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Vodafone Xtra benefits explained: are the plans any good?

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We look at Vodafone's new Xtra benefit plans, how they work, what you get and whether they're worth paying extra for. Here's our verdict. Last updated: 28th November 2023.

Xtra Plans in a nutshell

Vodafone’s Xtra deals give you some handy extra benefits

Xtra Plans wording and a SIM card in Vodafone brand

Get them on SIM only or phone contractsRead Vodafone's guide

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Whether you’re thinking of taking a phone contract or SIM only deal on Vodafone, you get the option of taking out what they call one of their “Xtras” plans that are pricier than their usual range.

Compare a plan with Xtras vs a plan with no Xtras and you’ll see they cost more for the same amount of mins, texts and data. But their Xtra plans include some interesting benefits you don’t get on non-Xtras plans.

Here are the current SIM only deals:

In our guide below we go over all the benefits you can get when you join on one of these deals, what kinds of Xtras plans you can get and whether or not we see them as worth taking.

Useful link: Skip to benefits

What do you get with Vodafone's Xtra Plans?

Free device care is handy for keeping your phone healthy

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Free phone check ups at their storesFind a store

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The first extra you get on all of their Xtras plans is Device Care. Vodafone don’t explain it very well on the website, but essentially it’s an in-person check up for your device (find more details here).

With the benefit, these are free of charge. All you have to do is visit your nearest Vodafone retail store (find yours here) with your phone and give it to their specialists for them to look over a few things:

They’ll sort out any storage, battery or software problems you’re having to make sure your phone is working as best it can. They’ll also estimate the value of your phone, possibly to get you to sell it to them.

And you’ll get it even if you just join Vodafone on a SIM only contract. It’s a nice benefit if you’re not very tech savvy and prefer to get help from a professional. But we imagine lots of people will never use it.

Useful link: Vodafone's trade in scheme

Free unlimited picture messaging is another decent benefit

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MMS messages usually cost extraSee usual costs

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Another benefit you get is free unlimited picture messaging (MMS) which is usually charged for. Vodafone usually charge you per MMS or at £3.50 a month as an add-on.

You might never have heard of picture messaging or MMS before. It’s basically what came before apps like WhatsApp which use your data signal. MMS lets you send images using similar mobile technology to SMS texts.

We’d confidently say that the majority of people will hardly ever send more than one MMS each month. However, some networks will count a text that goes over a character limit as an MMS and certain emojis also count.

Just like the benefit above, we doubt most people will really get anything out of this. But if you’re someone who does send MMS texts and you don’t like the extra cost then you might appreciate this benefit.

Useful link: SMARTY include MMS for free

Unlimited Data Boosters are potentially very useful

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Only included on non-Unlimited plansHow you use it

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If you often run out of data mid-month, you might like the temporary unlimited data boosts you get on non-Unlimited Xtras plans. These last for 30 days and you can activate them simply by texting Vodafone.

Here are the capped Xtra plans that let you boost your data to unlimited if you run out:

It can be infuriating to be charged for going over your limit (here are the best and worst networks for extra charges) so this can be helpful if you find yourself often running out of data.

And these unlimited data boosts aren’t just helpful for avoiding extra charges, but they let you stream as long as you want, download as much as you like and really go for it while the Booster is still active.

You get three on a 12-month contract and six on a 24-month contract. Once you use them you can’t get them back. If you go over your allowance more often than that, you might as well just take an unlimited data plan.

Useful link: Our guide to unlimited data plans

Global Roaming is probably the best of these benefits

Aeroplane symbol

Roam at no added cost beyond the EUSee destination list

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Vodafone only include EU and worldwide roaming on their plans with 3 Xtras. Some of Vodafone’s Xtras plans come with Global Roaming Plus, which is the only way to get worldwide roaming included on your plan.

If you've got it in your plan, you can take your phone to any of these 83 destinations and not pay extra to use your plan's regular minutes, texts and data (within a 25GB monthly limit).

Their 3 Xtras plans without Global Roaming Plus still let you roam in these 51 EU/EEA destinations at no added cost. Compare that to the £2 daily rate of their regular plans and you can see why this is useful.

Take any of these deals on SIM only to get the full list of roaming destinations included:

We don’t like that they’ve cut out and repackaged EU roaming as a premium benefit, but you can get better value out of these plans than paying their daily rate if you’re a frequent traveller.

Useful link: Full roaming terms and conditions on Vodafone

Are they worth the extra cost?

Consider how much you’ll actually get out of these benefits

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Compare Vodafone’s SIM only pricesCompare SIM only plans

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We think their Xtras plan are mainly an attempt at an upsell. Increase the price with the promise of some brilliant extras to add some extra value.

In our eyes, we can’t really see most people bothering to use the free device care and most people will send very few MMS texts if any. We think these two benefits are largely just window dressing for these plans.

Their unlimited data boosts are handy. But we’re not sure it’s worth paying more for an Xtras plan every month to avoid a potential one-off fee when you can avoid both by just taking a plan that suits your needs.

Most people will join an Xtras plan for the inclusive roaming. But again, this is an upsell as they stripped inclusive EU roaming from their regular plans. Their Global Roaming Plus is an appealing benefit, however.

In the end, we’d only really consider buying one of these plans if these benefits appeal to you. But if you want inclusive EU roaming on Vodafone’s network, Lebara have our favourite scheme of all networks.

Useful link: Compare phone contracts with us

More Vodafone guides