AT&T International Travel Add-ons
Many of AT&T’s cell phone plans come with international benefits, such as roaming in Canada and Mexico and texting to worldwide destinations. If you want more perks, AT&T offers several different international add-ons that can keep you connected and enhance your traveling experience:
- AT&T International Day Pass
- AT&T Passport
- AT&T Cruise packages
|International Day Pass||$10/day||Unlimited talk & text, same data allowance as wireless plan||100+ countries|
|$60 Passport||$60/month||Unlimited text, 1GB data, $.35/minute calls||200+ countries|
|$120 Passport||$120/month||Unlimited text, 3GB data, $.35/minute calls||200+ countries|
|$50 Cruise package||$50/month||Unlimited text, 50 minutes||170+ cruise ships, roaming on land in Mexico, Canada, & Caribbean Islands|
|$100 Cruise package||$100/month||Unlimited talk & text, 200MB of data||170+ cruise ships, roaming on land in Mexico, Canada, & Caribbean Islands|
AT&T Roaming in Canada and Mexico
The AT&T Unlimited &More and Unlimited &More Premium plans include roaming in Canada and Mexico—a feature known as Roam North America. On these unlimited data plans, you get the following international benefits, free of charge:
- Unlimited talk in Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited text in Mexico and Canada
- Unlimited data in Mexico and Canada (roaming may be at 2G speeds)
- Unlimited text to 120+ countries
Customers who aren’t on one of the unlimited data plans may be able to add Roam North America onto select cell phone plans. The website doesn’t specify which wireless plans are eligible, so you will need to ask a representative for more details.
The good news is that you don’t need to be on an unlimited plan to get over-the-border privileges. AT&T’s Mobile Share Plus 9GB and Mobile Share Plus 3GB plans come with unlimited talk and text and use of your data allowance in Mexico. Additionally, you get unlimited texts to more than 120 countries. However, you don’t get AT&T roaming in Canada with these plans.
AT&T offers two different AT&T Passport options, which allow you to stay connected in over 200 countries:
|Feature||AT&T Passport 1GB||AT&T Passport 3GB|
AT&T Passport choices are available in 30-day packages and monthly recurring packages. The monthly recurring option requires a 2-month minimum commitment, making it a more suitable option for someone on an extended trip or living abroad for several months at a time. When your package expires, your plan returns to pay-per-use rates, unless you renew the plan.
The Passport packages make the most sense for someone who will be traveling for an extended period of time—a week-long trip may only necessitate the AT&T International Day Pass option.
AT&T International Day Pass
AT&T International Day Pass is a common international benefit for anyone planning to leave the country. You can make full use of your AT&T phone plan talk, text and data allowances while traveling abroad in over 100 countries for $10/day per device.
Instead of paying per message, minute, or MB of data, you only get charged on the days when you use your phone. This is great because you don’t have to commit to an expensive international plan you may not even wind up using. Of course, if you only send a few texts or make a couple short calls while traveling abroad, the $10 charge for use that day may not be the most economical choice.
AT&T subscribers who want little to no disruption in their phone capabilities while abroad will benefit the most from this plan since pay-per-use rates can add up quickly:
- $1.30/picture and video message
- $1.00/minute in Canada and Mexico
- $2.00/minute in Europe
- $3.00/minute in the rest of the world
- $2.05/MB of data.
You only need to use 5MB or .005GB per day to make the AT&T International Day Pass worth it. To put this into perspective, web browsing uses about 60MB per hour, Instagram uses about 120MB per hour, and Netflix uses approximately 250MB per hour.
Coverage on Cruises
One of AT&T’s unique perks is the cruise international packages, which include talk, text, and data allowances while at sea. More than 170 cruise ships are eligible, with no extra charge on land in Canada, Mexico, and select Caribbean islands. If you choose a non-qualifying cruise, standard pay-per-use rates will apply.
There are two AT&T international cruise packages:
- $50 AT&T Cruise Talk & Text: Unlimited messaging, 50 minutes
- $100 AT&T Cruise Talk, Text, Data: Unlimited talk and text, 200MB of data
Both of these packages are one-time charges that last for 30 days. For the $50 package, you will be charged $2/minute for every minute over 50, and for the $100 package, you will be charged $2/MB for every MB over 200. Admittedly, this is not much data, and $2 for every extra MB can add up quickly, especially if you’re regularly posting your beautiful vacation pictures on social media. If you don’t want to commit to a package, they also offer pay-per-use rates:
- Talk: $3/minute
- Text: $.50/message, $1.30/picture or video message
- Data: $6.14/MB
Considering the hefty price, pay-per-use is probably not the best choice, unless you’re planning on disconnecting for the majority of your cruise trip—with the exception of an occasional text or brief phone call to let someone know you haven’t fallen off the ship.
AT&T International Roaming Vs Other Major Carriers
A great thing about AT&T unlimited plans is that they already include unlimited texts to more than 120 countries, along with unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada. That said, the fine print warns that you may get 2G data speeds when roaming—which is glacially slow for most everyday smartphone tasks. 2G speeds are certainly not preferred, but it’s possible that your data may be faster, depending on the country or countries you’re traveling to.
AT&T Vs. T-Mobile
T-Mobile has arguably better international inclusions with its unlimited data plans, Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus:
- Texting in 210+ countries
- Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
- Varying 4G LTE data allowances in Mexico and Canada
- Magenta and Magenta Plus come with unlimited data in 210+ countries
The data allowance in Mexico and Canada is guaranteed at 4G LTE speeds, meaning you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll be able to get quality service. Plus, the unlimited data in more than 210 countries is a huge benefit that you won’t find included with AT&T or Verizon’s plans.
AT&T Vs. Sprint
You will find this perk at Sprint, though. All of the carrier’s wireless plans come with Sprint Global Roaming—unlimited texting and basic data (2G speeds) in more than 200 worldwide destinations. Sprint also gives you the option of upgrading to high-speed data for affordable rates, as well as the flexibility to do it any time while traveling. The downside of going with Sprint is that the network has pretty weak coverage, only covering 27% of the lower 48 states.
International high-speed data through Sprint costs:
- Canada & Mexico: $2/day or $10/week
- Most destinations: $5/day or $25/week
- Other destinations: $10/day or $50/week
AT&T Vs. Verizon
A case can be made for Verizon having the worst international perks, at least for the high price tags on its plans. Verizon’s unlimited plans include unlimited talk and text plus .5GB/day of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada. Once you’ve used the .5GB of high-speed data, data speeds will slow to 2G. So technically you have unlimited basic data in both of these countries, but as with AT&T, you may be limited to web browsing and checking email. Verizon’s strength lies in its dominant network—the carrier has the best coverage at 70%.
Only Verizon’s $95/month Above Unlimited plan includes five TravelPasses per month (a value of $50). Verizon TravelPass provides you unlimited talk and text plus .5GB/day of 4G LTE data in 185 countries. The high-speed data is slowed to 2G speeds once you use .5GB. If you don’t have that plan, you can purchase a TravelPass for $10/day when traveling.
The AT&T International Day Pass is a better option than Verizon’s TravelPass because you aren’t limited to .5GB of 4G LTE data per day—you take your data plan with you, so if you have AT&T Unlimited &More or AT&T Unlimited &More Premium, you’ve got unlimited data while traveling!
|AT&T International Day Pass||$10/day||Use your same wireless plan abroad, may have 2G data speeds||100+|
|Verizon TravelPass||$10/day||Unlimited talk & text &.5GB of 4G data per day||185+|
|T-Mobile International Pass||$5/day||Unlimited talk & .5GB of 4G data per day||210+|
|Sprint Global Roaming high-speed upgrade||From $2/day to $10/day||Unlimited text & 4G LTE data in 200+ countries||210+|