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Vodafone and Telstra offer travellers new roaming deals

Vodafone is offering its top-tier plan customers a freebie on international roaming, while Telstra customers can now buy a 'Travel Pass' to access local rates while overseas.

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Julian Schwarzenberg, CC BY-ND 2.0

Update, July 20, 2017: Vodafone has added 8 new countries to its list: Israel, Taiwan, Chile, Sri Lanka, Nauru, Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Man. 

Update, July 12, 2017: Telstra has updated its Travel Passes to a pay-per-day pricing structure, similar to Vodafone (albeit with a AU$10 price tag). Find out more about the new plans here

Vodafone and Telstra are both upping the ante with plan offerings for customers travelling abroad, offering roaming rates either bundled in to top-level plans or available for an add-on purchase.

Vodafone complimentary $5 Roaming

Vodafone has announced that customers who sign-up (or upgrade) to its top-of-the-line Red Plans will also get access to international roaming without having to pay the AU$5 per day surcharge.

The telco introduced its $5 global roaming add-on to customers last year, allowing existing customers to utilise Vodafone networks (and partner networks) overseas to access the same data and call allowances they'd expect under their Australian plan, for AU$5 per day.

Now, customers on select Vodafone post-paid plans will be able to get this $5 Roaming bonus overseas, without having to pay the per-day fee.

The offer is available to new and upgrading customers who connect to Vodafone's $100 Red Plan, $100 Red Business, $130 Red Business Plan and $130 Red Business Grow Plan over 24 months. To be eligible, customers need to be connected to the plan between December 3, 2014 and March 3, 2015 inclusive.

This will give customers access to their plan's inclusions at no extra charge in 47 overseas locations:

  • Albania
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • USA
  • Wales

Telstra International Travel Passes

Vodafone's announcement joins news this week that Telstra will be introducing Telstra International Travel Passes to simplify the process for its customers when travelling overseas. By purchasing a Travel Pass, customers will be able to "make and receive unlimited calls to and from standard numbers [both to Australia and overseas], send unlimited text messages to standard numbers and use an included data allowance while abroad".

The Passes are available for select periods of consecutive days -- 3 days, 7 days, 14 days and 30 days -- and are priced based on "popular holiday destinations" split into two different 'Zones'.

A Zone 1 pass starts at AU$15 for 3 days, and covers New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia (including Bali). A Zone 2 pass costs AU$30 for 3 days and covers the US, Canada, UK and parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and South America. Users are also able to move across countries within the same zone, using the same pass.

The passes also include a 150MB data allowance, which Telstra says will "meet the typical daily data needs of a customer using a mobile" with additional data available for 3 cents per megabyte during the pass period (matching additional data rates that Telstra has within Australia).

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Pricing and regions for Telstra's International Travel Passes.

Screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET