Before jumping on a plane or ferry, it’s worth knowing exactly what the bill will be when you use your O2 (or Virgin Mobile) SIM card in a country other than the UK. Are calls, text messages and data coming out of your benefits or will you be billed a huge bill just for checking Facebook?
We have all the answers you need.
Can I navigate on my O2 SIM?
Yes. But whether or not you will be charged or not depends on where you go, how you pay, and also what tariff you are on.
O2 Travel is what you need to use your calls, text messages and data abroad, and you can log into your O2 account to see if it is part of your package. Or dial 202 on your phone and just contact customer service.
To select O2 Travel, log into My O2 and then add O2 Travel Bolt On. It costs nothing: you will only be charged if you activate Bolt On by making a call, sending text or using data in the country. it is outside the zone of Europe…
Despite being removed in 2017, after Brexit, three of the four major UK operators reintroduced EU roaming charges. However, on January 10, 2022, Gareth Turpin, Virgin Media O2’s Chief Commercial Officer for Mobile Technologies, confirmed that “we [Virgin Media O2] will not reintroduce roaming charges in Europe for O2 or Virgin Mobile customers. “
This means O2 (and Virgin Mobile) customers are in the best position in terms of European roaming charges as they have nothing to worry about.
Note. Remember to turn on data roaming in your phone settings, otherwise your apps and browsers will notify you that you are not connected to the Internet.
Roaming in Europe
If you’re heading to Europe, great news. You have nothing to worry about as your phone will work just like it did in the UK. Any calls or messages you make will be outside your normal limit, and the same goes for the data from your package.
Just check O2 Zone of Europe to make sure your destination country is included.
If you’re using a pay-as-you-go package, see included countries here (the list is different from the list of monthly payments). note that Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco and Switzerland excluded for PAYG customers. You can get 100 MB of data for these destinations for £ 1.99 per day.
Also note that mobile data usage on the cruise ship is not covered, but you must be able to use the ship’s own Wi-Fi. It costs £ 2 per minute to make and receive calls on the ship, and it costs 50p per message to send.
Roaming outside of Europe
If you have a fare that gives you free O2 travel in the Inclusive Zone, the following countries are included and you will not be charged for calls, text messages or data unless you exceed your normal rate:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- United States
If your plan does not include free O2 Travel, you need to subscribe to O2 Travel (you can also do this by texting O2TRAVEL to 23336) before traveling abroad.
You will be charged £ 4.99 per day, but only on the days you activate Bolt On. This means that your first call, the text message you sent, or the data you use will launch O2 Travel for that day, which runs from midnight to midnight depending on the capital city of the country you are in.
What does O2 Travel include?
For your £ 4.99 per day billed if you are not eligible for Inclusive Zone or Europe, you get 120 minutes, 120 text messages and unlimited traffic.
O2 says there are no data caps at all, but that “speeds may vary,” which reading between the lines means you’ll see a slowdown in your connection speed if you use more than the amount in fair use of O2. politics.
Is O2 suitable for roaming?
With EE, Three and Vodafone reintroducing roaming charges – even in Europe – after Brexit went into effect, Virgin Media O2’s decision to refrain from re-introducing it is a huge win for customers; especially for those who love to travel and are more likely to travel in Europe.
If you are traveling to a destination where you cannot use your quotas, you may get a better deal than £ 4.99 per day for O2 Travel.
Stop by the phone store or pre-order online and receive a local prepaid SIM card upon arrival at your destination. This is often a way to use your phone, especially mobile data, at a significantly reduced cost. Some operators even sell “travel SIM cards” for this very reason. Do your research before you go and you can save a lot.
This has drawbacks, including the fact that people won’t be able to call you on your regular number while you’re using a different SIM. Of course, if you have a dual SIM phone then this is not a problem, but be careful if you are going to leave your O2 SIM in the phone for people to contact you as you may be charged to receive calls and text messages. if you are outside the inclusive areas.
If you have SIM cards from other carriers, check out our other guides: