EU roaming charges: what do they mean for your mobile phone bill?

Three is the latest mobile provider to announce that it’s reintroducing EU roaming charges. Kate Anderson takes a look at what the news means for your bill.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Lady holding mobile phone and shopping bags

Image sources: Getty Images.

Three is the latest mobile provider to announce that it is reintroducing roaming charges for its customers. Three joins the likes of EE and Vodafone who confirmed the end of free roaming in the EU earlier in the year.

So what will this actually mean for your mobile phone bill? Let’s take a look.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

One notable billionaire made 99% of his current wealth after his 50th birthday. And here at The Motley Fool, we believe it is NEVER too late to start trying to build your fortune in the stock market. Our expert Motley Fool analyst team have shortlisted 5 companies that they believe could be a great fit for investors aged 50+ trying to build long-term, diversified portfolios.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

[top_pitch]

EU roaming charges are back on the agenda

Brexit and rising wholesale costs have pushed mobile operators into changing their stances on EU roaming charges.

EE was the first to break ranks. It announced earlier in the year that new customers joining or upgrading from 7 July 2021 would be charged £2 a day to use their allowances in 47 destinations from January 2022.

Vodafone soon followed suit, saying it would bring in a £2 per day fee for roaming from next January.

And now Three has announced that from 23 May 2022, customers who take out a new or upgraded contract after 1 October will have to pay £2 a day to use their monthly allowance of minutes, texts and data in the EU.

Increased costs

The days of free roaming are numbered. With three big mobile phone providers reintroducing roaming charges, customers are going to need to think about their mobile phone contracts.

If you are a customer with EE, Vodafone or Three, then you can expect to pay a little extra when you go abroad.

Charges seem pretty consistent, with each provider opting for a £2 per day charge. So, if you go on a week-long holiday, you will need to budget for an additional £14 on your bill if you want to use your phone every day.

Three has also scrapped its free ‘Go Roam’ service outside Europe. Previously, customers could call, text and use their data allowance at no extra charge in 71 destinations. Now, users will be charged £5 per day for roaming when outside the EU.

Obviously, this makes roaming in more far-flung places more than twice as expensive as in Europe. You would need to budget for up to £35 extra on your bill for a week-long getaway.

[middle_pitch]

How to keep your bill down

If you are worried about roaming charges pushing your mobile phone bill too high, then you have the following options:

  • Switch providers – O2 has said it currently has no plans to change its roaming charges. And Sky Mobile has confirmed that customers will continue to be able use their data, call and text allowances for free when travelling in the EU. So, if you are nearing the end of your current contract, it could be worth taking a look at switching.
  • Compare mobile phone plans – It is a good idea to compare mobile phone plans, just as you would compare car insurance quotes. But comparing is even more important with roaming charges making a comeback. You may find there are additional benefits you can include to make it cheaper for yourself. For example, EE has a Smart Benefit you can add to your plan that gives you free roaming abroad for £10 a month.
  • Haggle – This option isn’t a dead certainty, but you may find that if you are an existing customer, you could negotiate a better deal when it’s time to renew. Make sure you do your research beforehand though, so you come armed with the right information.

The good news is that the EU roaming charges are for new customers joining or upgrading at the specified date each provider has given. So if you are mid-contract, you can just wait it out and make a switch when you are ready.

It is also worth noting that the change will only have a real impact on your mobile phone bill if you plan to use your phone abroad. So if you have no plans to head overseas, then you don’t need to worry just yet.

Is this little-known company the next ‘Monster’ IPO?

Right now, this ‘screaming BUY’ stock is trading at a steep discount from its IPO price, but it looks like the sky is the limit in the years ahead.

Because this North American company is the clear leader in its field which is estimated to be worth US$261 BILLION by 2025.

The Motley Fool UK analyst team has just published a comprehensive report that shows you exactly why we believe it has so much upside potential.

But I warn you, you’ll need to act quickly, given how fast this ‘Monster IPO’ is already moving.

Click here to see how you can get a copy of this report for yourself today

More on Personal Finance

Note paper with question mark on orange background
Personal Finance

Should you invest your ISA in a model portfolio?

Which model ISA portfolios offer both high performance and low fees? Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell go under…

Read more »

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background
Personal Finance

Is it time to exit emerging markets investments?

Investors may well be sitting on losses from emerging markets funds. Is it worth keeping the faith for a sustained…

Read more »

Personal Finance

Share trading? Three shares with turnaround potential

Share trading has been difficult in 2022, but which companies have turnaround potential? Jo Groves takes a closer look at…

Read more »

Man using credit card and smartphone for purchasing goods online.
Personal Finance

Revealed! Why Gen Z may be the savviest generation when it comes to credit cards

New research reveals that Gen Z may be the most astute when it comes to credit cards. But why? And…

Read more »

Environmental technology concept.
Personal Finance

The 10 best-performing sectors for ISA investors

The best-performing sectors over the past year invested in real assets such as infrastructure, but is this trend set to…

Read more »

Road sign warning of a risk ahead
Personal Finance

Recession risk ‘on the rise’: is it time for investors to worry?

A major global bank has suggested the risk of a recession in the UK is 'on the rise'. So, should…

Read more »

pensive bearded business man sitting on chair looking out of the window
Personal Finance

1 in 4 cutting back on investments amid cost of living crisis

New research shows one in four investors have cut back on their investing contributions to cope with the rising cost…

Read more »

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Personal Finance

The 10 most popular stocks among UK investors so far this year

As the new tax year kicks off, here's a look at some of the most popular stocks among UK investors…

Read more »