Three Feel At Home: Free Roaming in 42 Countries Inc. Europe, US & Australia

September 1st, 2016

Three has scrapped international roaming charges in 42 countries including Spain, the USA, France, Italy, Portugal, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

ThreeIn the UK, Three offers a mobile roaming package known as Feel At Home. For customers on an eligible plan travelling to 42 selected countries, the charges for using your mobile phone abroad have been removed. This means you’re able to use your normal UK allowances including your minutes, texts and mobile internet at no additional charge.

This makes Feel At Home a great package for anyone who wants to continue using their smartphone when abroad. You’ll be able to use all your normal smartphone applications including social media, instant messaging and maps. You’ll also be able to stay in touch with friends and family without the need to worry about how much phone calls will cost.

The Feel At Home offer is available to customers on both Pay Monthly (Advanced plans only) and Pay As You Go. It’s also available on mobile broadband tariffs for your dongle or tablet. If you aren’t currently a customer of Three, you can pick up a Pay As You Go SIM card to take advantage of the offer.

In this article, we review the Feel At Home offer, including the countries it’s available in and the limitations of the offer. We’ll also look at the level of coverage you can expect in each country and at how customers of another network can benefit from the offer. Finally, we’ll look at alternative roaming offers that are also available on the market.

What is Feel At Home?

Feel At Home is the flagship roaming offer from Three UK. With the offer, customers travelling to one of 42 countries can use their normal UK allowances at no additional charge. This includes your UK minutes, texts and mobile internet.

The package is ideal for staying connected when you’re travelling to other countries. You can continue using apps, browsing the internet, sending e-mails and updating social networks on holiday. You can also call and text home to your friends and family in the UK.

Feel At Home Countries

The following countries are included in the Feel At Home offer:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy (includes Sardinia and Sicily)
  • Jersey
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal (includes Azores and Madeira)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain (includes Canary Islands and Balearic Islands)†
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United States of America

† The Feel At Home offer for Spain includes the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote) and the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera).

If you’re visiting a Feel At Home country on the list above, the potential cost savings can be fairly significant when using the offer. Imagine, for example, a family taking a trip to the USA. On rival mobile networks, you’re likely to be paying at least £1/minute for calling home to the UK. This means a daily phone call of about five minutes would add up to costing you £35 per week. When you add in the cost of accessing the mobile internet (typically at least £5/day but often a lot more), each person in your party could easily run up a bill of £70 or more for just a one-week holiday.

The following table compares the cost of using your mobile phone when abroad in the US:

Network Making a Phone Call Receiving a Phone Call Sending a Text Accessing the Internet
BT Mobile £1.40/minute £1.25/minute 40p/text £3/day for 20MB
EE £1.00/minute £1.00/minute 40p/text £4/day for 40MB
giffgaff £1.00/minute £1.00/minute 30p/text £5 per MB
iD Mobile £1.40/minute £1.25/minute 35p/text 25p per MB
O2 £1.10/minute 90p/minute 40p/text £6 per MB
Tesco Mobile 89p/minute 89p/minute 40p/text £8 per MB
Three Included Included Included Included
Virgin Mobile £1.50/minute £1.00/minute 30p/text £5 per MB
Vodafone £1.35/minute £1.00/minute 35p/text £3 per MB

Comparison of standard roaming charges for using your smartphone abroad in the US. Costs shown are for calling and texting a UK-based number.

With Feel At Home, you’ll be able to use your normal UK allowances. This means you won’t need to pay a penny extra for using your smartphone abroad, providing there are still sufficient allowances remaining on your plan.

Because of the price differential compared to other mobile networks, it may sometimes work out better value to get a SIM card from Three for your trip abroad (their 30-day bundles start from £10 on Pay As You Go).

View Pay As You Go SIM Cards » View Pay Monthly SIM Cards »

Out of Bundle Charges

If you run out of the inclusive allowances on your plan, you’ll pay the following out-of-bundle rates:

Out-of-bundle rates when visiting An EU country A non-EU country
Calling Rates:
Voice calls to the UK 3.9p/minute 3.3p/minute
Voice calls to country you’re visiting 3.9p/minute £1.40/minute
Receiving voice calls Always free
Messaging Rates:
Text message to the UK 1.6p 1.3p
Text message to country you’re visiting 1.6p 1.3p
Receiving a text message Always free
Internet Rates:
3G Internet 3.9p/MB 3.3p/MB

For more information, please see the Three international roaming guide (you can enter the name of the country you’re visiting for in-depth information).

It’s worth noting that your UK minutes and UK text messages can only be used for contacting other UK-based phone numbers. For instance, you could use your allowances to call your friends and family in the UK. You could also call your fellow holidaymakers if they have a UK-based phone number (which they will if they’re also using Feel At Home). If you’d like to call or text a phone number that’s based in another country, you’ll need to pay an additional amount for this.

Feel At Home on Pay As You Go

Three 321 Pay As You Go

321 rates are not available when you’re travelling abroad. You’ll need to buy an ‘All in One’ bundle to take advantage of the lowest rates.

The Feel At Home offer can be used on Three’s Pay As You Go service but you’ll need to buy an All in One bundle if you’d like to take advantage of the lowest rates abroad.

On Three’s basic 321 tariff, there aren’t any inclusive allowances to use with the Feel At Home offer. This means you’ll automatically pay the out-of-bundle rates for calling, texting and browsing in a Feel At Home country (see the table above). The normal UK rates of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB are not available when you’re travelling abroad.

To get the most from the Feel At Home offer, you’ll need to convert your credit into an All in One bundle. This is a 30-day bundle with minutes, texts and internet that is fully compatible with the Feel At Home offer:

Network Minutes Texts Internet Monthly
Cost
Three 100 3,000 1GB £10.00
Three 300 3,000 12GB £20.00

The “All in One” Pay As You Go tariffs can be used with Three’s “Feel At Home” offer. The inclusive minutes, texts and internet can be used abroad in any “Feel At Home” country.

You can order a Pay As You Go SIM card from Three with the All in One 10 or All in One 20 bundles included. The bundle will last for 30 days and will activate when you first use your SIM card.

Limitations & Restrictions

It’s worth being aware that the Feel At Home offer has a number of restrictions. Firstly, tethering or personal hotspot isn’t permitted when you’re travelling in a Feel At Home country. Secondly, your data usage is restricted to a maximum of 12GB/month. Thirdly, there are restrictions in place so you can’t use the service exclusively abroad. Also, there’s no 4G when you’re travelling abroad and the Feel At Home offer is excluded from ‘Essential’ plans on Pay Monthly.

No Tethering When Abroad

Personal Hotspot on iPhone

In the UK, customers with an ‘Advanced’ Pay Monthly contract from Three can use tethering or personal hotspot to share their mobile internet connection with other devices (e.g. with a laptop or tablet).

Unfortunately, the Feel At Home offer prohibits you from tethering when abroad. For more information, please see the “Usage restrictions” listed on Three’s website:

You can’t use your phone as a Personal Hotspot, also called tethering, in a Feel At Home destination. This applies even if you normally tether in the UK using your data allowance, or have a Personal Hotspot allowance or Add-on.

If you’d like to use your laptop or tablet abroad on Feel At Home, you’ll need to get one of their mobile broadband tariffs.

Fair Usage Policy

There’s a fair usage policy when using your allowances abroad. Each month, you can only use up to a maximum of 3000 minutes, 5000 texts and 12GB of internet. If you exceed the 12GB limit, your data service may be suspended abroad until the start of your next billing period. If you exceed the fair usage limits twice in a year, you could have international roaming suspended on your account altogether.

Living Abroad

EarthThe Feel At Home offer is designed for UK residents making a short trip abroad (it isn’t intended for people who actually live abroad). For this reason, you mustn’t use your service from Three exclusively abroad in a Feel At Home country for more than 2 months each year.

As long as you use the service in the UK or in a non-Feel At Home country during a given month, it will not count towards your limit of 2 months per year.

If you’re a frequent traveller, there shouldn’t be a problem using the Feel At Home offer (e.g. for people in the UK who frequently cross the border into Ireland or France). Providing for at least 10 months per year, you use your phone in the UK at least once in that month, you’ll be fully within the Feel at Home terms of use:

Feel At Home is intended for UK residents visiting one of the destinations for short trips like holidays or business trips. This means that there are some restrictions regarding how you use Feel At Home.

If you roam exclusively in a Feel At Home destination for any 2 complete months in a rolling 12 month period, we may suspend international roaming on your account, which means you’ll no longer be able to use your device or allowances abroad. We’d let you know if this were likely to happen first. If you spend a full month abroad but some of that time is spent in a destination that isn’t included in Feel At Home, this restriction won’t apply.

Data Speeds

Three Feel At Home - Jackson Ski

Download speeds are restricted to 2G and 3G when you’re abroad.

At present, Three only offers a 2G and 3G roaming service. You won’t have access to 4G coverage when you’re abroad.

Download speeds may also be restricted in a Feel At Home country. According to their website, Three says file-sharing and P2P download services are restricted when you’re abroad. Streaming and VPN (e.g. for accessing secure corporate networks) ‘should’ work but the experience will be ‘slower’ than it is in the UK:

We restrict your ability to use your data allowance for file-sharing, like peer to peer download services, and using certain sites to download or share large files. This is so that we can manage demand from overseas and ensure that everyone can use the service.

You should be able to stream and connect to VPNs, but you’ll find it’s slower and the quality won’t be as good as it is in the UK. For example, we don’t recommend streaming TV programmes and films. If you’re connecting more than one device to Mobile Wi-Fi, your streaming experience will be even poorer.

Essential Pay Monthly Plans

If you’ve purchased one of Three’s Essential Pay Monthly price plans, the Feel At Home offer is not included in your tariff. Instead, you’ll need to pay international roaming rates for using your smartphone abroad.

If you’re currently on an Essential price plan, you can benefit from the Feel At Home offer by upgrading to an Advanced price plan. Alternatively, you can use a Pay As You Go SIM card for the duration of your trip with either an All in One 10 or All in One 20 bundle.

Coverage

Three uses a number of partner mobile networks to offer their coverage abroad. Please select the country you’re visiting for an online coverage map relevant to that country:

Country Roaming Partners Check Coverage
Australia Optus
Telstra
Vodafone Hutchison Australia
Check Coverage in Australia
Austria Hutchison Drei Austria Check Coverage in Austria
Belgium BASE Check Coverage in Belgium
Bulgaria Globul
Vivacom
Check Coverage in Bulgaria
Croatia Tele2 Croatia
T-Hrvatski Telekom
Check Coverage in Croatia
Cyprus MTN
PrimeTel
Check Coverage in Cyprus
Czech Republic Telefonica O2
T-Mobile CZ
Check Coverage in Czech Republic
Denmark 3 Denmark Check Coverage in Denmark
Estonia Elisa
Tele2
Check Coverage in Estonia
Finland Alands Mobiltelefon
DNA
Elisa
Check Coverage in Finland
France Bouygues
Free Mobile
Orange
Check Coverage in France
Germany O2 Germany
T-Mobile
Check Coverage in Germany
Gibraltar GIBTEL Check Coverage in Gibraltar
Greece Cosmote
Wind Hellas
Check Coverage in Greece
Guernsey Sure Check Coverage in Guernsey
Hong Kong 3 Hong Kong Check Coverage in Hong Kong
Hungary Telenor
T-Mobile (Westel)
Check Coverage in Hungary
Iceland Nova Check Coverage in Iceland
Indonesia Hutchison 3 Indonesia Check Coverage in Indonesia
Ireland 3 Ireland
O2 Ireland
Check Coverage in Ireland
Isle of Man Sure Check Coverage in Isle of Man
Israel Orange
Pelephone
Check Coverage in Israel
Italy 3 Italy
Wind
Check Coverage in Italy
Jersey Airtel Jersey
Sure
Check Coverage in Jersey
Latvia Tele2 Latvia Check Coverage in Latvia
Liechtenstein Orange Check Coverage in Liechtenstein
Lithuania Tele2 Check Coverage in Lithuania
Luxembourg Orange Check Coverage in Luxembourg
Macau 3 Macau Check Coverage in Macau
Malta Go Mobile Check Coverage in Malta
Netherlands KPN Mobile
T-Mobile
Check Coverage in Netherlands
New Zealand 2degrees
Spark
Check Coverage in New Zealand
Norway Telenor Check Coverage in Norway
Poland Play
T-Mobile
Check Coverage in Poland
Portugal NOS Check Coverage in Portugal
Romania Cosmote Check Coverage in Romania
Slovakia Slovak Telecom
Telefonica O2 Slovakia
Check Coverage in Slovakia
Slovenia Mobitel
Tusmobil Slovenia
Check Coverage in Slovenia
Sri Lanka Etisalat
Hutchison
Check Coverage in Sri Lanka
Sweden 3 Sweden Check Coverage in Sweden
Switzerland Salt Mobile SA
Sunrise
Check Coverage in Switzerland
United States AT&T
T-Mobile USA
Check Coverage in United States

Coverage in other countries is limited to 2G and 3G as Three currently lacks any 4G roaming agreements.

Non-Three Customers

Three Make It Right SIM Card

You can get a Pay As You Go SIM card from Three to benefit from the offer.

Feel At Home is only available to customers on Three. However, customers of other mobile networks can also benefit from the offer by picking up a temporary Pay As You Go SIM card for their trip abroad.

For £10, you’ll get 100 minutes, 3000 texts and 1GB to use when abroad (this will last for a maximum of 30 days from activation). For £20, you’ll get 300 minutes, 3000 texts and 12GB of data (also with 30 days maximum usage).

Network Minutes Texts Internet Monthly
Cost
Three 100 3,000 1GB £10.00
Three 300 3,000 12GB £20.00

The “All in One” Pay As You Go tariffs can be used with Three’s “Feel At Home” offer. The inclusive minutes, texts and internet can be used abroad in any “Feel At Home” country.

If you order a Pay As You Go SIM card from Three, you’ll be assigned a new UK-based phone number. If you’d like to continue receiving calls on your existing phone number, you can set up call forwarding from your existing mobile network to Three.

If you’re looking for a longer-term deal, consider getting an Advanced Pay Monthly SIM card from Three. You can get an Advanced SIM card on Pay Monthly from £8/month with the Feel At Home offer (prices start from £11/month on a 30-day contract).

You may need to unlock your smartphone before using a SIM card from Three (see our guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone). You can transfer your existing phone number to Three with a PAC Code.

Alternative Roaming Offers

In general, Three offers the best value roaming in countries where the Feel At Home offer is available. If you’re not already a customer of Three, we recommend getting a Pay As You Go SIM card so you can benefit from the offer.

O2 Travel

O2 allows you to use your 100MB of data in Europe for £1.99/day.

If you’re looking for an alternative roaming offer available from another mobile network, some of the deals currently available on Pay As You Go include:

  • EE: Euro Roaming Data Add-on
    For £3/day, customers with a EE Pay As You Go SIM card can use up to 75MB of data in other EU countries.
  • O2: O2 Travel
    With an O2 Pay As You Go SIM card, you can use 100MB of data per day in an EU country for a flat rate of £1.99/day.
  • Vodafone: EuroTraveller
    For £3/day, customers with a Vodafone Pay As You Go SIM card can use up to 100MB of data in another EU country.

If you’re willing to sign up for a new Pay Monthly contract, it may also be worth investigating EE Extra, iD Mobile’s TakeAway and Vodafone’s inclusive EU roaming packages. Vodafone also has a £5/day WorldTraveller bundle covering 58 countries.

For more information, see our full guide to international roaming. You may also find it useful to read our guides on using on your smartphone in Europe and in the US.

Keeping Your Phone Number

Transfer Phone Number to Three

It’s a straightforward process to transfer your phone number to Three.

If you’re permanently switching to Three so you can take advantage of the Feel At Home offer, it’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number.

Start by asking your existing mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can then order your new phone or SIM card from Three’s website.

When it arrives, you’ll need to fill out this form on Three’s website. After submitting your PAC Code, Three will schedule the transfer of your phone number (this will normally take place on the next working day). In the meantime, you’ll continue receiving a service from your old mobile network.

For step-by-step instructions on transferring a phone number to Three, please select your current mobile network:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Three

Your current network provider:

  More Options

If you’re only using Three on a temporary basis, it’s best to instead set up call forwarding from your current network. If you transfer your phone number using a PAC Code, your account on the old mobile network will be closed automatically.

More Information

For more information on the Feel At Home offer, please refer to the Three website. You may also find it useful to see Three’s international roaming guide and to read the full FAQs for the Feel At Home offer.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 311 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Steve b said:

    Hi Ken, great site.
    I am going on a cruise next year, is this a good priced sim only deal for a cruise or is there a better one. Price wise.
    Steve

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware, there are no reasonably priced SIM cards for usage on a cruise. This is because the network operators onboard a cruise ship typically charge for it as a premium service (the only alternative I can think of would be to compare this against the price of using any wi-fi facilities).
      Ken

  2. Rog Airey said:

    Hi Ken,
    Congratulations. Brilliant site. Any guidance for the Caribbean, especially St Vincent would be most welcome?
    Rog

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Rog,
      Thanks for the kind feedback! Unfortunately, the only offer I know for St Vincent is Vodafone’s £5/day WorldTraveller offer. This requires you to be a Vodafone Pay Monthly customer, so I wouldn’t really bother unless you already had a contract with them.
      To be honest, the best thing to do in this situation would probably be to bring an unlocked smartphone and to buy a SIM card locally. The costs of using a UK-based SIM card are likely to be prohibitive so you’ll almost certainly be better off buying a SIM card when you’re there.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  3. Ray said:

    Hi Ken
    First of all brilliant website. I was looking at various options that would suit my needs. So I am travelling to Europe with 3 days in London and 9 days in Mainland Europe which include the feel at home countries. I need to make extensive use of Google maps for information mostly by foot. Questions
    1. Will the feel at home with All in one bundle suit my requirements? And
    2. Dumb question but other than “3” stores and mobile phone retailers, where else can I purchase “3” SIM cards in person?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ray,
      Thanks for your comment and hope you’re looking forward to your trip! To answer your two questions:
      1. Absolutely, it should suit your requirements! This is assuming of course you’re visiting the UK first (as you’re only able to buy the SIM card when you’re present in the UK).
      2. You can also get one from most major supermarkets, also some convenience stores, service and petrol stations. Be aware there might be a small additional charge for getting the SIM card from a non-Three retail store (typically about £1 to £2).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  4. Edmond Wong said:

    Hi Ken. If I activate the all in one 10 will I understand that I will not be able to place local calls in another country. But will I still be able to use the 1gb data? The chart on 3 website isn’t clear. We will be visiting from Canada. We plan to use the sim for uk, sweden and iceland. We just aren’t sure if that 1gb data will be usable outside of uk. Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Edmond,
      Thanks for your comment. With the Feel At Home offer, you’ll be able to use the 1GB download allowance abroad in other countries (so you can use it in Sweden & Iceland as well as in the UK).
      You’ll also be able to use the 100 minutes & 3000 texts, but this only covers phone calls & texts to a UK-based phone number (so phone numbers beginning with +44). It will not cover phone calls to Swedish or Icelandish phone numbers (i.e. so anything beginning with +46 or +354). If other members of your party also have a UK-based SIM card (e.g. another SIM card from Three), you’ll be able to call & text them at no extra charge using the allowances.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  5. Cindy said:

    Hi Ken,

    Fantastic article! Thanks for the detailed information.

    I’m just wondering if you can help me out. I’m from Australia and will be travelling to Europe in December. My first destination is France and a friend from the UK that is meeting me there has offered to purchase a Three Pay As You Go SIM for me.

    Question… Does my friend have to “activate” it for me while in the UK? Or I can activate it when I meet her in France?

    Thanks,
    Cindy

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Cindy,
      Thanks for your comment. To avoid complication and to make life a lot easier, I strongly recommend your UK friend orders a SIM card online, topping it up and switching on the SIM card before departing to France. This is much easier than trying to do everything in France (also, I believe Three has some automated systems which may prevent the SIM card from being activated when outside the UK).
      Ken

  6. ellie said:

    Hi, i’m getting a few mixed answers regarding this issue and i’m hoping to be able to clarify once and for all.
    I go to the States a lot for work and so far this year i’ve spent a total of 59 days there, divided into 4 trips-the shortest being 6 days, the longest 28.
    I’m going back tomorrow for 3 weeks and i’m terrified that my phone will be blocked (which would be beyond disastrous); the customer service people told me that every day counts towards the two month limit, but i see from some of the comments above that maybe that’s not the case, as in i would have to be in the country for 2 months continuously in order to be blocked. Which one is correct??

    1. Andrew replied:

      might be worth getting another 3 PAYG sim

  7. Raj said:

    Hi- Feel at Home feature sounds great. Hopefully more countries get added. I am going away on a Caribbean cruise later this year. It seems that I will not be able to benefit from the FAH contract when I visit different islands in the caribbean. I can not see any of them in the list. Perhaps the only option is to use free WiFi whenever possible ? Any other suggestions ?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Raj,
      You’re right: unfortunately, Caribbean countries are not currently included in the Feel At Home offer. Your best bet would probably be to use free wi-fi, or alternatively, to pick up a SIM card locally in the country you’re visiting. Alternatively, you could also use Vodafone WorldTraveller but that’s £5/day and requires you to have a Vodafone Pay Monthly contract (a number of Caribbean countries are a part of that offer).
      Ken

  8. IanW said:

    Potentially a very dim question, but what does the * mean next to most of the countries on the list? I cannot seem to find the answer in the article.

    Thanks,
    Ian.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ian,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! The asterisk denoted countries that were being added to the Feel At Home offer from the 8th September 2016 (since I wrote the article on September 1st). It isn’t really meaningful to continue showing these asterisks so I’ve now removed it from the article above.
      Sorry for the confusion and hope this helps,
      Ken

  9. Chip said:

    Very useful article.

    I see Greece and Cyprus are on the list of F@H countries but Turkey isn’t.

    My question, as a stand alone country is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the list?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Chip,
      Unfortunately, Cyprus (North) is not included in the Feel At Home offer. You can view full details of the roaming charges there & the coverage on Three’s website.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  10. Alan said:

    Great summary article. The concept of the service is fantastic (esp with the expanded number of countries), unfortunately the execution from a data perspective is truly appalling. I’ve used my SGS6 and latterly SGS7 in France and the USA – in both cases despite having 3G or H reception of 3+ bars, I got absolutely atrocious data speeds – pretty much 2G level. My phone got hot, battery life was dreadful and it kept on having major issues. By comparison it works fine at home or if I put a local SIM in the phone. The degree of throttling makes the service unusable, Three support were hopeless, and given my poor experience I’m almost certain I’m going to switch network when my contract is up.

  11. John Potts said:

    Do you have a date in September for the Feel at Home coverage for Germany as we leave for Germany on the 2nd september.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi John,
      Frustratingly, I don’t think Three have announced an official date for this offer to start – all they’ve announced is that it’ll launch in September (exact date still TBC).
      Ken

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi John,
        Three have just announced on Twitter that the new countries will be added from September 8th.
        Ken

  12. Joe BW said:

    Great article and well explained. I used this last year for 2 trips – one to Australia and one to the USA and it worked well and was certainly great value. I was looking again just now as I’m planning another trip to the US later this year. It seems that the £10 add-on now allows 1GB of data rather than 500MB as stated – maybe this is a temporary offer, but I thought I’d just point this out.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Joe,
      Thanks for the comment and for bringing this to my attention! It does indeed look like the £10 plan has had the data increased from 500MB to 1GB per month. I’ve just updated this in the article above and will also begin updating this across the rest of the website.
      Thanks again!
      Ken

  13. Marta said:

    I’m going abroad for two weeks and I’m quite disappointed because my country (Poland) is not on the feel at home is that mean I will pay a fortune?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Marta,
      As you say, Poland unfortunately isn’t included in the Feel At Home offer. This means you’ll need to pay Three’s EU roaming charges of 3.9p/minute, 1.6p/text and 3.9p/MB. The good news is this isn’t a fortune, but of course it’s not as good as totally free roaming!
      Ken

      1. Ilona replied:

        Hi. I am a bit confused as Marta is saying that Poland is not on the list, you are confirming that and I can see Poland withing other countries. Please explain.
        Thank you

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Ilona,
          Thanks for your comment – this is a very good question! Poland was only added to the Feel At Home offer on the 8th September 2016. This is why the comment here may be a little confusing (it was posted in August just before Poland was added to the offer!).
          Ken

          1. Ilona replied:

            Hi Ken.
            This is a very good news 🙂 Next time when I go to Poland i can use my UK phone.
            Many thanks
            Ilona

  14. Stu said:

    Sorry a quick question not sure if its been answered:

    If i used my phone for say 1 week in a calendar month abroad (switched it off for the rest of the time) could i avoid the 2 month limit? Or would i have to have used it in the UK for them to know that i am not still abroad?

    Secondly, if i used my phone within that month in a non feel at home country (but not the UK) as you said for example one weekend every month, would that work in terms of me never meeting the 2 month cut off?

    If that makes sense

    thanks in advance.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Stu,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, for that month to not count towards your fair usage limit, you’ll need to have used your phone either in the UK or in a non-Feel At Home country. Otherwise, if you only use your phone in a Feel At Home country (even if it was switched off for the rest of the month), it will count towards your 2 month limit.
      And yes, spending a weekend away each month in a non-Feel At Home country should be fine for keeping you within the fair usage limit!
      Ken

      1. Stu replied:

        Thanks Ken, really useful! Great website.

        I will try out registering in a non feel at home location once a month, luckily there is a ‘non feel at home country’ only 20 or so mins from where i will be so should hopefully be easy.

        Thanks again
        Stu

  15. Patti said:

    My husband and I (we live in the US) will be in England and Wales for 1 month (and 4 days in Spain). We have a 5S IPhone (unlocked). We don’t use the phone often but would like to be able to call and receive calls and have data for the internet. Which SIM card would you recommend and should we order it here in the US or purchase it in Cardiff, Wales? If in Wales, will we find a shop at the Central train station to buy a SIM?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Patti,
      I’d probably recommend your SIM card when you arrive in the UK. It will be very easy to find a SIM card – you just need to pop in to any phone store, supermarket or newsagent! There may well be a retailer in the train station as well depending on the station and the facilities they’re offering.
      Ken

  16. Torin Johansen said:

    Hi Ken, sorry for tagging on to another’s comment but I struggled to find the proper way to leave a comment, anyway my one query with this which I can’t find an answer to anywhere is – will it cost my friends and family in the UK who are not on three to text my phone whilst I’m in a feel at home country?
    Thanks!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Torin,
      Thanks and no problem at all! The comment form is at the bottom of this article but it’s a little bit hard to find as this page is so long!
      In response to your question: your friends and family in the UK will just pay their normal rate for calling or texting a UK number. So assuming they have text messages included in their plan, it will be free for them to send you a text message.
      Ken

      1. Torin Johansen replied:

        That’s perfect! Thank you very much, it’s been a question no one could answer so very grateful for your help!
        Regards,
        Torin

  17. Lester said:

    Hi Ken,

    Great article. I will be visiting the UK from the US and will also be visiting Spain, Italy, and France. Sounds like Three “Pay as you go All in One 20 Add on” is the way to go.

    You mention that this plan is intended for UK residents. Will I have any problems purchasing this plan if I am from the US? Do they require proof of UK residency?

    I would appreciate any info.

    Thanks,
    Lester

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lester,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes – it does sound like this plan could be suitable for your usage! You won’t have any problems purchasing this plan in the UK – there’s no need to provide any proof of residency or ID – the only caveat is you’ll need to be visiting the UK first in order to get one of the SIM cards from Three.
      My comment about this plan being intended for UK residents is mainly referring to people who only want this SIM card for usage outside of the UK, and who will not be visiting the UK at any time during their trip.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  18. Frank said:

    Hi Ken,

    Good article on Three feel at home but I wonder if you could have a look at something on this. Now that the EU phone cost rules have kicked in, I think I can use a PAYG Three phone in (for example) France and it costs 3.9p per minute to make calls and zero to receive if I do not have an Add On (See this link: http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Roaming_and_international/Mobile_Roaming?content_aid=1214306371189

    So, if I was using Feel at home (with the compulsory add on to get the rates of 3p per minute to make calls) I would need to spend £10 minimum. If I only want to make 60 minutes of calls in a week it would cost 60 X 3.9p = £2.34, a saving of £7.66. I know that I am assuming no data or other stuff.

    My main query is “Is it MANDATORY to buy an Add On to use a Three PAYG phone in France?”. I don’t think I need to spend the £10 if all I want to do is make (and receive) a few calls. I know I would NOT get the Feel at Home benefits but in truth, for calls, these aren’t worth much now with the call cost having dropped so much recently.

    Thanks, Frank

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Frank,
      Thanks for your comment. There is no need to buy an All-in-One add-on – it isn’t compulsory and as you say, you could simply use your phone abroad at standard EU roaming rates without buying a bundle. For your usage, which is mainly a small amount of phone calls and no data, the chances are you’ll be better off on standard EU roaming rates.
      Ken

  19. Toshi said:

    Dear Ken,
    Great article, I’ve learned so much!

    I live in Japan and bought a Pay as you go SIM from Amazon for my trip to Swiss in August.

    My trip is about 2weeks holiday in Swiss.

    I plan to fly from Tokyo to Zurich via Hongkong. One day transit in Hongkong.
    I understand that 3UK sim is preactivated and the sim will work right away
    in foreign country. Am i right ? Will my SIM work in Hongkong and Swiss?
    Thank you.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Toshi,
      Thanks for your comment. This deal is really designed for UK residents, so if possible it’s best to use the SIM card first in the UK. Unfortunately, I don’t know what will happen if you’re using it for the first time when you’re abroad.
      Ken

      1. Kevin replied:

        Hi, just saw this and thought I’d respond for the OP and others with same question. I’m a Three UK employee and can confirm that pay and go sims need to be activated UK side initially whilst on 3 UK. They will not activate internationally. Hope that helps.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Kevin,
          Thanks for confirming – this is super helpful!
          Ken

  20. Megs said:

    Hi,

    I’m going on a year abroad from August, just as my current phone contract expires.
    Ideally, I’d like to use a UK SIM, but don’t want to be charged ridiculous roaming fees.
    At first I was considering the 3 Feel at Home deal, but as they seem to be capping people left, right and centre even if they haven’t yet hit their roaming limit of being abroad for however many months without using the phone back in the UK, that option no longer seems viable. However, if I were to return to the UK approximately once a month for a weekend, would it keep the Feel at Home deal uncapped, or is that not sufficient?
    As an alternative I have been looking into Vodafone’s inclusive roaming with the Red and Red Value bundles. These seem ideal, as on top of a monthly UK allowance of unlimited texts etc. it also gives a monthly abroad allowance (suggesting you can use it very frequently within the allowance limits) but unlike with 3, I haven’t been able to find any limitations or fair usage policies, which makes me somewhat suspicious – surely there’s a catch? Will it be capped after heavy use abroad rather than light usage such as holidaying?
    Any information on this would be very much appreciated.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Meg,
      Thanks for your message. In theory, you should be fine on Three if you’re visiting the UK for one weekend every month (they’ll only count whole calendar months exclusively spent abroad towards your limit of two months per year). In reality, I’d probably avoid choosing this option – the data speeds might not be the best when you’re abroad and you might later decide not to come home in a given month (it would be annoying to have to a book a flight just to keep your SIM card active!).
      Vodafone’s inclusive international roaming deals could certainly be worth a look at. I’ve not heard of any restrictions or people being cut off for using it too much (but it is a fairly new deal so the feedback might take a little time to fully filter through).
      Ken

    2. Anonymous replied:

      I imagine that if you were using it every month, regardless of whether you used it in the UK or non-Feel at Home destination at any point, they would suspend roaming on your account.

  21. Iain Grant said:

    Hi Ken, I am a Vodafone customer and I plan on living abroad in Switzerland for 6 months. Am I able to use the Feel at Home offer from 3?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Iain,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, Feel At Home is only designed for short trips – you can’t use it if you’re living abroad for extended amount of time. To that extent, Three will cut you off if you use your handset exclusively abroad for more than 2 months per year. For a 6-month stay, you’ll almost certainly be better served by one of the local Swiss networks!
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    2. Andrew replied:

      get a couple of three payg sims

  22. Gerry Jackson said:

    Hi Ken. Just got back from Barcelona where I was unable to connect to the 4g network in the city. I use the Sensorly app which maps coverage and as expected for a major city, 4g in Barcelona is very good.

    I called 3 to ask why I couldn’t connect, and was informed that 4g cannot be guaranteed. When I asked if Movistar (3’s Spanish partner) were blocking UK sims from the 4g network, I got the same ‘4g cannot be guaranteed’ answer.

    Are you aware of any blocking policy?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Gerry,
      Thanks for your comment. As far as I know, Three doesn’t yet have any 4G roaming agreements. This means you’ll only have access to 2G and 3G when you’re abroad in other countries. You can see this, for example, by going to the Three website. On the coverage map at the bottom of the page, you’ll only see 2G and 3G.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  23. Steve said:

    I’ve just had a long chat with 3 about this. It appears you can’t use the All in one bundle on a mobile dongle (not sure how they’d know) but I was advised I’d have to use the standard Pay as you go topups http://store.three.co.uk/view/searchTariff?deviceType=SIM_ONLY_MBB&priceplan=&greatForServices=&manufacturerName=&payGPriceForTariff=50to99.99&payGPriceForTariff=0to49.99 which are a bit more restrictive (30 days not 12 months) and a bit more expensive (£30 for 12Gb as opposed to £20 on the All in one 20 Add on). I actually have a dongle which has 1Gb on it but registered it so I could look at the top ups offered and none of the above were shown it offered £25 for 7Gb, £15 for 3Gb and £10 for 1Gb)… can’t really work out why!

    So if I’m reading it right, for a dongle I need a normal PAYG sim and a standard mobile broadband top up which will cost more and last less.

    For a phone I can buy and all in one 20 sim for £20 with 12Gb + 300 minutes and 3000 texts!.

    You have to wonder whether the phone sim in the mobile dongle is not possible!?

    One final comment, if I can get an All in One 20 SIM from Three for £20 delivered why are people selling them for £25 on Ebay ??!!!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. As you say, the All in One bundle is only for use on a smartphone. For mobile broadband e.g. in a dongle, you’ll need to use one of their mobile broadband tariffs. There are some good reasons why the two things are priced a little bit differently e.g. it’s very difficult to actually use 12GB on your smartphone whereas it’s really easy to do this on your PC and on other devices. As Three doesn’t allow you to tether on their PAYG smartphone tariffs, the data allowance from your smartphone cannot be shared to other devices (at least, this is something prohibited by the T&C).
      With regards to your other question, I have no idea why the £20 SIM cards are selling for £25 on eBay! I suspect people are buying them in for £20 each, and then they obviously need to add a bit of margin to make it worth their while. I would strongly recommend always ordering directly from the Three website as you’ll then only be paying the £20 sticker price.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Steve replied:

        Thanks Ken, follow up question for you 😉

        I’ve got an EE contract which will cost me an arm and a leg in the USA where I’ll be for 3 weeks in the Summer, I’ll need a decent amount of data and ideally access to my home texts and voicemails. So looking for alternatives to get my calls and a data allowance over there. I’m intending on getting an all in one 20 SIM and using it for the trip. I was hoping to forward my number to the three number though so I can pick up calls and texts… My idea is to leave my EE sim in a cheap smartphone on charge at home and forward to my phone (which has the UK three SIM in it). I can send and receive texts using an APP (mysms) and pick up voicemails using Hullomail, but it would be great to receive calls “live”. Anyone any idea if this will work and not incur hidden EE stealth charges to scare me when I return and if not are there any alternative solutions?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Steve,
          That sounds like a feasible plan! The key thing is to make sure you leave your EE handset here in the UK. As far as EE is concerned, you’re simply forwarding your calls to another UK number (so it’s just the standard rate for UK-to-UK call forwarding). You need to be careful not to bring your EE handset over to the US or you’ll end up paying for US-to-UK forwarding.
          Ken

          1. Steve replied:

            Thanks Ken, I intend to leave the EE SIM (not the phone) but that’s all EE would check. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

  24. Dave said:

    As a general point, could be worth considering Tesco Mobile now seem to provide a similar service, if only currently from 23 May to 3 September 2016. Their “Home from Home” means that calls, texts and data in the following countries are treated as normal usage -EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, the Channel Islands (Jersey & Guernsey) and the Isle of Man.
    That’s what it seems to be, though I am, sure Ken or somebody else will confirm any pitfalls, challenges etc 🙂

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks and a very good point! Tesco’s Home from Home offer is certainly now worth considering as well. I wrote about it on my review of roaming offers in Europe – key thing to be aware of is it only lasts from the 23rd May 2016 to the 4th September 2016 (as mentioned in your comment). Also, it’s only for EU countries and you can only benefit from the offer for up to 28 days in total.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  25. Simon said:

    Hi,

    I’m going on a short cruise soon, will I be able to use the feels like home offer when on the ship?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Simon,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t believe the Feel At Home offer includes cruise ships – instead, you’ll likely be paying the rates listed here (£3/minute, 50p/text and £6/MB).
      Ken

      1. Simon replied:

        Thanks for your reply, do you know why it is that cruises are excluded? Tesco Mobile have a similar offer on which also excludes cruises.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Simon,
          The price charged will partly depend on the roaming agreement between Three UK and the cruise ship’s mobile network operator. I suspect the cruise ship operator is probably charging a fair bit (similar to airlines where you need to pay an arm and a leg to use the in-flight phones). It’s probable that Three is probably adding a bit of margin on the top to the price, but I suspect it’s largely the wholesale costs that prevent them from including this in the Feel At Home offer.
          Ken

  26. Mark said:

    Has anyone using FAH been cut off after less than 60 days.
    last year I was cut off after 18, this year 14.
    Three can’t seem to sort it.

    1. James replied:

      Hi Mark,

      I have been cut of on FAH in Ireland but the cannot somehow tell me how long I was on or when it started. They also cant tell me when the 12 months ends.
      Did you find out the days by trawling bills?

      James

  27. Hamish said:

    I’m going to the Algarve this summer (2016) and I notice that Portugal are not on 3’s Feel at home scheme. I have two questions,
    1. Why are Portugal not included on the list ?
    2. What do you advise I do with my mobile phone when in Portugal (call wise).
    Regards
    Hamish

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Hamish,
      Thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying. I’m not able to speak on behalf on Three about why Portugal isn’t included in the Feel At Home offer. I would however recommend reading my guide to the best value SIM cards for usage in Europe. For instance, Tesco Mobile now has a similar deal that also works in Portugal.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  28. Steve said:

    How do you monitor your usage. I’m off to Florida in August and this seems the best solution for me, but I’m worried I’ll go over the allowance?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve posted some info about monitoring your data usage over on this post.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  29. Jan said:

    I am still searching for the cheapest way to make calls within the US using a Uk payg SIM card. Looks as if the standard charge is about £1.30 per minute

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jan,
      There’s more info here, but as far as I’m aware Three is probably going to be the cheapest for calling a US number. I believe they’ll charge you 15.6p/minute on a Pay As You Go SIM card.
      Ken

      1. Jan replied:

        Thanks for this. I have searched through their website and it is not very informative about making local calls within USA. The only price I could see was £1.30

        1. Rosy replied:

          Unfortunately it looks like it’s gone up to £1.40 per minute now to call within the US

          1. Jan replied:

            I telephoned a number of 3 stores this afternoon. Most did not answer, 2 cut me off, 1 said £1.40 and 2 said 56p.
            I will keep searching!

  30. Rosy said:

    Thanks Ken for such comprehensive information. It really helped!

  31. Sarah said:

    Hi Ken,

    I am trying to find out if I can tether my phone to my laptop on Three’s network when I am in Canada? I can only find information about Feel at Home countries, which says tethering is not allowed. Do you know if it is allowed in other countries outside of Feel at Home and how much I will be charged?

    Many Thanks!
    Sarah

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe it should be possible to tether in non-Feel At Home countries such as Canada, but I would strongly recommend against doing this due to the incredibly high costs. In Canada, Three currently charges a whopping £6/MB. If, for example, you were to use 100MB of data, you’d pay £600 for the privilege of doing this! You’ll probably be much better off getting a local SIM card from one of the Canadian mobile networks.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Suzanne replied:

        Hi Ken I am wondering if you can help with the best option for travelling to europe for 9 months . Is there any plan like the feel at home plan that is available for longer than 2 months ? Thanks

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Suzanne,
          Watch this space! From the 30th April 2016, the cap on EU roaming fees will be lowered substantially. It’s likely we’ll see some major changes to the pricing around then, so it’s worth waiting a few days before coming to a decision!
          Ken

  32. Steve said:

    Will Germany we coming on board shortly for roaming

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Unfortunately I don’t have any information about future countries for the Feel At Home offer. The good news, however, is that lower EU roaming charges will be offered on all networks from the 30th April 2016. From this date onwards, we should see lower roaming costs on all UK networks. Lots of changes are likely to happen around this time so watch this space in case Three makes some changes to the Feel At Home offer!
      Ken

  33. James McAllan said:

    Ken

    Is Portugal likely to be part of the ‘feel at home’ service soon.

    James

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi James,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information about which countries will be added to ‘Feel At Home’ in the future. As per forthcoming EU legislation, roaming charges within Europe will need to be scrapped by June 2017. For this reason, it’s highly likely we’ll see Portugal being added to the service next year (Three might decide, however, to add it before then).
      Ken

      1. Joel replied:

        Can we top anywhere around the 18countries? Its a big helped for a seaman like us we are traveled all over the world specialy those 18countries but we need to top up. Like now we are now in the Norway how ca we top up coz we dont have credit card or debbit card. Wa have only cash from our salary. Can u help us to top up easily and accessibly.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Joel,
          Thanks for your comment. You can read all about the possible ways of topping your Three UK SIM card on this page. To give you a quick summary: unfortunately, I think this will be much easier if you a UK-registered credit card or debit card (that way, you could top-up at any time using the internet). Unfortunately, if you want to top-up with cash, you’ll need to do this in the UK anywhere you see a green top-up logo.
          Ken

  34. brian said:

    HI Ken.

    Will they ship the sims to the US? I’m having problems on their site trying to fill out US shippin info in the shipping prompts. I’m from the US and will be traveling to Italy and France for 2 weeks and this sounds like the best deal available… just wanted to get it before my trip since I’m not sure if milan malpensa airport will have three sims. Advice? thanks.

    brian

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Brian,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the SIM card discussed in this article is only available within the UK. Three will not ship their SIM cards to an address in another country. Your best bet would probably be to research the SIM cards available from an Italian network (hopefully, you can find a SIM card which won’t charge you too much to use your handset in France).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  35. Steve said:

    Hi Ken.

    I’m currently living in Australia and will return to the UK in a few weeks. It would benefit me to have a UK mobile number here for a while before I return. If apply for a pay-monthly sim and have this sent over to Australia, by a third party, will I be able to activate the service from here?

    Thank you!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. In the UK, SIM cards are normally pre-activated so I think this should probably be fine. However, to be safe, I would always try to use the SIM card in the UK first if you’re able.
      Ken

      1. Steve replied:

        Thanks Ken.

        I’ll try to get someone to pop the sim into their mobile to make a call (and activate, if need be) before they send it over to me in Australia.

        Steve.

  36. Steve said:

    Hi Ken.

    I’ve just had a look on Three’s website and it states that tethering is not available on a pre-paid service and only on pay-monthly. I presume that this has been recent change, disappointing…

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, Three has never allowed tethering on their Pay As You Go service (this applies both in the UK and abroad). This means you’ll need a separate SIM card for every device you want to get connected to the internet. With Pay Monthly, you can tether but only if you’re in the UK (tethering isn’t permitted in a Feel At Home country).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Steve replied:

        Hi Ken.

        Thanks for clearing that up, very helpful indeed!

        Steve.

      2. Dave replied:

        Hi Ken,
        does the tethering restriction apply to a PAYG SIM for a MI-FI device, eg the “Broadband – Pay As You Go + 12” ? I was planning on buying one of these to use in my MI-FI so that the family can use the internet on various tablets when on holiday in Spain.

