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If you’re a frequent reader of this site, chances are you’ve managed to take an international trip or two. And you probably stressed about staying connected before, during or after your overseas adventure — perhaps all three, if you came back to a hefty bill. US cell service providers have infamously price gouged travelers for years, but with T-Mobile’s free data roaming and services like Google’s Project Fi (which I love), the carriers have had to make some adjustments in order to hold on to customers.
This week, that means good news for Verizon subscribers. Verizon Wireless (TPG’s carrier of choice) just announced its TravelPass program, allowing roaming customers to utilize the same voice, text and data allowance they have access to back home. That sounds a lot like T-Mobile’s free global roaming plan, until you dig a bit deeper.
Unlike T-Mobile’s offering, which is free (but with data capped at a paltry 128 Kbps), Verizon’s TravelPass requires a daily payment. Still, it’s bound to save certain travelers a small fortune — especially those who like to use their phones abroad just as they do when they’re back home. TravelPass will cost $2 per 24-hour period when roaming in Canada or Mexico, or $10 for each 24 hours when you use your device in the countries below:
Caribbean and Central and South America: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Eustatius & Saba, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maartin/Saint Martin, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos. Europe and Middle East: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Mann, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira and Azores, Netherlands, Norway, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Vatican City. Asia Pacific: Australia, Singapore, Taiwan.
You do need to activate the service on Verizon’s website before you travel, but once you do, you’ll only be charged for days that you use your phone. To activate each day, simply make or receive a call, use data or send a text. TravelPass sits dormant on your account when you’re not using it, so after you set it up the first time you can leave it be.
You’ll still need to be careful, though — If you travel to countries that aren’t listed above (but are still covered in the 140+ countries Verizon includes), you’ll need to sign up for a Preferred Pricing Plan, in which case you’ll be charged $25 for every 100MB of data you use. Though that sure beats Verizon’s Pay-as-You-Go pricing, which will run you $2.05 per megabyte (or $205 per 100MB). Ouch!! Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.