Vodafone $5 roaming explained

Vodafone's $5 roaming is the simplest way to enable your phone's data and calling ability while you travel, but how does it work?

We're all much more aware of our smartphones' ability to roam when we travel, and it can be a convenient and fun way to stay in touch with friends and family no matter where we are on the globe. It can also be remarkably expensive, with many plans charging significant amounts for calls, texts and especially data.

Vodafone's $5 roaming deal stands out markedly in this maelstrom of overcharging because its core premise is remarkably simple. If you're on a Vodafone postpaid deal – whether that's a Vodafone contract plan or one of Vodafone's SIM-only plans – it will cost you $5 per day when overseas to access the inclusions already inherent in your plan. That's a flat $5 fee for potentially unlimited standard national calls and texts, as well as however many GB of data your plan has.

For simplicity, that's pretty hard to beat.

How do I use $5 roaming?

By default, any Vodafone postpaid contract SIM provisioned after 23 April 2014 will automatically be enrolled for $5 roaming. If your SIM or phone is older than that date then you'll need to enable it by contacting Vodafone, or switching it on through Vodafone's online portal.

In terms of enabling it once you're overseas, any usage of your phone will automatically incur that $5 charge on the day that you use it. This has some important caveats, because any usage outside of receiving a text will trip that $5 charge. If your social media accounts or email are set to automatically check at regular intervals, you'll hit the charge, as you will if you receive a phone call while travelling, even if that happens while you're asleep. Once paid for, you've got the day to use your normal provisioning before another $5 charge is applied to your account.

Don't want to risk racking up a steep roaming bill? Try these travel SIMs instead:

ChatSim Unlimited

ChatSim Unlimited from ChatSim

ChatSim Unlimited offers unlimited text that lasts up to a year and multimedia add-ons to use when traveling abroad. Click here to find out more.

View details

Where can I use $5 roaming?

Vodafone supports $5 roaming in more than 80 destinations:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • USA
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Wales

What types of usage are supported?

The broad intent of the $5 roaming deal is to provide much the same plan inclusions as you get when using your Vodafone service in Australia, as well as in the country you happen to be in. While on $5 roaming, standard national calls and SMS messages are covered for calls and texts back to Australia, as well as to the country you're in. You also get access to your regular data quota for your billing month. If your plan has 10GB regularly, you'll get to use up to 10GB when travelling. If you exceed your quota, the standard $10/GB excess charge applies

The one catch here is that Vodafone limits the number of $5 roaming days you can incur in a single year to 90. If you roam for more than 90 days, you'll start to be charged Vodafone's standard roaming fees, which currently stand at $1 per minute to make or receive calls, $1/MB for data and 75c per text message.

Can I connect to 4G services?

If Vodafone's roaming arrangement with the country in question supports it, then you'll be able to access 4G networks, but this isn't guaranteed. For planning purposes it's smart to think and plan around what's feasible on 3G networks to be on the safe side.

Can I avoid using $5 roaming?

It's feasible that you could, but you'd need to switch to only using available Wi-Fi sources and apps such as whatsapp to manage your communication needs, while leaving your phone's 3G/4G antenna disabled, most easily by throwing it into airplane mode and then re-enabling just the Wi-Fi portion. That should mean that you never trigger a $5 charge, but also means that anyone calling your phone will always end up being sent to voicemail.

Is Vodafone's $5 roaming good value?

If you're travelling in short bursts, then $5 per day is quite a reasonable sum to pay for access while travelling, but it's a value equation that loses appeal the longer you travel. For a two-week overseas trip, for example, you would pay an additional $70 on top of your monthly access fee, and that kind of money could buy either a dedicated roaming SIM or local SIM in the country you're travelling to.

Latest mobile plans headlines

Alex Kidman

Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades, and enjoys breaking down complex topics into their component parts. He has written for just about every major Australian technology publication, and is a former editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, and

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest mobile plan deals on finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RonOctober 9, 2018

    With Vodaphone’s $5 per day roaming cover, do I get 24 hours from my first activity or until midnight on the day?
    E.g. if I start activity at one minute past midnight do I have a $5 time limit for 23 hours and 59 minutes? Or for example, if I start at 11 pm do I only have 1 hour or 24 hours to 11 pm the next day?

    And if I stop using “roaming” for 2 days do I pay for those two days or only, automatically, does another $5s only start when I call home to Australia? Further, my wife and I will be in Greece together, how much will it cost me to call her if we are both in Greece but not near each other? We are both postpaid long term Vodafone customers.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniOctober 14, 2018Staff

      Hi Ron,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      If you are in Greece and use the $5 roaming it will start from the time when you make first call. Suppose you are making a call at 12 pm today it will work until tomorrow 11:59 pm. You will be charged the $5 fee only on days you make or receive a call, send a text or use data overseas. The $5 fee will appear on your bill to be paid at the end of the billing period. If you go over data allowance, they’ll automatically add 1GB for $10.
      And if you both are in Greece and not at the same place the $5 roaming will still work for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    AdrianNovember 6, 2017

    Hi guys, I am currently in the Philippines & I have Virgin Sim on month by month basis. It has just increased in price from $20 per month to $30 per month. I need to retain my Australian # to receive calls only. Is there a cheaper option for me?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanNovember 6, 2017

      Hi Adrian,

      Thank you for your inquiry. We understand that you wanted to keep your Australian number active while out of country for incoming calls.

      Generally, there are three options that you may consider.

      1. First is to check if there are roaming mobile contract (including monthly) that you can take on, wherein you may likely get more value out of every dollar plus there’s no need of putting up a recharge.
      2. Migrating your services to prepaid wherein you can enjoy mostly PAYG packages.
      3. Getting travel packs from the main providers in Australia, to keep your services going.

      It is important that you review their Critical Information Summary Sheets and/or consider discussing your needs with a consultant to know which one suits you.

      Hope this helps.


Ask a question
Go to site