        Thanks

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Dave,
          Great question! Three has never been totally clear about this. What we do know is you are able to use a mobile broadband SIM card in Feel At Home countries, and I’ve not seen anything that restricts this to a certain type of device (e.g. only to tablets, USB dongles, Mi-Fis, etc). My personal interpretation is that this should be OK, as the MiFi is designed to be used in such a way (also, ‘tethering’ normally only means sharing the internet from your smartphone). This isn’t an official answer however, so I recommend double-checking directly with Three before spending any money.
          Ken

  37. Dave said:

    Hi, I know Three stipulate that you cannot tether with Feel At Home. I have a Three mobile broadband sim card, could this be used in a MiFi device in a Feel At Home destination?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! I don’t believe using a MiFi on your mobile broadband plan will count as tethering – it might however be worth double-checking with Three to get an official answer on this question.
      Ken

  38. Tim Gower said:

    Hi Ken.

    Will it be possible for two ‘3’ phones to call/text/email each other in a feel at home country while on holiday(Spain) without receiving any extra costs?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tim,
      Yes – you’ll be able to call and text each other without extra charges in a Feel At Home country. The important thing is you’re calling or texting a UK-based phone number (and with Feel At Home, you’re getting exactly that!).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    2. Tim Gower replied:

      Thanks Ken as when I asked the same question in a ‘3’ store they did not really understand what I was trying to say. He ended up drawing a picture of maps and imaginary telephone lines creating links between the UK and Spain. Really confusing. Maybe I just spoke to someone who’s working there on their first day.

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Tim,
        Haha – that’s a very imaginative way to answer a question! 🙂 Hope you have a lovely time over in Spain – I’m super jealous you’ll be going there soon 🙂
        Thanks,
        Ken

  39. Steve said:

    Hi Ken

    I know that gibraltar is not covered by the feel at home plan but here is my question.

    Being so close to Spain the possibility of coverage by Telefonica Movistar or Yoigo looks highly likely on the Three feel at home coverage maps.

    Do you think i would be able to manually set one of these providers and use tge network as if I was in Spain which is a feel at home country?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. If you’re connected to a Spanish mobile network, then you’ll pay the rates that apply to roaming in Spain. So yes, if you manually select a Spanish network on your handset, it should be possible to benefit from the Feel At Home rates. The caveat of course, is whether you’re actually able to get a signal from the Spanish networks (this might be a little hit and miss).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  40. Dave said:

    Hi Ken,
    great article, thank you. I wonder if you can answer my query please.

    If I buy a 3 PAYG SIM for my wife for when we go on holiday to Tenerife (which I believe is covered by Spain) and whilst we are on holiday she calls (or texts) me (not on the 3 network), will my network provider charge me as if I have received a call whilst roaming?

    I assume that it would, unless I get a 3 sim as well.

    The main reason I would prefer not to is that I have a work mobile and get some calls and data included.

    Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you’ll be charged as normal by your network to receive an incoming phone calls when you’re abroad in Tenerife. This is charged regardless of who is calling you.
      Ken

  41. Antony Addy said:

    Ken,

    Would just to bring a 3 UK issue to your attention. I have a dual sim 3 UK and French sim running simultaneously on an Asus mobile phone.

    I have been using my 3 UK sim card in France (Feel at Home) for the last 3 or 4 months where it works very well.

    Since I arrived back in the UK for Xmas, the 3 UK sim has stopped working. For info, it always has to be in the main sim slot in the UK on a dual sim phone.
    The issue is that I had my French sim as the preferred data account sim. When I changed that to 3 UK and restarted my phone, order was restored to the kingdom of dual sim existence.

    I hope that can be useful to any other users having the same problem.

    All the best,
    Antony

    1. Michael replied:

      Hi Antony,

      I have a Wiko phone, which is the second phone make the most sold in France and which works under Android. I bought this phone in France being French but live in Belfast. I subbed to Three and went to Paris, and Dublin recently. Everytime I was trying to remove the airplane mode to use the network there, data or not, my phone was bugging and resetting the background image to the factory on. I’m quite lost as I phone the customer service after setting on my phone and internet the roaming option to ON, where they haven’t been able to help me… My phone is named exactly Wike HighWay Pure, android version 5.0.2.

      Have you set up something on your phone to be able to use the feel at home in France ?

      Regards,

      Michael

  42. jaz said:

    Hi Ken
    I am a 3 network user , can I use internet and make calls in northern Ireland for same datap lan in UK ?
    Please reply
    Thanks
    Jaz

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jaz,
      Thanks for your comment. There are no extra charges when using your phone in Northern Ireland – you can use the Three UK network as normal when there.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  43. Kenny said:

    Dear Ken..
    I bought a Sim Three in the UK and applied all you can eat feel like home plan.
    It works Ok in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark.
    But the Data connection doesnt work in the USA, only cellular function does work.
    Is it about my phone( which I bought from Thailand)having no LTE frequency to support the signal?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kenny,
      Thanks for your comment. It is possible that this is due to a problem with the LTE band support. Most EU countries use LTE at bands 3, 7 and 20. However, the US mobile networks tend to use bands 2, 4, 12 and 17. If your phone doesn’t support the required bands for the USA, it won’t be able to access the 4G service there.
      Ken

  44. Kishi said:

    Hi Ken,

    Is there any chances to add India in feel at home list, I can see some countries from the subcontinent
    – cheers
    Kishore

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kishi,
      Unfortunately, I don’t have any information about the countries where Feel At Home might launch in the future 🙁 I will keep this page up-to-date however, so you’ll find out here if Feel At Home ever launches in India!
      Ken

  45. Colin said:

    Hi Ken,

    A party of four of us are crossing the US this month, starting in LA and ending up in New York. This is day 6 and we are about to leave San Francisco for the Yosemite area.

    All four of us bought Three PAYG sim cards which we topped up in Heathrow airport a few hours before our flight, using the credits to buy all in one add-ons. 2 of us bought all in one 10’s, and 2 bought all-in-one 20’s

    All our phones were unlocked. Unfortunately, while we tested that the phones worked after buying the all in one packages, by each calling one another, (They did) since we have arrived in the USA none of the phones will allow us to make a voice call, either to one another or to a UK land line. Data works from time to time (and only on AT&T) but when any of us attempt to make a voice call, we get a message telling us we have no credit. When we check our allowances online, we can see our remaining credit is in line with having add-ons, but we still have no voice service. Three are not being very helpful, we are constantly being told it is a problem with our phones, the signal, 3G/4G issues, but despite us restarting our phones daily, checking T-Mobile and AT&T, setting the standard for connection to 3G, 4G, even 2G, we still cannot make a call, and we have 24 days of this trip to go, with practically no way to talk to our families, bar whatsapp and hangouts…no voice working with those effectively either as the data connection is so bad.

    Any suggestions you have would be helpful

    Cheers

    Colin

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Colin,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a concrete answer for why the calls might be failing when you’re abroad on Three. One thing worth checking (if you haven’t already): make sure there’s a +44 prefix on all of the UK-based numbers. For instance, if you’ve saved a phone number as 07555 123 456, you will need to change this to +44 7555 123 456. You can get the + symbol on your phone by long-pressing the zero button. The reason I suggest this is because the message you get suggests the number isn’t being recognised as a UK-based number (if it was, it would use your All-in-One allowances rather than the Pay As You Go credit).
      Best wishes and do let me know if you find a solution,
      Ken
      Ken

  46. Tracey Addis said:

    I think I’ve made a mistake. I bought the 1 month rolling contract sim to use in Florida in 2 weeks time. Should I have bought the payg sim? Will I be able to turn on data roaming straight away or do I have to wait 30 days.
    Maybe a trip back to the 3 shop tomorrow to cancel the contract.
    I haven’t put the sim in my phone yet x

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tracey,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s probably better to use a Pay As You Go SIM card, but a SIM only deal will also do the job (the only thing to be aware of: if you aren’t planning to keeping the SIM card afterwards, there’s a 30-day notice period before you’re able to end it). There shouldn’t be a 30-day wait any more on the SIM Only deals (you can double-check whether roaming is enabled by following the instructions on this page).
      Hope this helps and have a lovely time in Florida!
      Ken

  47. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi all,
    Just to let you know: I’ve updated the article above with the new 12GB limit on data usage in Feel At Home countries. I’ve also updated it with the new restriction of no more than 2 months exclusively abroad every year. Previously, the limits were 25GB and 3 months. I’m not quite sure when they changed the terms of the offer (the earliest reference I could find was posted sometime last month). Thanks a lot to Charbax below for the heads up about this!
    Ken

    1. lee davies replied:

      Hi Ken I’m in Tenerife which is Spanish territory, I have all you can eat everything, can I use my phone without extra charges.

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Lee,
        Indeed you can! Do note, however, there’s a fair usage policy of 3000 minutes, 5000 texts and 12GB per month for all-you-can-eat tariffs in a Feel At Home countries.
        Hope this helps,
        Ken

  48. John Thomson said:

    Ken,

    If I buy the £20 PAYG with its benefits, do i need to add anymore cash to the PAYG sim in order to use it or does the £20 up front suffice?

