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Various logos of UK mobile networks

Three Go Roam review: all the best and worst bits about it in one guide

Three logo and a globe

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

We explain Three's free roaming scheme Go Roam and its benefits, look for any restrictions and judge how it compares with other networks. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 8th August 2019.

Overall rating

Go Roam

SIM Sherpa rates Go Roam as the best inclusive roaming scheme in the UK
 (4/5, best choice)

"While other networks have caught up with free roaming in the EU, Three still lead the way with more worldwide destinations on their Go Roam programme as standard than any other provider.

To get our full five-star rating, Three would need to add top-speed 5G and 4G data connections to Go Roam too. But even without them, we still think it's the most generous inclusive roaming scheme in the UK today."

The 3 best bits

1) Large number of destinations
2) Comes with almost every plan
3) New countries may be added

The 3 worst bits

1) Slower data than in the UK
2) Personal hotspot restrictions
3) Data usage capped while abroad

Where to next?
 

Three's Go Roam explained

Pay no extra to roam in 71 countries in the EU and beyond

Three Feel At Home banner

Go abroad but don't pay for expensive roamingRead Three's guide

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

Historically, using your phone abroad (roaming) was a sure-fire way of running up large extra bills, because you were charged per minute, text and MB data you used at expensive rates.

But in 2013, Three realised that this was something that infuriated customers, so they invented Feel At Home (the old name for Go Roam) way before new laws meant every network had to offer free EU roaming.

It let you use your regular monthly allowance of minutes, texts and data while roaming in selected countries, without paying any extra (some restrictions do apply). Free roaming was born!

And it continues today on Three with the list of countries where you can take your phone for free growing to an impressive 71 destinations (see the latest list here).

Useful link: Skip to things we like about Go Roam

You can now get Go Roam on practically all types of deal

Product names and Go Roam branding

Pick the plan type with the right benefits for youChoose a plan

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

Three recently simplified how their Go Roam scheme works, so that now every pay monthly plan includes it as standard, whether you join on a SIM only deal or phone contract (there's no more Advanced and Essential).

You'll also get Go Roam on Three's pay as you go, as long as you buy one of their 30-day or 90-day bundles (Add-Ons). On the basic payg 321 plan, the rates are the same in the EU but more expensive elsewhere.

It also even works on Three's various mobile broadband (data-only) products, where you can take your dongle, data SIM or tablet to any of the same locations and use data without paying extra (subject to fair usage limits).

None of the alternatives to Three's Go Roam from other networks are available on such a broad range of plans and price points without having to pay extra for your basic deal.

Useful link: Get a qualifying Three plan

Get Go Roam with any of these Three products

Select the type of plan you're interested in

Where to next?
 

What we like about Three's Go Roam

It’s a genuine freebie you get with nearly every plan

Three's savings calculator

Three used to have an online savings calculator

As you’ll see in the section further one where we compare Go Roam with other networks’ roaming schemes, there’s no other network where inclusive roaming comes truly at no extra cost:

With other providers, you’re either paying a daily charge while you’re abroad to get a block of minutes, texts and data. Or the basic plan itself costs more to cover the cost of ‘free roaming’.

Go Roam from Three is different. You get it on every pay monthly plan, without having to upgrade to a more expensive monthly cost.

When you go abroad, it just works. There’s no faff in buying passes. Three even text you, to tell you how much you’ve saved on roaming costs.

Useful link: Three's other roaming costs

The destinations are worldwide and not just in Europe

List of Feel At Home countries

There are 71 total destinations you can visitSee latest full list

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

Regulations changed in 2017 so that mobile networks had to let you roam at no extra cost while in the EU. Since then, we’ve seen lots of providers make out they’re offering something special.

In truth, only a couple of other providers go beyond the basic requirements with inclusive roaming outside Europe, as you can read in our alternatives section further down the page.

Compare that to Three, who offer an additional 22 worldwide destinations outside the EU, on plans that won’t set you back as much and you can see why Go Roam is so popular (and gets our best roaming rating).

It’s worth saying though, if you know you’re only ever going to travel in Europe, use our SIM only price comparison tool to check all the networks with free EU roaming, as you might find a cheaper deal.

Useful link: Go Roam compares with the competition

The list of free roaming countries sometimes increases

New Feel At Home country flags

New countries are added occasionallySee new additions

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

Since Three first launched Feel At Home way back in 2013, the number of destinations where you can roam free of charge has grown from a handful back then to 71 on Go Roam today.

Every year, Three seems to add another 10 or so countries to the list of free roaming destinations. Although no new ones have been added since summer 2018.

So even if your favourite holiday spot isn’t currently covered it could soon be one of the Three Go Roam’s future countries at some point (Three don’t publish future destinations in advance though).

If you’re going somewhere not covered by Feel At Home, have a look at Three’s Data Passport, which adds more countries for £5 a day extra and gives you faster speeds, where available.

Useful link: Three’s additional Data Passport scheme

You can join Three temporarily, just to get Go Roam

SIM cards with Feel At Home

Pick a short-term SIM only deal for your tripSee short-term plans

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

If Go Roam sounds good but you’re locked into a contract with another network, or you don’t want to leave your current provider, you can benefit from Three’s free roaming on a temporary basis too.

