International Roaming on Bell Plans


WhistleOut
10 March 2016

Bell roaming has a few options, based on where your travelling and how long you''ll be staying for. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and, of course, you can always consider getting a local SIM card when you arrive at your destination instead.

Roam Better

Bell has an interesting system called Roam Better. There are two prices: $5 per day for roaming in the US, and $10 for anywhere else. 

If you sign up, you're only charged that fee on days where you actually use your phone on a roaming network. Each 'day' ends at 11.59pm Eastern Time, no matter what timezone you're in. If you use your phone, you are automatically charged, and you have access until that time, after which you can either throw your phone back on flight mode, or keep using it and be charged again.

Roam better includes:

  • Unlimited outgoing calling within your local country and back to Canada
  • Unlimited incoming calls
  • Unlimited outgoing text messages within your local country and back to Canada
  • Unlimited incoming text messages
  • 100 MB of dedicated data a day that doesn’t come out of your home data bucket

If you go over your 100MB of data, you're charged the daily fee again (either $5 or $10), and given another 100MB.

Over 100 international destinations are covered by Roam better, all of which you can view here.

This is a great option if you're only going to be spending a short amount of time in any one country. It saves you the hassle of picking up a new local SIM every couple of weeks/days, and allows you to sparingly use your phone without potentially blowing out your budget.

However, if you're going to be staying in the one place for an extended period, you  might be better off getting a Bell Travel Pack, or a local SIM.

To get Roam Better, text ROAM to 7626. You must be on an All Share plan to be eligible.

Travel Packs

Travel packs must be activated within 30 days of purchase, after which they are live for 30 days. They tend to be a better option than Roam Better when considering long stays in one location or country. They all have unlimited incoming texts, and their minutes and outgoing texts cover activity within your local country, as well as from said country back to Canada.

US Roaming

Bell has four travel packs for roaming in the US

Travel Pass 1Travel Pass 2Travel Pass Data 200MB Travel Pass Data 1GB

Price

$40

$100

$20 $50

Calls

200 minutes 1000 minutes - -

Outgoing texts

Unlimited texts Unlimited texts - -

Data

200MB1GB200MB 1GB

Zone 1

Zone 1 is the cheapest of the international zones, with the lowest prices and the largest inclusions. Even so, if you're going away for an extended period you might want to source a local SIM. $60 for 100 minutes, 200 texts and 200MB is fine for a month or so, but anything more and you might start wondering why you're paying so much for so little, once your new locale begins to feel more like home.

200MB is approximately 2-3 albums of streamed music, or around an hour and a half on Facebook or browsing. If you think you can get by in the long term with that little, more power to you.

Travel Pass 1Travel Pass 2Travel Pass Data 300MB Travel Pass Data 100MB

Price

$60

$100

$75 $30

Calls

100 minutes 100 minutes - -

Outgoing texts

200 texts 200 texts - -

Data

200MB400MB300MB 100MB

Zone 1 countries include: 

Aland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bonaire, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, China, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Haiti, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malta, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saba, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon*, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Virgin Islands (British).


Zone 2

Zone 2 is a bit more expensive, with smaller data and minutes inclusions, but more texts. If you're happy to rely primarily on SMS to get your communication done, then 200 could definitely get you by.

Travel Pass 1Travel Pass 2Travel Pass Data 50MB Travel Pass Data 200MB

Price

$80

$120

$40 $85

Calls

60 minutes 60 minutes - -

Outgoing texts

200 texts 200 texts - -

Data

100MB200MB50MB 200MB

Zone 2 countries include:

Afghanistan, American Samoa, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Falkand Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Georgia, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Northern Mariana Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria*, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan*, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen.


Zone 3

Zone 3 is pretty darn pricey. We'd suggest trying to source yourself a  local SIM if at all possible. 25 minutes is very little, and 50MB is about half an hour of browsing the web these days.

Travel Pass 1Travel Pass 2Travel Pass Data 20MB Travel Pass Data 60MB

Price

$100

$150

$50 $95

Calls

25 minutes 25 minutes - -

Outgoing texts

100 texts 100 texts - -

Data

50MB100MB20MB 60MB

Zone 3 countries include:

Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros*, Congo, Congo (Democratic Republic), Cook Islands*, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Micronesia (Federated States Of)*, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Island*, Palau, Reunion, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Tunisia, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zanzibar


Airplane and Earth image originally from Shutterstock


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