SCIENCE & TECH

AT&T Introduces $10 Day Pass for International Roaming

Matt Sky
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Matt Sky
AT&T Introduces $10 Day Pass for International Roaming

Navigating a foreign country and finding your way around can be tasking enough without having to keep track of phone usage; worrying about getting hit with massive charges as data, texts and phone calls start to add up. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to think about while exploring a new country, uploading photos and looking up fun things to do is think about racking up a phone bill as breathtaking as the Eiffel Tower.

AT&T is looking to simplify the whole process by offering a flat $10 daily rate for globetrotters that need to stay connected. The International Day Pass, starting January 27, will be available in over 100 countries (including Asia, Europe and the Caribbean islands) — allowing customers to make unlimited phone calls in the U.S. and any Day Pass country, along with unlimited texts worldwide.

As someone who once racked up a sizeable phone bill while traveling across China, this is something I’m sure a lot of us can appreciate.

A simple flat day rate with a couple of caveats

With the International Day Pass, AT&T customers can keep their regular data plans while traveling. However, Engadget points out that international data usage has its limits, noting that “the company might pull your Day Pass access if your international data usage goes beyond 50 percent of your plan for two consecutive months.” With that in mind, the plan may not be optimal for long periods abroad, at which point other options become more cost-effective.

In a review of the plan, Natt Garun for The Verge writes, “For travelers passing through countries on a short trip or long layovers, the day pass might be worth the trouble. But $10 a day does add up pretty quick, so AT&T customers might still find it more economical to opt for the cheapest Passport plan and do their best to use Wi-Fi whenever possible — or invest in an unlocked phone.” The plans are sold by the device, so if you plan on connecting a full family, costs could add up quickly. That said, simple pricing and predictability can give traveling AT&T customers some peace of mind while venturing the globe.

“Traveling has its own challenges. It’s great being able to use the domestic plan you’re familiar with while abroad,” explained David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T Entertainment Group. He goes on to say, “AT&T International Day Pass simplifies travelers’ lives so they can enjoy more of their favorite mobile apps when on-the-go overseas. This helps with booking lodging, catching a ride, translating, navigating, video calling, using social media and more.”

How does the International Day Pass compare to other offerings?

Sprint requires you to pay for full-speed data dependent on where you go and how much data is used. T-Mobile doesn’t charge anything for international data, but lacks LTE speeds outside the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Verizon also offers a similar plan to AT&T’s International Day Pass called TravelPass, available in more than 100 countries and costs only $2 day for Canada and Mexico.

Planning a trip? Here’s a full list of AT&T DayPass countries (http://about.att.com/content/dam/snrdocs/intl_day_pass_countries.pdf), and here’s a list of of Verizon’s TravelPass countries (https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/travelpass-countries).