile international roaming

For the rest of 2022, you can use your regular allowance for free within the EU with Tesco Mobile.

However, starting from 2023, Tesco Mobile will begin to charge for EU roaming. You won't be able to use your allowance - instead, you will be charged 10p / MB for data and 55p / minute for calls.

Currently, Tesco Mobile do not offer international passes or add-ons for other countries. You will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on Tesco Mobile roaming.

Three roaming

Three international roaming

From 23 May 2022, you can no longer use your allowance for free in the EU with Three.

You will automatically be charged £2 per day for Go Roam in Europe, which will allow you to use your allowance. There is also a fair usage policy of 12GB per month.

For selected countries outside the EU, you can use your allowance with Go Roam, which costs £5 per day.

If you’re visiting a country not covered by Go Roam, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

For more information, see our guide on Three roaming.

Virgin Mobile roaming

Virgin Mobile international roaming

You can use your Virgin Mobile allowance for free within the EU.

There is a fair usage policy on the amount of data you can use, which depends on the cost of your monthly plan.

Virgin Mobile do not offer international add-ons or passes to use your allowance in other countries.

For all other countries, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate, which varies from country to country.

For more information, see our guide on Virgin Mobile roaming.

Vodafone roaming

Vodafone international roaming

From February 2022, most Vodafone customers will have to pay for EU roaming.

If you're on one of the following plans, you can continue to roam in the EU for free:

  • Vodafone Limited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits
  • Vodafone Unlimited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits

With all other plans, you will need to pay to use your allowances in the EU:

  • £2 for one day (automatically charged)
  • £8 for 8 days (text 8DAYEUROPE to 40506)
  • £15 for 15 days (text 15DAYEUROPE to 40506)

If you're on a Vodafone Limited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits plan, you can pay an extra £6 per day to use your allowances in Zone C and Zone D, which includes an additional 105 worldwide destinations.

If you're on a Vodafone Unlimited data Xtra plan with 4 Xtra benefits plan, you can pay an extra £6 per day to use your allowances in Zone D, which includes an additional 73 worldwide destinations.

See our guide on Vodafone roaming for more information.

VOXI roaming

VOXI international roaming

From 23 June 2022, you must pay for a VOXI European Roaming Pass to use your allowance in the EU.

You can buy a VOXI European Roaming Pass from £2 per day.

Furthermore, there is a 20GB data per month fair usage policy. If you need more data, you can purchase a Data Extra, as long as you still have a valid VOXI European Roaming Pass active.

If you're travelling outside the EU, you can buy a VOXI Global Roaming Extra, which gives you set allowances in 73 countries, for 8 days or 15 days, priced £15 and £25 respectively.

For more information, see VOXI roaming.

FAQs

Which networks have free EU roaming?

The following networks have free EU roaming:

Can I tether when roaming internationally?

Yes, you can tether, as long as you stay within your allowance and within your network's fair usage policy.

Is roaming outside the EU expensive?

You may be able to roam outside the EU and use your data for free or at a small cost, depending on your network and plan.

If the country you are visiting is not covered by a pass provided by your network, or you go over your allowance, you will be charged at an out of tariff rate.

These rates are usually very expensive, however maximum a network can charge you when roaming abroad is £45 per month. You can remove this limit by contacting your network.