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While Verizon’s been my go-to for talk, text and data in the US, I’ve long been a fan of Google’s Project Fi for international travel, letting me add a data-only SIM to TPG‘s account to surf the web in more than 170 countries and territories for just $10 per gigabyte. The only issue is, it doesn’t support traditional phone calls, making it impossible to ring an Uber driver when things don’t go exactly as planned.
VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, enables voice calling over a data connection — think Skype, or Apple’s FaceTime Audio. You don’t need a SIM card with traditional calling support to use VoIP — just a decently fast data connection, a capable app and a device with a compatible microphone and speaker.
VoIP support also lets Uber users call a driver over a Wi-Fi connection, making it possible to get in touch even if you don’t have roaming support, or when you’re hoping to avoid hefty international fees when using your home SIM abroad. The new feature also entirely eliminates the need for Uber to reveal phone phone numbers, as may still be the case in some markets, and saves drivers from placing expensive calls to international numbers when getting in touch with a rider from another country.
You don’t have to use VoIP, of course — you can continue making traditional phone calls if you wish, which may be the most reliable and least expensive option at home, especially if your megabytes come at a higher price than voice minutes. I’m beyond excited about this latest addition, though.
Featured image by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees