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What Are the Best Options for Roaming in Australia?

US travelers have several options for roaming in Australia. Check your plan with a mobile carrier and explore alternatives for your trip.

katarina

July 9, 2024

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Traveling to Australia from the US? You are in for a treat, but while you’re planning your trip, make sure you learn everything there is to know about roaming in Australia. Staying connected is a top priority, and understanding your data roaming options can save you from unexpected charges. 

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about using your US mobile phone in Australia, from the International roaming services offered by major carriers to practical tips for avoiding hefty fees. 

Whether you’re with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or another provider, we’ll help you navigate the ins and outs of international data roaming plans. Plus, we’ll look at alternative solutions like local SIM cards and eSIMs, ensuring you stay connected without breaking the bank. Let’s dive in!

Can You Use Data Roaming in Australia?

Yes. Many of the US-based mobile carriers offer data roaming plans that can be used in Australia. However, these plans can vary greatly depending on your carrier, your plan, and many other factors. That is why before planning your trip to the Land Down Under, you need to contact your carrier and ask them all about their international roaming charges, especially about roaming in Australia. Here are some of the most significant cellular carriers and their best international roaming plans include Australia.

Verizon Wireless International Roaming Plans

Verizon is one of the largest carriers in the US. It offers various plans, and your options depend on your subscription type. Verizon also offers a TripPlanner option, which helps users explore all the details about using their phone overseas. 

Verizon international planner
Source: Verizon USA

Verizon offers TravelPass for international travel. It allows Verizon users to utilize domestic talk, text, and data in 210+ countries and destinations outside the US for a set daily fee. Calling within the country you’re visiting and back to the US are both included in this plan.

Verizon roaming in Australia costs 10 USD per day. 

AT&T Roaming in Australia

For those who plan to use their phone abroad, AT&T has one of those international roaming add ons. It covers 210 destinations. AT&T Day Pass costs $12 per day. Some of the conditions apply

at&t home page
Source: AT&T website

Here are the rules for international roaming when using the Day Pass

  • Your Day Pass is triggered the first time you use data, send a text, or send or receive a call in Australia. Received texts are considered domestic traffic.
  • If multiple lines are charged a daily fee on the same calendar date, one line is charged $12, and each additional line is charged a reduced daily fee of $6.
  • The calendar date is determined by your local U.S. time zone, not the Australian time zone.
  • Your International Day Pass will stay active until you remove it.

T-Mobile Roaming in Australia

Australia is covered by T-Mobile International Plans. Calls in this International roaming plan are same for all T-Mobile users, but their data is capped depending on the plan. 

t-mobile logo
Source: T-Mobile logo

All calls are $0.25 per minute, no matter if they are made or received. Data usage depends on the plan:

Plans
Magenta and Magenta Plus Plans128 kbps
Magenta MAX Plan256 kbps
T-Mobile ONE Plan128 kbps
T-Mobile’s Essentials PlanDoes not include international data or texting.

If you want high-speed availability, you must buy one of the High-Speed Data Passes. They all include daily allowance at higher speeds. 

  • One-Day Pass: $5 for up to 512 MB.
  • Seven-Day Pass: $35 for up to 5 GB.
  • Fourteen-Day Pass: $50 for up to 15 GB.

US Mobile Roaming in Australia

With US Mobile roaming in Australia, prices depend on your plan with this carrier. Unlimited Plans have up to 10 GB of allowance for Unlimited on Warp 5G and Unlimited on GSM 5G. Other plans can get their mobile data while roaming in Australia through a Global Pass that can be used if you use International eSIM. 

us mobile logo
Source: US Mobile website

There are two types of Global Pass: 30-days and 365-days.

30-Days global pass that covers Australia and New Zealand offers 3 GB data for $10. 

us mobile pass offer for australia
Source: US Mobile Pass Oceania

If you want to use Global Pass for 365 days, pick an international roaming pass for the USA & Canada. It actually includes Australia and a few other countries, as well.

us mobile global pass for australia for 365 days
Source: US Mobile Global Pass

Mint Mobile Roaming Options

mint mobile logo
Source: Mint Mobile

Mint has a Mintertational Pass. It is available in one-day, three-day, and 10-day passes. 

  • 1-day pass: 60 minutes, 60 texts, 1GB data for $5.
  • 3-day pass: 200 minutes, 200 texts, unlimited data with 3GB high-speed data for $10.
  • 10-day pass: 500 minutes, 500 texts, unlimited data with 10GB high-speed data for $20.

You can purchase and activate them before or during your travel, and they expire 360 days after purchase. You can buy two passes at a time. You can activate your Mintertational Pass via the Mint app, website, or by texting ACTIVATE to 6700.

mint mobile minternational pass
Source: Mint Mobile

Family members in a Mint Family Plan can request or purchase a Minternational Pass through the primary account holder. 

International Roaming Rates from US Mobile Networks: Comparison Table

This table compares the international roaming add ons and options from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Mobile, and Mint Mobile. These are mainly prepaid roaming options. By comparing these plans, you can choose the one that best fits your data usage patterns and budget. 

Mobile CarrierInternational Roaming Plan
VerizonTravelPass: $10/day for domestic talk, text, and data in over 210 countries, including Australia.
AT&TInternational Day Pass: $12/day for unlimited talk, text, and data in 210 destinations. Additional lines on the same day cost $6.
T-MobileMagenta/Magenta Plus Plans: Unlimited texting and data at 128 kbps (256 kbps for Magenta MAX), $0.25/min calls. 
High-Speed Data Passes: $5/day (512 MB), $35/week (5 GB), $50/14 days (15 GB).
US MobileUnlimited Plans: Up to 10 GB of data. 
Global Pass: 30-day pass with 3 GB for $10, 365-day pass for longer-term use.
Mint Mobile1-Day Pass: 60 minutes, 60 texts, 1 GB of data for $5.
3-Day Pass: 200 minutes, 200 texts, 3 GB of high-speed data for $10.
10-Day Pass: 500 minutes, 500 texts, 10 GB of high-speed data for $20.

How Do I Avoid Roaming Charges in Australia?

If you want to avoid roaming charges in Australia and your SIM card doesn’t include international roaming, there are other options you can use. However, make sure you take into consideration the price, safety, and convenience of these methods. Let’s look into them in more detail.

Use Free Wi Fi Only

This is a go-to solution for all the travelers that don’t want to use roaming data or pay for additional connectivity options. Free Wi-Fi is usually available in hotels, airports, museums, cafes, and similar public places. This might work for many people, but it all depends on your daily habits. If you plan on using Uber and similar ride-sharing services, Google Maps to explore your surroundings, or rating websites to choose where to have your meals – you need more than free Wi Fi. 

If you want to have an Internet-free vacation and only check in with your friends and family after a long day of exploring Australia back in your hotel, this is a good option. It’s definitely budget-friendly, but it also comes with some dangers. Open Wi-Fi networks have few safety features, and you might be more susceptible to phishing attacks.

Get a Local SIM Card

Buying a local SIM card is also an option. Usually, you must supply the local carrier with some form of ID, and sign a contract. Using a local SIM card means you will get a local phone number. Also, it means that your usual WhatsApp ID won’t be available via that SIM card. You would be able to use your data allowance and make calls and send texts to other local phone numbers. However, if you would try to send a text back home or call a US number, you would be charged as roaming. Basically, you would be making international phone calls with an Australian number. 

Buying a local SIM card means going to the local carrier’s physical location and purchasing it there. If you choose to do this, do your research ahead. Always ensure you buy your SIM from a trusted and well-known provider in the country you’re visiting. 

Rent Pocket Wi Fi

A pocket Wi-Fi is a portable device that connects to local cellular networks and provides a personal Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices. Renting a pocket Wi-Fi in Australia typically involves booking online, picking up the device at the destination (often at airports or hotels), and returning it at the end of the rental period.

man using a pocket wi fi
Source: ID 266489059 © Claudiu Maxim | Dreamstime.com

Renting pocket Wi-Fi is super handy for staying connected while traveling, but there are a few downsides. It can get pretty pricey, especially if you’re on a long trip. The battery life isn’t great either, so you’ll need to recharge it often, which can be a hassle when you’re out all day. Plus, it’s one more thing to carry around and keep track of. Sometimes, the internet speed and coverage aren’t the best, depending on where you are. And don’t forget, you have to return the device, which can be a bit of a pain at the end of your trip.

Get Holafly eSIM with Unlimited Data

This is definitely the most recommended way to get roaming in Australia. Holafly eSIM offers you unlimited data for the entire duration of your stay. You just pick the number of days you want to have active roaming data, and you get it. Now, let’s quickly talk about what an eSIM is and how it works.

holafly unlimited sim for australia
Source: Holafly website

If you already have an eSIM compatible phone, it means that you already have a chip installed in your phone. When you buy an eSIM, you get sent a QR code (or activate it through an app) that you scan, and that’s all you need to do. What happens is – your eSIM provider programs that chip in your phone remotely so you can use it as a regular SIM card. It doesn’t mess with your SIM; you can use them both simultaneously. 

Now, here’s why Holafly eSIM is an excellent choice for roaming in Australia:

  • You get unlimited roaming data for the entire duration of your stay
  • No need to visit a retail store or show your passport or ID
  • No devices to rent and return
  • Great value for money
  • 24/7 support for any possible issues
  • Option for 100% refund if it doesn’t work for you

Conclusion

In conclusion, staying connected while traveling to Australia from the US is manageable with the right planning. Whether you stick with your US carrier’s international roaming plans, opt for a local SIM card, rent a pocket Wi-Fi, or use Holafly’s eSIM, there are options to fit different needs and budgets. Holafly is a great option, offering unlimited data and easy setup. Be sure to compare the costs and benefits of each to avoid unexpected charges and ensure seamless connectivity. With these tips, you can enjoy your Australian adventure without worrying about staying online.

FAQs About Roaming in Australia

Can you use data roaming in Australia?

Yes, you can use data roaming in Australia. However, you need to check with your provider whether Australia is an eligible country covered by your roaming allowance. Otherwise, you need to see the options for buying a pass or an add-on.

Do I get charged for data roaming?

This depends on your mobile carrier and your plan with them. Contact your SIM card provider and ask them if you have an eligible plan for international roaming or do you have to pay extra.

Should I have data roaming on or off?

If you are sure that your mobile plan covers international roaming data, you should have it turned on. You should have it on If you have bought additional data to spend internationally. If your plan doesn’t cover data roaming and you haven’t bought an international roaming pass, you should turn data roaming off to avoid unexpected charges for using a network overseas.