Save money on your mobile when travelling overseas

Save money on your mobile when travelling overseas
Save money on your mobile when travelling overseas

By Alex Choros

Yesterday, Optus announced its new $1 per day prepaid plans, allowing customers to only pay for days when they use their mobile. Obviously, this is great for people who only use their handset every few days, but they're not the only customers who can save money with Optus' latest offering.

Frequent travellers should certainly take a look at these plans. Charlie is easily overseas for a month of each year, which means he's paying around $85 a year for a service he isn't using. Depending on your plan and the frequency of your travel, you could save hundreds of dollars per year. Provided you recharge at least $10 before you go away, your number won't expire for six months.

But what if you want to use your local number when overseas? Vodafone is your best bet. Last year the telco introduced $5 per day international roaming, allowing customers to use all of the features of their local service without incurring additional, exorbitant fees. Vodafone's offer is available in 47 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Hong Kong. Travellers should not that $5 per day roaming can only be used for 90 days in a calendar year.

Unfortunately, Telstra customers are best off paying for an international SIM card, or slumming it on Starbucks' free wireless hotspots. A Telstra customer using global roaming while in the United States will be charged $3 per minute of talk time and $3 per megabyte of data usage. Customers do however have the option of buying an "International Casual Traveller Data Pack", starting at $29 for 100 megabytes, and maxing out $350 for 1.5 gigabytes.

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