    Thanks,

    John

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi John,
      As long as the bundle includes everything you want, there’s no need to top up any additional money to the SIM card. In other words, I would only top up with extra money if you wanted to use more than 300 minutes or if you wanted to make a phone call to a non-UK number.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  49. Charbax said:

    Do they provide LTE speeds in all those Feel like home countries?

    Any way to find out which speeds they can support in each of these countries?

    I see that Three in Denmark also offers Feel like home, but that Three Denmark does it with different countries, they include for example Germany and Portugal https://www.3.dk/abonnementer/fordele/3likehome/ (but they seem to exclude the USA!) with a 10GB monthly limit on Feel like home countries which is a bit lower than the 12GB per month that I understand the limit is at for Three UK Feel like home (and not 25GB/month, correct?). So basically since Three Denmark is the same company as Three UK, I wonder if it might be likely that Three UK will also include those countries soon, cause not having Germany is kind of a big gap.

    1. Charbax replied:

      This user says that Three Feel like home uses only 3G speeds in the Feel like home countries, I can’t see if Three Denmark talks about speed limits for roaming countries but they say it can go down to 0.5mbit/s when roaming on a carrier that is not part of the Three corporation internationally.

      Google Project Fi says all their 120+ countries data roaming is limited at 256kbit/s, and Project Fi’s price is $10/GB but where they refund you what you don’t use at the end of the month, which is why I am wondering if Three Feel at home might be a better deal because we get 12GB for 17GBP/month (in 12 month contract) or 20GBP/month (when only subscribed to monthly).

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Charbax,
        Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, Three UK and Three Denmark are separate companies (they are however both a part of the Hutchinson Group). While there are some similarities between the two offers, you shouldn’t really assume they’re both the same thing. Great feedback on the 12GB monthly limit (this used to be 25GB/month when I first wrote the article… will update this info very shortly). With regards to checking the coverage available in each country, you can do this here on the Three website. Enter the country you’re visiting and you’re shown a map of available coverage (split by 2G and 3G). I’ve not yet found any countries with roaming on 4G so I think this is probably excluded from roaming agreements at the moment.
        With regards to the countries in the offer, I think this is normally set by the most popular destinations for people in that country. In the UK, lots of people visit the US, Spain and Italy so they’re some of the top destinations available in the offer.
        Hope this helps,
        Ken

  50. Jon said:

    Hi – I have a Three 321 SIM and am off to the US of A and have a couple of questions please based on the fact that I will buy an ‘All in One’ add-on.

    1) Although you mention “ET phone home” calls, you make no mention (or I’ve missed it) of calls made within the country you are visiting; in my case the USA. Are calls within the US charged in the same way as ones back to the UK?

    2) You also mention that tethering is not allowed and I’m cool with that but does using the SIM in a 3 dongle count as tethering?

    Many thanks for the articles and for any further clarification you can offer.

    Jon

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jon,
      Thanks for your comment.
      1) The Feel At Home offer will only include phone calls made back to the UK. If you’d like to call a US-based phone number, it’s 13.8p/minute extra (you’ll need extra credit on your SIM card to pay for these calls). As an alternative, you can use a voice-over-IP application (e.g. Google Hangouts or Skype). I believe Google Hangouts currently has free calling to US & Canadian numbers.
      2) Unfortunately, it’s not possible to use a normal Pay As You Go SIM card in a dongle. If you like, you can buy a mobile broadband SIM card (e.g. £10.49 for 1GB of data) which can be used in a dongle and also with the Feel At Home offer.
      Ken

      1. Jon replied:

        Hi Ken and thanks for getting back to me and confirming what I expected to be the case with calls to the US whilst there. Bit disappointing to discover that a dongle need a data only SIM.

        Suspect that my solution to all of this will be to top-up before I go and rely on spending less than £10s worth of 13.8p/minute calls and relying on wifi in the places that I will stay as, all in all, it seems that 3 is still the way to go and I do already have a 3 account. Anyone who calls me from the UK will only do so in an emergency as they will use WhatsApp for anything else and, of course, as long as I have a decent wifi connection, we can use the App as a telephone.

        Thanks again for the clarification – Jon

  51. John Thomson said:

    Ken,

    Silly question perhaps. If I order a couple of £20 PAYG SIMS, are they activated from day I buy or from when I first put them into my phone. Just trying to be organised & not leave everything until last minute but don’t want 30 days to run out if activated from date of purchase. Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi John,
      The 30-day bundle should start from when you first use the SIM card 🙂
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Gary Colclough replied:

        I ordered a PAYG SIM to use abroad, it said something like a discount for direct debit, will this auto renew after the 30 days or just lapse??

        Thanks

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Gary,
          Thanks for your comment. Three shouldn’t be showing a message about a Direct Debit discount – this only applies for Pay Monthly contracts. I suspect it’s a bug on their website – nothing to worry about as money won’t be taken from your bank account automatically.
          Ken

  52. Maggie said:

    Hi Ken,
    In November I’ll be travelling around Australia, and my husband will be on a short break in Lanzarote. We are both on 3, unlimited. Will we be able to FaceTime and call each other using Feel at Home? Reading 3’s website it is unclear whether it applies to UK numbers, or geographical UK!
    Cheers

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Maggie,
      Indeed, you can! For FaceTime, you’re only using the mobile internet connection on your phone. Hence, you’ll be able to FaceTime someone who’s anywhere in the world. For voice calls, you’re able to call a UK-based phone number at no extra charge. This includes calling a UK-based mobile (even if the other mobile is roaming outside the UK).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  53. Tony said:

    Ken
    Hi, am travelling from Australia to Europe end of the year (mainly UK but also France and Austria) for 2 months. I would also like to be able to call home to Australia (land line but possibly mobiles). What plan would you suggest and what will it cost me?

    Thx

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tony,
      Thanks for your comment. I recommend having a look at my article on international phone calls. There’s a section there comparing call rates from the UK to Australia. For calling landlines in Australia, it looks as if Lycamobile currently has the best deal (1p/minute when calling landlines in Australia).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Tony replied:

        Hi Ken, thanks for the reply. We probably wont call Australia (unless its an Emergency) so really more interested in something that covers for calls within UK, France, Austria and has a generous data portion BUT will also not kill us should we need to call Oz

        Regards
        Tony

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Tony,
          In that case, you’re probably best off on the Feel At Home offer from Three. For the UK, France and Austria, you’ll have an allowance of data that can be used in all three countries. Phone calls are included in your allowance to a UK-based phone number but you’ll need to pay 16.6p/minute when calling French and Austrian numbers (see the Three pages on France and Austria for more information). For calling home to Australia from the UK, it’s 3p/minute if you use the 405 dialling prefix (choose the PAYG tab for more information). When you’re in France & Austria, it’s 18.8p/minute to call an Australian number.
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

          1. Tony replied:

            Ken, would you suggest an ‘Add-On’ as well? am confused to the difference between the base package and Add-ons

            Thx
            Tony

          2. Ken Lo
            Ken replied:

            Hi Tony,
            Do apologise as I neglected to mention this in my original reply! If you’d like to use your SIM card abroad at no extra cost in France and Austria, you’ll need to buy an All-in-One add-on (e.g. you’ll get 100 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB of data for a £10 top-up). The allowances will last for up to 30 days and can be used in any Feel At Home country. With the basic 321 package, you pay 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB (however, these rates only apply when you’re in the UK). For more information, you can also see the article I’ve posted here.
            Hope this helps,
            Ken

  54. J said:

    Hi, I bought a 3 sim card in Italy, which covers most of EU countries.
    They gave me 1GB data for 30 days.
    But in the second day I came back from Italy, internet data suddenly didn’t work.
    When I checked my data used on 3 website, I found I only used 1/10 of I have.
    Is this because of traffic limit in outside of Italy? If so how can I fix it?
    and does 3 mobile UK also have traffic limitation?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi J,
      Unfortunately, 3 in Italy is a totally different network to 3 in the UK. For this reason, I really couldn’t tell you anything about the 3 service in Italy. “Feel At Home” is only available on the Three UK network.
      With regards to your final question, “Feel At Home” on Three UK allows you to use your allowances abroad at no extra charge. The only limitation I’m aware of is a 25GB/month limit when using a tariff with all-you-can-eat data.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  55. Leigh said:

    Ken when is Germany being included!!!!!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Leigh,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! Take a look at the comment here for more information. In short: all UK networks will need to offer EU roaming at no extra cost by the 15th June 2017. Unfortunately, that’s still another two years away – so fingers crossed that Three decides to add them to the offer before then.
      Ken

  56. Pete Williams said:

    OK just back from two weeks in France and Spain. It was a motorcycling holiday, so I was moving around a lot. Started in Nice, ended in Malaga.

    This service is absolutely fantastic.

    It worked perfectly everywhere, even in the remotes places. I was astounded.