There are two basic choices:

Join on a 1-month SIM only plan. This is a pay monthly deal that will auto-renew each month until you cancel it (order and then cancel with 30 days’ notice once you no longer need it).

Take a Pay As You Go SIM with a monthly add-on. You pay a one-off upfront cost for a block minutes, texts and data (see all the options here). This last for 30 days and you don’t have to remember to cancel it.

Both are useful options if you know you’re going on a trip abroad and need a temporary SIM to tie you over.

Useful link: All offers currently running on Three

It comes on top of all Three’s other highly-rated benefits

Other Three benefits

Three have plenty of things going for themRead our Three review

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

In our full review of Three, we conclude that Three have the best all-round mix of reasonable prices, decent coverage and 4G speeds, plus added benefits (Go Roam is one of those perks).

If you’ve not done it yet, check Three’s coverage near you here. Their 4G network now stretches to 99% of the population, and 3G is at 99%, so there’s a high chance you’re covered.

Another market-leading benefit you get on any of Three’s Advanced plans with over 12GB data is Go Binge. This offers unlimited streaming data on Netflix, Apple Music and a load of other services.

Lastly, is Three’s new Wuntu app that serves up daily deals and offers to use on high-street and online for things like food and drink, or other consumer purchases.

Useful link: See all awards Three have won

Where to next?
 

What's not so good about Go Roam

Three’s roaming data is only at 3G speeds on Go Roam

No 4G on Feel At Home roaming

There's no 4G while you're roamingSee coverage abroad

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

This is arguably the biggest weakness when it comes to Go Roam. Yes you’re getting the roaming data at no extra cost but it’s likely to be slower than using your phone at on Three’s UK network. Why?

Officially, Three say it’s to do with making the flow of data more manageable and therefore giving more people a consistent experience while they’re using roaming. This makes some sense.

We also suspect it keeps costs down for Three themselves. If the data is slower, it means you can’t rip through it at the same rate, so they’re not going to end up paying the roaming network as much.

It’s something you’ll have to decide is a problem or not. EE and Vodafone promise 4G speeds wherever they’re available abroad but their roaming schemes are considerably more expensive than Three’s.

Useful link: Check coverage by country (choose from list)

The amount of data you can use is limited when you’re roaming - even on Unlimited Data plans

Three's app screenshot

Three's app keeps track of your usageSee Three app features

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

Three are one of the few networks to offer what we’d call “proper” unlimited data on a full-time basis: other networks impose speed limits on uncapped data or only offer it as part of a short-term promotion.

While you can use as much data as you like while you’re in the UK with one of these plans on Three, if you go abroad, there’s a cap on how much you can use per month, without paying extra. Same if you have a plan over 12GB data.

At our last check, this cap was 12GB worldwide or 19GB in Europe on pay monthly (PAYG is different). There are also limits on minutes and texts. See latest fair usage policy in the FAQs here.

Most people reading this won’t even use that much while they’re at home in a month. But if you’re a complete data junkie, it’s worth noting you’ll have to curb your usage while abroad, even on Go Roam.

Useful link: Keep track of usage with Three's app

There are restrictions on tethering with Go Roam

Diagram explaining tethering

Three call tethering "personal hotspot"Read tethering rules

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

Tethering is when you use data from your mobile phone to create a mini-WiFi hostpot around you that you can connect other devices to, like tablets or laptops.

Three call it "Personal Hotspot". When you're in the UK, each pay monthly plan lets you use anywhere up to its entire allowance of data for creating a personal hotspot (it's unlimited on unlimited data plans).

When you're in a Go Roam country though, you're not allowed to tether at all according Three's pay monthly price guides, which you can read here (unless you have unlimited data and are visiting the EU).

If you want to use tethering (and get the very best speeds), Three have something called a Data Passport that gives you both for a fixed daily charge.

Useful link: About Three's data passport (scroll to halfway down page under link)

Where to next?
 

Other restrictions

You can’t use a Three SIM or phone abroad permanently

Go Roam restrictions

Restrictions are detailed in Three's price guidesSee price guides

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

We’ve not put this in the negatives section because we actually think it’s fair enough:

Three’s SIMs and phone contracts are designed to be used mainly in the UK. And Go Roam is supposed to be for UK residents taking temporary trips abroad.

So there are some lines in Three’s terms and conditions that say you can't spend more than 2 months in every 12 abroad roaming.

You'll need to have "stable links to the UK" like living here or studying here to be able to use Go Roam. If you're planning to live abroad, you're better of getting a SIM card locally.

Useful link: See Three's Price Guides for more details

Where to next?
 

How Go Roam compares with other networks

Go Roam compared with Vodafone’s Global Roaming

Vodafone Global Roaming banner

4G where available but at a premiumSee Vodafone's scheme

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

Vodafone have been advertising their Global Roaming quite heavily recently. And they’ve been self-styling themselves “The Best Network for Roaming”. So how does it really compare to Three?

We’d say Vodafone’s Global Roaming has the advantage that you’ll get 5G / 4G data speeds, whenever they’re available locally (you only get 3G on Go Roam).

There are also a lot more potential destinations on Vodafone’s Global Roaming (110 in total, see full list here), compared with 71 on Three’s Go Roam. So why don’t we rate it higher than Three’s scheme?

Basically, it boils down to cost. Three’s scheme costs no extra. On Vodafone, there’s a daily charge while you’re abroad to use your allowance. Or you have to take a more expensive plan to get 77 countries without paying extra while you're there.

Useful link: Read our full Three vs Vodafone comparison guide

Go Roam compared with EE’s Roam Further Pass

EE roaming

Choose extra roaming as a Swappable BenefitHow it works

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

On top of regular EU roaming that you get with every provider, EE also have plans called Smart Plans that let you add one or two so-called Swappable Benefits to your plan when you need them.

One of these is called a Roam Further pass, which lets you use your allowances in 5 extra countries outside the EU. Or you can pay £10 a month for the pass if you're not on a Smart Plan. Either way, it's paying extra.

Roaming on EE has the advantage over Three that you’ll get 4G in countries where it’s available (EE have a guide to this here in their help section), so you don’t have to compromise on speed abroad.

But it’s still inferior to Go Roam in a couple of ways: there’s not as many worldwide destinations (5 compared to 22). And Smart plans cost more than non-Smart ones, so you're paying a premium for it.

Useful link: Read our full EE vs Three comparison

Go Roam compared with O2’s Travel Passes

O2 inclusive roaming

Fixed daily charge in some countries outside EURead more

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

To be fair to O2, they don’t market their roaming deals like they’re anything special but it’s worth having a look at how it compares with Three anyway.

On O2, you can buy a daily pass that comes with a separate allowance of minutes, texts and data to use while you’re in particular countries (they’re not available everywhere). Usage doesn’t come out of your UK plan.

These come with a daily charge (see latest costs here) so certainly can’t be called free (O2 don’t say they are). Pay monthly plans over 20GB include the benefit without having to pay extra.

For inclusive roaming, O2 can’t really compete with Three. Read our full O2 vs Three guide to see how the two networks stack up against each other in general.

Useful link: Full O2 roaming information

Go Roam compared with other mobile networks

All networks offer free EU roaming nowRead our guide

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Nowadays, there are scores of smaller 'virtual' operators who use the big 4's networks and often offer cheaper prices.

All of these offer EU roaming as standard on their pay monthly deals. But few of them go any further and offer worldwide destinations too.

Our full guide to the best roaming networks here rates all providers in order of how good we think their inclusive roaming is.

If you mainly stay within the EU when you travel, it's worth comparing SIM only prices here or phone contracts here to check there isn't a cheaper option than joining Three.

Useful link: The best mobile networks for roaming

Where to next?
 

FAQs

Do you get Go Roam on an Essential plan from Three?

Three don't sell Essential plans to new customers any more but if you're already on one, you get what’s called Go Roam In Europe. This is like every other mobile provider where you can use your UK minutes, texts and data in these 49 European countries.

You don’t get Go Roam Around The World. This is the full version of Go Roam that extends your free roaming to an additional 22 non-EU countries across the globe.

Can you use Go Binge in Go Roam countries for free?

Yes. This is an excellent part of both Three’s Go Binge scheme (unlimited streaming data for selected apps) and their Go Roam scheme.

You’ll need to have some of your regular data allowance left while you’re abroad for it to work still (this is the same as when you’re in the UK anyway). And there are some restrictions on how much data you can use for streaming (it's not unlimited abroad).

But remember, if you’re in a non-Go Roam country, Go Binge streaming will not be free. You’ll be charged per MB

Can I use Go Roam if I live abroad permanently?

No, it's designed for people taking temporary trips abroad but live in the UK.

Three do actually check that the SIM or phone is being used in the UK regularly and will disconnect people who only ever use their mobile abroad.

What’s the difference between Go Roam in Europe and Go Roam Around The World?

It's a simple as you probably expect:

Go Roam in Euroupe gives you free roaming in 49 EU destinations only, everywhere you'll pay for your usage.

Go Roam The World gets you free roaming in the full list of 71 worldwide destinations, in the EU and beyond.

There are some subtle differences to do with tethering, unlimited data and fair usage policies depending on whether you're in the EU or in a worldwide destination.

Can you choose which network to connect to while abroad?

Three have arrangements with particular networks only while you're using Go Roam, so you do have to stick to those ones while you're abroad.

Do any other networks offer anything similar to Go Roam?

See our section on how Feel At Home compares with other providers.

But the short answer is “not really”. Other providers’ roaming either costs extra, or only offers the basic EU roaming you get with any provider now.

Does Go Roam work with Three's MiFi mobile broadband dongles or data-only SIM plan?

It works with both but remember you won't be able to just put the SIM in a phone. Three will detect this and prevent the phone from connecting (they've thought of everything).

How does roaming work when you’re not in a Go Roam country?

It works like other mobile networks where you'll pay per minute, text or MB data you use. You can find costs per country here on Three's website.

Where to next?
 

Three's SIM plans with Go Roam

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