How Telstra’s new $10/day International Data Pass for roaming works

Angus Kidman 12 July 2017 NEWS


Telstra has upgraded its roaming deal, but data addicts will still want to shop around.

Telstra has revamped its roaming deal for Australians travelling overseas, introducing a new International Day Pass that costs $10 a day.

For that $10, you get unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers (mobiles and landlines) around the world, including Australia. This is handy if you want to be able to retain your existing number. For trips to New Zealand, the cost is $5 a day.

The kicker? The standard plan only includes 100MB of data for each day. If you go over that limit, which is quite likely given typical phone data consumption patterns, you'll pay 3 cents per MB.

If you want a higher data allowance, you can pay $25 to get an additional 1GB of data, which you can use over 31 days. While that's a cheaper option than 3 cents per MB, it's still a fairly expensive way to get data, so you might want to consider other options such as a local SIM or roaming onto Wi-Fi.

While it's only available on contract plans, the structure of Telstra's offer is fundamentally different to Vodafone's superficially similar $5 a day roaming offer. That deal lets you use your existing plan allowance, rather than assigning a different value.

While Telstra has a dominant share of the local market, it has a reputation for higher-priced roaming than its rivals. In 2015, it tried to raise roaming rates but ended up partially dumping that plan after heavy criticism.

Excess roaming fees are a major problem for travellers, with research suggesting that half-a-million Australians have been hit with excess charges. To avoid being stung, check out our guide to roaming on a budget.

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