This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Major changes are coming to cell phone plans and data rates soon that will make many people quite happy. Last June, the European Commission voted to completely scrap roaming fees while traveling within the continent starting in 2017. In the meantime, roaming charges are capped at €0.20 (22 cents) per megabyte of data, €0.60 per text, and €0.50 a minute per call.

The new initiative comes with a preventative measure to ensure consumers don’t abuse the free roaming privileges. According to new guidelines, roaming will only be free up to 30 days at a time, for a total of 90 days a year. This is designed to prevent people from buying a SIM card in a country with cheaper data rates and then using it in their home country. However, those who travel for work and travelers that stay in any given European country for less than a month are exempt from these measures. As for non-European citizens, it’s unclear if the removal of roaming fees also applies to travelers coming in from outside of the EU who purchase a SIM card once they’ve arrived, but it’s possible that US-based visitors could benefit as well.

Changes to data roaming in Europe will help keep fees low throughout the continent. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

US carriers have also been making attempts to eliminate some roaming fees and unify wireless networks as well. Google’s Project Fi, which launched in the US in April 2015, uses cell towers from Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Three (a Europe-based network) to create a seamless, roaming-fee free wireless network. Project Fi works in over 135 countries to provide data and unlimited text messages at low rates.

The US and Europe aren’t the only places seeing major overhauls to wireless networks. On Monday, India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, launched the largest nationwide 4G carrier called Jio, and it comes with an amazing perk — free monthly plans for anyone through the rest of 2016. When customers have to begin paying for their service next year, plans will start at just ₹149 ($2.50) a month. This is a huge win for middle-class and poorer customers, as India is known for exceptionally poor coverage coupled with high prices across the country.

Wireless networks all across the world are making customer-friendly changes. With the omission of roaming charges in Europe and the expansion of Jio in India, savvy travelers won’t have to dig as deep into their pockets to stay connected around the globe.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.