Telstra launches Travel Passes for seriously cheaper international roaming

09 December 2014

Telstra has announced a new way for its customers to keep in touch while abroad. Travel Passes will allow post-paid and Small Business Handheld Mobile customers to purchase short-term access to unlimited calls and texts to Australia, as well as a not-too-shabby amount of data, for use in specific countries.

The countries themselves are split in to two zones. Zone 1 is made up of: New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia – including Bali.

Zone 2 is a bit more substantial. Its members include: Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland), United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

You can travel freely between countries of the same Zone and continue to use any pass you have purchased for that Zone. For example, you might buy a 14 day pass for the UK before travelling to Canada. Your pass would remain active once you arrived. Use in a country outside your Zone will not be covered.

What you get

All Telstra Travel Passes offer unlimited calls and text to and from standard numbers and a data allowance that works out to 50MB per day. That may not sound like much data, but it works out to 1.5GB over a month (30 days). The excess data rate is 3c per MB in both Zones. This is the same rate available on Telstra’s domestic plans. It works out to a little over $30 per GB.

Zone 1 is the more affordable option and includes some of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations, even if there are only three of them:

  • 3 Day pass: $15 and 150MB of data
  • 7 Day pass: $35 and 350MB of data
  • 14 Day pass: $70 and 700MB of data
  • 30 Day pass: $150 and 1.5GB of data

Zone 2 is double the price of Zone 1:

  • 3 Day pass: $30 and 150MB of data
  • 7 Day pass: $70 and 350MB of data
  • 14 Day pass: $140 and 700MB of data
  • 30 Day pass: $300 and 1.5GB of data

An easier, cheaper way to travel

This is a much less expensive, simpler way for Telstra customers to use their phones overseas. For example, the current roaming cost for a Telstra post-paid plan in the Netherlands is $3 per MB, $2.50 per minute on calls and 75c per SMS.

A Travel Pass will cost you $10 per day from the same country for unlimited talk & SMS, as well as a tiny included data allotment. After your data is done you are charged per MB on hundredth of what you would be on roaming.

It’s still not the best option for roaming from an Australian provider. Vodafone’s Red Plans have $5 a day roaming to a range of countries. This gives you unfettered access you your usual Vodafone plan (talk, SMS, MMS and data inclusions) for $5 a day. Any day that you do not use your phone while this roaming scheme is active you are not charged for.

Even so, this is a great step in the right direction from Telstra and some very good news for any of its customers that were planning on going travelling for the holidays.

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