Mobile roaming: Is Three’s deal a magic number?

Using mobile data abroad unnecessarily costs a small fortune, so I applaud any networks which make it cheaper. 

Three Mobile’s new Euro Internet Pass costs a flat £5 a day and gives you unlimited usage — one of the cheapest deals out there. But there are two things that can catch you out if you’re not careful, as I found out last week when holidaying in Spain.

While it’s £5 per day, Three’s day ends at midnight UK time, regardless of what time you sign up. Register for the Euro Internet Pass at 11.30pm, and you’ll be paying £5 for 30 minutes of web time! As it’s based on UK time, it’s harder to keep track of when it will end.

You also need to watch for extra charges while activating the Euro Internet Pass. Rather daftly, you need internet access to activate it. If you want to make the most of your day’s allowance, you need to do it when you arrive, though.

This means that while you’re connected to the web so you can register, although the page itself is free to access, you can end up downloading emails, or using up data for apps, and face hefty charges. To minimise data usage, turn off push notifications and automatic email downloads. 

Also bear in mind while data is generously unlimited, speeds on the overseas service are too slow to stream movies and TV online, and you can’t tether (use your smartphone as a router for laptops or tablets).

Of course, it’s far more MoneySaving to get a Sim card when you arrive, or simply to ditch the phone and have an internet-free holiday instead.

Have you been caught with data roaming abroad? Let me know below, in the MSE Forum, or tweet me @archieluthra.