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Best mobile networks for roaming 2022: EU, USA and beyond

Comparing international roaming

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We take you through the UK networks with free EU roaming still and compare fair usage policies and inclusive worldwide travel options. Last updated: 21st November 2022.

In our best roaming networks guide

Roaming has got more complicated than it used to be

A globe and a contract

EU roaming isn’t included with every network

There was a time when every UK mobile network offered free EU roaming with all their plans. And some even included worldwide destinations on top. Those days have been disappearing fast.

All but one of the main UK networks has dropped inclusive roaming in the EU. And we suspect the virtual operators that use them will start to follow suit as their contracts with their host networks get renewed.

But a few are clinging on - with a few restrictions on how much you can roam. In this guide, we rate the best networks for EU roaming, according to the most generous fair usage policies.

And if you want to go further afield to worldwide destinations, including the USA, we’ve ranked the best worldwide roaming networks, according to cost and what you get for the money.

Where to first?

EU roaming

Which network were you thinking of?

Click on one of the network logos to see what we think of their roaming scheme

1pMobile logo
Three logo
ASDA Mobile logo
BT Mobile logo
Coop Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
Honest Mobile logo
ID logo
Lebara logo
O2 logo
SMARTY logo
Talkmobile logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo

Joint 1st: BT Mobile's existing customers get EU roaming but you can no longer join them

Roam like Home in the EU banner

No longer accepting new customersSee full country list

at BT.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign EU roaming comes as standard
Green plus sign Most plans aren’t affected by fair usage

What we don't like:
Red minus sign New customers can't join
50GB restriction on your data allowance
Red minus sign No 5G access abroad

Just because BT’s network hosts EE have got rid of their inclusive EU roaming, that doesn’t mean BT have done the same. You can still use your UK allowance in these 47 EU/EEA countries on any plan, as an existing customer.

Every BT Mobile plan lets you use your UK allowance of minutes, texts and data while abroad in the EU. If your plan comes with 50GB+ data, you’ll be able to use up to 50GB a month there before charges apply.

Most users would struggle to get through 50GB while at home, so we’re certain this should be more than enough for a short trip. However, if you reach that limit you can still take an extra data add-on.

BT sit comfortably in joint top place for offering an impressive number of locations and not restricting you to a tiny amount of data. They also offer some handy worldwide roaming passes. But unless you're already with them, you can't benefit.

Useful link: Read BT's full roaming guide

Our EU roaming ranking
Joint 1st

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – daily add-ons in some countries

Fair usage policies?
50GB in EU

Joint 1st: Co-op don’t limit your data usage abroad

EU roaming and lady on phone

Use your allowance abroad just like at homeSee all roaming prices

at broadband.yourcoop.coop
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign EU roaming included on every plan
Green plus sign No fair usage policy

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Going over your allowance can be pricey
Red minus sign 4G only at home, no 5G

While some networks have scrapped or changed their EU roaming, Co-op Mobile make it to joint top of our list for the best UK networks for roaming just by keeping their EU roaming scheme in place.

It costs nothing extra to use any of Co-op Mobile’s plans in the EU. And they’re the only network that let you use your entire data allowance abroad at no extra cost. You can use your regular allowance in these EU destinations.

You can roam abroad on every Co-op Mobile SIM only plan. Here are their best current deals:

Calls and texts to other UK and EU numbers are included while roaming, so you’ll pay nothing extra for these. But if you go over your allowance while abroad you’ll have to pay as you go at their steep roaming rates (see their rates here).

Co-op Mobile don’t offer any unlimited data plans, so there’s no way to get unlimited data abroad with them. You’ll have to keep an eye on your usage, but otherwise Co-op are our number one network for EU roaming.

Our EU roaming ranking
Joint 1st

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
No

2nd: Lebara are a great value choice for EU roaming

EU roaming included lettering

Roam in 42 EU/EEA destinations on every planSee locations

at mobile.lebara.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign EU roaming included on all plans
Green plus sign Decent value data bolt-ons
Green plus sign Inclusive international calls work while roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Limited to 30GB while abroad

While Lebara’s hosts Vodafone have got rid of their free EU roaming scheme, Lebara have kept theirs in place. You’ll still be able to roam in these 42 EU/EEA countries at no added cost on every Lebara plan.

Lebara include EU roaming on every one of their SIM only plans. Here are their best value deals:

One unique thing about Lebara is that you can use the inclusive international minutes you get on your plan while roaming in the EU. That means you can make calls to these 42 destinations at no added cost even while roaming.

Lebara do impose a fair use policy of 30GB, however that only applies to their unlimited data plan as it’s the only plan Lebara offer that’s over that amount. And 30GB should be more than enough for most users on a short trip.

But if you go over this limit of run out of data while abroad you can either add a data bolt-on of 5GB for £10 or top up with credit and pay as you go at Lebara’s standard UK rates.

Neither of those options are particularly great value, however, so it’s best to just stay within your limits. If you want to use more data abroad we’d look at the networks above, otherwise we think Lebara are a great option for EU roaming.

Our EU roaming:
2nd

EU roaming included?:
Yes - all plans

Fair usage policies?
30GB in EU

3rd: O2 still include EU roaming, unlike the other main networks

O2 roaming banner

Inclusive EU roaming as standardSee qualifying plans

at O2.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Use your allowance abroad at no extra cost
Green plus sign Included on all plans

What we don't like:
Red minus sign 25GB cap on data allowance

O2 have made their EU roaming scheme in place a big part of their marketing, so they won’t likely get rid of it for the foreseeable future. You can use your UK allowance of mins, texts and data in the EU at no extra cost (see full details).

They’re the only one of the main UK networks to still include EU data roaming as standard. It’s also free to call and text back to the UK and other included EU destinations while you’re abroad on pay monthly.

While you’re in the EU you can use up to 25GB of your data allowance. We doubt most users will get through that in a short trip, but if you find yourself going over that O2 offer some data add-ons though these are somewhat pricey.

While you’re restricted a little bit more than on the networks above, O2 are a great network for EU roamers. Just keep an eye on your usage if you’re normally a heavy data user. And they’re good for non-EU roaming too.

Useful link: Read O2's full roaming guide

Our EU roaming ranking
3rd

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
Yes – on some pay monthly plans

Fair usage policies?
25GB in EU

4th: 1pMobile offer the same PAYG tariffs in the EU

1pMobile roaming banner

The best value PAYG network by a mileSee all other costs

at 1pmobile.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Lots of EU/EEA destinations covered
Green plus sign Same 1p tariffs while in the EU

What we don't like:
Red minus sign No 5G abroad
Red minus sign Some limits on SIM only deals

1pMobile’s main selling point is that they offer the cheapest pay as you go tariff of all networks. With them you’ll only pay 1p per minute, text and MB of data in the UK. And those rates stay the same when you’re in the EU:

This is fairly standard for pay as you go, but the fact that they offer cheaper rates by far than any other network and continue to do so while you roam in 46 EU/EEA destinations gives them a unique selling point.

There are no fair usage limits on pay as you go, but you will be limited to 14GB on their pay monthly SIM only deals. That’s a decent amount for a short trip, but if you go over that 1p offer some decent value data add-ons.

1p are decent choice for a second backup SIM too, if your main provider doesn't include EU roaming. But we'd warn that 1p per MB does add up quickly if you genuinely use data on their pay as you go.

Useful link: See all the info regarding their tariffs

Our EU roaming ranking
4th

EU roaming included?
Yes - pay as you go

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
None

Joint 5th: Honest offer the best EU roaming on Three’s network

Roaming with Honest

Use up to 20GB while abroadSee their FAQs

at honestmobile.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Lots of EU destinations included
Green plus sign Comes on every SIM only plan

What we don't like:
Red minus sign 20GB monthly limit while abroad
Red minus sign EU calls while roaming aren’t included

Honest Mobile are a smaller provider that still let you use your allowance in these 44 EU/EEA countries at no extra cost. This includes calls to UK numbers, but you’ll have to pay per minute to call EU numbers while roaming.

It’s a fairly standard EU roaming scheme overall. You can use your usual UK data allowance up to 20GB with no extra cost.

Every Honest Mobile SIM deal includes EU roaming. Here are their best current deals:

Their EU roaming scheme is better than all the other providers that piggyback off Three’s network (including Three themselves). The only drawback is that Honest’s deals are typically more expensive than the others, so keep that in mind.

Still, you get a decent chunk of data to use abroad in a lot of destinations. Unfortunately they don’t offer worldwide roaming and we don’t see them bringing one out any time soon. It’s also a shame they don’t include calls to EU numbers.

Useful link: See their current SIM only plans

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint 5th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No - Buy Smart Travel bolt-on

Fair usage policies?
20GB in EU

Joint 5th: Plusnet Mobile’s roaming scheme is better than hosts EE

Plusnet Mobile free EU roaming banner

EU roaming comes on every Plusnet dealSee all plans

at plus.net
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Still comes on every plan
Green plus sign Their plans are low-cost and simple

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Limited to 15GB while abroad

Plusnet are one of the providers that piggyback off EE’s network and actually offer a much better roaming scheme than their hosts. You can use your whole allowance on most of their plans in these EU countries.

Where there are some limits is if you’ve bought a really big data plan from Plusnet. According to their data usage policy here, you can’t use more than 15GB data while you’re abroad.

Most of Plusnet’s plans are smaller than 15GB in the first place, and the average UK phone user would hardly get through that in a month, so it’s not a massive downside. Calls to EU numbers while roaming are also included.

They’re a little better overall than Talkmobile as roaming is turned on by default, but they’re still not particularly special. They also offer no worldwide roaming scheme, but that’s to be expected.

Useful link: All roaming costs on Plusnet Mobile

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint 5th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
15GB in EU

6th: Talkmobile still include EU roaming as standard unlike hosts Vodafone

Talkmobile free EU roaming banner

EU roaming included on all plansFull details

at talkmobile.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Use your allowance abroad like at home
Green plus sign Plans are already great value and simple

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Have to manually turn roaming on
Red minus sign Data limit of 15GB while abroad

In terms of fair usage policies, we’d say Talkmobile are fairly middle of the road. For a short trip, 15GB should be more than enough and is more than what some networks offer, but some others let you use a lot more.

They include EU roaming on every plan, which is a lot better than their hosts Vodafone who only offer it on some. And Talkmobile also include EU calls while there, which come out of your regular UK allowance like at home.

But before you travel, make sure to turn on roaming in your account settings. It’s turned off by default on Talkmobile, meaning you could end up with no way to access your network.

They’re definitely not one of the best networks for roaming, but since they’re already so cheap we wouldn’t expect anything special from them either. They also don’t offer inclusive worldwide roaming which isn’t surprising.

Useful link: Talkmobile's guide to roaming on their network

Our EU roaming ranking
6th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
15GB in EU

7th: SMARTY’s EU roaming is simple to understand

SMARTY EU roaming banner

Inclusive EU roaming at no extra cost on SMARTYRead full guide

at SMARTY.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign EU roaming included on every plan
Green plus sign Already simple and cheap plans

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Fair usage policy of 12GB

Unlike their hosts Three, SMARTY have kept their EU roaming policy in place. You can still roam in their 34 covered EU/EEA destinations without incurring extra charges. But there is a limit to how much data you can use abroad:

If you’re on a data plan with over 12GB or on an unlimited data plan then you’ll be limited to 12GB each month you’re in the EU. But SMARTY offer great value data-add ons if you run out. And calls to any EU country are also inclusive while there.

SMARTY are also the cheapest network for out-of-bundle data add-ons. If you go over their fair usage limit while abroad, you can simply add more data at a £1 per 1GB rate, rather than incurring massive charges.

Be aware you’ll have to turn on roaming manually before you can use your SIM card abroad (see their guide here). We arrived in the EU with our SMARTY SIM with no connection and no way to turn roaming on. Make sure it’s on before you leave.

Useful link: All benefits to SMARTY's roaming

Our EU roaming ranking:
7th

Inclusive countries as standard:
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
12GB in EU

Joint 8th: ASDA Mobile include EU roaming on every plan

Roaming with ASDA

Roam at no extra cost in 36 EU countriesSee costs per country

at mobile.asda.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Included on every SIM only plan
Green plus sign Well priced plans in the first place
Green plus sign Pay standard PAYG rates while roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Data limit of 5GB
Red minus sign Not as many destinations covered as some

ASDA Mobile are quite similar to VOXI in a few ways. They both piggyback off Vodafone’s network and offer cheap 1-month deals. But unlike VOXI, ASDA still let you roam in the EU on all plans and offer the same PAYG tariff as in the UK.

You can use your allowance like home in these 36 EU countries. While you’re there you’ll be limited to 5GB of your data allowance. That’s more than some other networks let you use abroad, but it’s still a limit.

