You’ve heard horror stories about people racking up tens and thousands of dollars on bills when they leave their cell phone on and travel internationally. There is a better way thanks to Verizon’s Global Services package.
Now – let me be forward here. Verizon is NOT the cheapest option when it comes to using your phone overseas. In fact, T-Mobile is. However, I personally think a majority of the cell phone market in the US belongs to Verizon, and their domestic coverage is one of the best – so, considering this, it’s likely you have a Verizon plan, and want to know the inside scoop on using that phone and plan internationally.
I’m traveling to Amsterdam this November, and Italy in February, so I explored the rates for these 2 countries in particular. You’ll find that most mainland European countries use the same rates, so this should give you a general idea of what to expect.
Verizon offers a Global Value plan for $4.99, which gives you discounted rates on data and voice. By using the Global Value plan, you will only pay .99 cents a minute, vs. the standard $1.29. It’s important to note here that the voice call rate is only charged when you answer the phone. So, if you keep your phone on, see that someone is calling and do not answer the call, the rate will not be charged.
Regardless of whether you have the Global Value plan, you’ll still pay the same rates for text messages – .50 cents for a sent message, and .05 cents for a received message. It’s important to note that when sending a message, this is per recipient, so if you’re sending a mass text to 3 people, you’ll be charged $1.50, which can add up quickly. Receiving text messages is cheap, however – and depending on how many texts you receive a week, it may be worth just “eating up” this charge, since you’d have to receive 20 messages just to pay a dollar. Not too bad.
For me, data is the most important feature when traveling abroad. Without going into any other detail on the Verizon data rates, you should always plan on using WiFi when available. Many cafes, hotels and other buildings have free WiFi, so when you see it, take advantage of it to reduce your cellular data rates. If you have to use your cell plan, Data rates are very very hefty without a plan. You can purchase 100 MB of data for $25, which will bill in recurring chunks the more you use (so, after you use the first 100MB, it will just add on another 100MB for the same price). Without using this package, rates for a single MB run about $20 each, which is so exorbitant, it’s not even worth talking about. Just get the package.
So, there’s the inside scoop on using your Verizon Wireless cell plan overseas. It’s not cheap, but it does provide a convenience factor.
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