HOLIDAYMAKERS heading abroad this summer face higher bills for using their mobile abroad with some networks.
Three mobile customers will pay a £2 a day charge starting from tomorrow (May 23) as the firm brings back roaming charges when heading to Europe.
Using your mobile abroad could be pricier than previous summersCredit: Getty
The change affects anyone who took out a contract with Three on or after October 1 last year.
And existing customers who renew their contract after this date will also be hit by the new fee.
The mobile network, which has around 9.3milion users, scrapped roaming fees back in 2013.
It meant mobile users never paid extra for making calls, texts and data in other EU countries than they did at home.
From May 23, the charge is a £2 a day flat fee to use your phone in EU destinations.
The firm is also increasing the cost of roaming charges for some other destinations outside the EU to £5 per day.
The daily fee means you can use your phone like you do at home, so you’ll get the same plan allowances for data, texts and phone calls.
The changes don’t affect pay as you go customers.
Roaming in the EU was free, but after Brexit mobile phone operators can charge you for using your phone on holiday.
Thousands of customers with Vodafone’s Voxi network will also be hit with new roaming charges this month.
From May 27, if you want to keep using your mobile plan while travelling to the continent, you’ll need to buy a European Roaming Pass.
The pass will cost £2 a day – or £1 a day if you purchase an eight or 15-day pass.
Crucially, the length of your pass will count down from the date you buy it, not from when it’s first used.
That means customers should buy the pass as close to the travel date as possible.
EE customers now pay £2 a day in the EU after the network brought back roaming charges in March this year.
Here’s the full list of Three’s Go Roam destinations in Europe wherr you’ll have the £2 a day fee:
- Aland Islands
- Balearic Islands
- Canary Islands
- Czech Republic
- French Guiana
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
- San Marino
- The Netherlands
- Vatican City
Ireland and the Isle of Man are excluded from charges.
In the following non-EU destinations, you’ll pay £5 a day to roam with Three:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Sri Lanka
- US Virgin Islands
Charges in other countries will vary and fair use polices apply.
How to save on your mobile costs
To avoid the extra charges you could immediately disable mobile data as soon as you land and try to find free Wi-Fi networks to get online.
Setting a spending cap on your mobile can stop you from building up unexpected costs from calls, texts or data.
It’s also possible to avoid EE’s EU roaming costs by switching to other networks that offer customers a free allowance when travelling.
For example, O2 allows its customers to use their data, minutes and text allowances as usual abroad – with limits on internet usage in place.
You can only use up to 25GB of your data at no extra cost when you’re travelling in Europe but you’ll be charged £3.50 per gigabyte after you hit the limit.
However, don’t just switch contracts because the roaming price is cheaper – this obviously should depend on how much you travel to Europe.
You should take a look at how many minutes and texts, as well as how much data you’re using, to find out which deal is best for you.
And if you’re still in your contract period, you might be charged an exit fee.
Martin Lewis has urged everyone to do a broadband and mobile bill check – and you could save £200 a year.
Money Saving Expert has a comparison tool for for cheap mobile deals too.
When comparing what’s on offer check it’s the right speeds or data for your needs.
You don’t want to end up going over data allowances and paying more than expected, for example, but equally you don’t want to spend money on data you don’t use.
You might also want to check you get signal where you are and you can do that using Ofcom’s coverage checker.
Companies often do introductory offers for new customers too and that could lower the price even further.
You can also try haggling with your current provider to match the cheaper deal you have found elsewhere.
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