The only major issue of their roaming is that it’s not turned on by default. So remember to activate it before leaving using the instructions in the FAQs here, to avoid being without a connection.

Just like the other networks with this joint ranking, ASDA are a good choice if you’re heading over to the continent for a short trip. While other networks are removing EU roaming, we appreciate the ones that keep their schemes in place.

Useful link: See ASDA Mobile’s best SIM only deals

Our ranking:
Joint 8th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
5GB in the EU

Joint 8th: Virgin Mobile have an overly fiddly fair usage policy

Screenshot of Virgin Mobile's roaming fair usage calculator

Virgin cap data usage abroad on all plansUse calculator now

at virginmedia.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Roam in 43 EU countries at no added cost
Green plus sign Typically cheap SIM only and phone contracts

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Every data plan is capped while abroad

While we give Virgin Mobile a good rating in our review of them, one thing that holds them back is their overly complicated and finickity EU roaming policy. But, at least calls and texts to EU numbers are free when you’re roaming.

Rather than setting a hard and fast cap on data usage abroad, Virgin use a complicated formula to work out how much data out of your regular allowance you can use while roaming before being charged extra. Usually it’s around half your regular allowance.

If you’re going away for a short while and not planning on using much data then that won’t be too much of a problem. But if you travel often, for long periods or are a heavy data user then you can end up incurring extra charges.

Virgin also don’t offer any inclusive worldwide roaming at all, so if you want to go beyond the EU you’ll have to top up and pay at some astonishingly expensive rates (see below).

Useful link: See Virgin's roaming information hub

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint 8th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
None – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
Complicated calculation

Joint 8th: iD Mobile impose a complicated fair usage policy

iD Mobile free EU roaming banner

Every iD plan is limited while roamingRead all the rules

at idmobile.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign All popular EU destinations included
Green plus sign An added 5 non-EU destinations included
Green plus sign Costs are cheap in the first place

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Every SIM only and phone contract is capped

iD are a fantastic network for cheap 1-month SIM only contracts. Despite their low costs they include EU roaming in loads of popular EU countries at no extra cost, helping you get the most out of your deal. But this comes with some drawbacks:

iD have an Open Data Policy in place, which restricts how much of your normal monthly data allowance you can use. It only applies on larger plans. At least, calls to EU numbers are included in your allowance.

It’s one of the trade offs for having such low-cost plans. It shouldn’t be a big problem on larger data plans, but these restrictions definitely affect users on smaller plans more heavily. If you’re not careful with your data you could incur additional charges.

They also include a few extra non-EU destinations. But unless you’re going to North Macedonia, Belarus, Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan then this won’t be much of an added benefit. In the end, iD are about average for EU roaming.

Useful link: iD's full guide to roaming with them

Our ranking:
Joint 8th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
Few unpopular non-EU destinations

Fair usage policies?
Complicated calculation

9th: Lycamobile EU roaming has a finickity fair usage policy

Roaming with giffgaff

Every plan has a different fair usage limitRead their guide

at lycamobile.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Big list of inclusive roaming countries
Green plus sign No usage caps for most customers
Green plus sign Cheap simple plans to start with

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Maximum 20GB usage abroad a month

You can roam abroad in these 32 EU destinations on any Lycamobile SIM only or phone deal. But your data allowance will be restricted while you’re there, no matter which plan you’re on.

While most networks set a hard and fast limit on how much of your allowance you can use abroad, every Lycamobile deal comes with a different limit which you can only see in the checkout before buying your plan.

There doesn’t seem to be any method to working out how much of your allowance you can use. But the bigger your data allowance the higher your limit. If you go over that then you’ll have to top up with credit and pay their roaming rates.

Lycamobile don’t offer any worldwide roaming destinations. For going beyond the EU you’ll have to top up and pay as you go at their international roaming rates which will get very expensive very quickly.

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint 9th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
Varies per plan

9th: giffgaff now impose a strict limit on data usage abroad

Roaming with giffgaff

Use your plan abroad in lots of EU/EEA countriesSee costs per country

at giffgaff.com
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Long list of destinations included
Green plus sign Plans are already good value and simple

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Strict 5GB data limit while abroad

giffgaff used to be higher on this list, but with the recent changes to their roaming policy they’ve fallen a long way down in our eyes. They still let you use their goodybags in Europe, but severely limit you while you’re there.

In their long list of EU destinations you’ll have your data allowance capped at only 5GB. That means you’ll have to keep an eye on your data usage, or else you will to pay extra charges per MB (giffgaff don’t offer data add-ons).

Calls to UK and EU numbers are still included while roaming. And considering most of their plans offer unlimited minutes you won’t have to worry about that.

If you top up with credit and pay as you go then you’ll get the same rates as you would in the UK, but without any fair usage policy. But their rates are much worse value than their goodybags, so we’re not sure it’s worth it.

Overall, giffgaff aren’t a great choice for EU travellers anymore. They’re still better than the main UK networks, but then there are other networks that let you use much more data abroad. And giffgaff offer no inclusive worldwide roaming at all.

Useful link: Get £5 free credit when you join giffgaff

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint 9th

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Worldwide roaming included?
No – pay as you go

Fair usage policies?
5GB in EU

10th: Vodafone restrict EU roaming to their pricier plans

Vodafone's Global Roaming banner

Their regular SIM only plans don’t include roamingSee new charges

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in a new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Roam in 51 EU destinations
Green plus sign The only main network to offer 5G while roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus sign EU roaming doesn’t come on most plans
Red minus sign Pay every day to roam on most plans

Vodafone only include EU roaming on their more expensive “Xtras” plans. On these you’ll be able to use up to 25GB of your data allowance in the EU, as well as your regular minutes to EU numbers. But their regular plans don’t include it.

On their regular pay monthly plans you’ll have to pay £2 a day. You can take their EU roaming passes where you pay a one off charge of £8 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days. These are better value, but then roaming used to be free.

This makes them worse for roaming than the smaller brands like Talkmobile, Virgin and ASDA that piggyback off Vodafone’s network for signal. All of these networks include EU roaming (but VOXI don’t).

Roaming isn’t offered at all on their cheaper Basics plans, meaning your SIM just won’t work while abroad. So, EU roaming is really a premium experience on Vodafone, but is a little cheaper than the other networks listed below.

Useful link: Vodafone's full guide to roaming costs

Our EU roaming ranking:
10th

Worldwide roaming included?
83 countries on premium plans only

Fair usage policies?
25GB data per month

Joint last: These providers have got rid of their inclusive EU roaming

All these networks charge you for roamingSee what’s changed

at Sky.com
(opens in a new window)

There are now a number of networks that have removed inclusive EU roaming from their plans. For these networks you’ll now have to buy a temporary pass (usually a daily one) in order to use your allowance abroad.

EE, Three, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and VOXI all offer daily EU roaming passes of £2 per day. Tesco Mobile and VOXI do have longer passes that are slightly better value per day (£8 for 8 days, £15 for 15 days).

Both Three and EE let you use their pay as you go monthly bundles in the EU/EEA at no extra cost. And if you’re using traditional pay as you go with Three you’ll pay out of credit at these rates. There are no pay as you go options on Sky.

EE also offer Roam Abroad passes as a Smart Benefit (or as an add-on to be bought separately) which gets you inclusive roaming in the EU, but the other networks offer no way of getting around the daily fee.

In terms of data caps, VOXI let you use up to 20GB of your data, EE let you use a sizeable 50GB while roaming and Three restrict you to 50GB. But Sky and Tesco Mobile still let you use your entire allowance abroad.

It’s a shame that Tesco have joined these networks, especially since they used to be our favourite network for EU roaming. But at least they haven’t brought in a fair usage policy. Also each network still include calls to EU numbers in your allowance.

Useful link: Read EE’s guide to their Roam Abroad passes

Our EU roaming ranking:
Joint last

Worldwide roaming included?
Roaming passports for 21 destinations

Fair usage policies?
None on Sky
50GB on EE
12GB on Three

Where to next?

USA and worldwide roaming

1st: Vodafone offer lots of worldwide destinations on their priciest plan(s)

Vodafone Xtra Benefits

Use your regular allowance beyond the EUWhere you can go

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Roam in up to 83 countries (including EU ones)
Green plus sign Get 5G while you’re abroad

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Only offered on their most expensive Xtras plan
Red minus sign You’re limited to 25GB while abroad
Red minus sign Hefty daily charges on other plans

While Vodafone were near the bottom of our EU roaming list, they offer the best worldwide roaming scheme in our eyes. Vodafone are the only network to offer roaming in multiple worldwide destinations on an actual plan - not as an extra add-on.

