Ok, please excuse the clickbait title but there is a little method in my madness. It all has to do with international roaming and what happens if you don’t arrange to have a data travel plan with your US carrier once you’re on the ground in Merry England or any other non US location. Of course you’re on it, you’re going to get a Verizon Travel Pass every couple of days to check your email and download maps. But what happens if somehow you either didn’t arrange an overseas data plan before you left or just left your phone on in error once you arrived. I tell you what happens, your hard earned dosh will be drained from you bank account at an alarming rate when you start to watch a Netflix movie and are charged by the megabyte YES, megabyte!
So I asked chatGPT what are the roaming rates for the major US carries would be. That data is a little old as ChatGPT’s data set is only up to September 2021 but I check the latest data and it’s pretty accurate. Here is what it said:
If you’re roaming internationally without a specific international plan or package, the pay-as-you-go or standard roaming rates can be significantly higher. As of my last update in September 2021, here’s a rough idea of the international roaming charges for major U.S. carriers when not subscribed to a specific plan:
- The pay-as-you-go rates for international roaming with AT&T varied widely depending on the country, but it could range from $2/MB to $20/MB in certain areas. So, for 1GB of data, you’d be looking at costs ranging from $2,048 to a staggering $20,480.
- Verizon’s pay-as-you-go international data roaming rates also depended on the country. They could range from $2.05/MB to $20/MB. For 1GB of data, this translates to costs between $2,048 and $20,480.
- T-Mobile’s standard international roaming rates were relatively more forgiving. In countries where free 2G data wasn’t offered as part of the Magenta plan, data charges could be up to $15/MB. This means 1GB would cost up to $15,360.
- Sprint (which merged with T-Mobile):
- Similar to T-Mobile, Sprint’s roaming rates for countries outside of their Sprint Global Roaming were substantial and could go up to $16/MB in some regions. That translates to $16,384 for 1GB.
So you get the idea, roaming outside US = bad! The solution is simple. Just turn off that offending line, get an eSIM and use a program like Skype to call if you have to make traditional phone calls. Of course with an eSIM data plan you can use WhatsAPP, iMessage, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Slack and all other apps that just require a data connection to work. Below is little video I created to show you how to turn off your line, a short version for the impatient and a longer version for a deep dive.