Take one of their Unlimited 4x Xtras plans and you’ll be able to use your regular minutes, texts and loads of data abroad in an astonishing list of 83 countries around the world, without paying extra while you’re there:

These are the only plans that offer you inclusive worldwide roaming:

For travellers who often go beyond the EU, we think this plan will be ideal for you. When roaming worldwide on other plans you have to limit your usage to avoid getting a huge bill. But Vodafone let you use up to 25GB while you’re there.

On any other plan you’ll have to pay £6 a day to travel in their worldwide destinations. That’s still generally cheaper than topping up and paying as you go, but it can get expensive fast.

Useful link: Vodafone's full guide to roaming costs

Our worldwide roaming ranking:
1st

Worldwide roaming included?
83 countries on premium plans only

Fair usage policies?
25GB data per month

2nd: O2 offer decent worldwide roaming with their Travel Inclusive Zone add-on

O2's list of countries in their Travel Inclusive Zone

Roaming beyond the EU offered as an extraSee qualifying plans

at O2.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign A good amount of worldwide countries included
Green plus sign Chop and change Extras as you want

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Unimpressive allowances
Red minus sign Only included on their higher-end plans

O2 aren’t only a fantastic network for EU roaming, but they also offer some good worldwide roaming options with their Travel Inclusive Zone add-on. This lets you roam in up to 27 popular worldwide countries.

You don't get it automatically (unless you have Virgin Media and take a Volt plan). But on pay monthly over 30GB, you can choose Travel Inclusive under the mobile services section of O2 Extras when you check out.

With the extra you’ll get a daily allowance of 120 mins, 120 text and 150MB of full-speed data while roaming in their destinations. If you use up 150MB for the day you actually get unlimited data, but it is slowed down to sub-2G speeds.

If you're a massive data user, this scheme won’t be ideal. But as a way of avoiding large charges for doing a few basics on your phone, we think it's a decent scheme from O2. You can also buy the pass if your plan doesn't include it.

Useful link: Read O2's full roaming guide

Our worldwide roaming ranking
2nd

Worldwide roaming included?
Yes – on some pay monthly plans

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

3rd: Sky have made their daily rates for worldwide roaming a lot cheaper

Sky Mobile Your Roaming Passport

Sky brand their roaming as PassportsSee what you get

at Sky.com
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Most popular worldwide destinations covered
Green plus sign Use up to your entire data allowance while abroad
Green plus sign The cheapest standard daily rate for worldwide roaming

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Nowhere else in the world included
Red minus sign No inclusive roaming without paying extra

Sky’s new roaming changes have made their EU roaming much worse. But, this change has had the opposite effect on their worldwide roaming, which will become a lot cheaper on Sky.

You now have to pay £2 a day for their Roaming Passport Plus that lets you use your entire UK allowance in these 54 EU and worldwide destinations. Before the change it was £6 a day for their non-EU destinations.

If you want to go beyond those destinations you’ll be billed per MB, text and minute at some pretty expensive rates (see their guide here).

So in terms of daily rates, Sky are by far the cheapest network for going beyond the EU. But there’s still no way to get inclusive worldwide roaming or any add-ons to reduce the price. Not a bad choice, but not the best.

Useful link: Read Sky Mobile's page on roaming

Our worldwide roaming ranking
3rd

Worldwide roaming included?
No – daily charges in 12 countries

EU roaming included?
No

Fair usage policies?
None in EU

4th: Three let you roam in lots of worldwide destinations at a daily rate

Go Roam lettering in Three brand

Pay per day while beyond the EUSee updated scheme

at Three.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Still get it if you joined before the changes
Green plus sign Lots of worldwide countries covered

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Somewhat strict data caps
Red minus sign Can’t tether your signal abroad
Red minus sign Daily rates are quite pricey

Three used to offer free inclusive worldwide roaming, which made them our top pick for roaming networks both in the EU and around the world. Now you’ll have to pay a daily rate while roaming.

To access your UK minutes,texts and data in their covered worldwide countries you’ll have to pay £5 every day you’re there. That can add up to quite a bit, but it’s still much cheaper than paying as you go on most other networks.

Unfortunately, you will be limited to 5000 texts, 3000 minutes and only 12GB of data while abroad. We think it’s a bit annoying that you have to pay to access your allowance only to not even get full access to it.

Overall, Three are a decent enough network for worldwide roaming. Their daily fee is much cheaper than paying as you go and they cover lots of countries. It’s nowhere near what it used to be, but it could be worse.

Useful link: Three's latest info to Go Roam

Our worldwide roaming ranking
4th

Worldwide roaming included?
No - daily rate for roaming

EU roaming included?
No - daily rate for roaming

5th: VOXI offer better value temporary passes for worldwide roaming

VOXI Global Roaming Extras

Get an 8-day or 15-day roaming passLearn more

at VOXI.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Passes better value than paying per day
Green plus sign Lots of destinations covered

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Only works for a limited time
Red minus sign Allowances are quite small
Red minus sign “Endless” benefits are blocked while abroad

We wouldn’t usually expect to see a smaller network like VOXI offering worldwide data passes. VOXI stand out as an exception:

You can either take an 8-day data pass for £15 or a 15-day pass for £25. These get you a limited number of minutes, texts and MBs of data depending on which pass you take in these worldwide destinations.

Considering how much you have to pay on some of the larger networks, that’s pretty great value. But your allowances are quite small. And we don’t like that they're time-limited as you’ll likely end up not using everything you paid for.

But the flexibility you get in being able to buy these passes whenever, the long list of destinations and the decent value that they offer means that VOXI are a decent choice for worldwide roaming.

Useful link: VOXI’s worldwide roaming passes

Our worldwide roaming ranking
Joint 5th

Worldwide roaming included?
No – roaming passes

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Fair usage policies?
20GB in EU

5th: EE have data passes as a premium extra

EE Inclusive roaming scheme banner

Get a roaming extra for 5 additional worldwide countriesRead their guide

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign 4G speeds where you can get them
Green plus sign Most popular countries included

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Only comes as an added extra
Red minus sign Comes only on premium Smart plans

EE offer three different ways to use your allowance beyond the EU. You either pay for every min, text and MB of data on your bill, take a Travel Data Pass or use their Roam Abroad extra.

You can get their Roam Abroad pass as a Smart Benefit on one of their Smart Plans. This will get you inclusive roaming in their EU destinations as well as five extra worldwide destinations (USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand).

Their data passes are daily fees you pay to get a small data allowance. The daily cost and size of your data allowance depends on the location. These cover a lot of locations and are better value than paying as you go.

You’ll only be able to use 50GB of your allowance with their Roam Abroad pass, but we think that’s more than most users would even hope to get through and end up paying extra charges. EE’s scheme isn’t fantastic, but not bad either.

Useful link: All other roaming costs on EE

Our worldwide roaming ranking
Joint 5th

Worldwide roaming included?
5 extra countries as a Smart benefit

Fair usage policies?
50GB data per month

6th: BT Mobile’s data passes let you roam beyond the EU at a cost

Screenshot of BT roaming data add-on

The most popular worldwide destinations coveredSee full country list

at BT.com
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Roam in the most popular worldwide countries
Green plus sign Fair usage caps are quite lenient

What we don't like:
Red minus sign Small allowances while abroad
Red minus sign Gets expensive quite quickly

While BT are one of our best choices for EU roaming, their worldwide roaming isn’t as great. They offer daily roaming passes for 12 worldwide destinations.

You’ll have to pay £6 for every day you’re abroad, which can work out to a lot of money if you’re away a while. And you only get 500MB data each day. If you use that up then you’ll have to pay as you go or stop using data.

It’s quite similar to EE’s, but without the choice of taking a special benefit to get inclusive roaming. It is better value than paying as you go at their steep roaming rates, but it’s still not great.

While it’s better than having no worldwide roaming scheme at all, we still think they could improve it massively to keep up with the rest. For now, it’s a pretty underwhelming scheme.

Useful link: Read BT's full roaming guide

Our worldwide roaming ranking
6th

Worldwide roaming included?
No – daily add-ons in some countries

EU roaming included?
Yes - all plans

Fair usage policies?
50GB in EU

7th: Lebara only include roaming to India as standard

Screenshot of BT roaming data add-on

Roam in India like you would in the EURead more

at mobile.lebara.com
(opens in new window)

What we like:
Green plus sign Inclusive roaming in India as standard

What we don't like:
Red minus sign No other destinations included
Red minus sign Very expensive international rates

On top of Lebara's inclusive EU roaming destinations, they also include roaming in India on all plans. You get the same 30GB fair use policy and you don’t have to jump through any hoops to roam in India.

Lebara are actually hosted by Vodafone in India rather than another network. This means you can be sure to get quality speeds and signal while you’re there, though we haven’t tested this out ourselves.

You can roam in India on any Lebara SIM only plan. Here are their best current deals:

The reason Lebara find themselves this far down is because that’s the only inclusive worldwide roaming you’ll get. There are no other destinations or any worldwide roaming add-ons for going beyond the EU or India.

Instead you’ll have to pay at these astonishingly expensive rates. We’d say Lebara are one of the best choices for going to India, but if you want to go to any other worldwide destination we’d consider one of the networks above.

Our worldwide roaming ranking
7th

Worldwide roaming included?
UPDATEME

EU roaming included?
UPDATEME

Fair usage policies?
UPDATEME

Joint Last: No worldwide roaming options on all these networks

Tesco Mobile logoHonest logo1pMobile logogiffgaff logoASDA Mobile logoTalkmobile logoPlusnet logoSMARTY logoVirgin Mobile logoiD Mobile logo

After all that we’ve come to the networks that don’t include any inclusive worldwide roaming or roaming passes. With these networks you’ll to top up and pay at each networks’ international rates:

To decide which network has the best value rates we judge each based primarily on the cost of data per MB, then the cost of calls and finally the cost of texts, using the USA as a benchmark:

1pMobile - 10p per min, 5p per text and 2p per MB

Co-op Mobile - 5p per min, 6p per text and 3p per MB

SMARTY - 50p per min, 20p per text and 10p per MB

Talkmobile - £1.01 per min, 35p per text and 10p per MB

ASDA - 75p per min, 8p per text and 20p per MB

giffgaff - £1.01 per min, 30p per text and 20p per MB

iD Mobile - £1.68 per min, 50p per text and 30p per MB

Honest Mobile - £0.84 per min, 21p per text and £3 per MB

Tesco Mobile - 89p per min, 40p per text and £5 per MB

Virgin Mobile - £2 per min, 42p per text and £5 per MB

Plusnet Mobile - £1.30 per min, 40p per text and £6 per MB

As we can see here, 1pMobile and Co-op Mobile offer the best rates for going beyond the EU. But even still, roaming can get very expensive very quickly. It costs £6000 to use 1GB of data in the USA on Plusnet, while on 1pMobile that would be £20.

You can’t sit by the pool and stream Netflix on any of these networks without incurring some serious charges. But if you hardly use data at all, then 1pMobile, Talkmobile and SMARTY are decent choices; the rest are unusably expensive.

We can’t imagine these networks will bring out worldwide roaming schemes in the near future. We could see Virgin bringing out something, however. And Tesco would be our favourite network for roaming if they introduced some worldwide roaming.

But in the end, most people don’t regularly go on holiday beyond the EU anyway. It’s not a priority for networks to bring in worldwide roaming schemes.

In fact, most of these offer good EU roaming schemes. We think more users will care about that. In any case, it’s still good when networks offer some sort of worldwide roaming, and it would raise our opinions of these networks if they offered it.

Useful link: 1pMobile’s roaming costs

Where to next?

Best all-round roaming network

O2 have the best combination of inclusive EU and worldwide roaming

O2 logo

Read more

at o2.co.uk
(opens in new window)

O2 come out as the clear winner when judging each network on both their EU roaming and worldwide roaming schemes combined. It’s interesting because they don’t have the best of either schemes individually, but overall they’re definitely strongest.

Tesco Mobile might let you use as much data as you want in the EU, but they don’t offer worldwide roaming passes. O2 do limit you to 25GB, but that’s more than enough for most users and they let you roam worldwide on slightly pricier plans.

Vodafone might have the stronger worldwide roaming as your data isn’t speed capped like on O2. But Vodafone’s roaming is only on their expensive plans. O2 offer EU roaming for free as standard and you can get a travel pass on most O2 plans.

In the end, if you’re a bit of a globetrotter and want to hop from Austria to Australia, the UK to the USA or from Croatia to Canada then O2 won’t put you out of pocket like some networks would. Just keep an eye on your data usage.

Useful link: O2’s guide to their International Travel Bolt-on

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