    I’m an EE customer, and got really annoyed last year with there poor service when abroad and very high charges. I felt like I was being ripped off by them.

    What can I say other than: for a week in Provence, I was hiking, and the service seemed to work everywhere, even in the Verdon park on top of some of the highest peaks or remotest places. Voice quality was excellent, and data speeds were great. All of the things I wanted to use – browsing, google maps, email – worked flawlessly. It was great not having to depend on hotel wifi.

    I loved the fact I could call my office when I needed to without worrying about the cost.

    As I moved into Spain towards Malaga, it continued to perform just was well. When my satnav packed up, google maps got me to where I needed to be. My data connection was solid almost everywhere, even in the Sierra Espuna.

    I makes the offers from the other providers, particularly EE, look like a joke. EE’s service when I used (2014) it was riddled with charging and metering bugs.

    I bought the one month £25 option. I’m now considering switching from EE here in the UK, I’ve not been happy with EE for some time due to poor voice quality in London and my home in Edinburgh.

    Don’t hesitate, do it.

  57. Mo Clifton said:

    Hi Ken,
    I live in UK and spend 4 separate months in France each year. The ‘feel at home’ sim looks suitable but does it include calls and texts to French phones when I’m in France. I can’t see anything on the site which mentions this. (or am I just being dumb?)
    Thanks,

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Mo,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the Feel At Home SIM card only includes calls to a UK number. If you’re calling a number in France, it’s 16.6p/minute (you’d probably be much better off using a local SIM card for calls with France). It’s also worth being aware of the 3-month limitation (if you’re abroad in France for 4 months per year, it’s possible you may run in to this limitation).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Mo Clifton replied:

        Thanks Ken, I suspected that was the case. Do you know of any company who provides for calling and texting 07 and 06 numbers within the monthly package, otherwise I guess I need two phones as swapping sim cards all the time will drive me nuts

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Mo,
          Are you willing to possibly sign up for a Pay Monthly contract? If so, a 4GEE Extra plan will have inclusive calls & texts to a EU number (you can call and text either a UK or French mobile at no extra charge when travelling in France). The caveat is you’ll need to use your phone once in the UK every 30 days. Also, unfortunately, data roaming isn’t included (that’s £4/day if you want to add it to your plan).
          Unfortunately, it might be the case that you’re better off using two separate SIM cards (it might be worth picking up another handset like the Moto G or Moto E).
          Ken

          1. Mo Clifton replied:

            Thanks Ken. That gives me a few possibilities to choose from. It’s a minefield out there!
            Best wishes,
            Mo

  58. Ted said:

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for putting this article together…very informative. I am a Canadian traveling to London for 5 days before embarking on a cruise that leaves from Southampton, England. The ports of call include Vigo/Spain, Lisbon/Portugal, Cadiz/Spain, Gilbraltar/UK, and finally disembarking at Barcelona/Spain. We plan to stay at Barcelona for three days after our seven day cruise. All together, we will be in Europe for 15 days.

    Based on my understanding, I can pick up a Pay Go (All in One £20 Add on) SIM card and leverage the “Feel at Home” feature while we travel to all the ports except for Lisbon/Portugal. While traveling in the “feel at home” territory, the all you can eat data will be limited to 25GB outside of UK.

    This sounds like a really good deal as I was initially thinking that I will have to purchase Pay Go SIMs in each country to stay connected.

    Please confirm that I have the correct understanding as to how this “Feel at Home” work with Three’s Pay As You Go SIM plans.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ted,
      Yep – spot on! Only one small thing: Gibraltar has different phone networks from the rest of the UK so you won’t be able to use Feel At Home there. For all the ports of Spain, it should be fine to use Feel At Home there 🙂 If you wanted to use your phone in Portugal or Gibraltar, it might be worth adding a bit of extra credit to the account.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Ted replied:

        thanks Ken. Is it safe to assume that the out of bundle fees you mentioned in this article will apply to Portugal and Gibraltar? In another words, the phone would still work but not classified under the “feel at home” territory?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Ted,
          Yep – your phone should work without a problem. For out-of-bundle rates, see their pages on Portugal and Gibraltar. As I mentioned before, you’ll need to top-up your phone with extra credit to account for these charges (otherwise, you’ll simply be told there’s insufficient credit on your account).
          Hope this helps!
          Ken

          1. Ted replied:

            Thank you very much for your assistance…telecom is a very confusing topic for most and you and your article have been very helpful.

            Ted

  59. Roger said:

    Does Feel at Home include Liechtenstein (as part of Switzerland)?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Roger,
      Thanks for your question! Unfortunately, Liechtenstein isn’t a part of the Feel At Home offer. Furthermore, you won’t be able to use a Pay As You Go SIM card on the networks in that country. More information here on the Three website.
      Note: The ‘Feel at Home’ offer actually relates to the country of your roaming network operator. Hence, if you’re able to pick up a Swiss mobile network (e.g. close to the border), then you can use this as part of the Feel At Home offer.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Roger Kohn replied:

        Thanks Ken!

  60. cliff said:

    Good evening, thanks for info on using 3 sim in Spain but the link provided suggests that a sim is not available for an iphone 6. Yes or no?

    Regards

    Cliff

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Cliff,
      Thanks for your comment. The SIM card can indeed be used in an iPhone 6 – you simply need to choose the “Nano SIM” option. For more information, see my guide on mobile SIM card sizes.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  61. Ivor Smith said:

    Hi Ken,

    Do you know if Three are going to extend this to other EU countries, such as Belgium, Holland or Germany? or even further afield such as Taiwan, China or Korea all places i travel to – short week trips.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ivor,
      Following the recently announced EU regulations, Three will need to make this available to all countries in the EU by the 15th June 2017. In fact, all UK networks will need to do this as roaming charges are being scrapped through Europe. It’s possible Three will continue to add EU countries before the 2017 deadline (though nothing has yet been announced).
      For non-EU countries (e.g. China, Taiwan and Korea), roaming charges will continue to be in place even after 2017. I’m really hoping they continue to add new countries to the service but again: nothing has been announced so far.
      Ken

  62. brifoz said:

    I’ve just bought a 3 SIM + £10 top-up voucher for roaming in USA and discovered that it doesn’t work on my non-3G phone. OK, so I should have read the small print! I don’t want 3G features, just calls and texts.

    Lucky I’ve also got an iPhone, but I wanted to use that with my existing number for receiving business calls.

  63. Jay said:

    Hi
    Following your very useful advice I’ve spent a lot of time researching the Three Feel at Home PAYG £15 SIM bundle that I’m hoping to use for three weeks on my unlocked phone whilst on holiday in the USA. Thereafter I will return to using my SIM only contract with Vodafone.
    My understanding is that with the Three bundle I will be able to make calls to local US numbers up to a total value of £5. Is that correct?
    Secondly, I was a bit flummoxed when I paid for the SIM card to get a message saying the £15 included “a £5 monthly discount for paying by a recurring method such as direct debit.” I paid by credit card and am now unsure as to whether this means Three will automatically take another £15 off my credit card once my initial 30 days of use expires? As I probably won’t use the card again once I return from my holiday, I don’t want to continue paying on a monthly basis. Please advise.
    Thank you

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jay,
      Sorry for the delay in replying to your message (I was myself away on holiday for the past two weeks). In response to your questions:
      1. Unfortunately, phone calls to a US-based number are not included in the Feel At Home offer. They’ll instead cost you 13.8p/minute. This charge will paid for from your credit (so you might want to add an extra £5 or £10 credit to your SIM card). To avoid paying this, consider using something like WhatsApp or Skype (you can use this for free on your mobile data connection). If you’re calling friends & family who have a UK-based SIM card (including if the other person is using Feel At Home), this is free as it’s taken from your allowance.
      2. The £5 monthly discount actually refers to Pay Monthly SIM cards (I’m not quite sure why they’re showing this on the Pay As You Go order page – I believe it’s a bug in the system). They shouldn’t be taking any more money from your credit card later on.
      Ken

      1. Jay replied:

        Thank you for this Ken. I’m totally appreciate you taking the time to respond. I’m pleased to know the message I received about the £5 monthly discount is probably a glitch in the system. I’ve definitely got a Pay As You Go sim, which I’m hoping to use to keep in touch with others who are travelling with me and with family back in the UK.

        Appreciate the tip about Skype and What’s App. I use these all the time so will just need to check if my American friends have them too!

        BTW: great blog!

  64. Katie said:

    Great article, and thanks for taking the time to respond to comments! I’ve learned so much!

    I live in the US and bought a Pay as you go SIM for my trip to the UK in October. I plan to get an all in one plan right before I leave (I heard the £15 is going up to £20?).

    My hope is to be able to use the same SIM for future trips to the UK (who knows when those will be). But I know I have to use it at least every six months to keep it active, and not more than 3 months exclusively abroad. My question is, can I leave it sitting in a drawer most months and be fine, even though I’m not using it in the UK?

    Maybe an example would be less confusing. I use the SIM in October, partly US, partly UK. I take it out of my phone before November. I use the SIM only in the US in April to keep it active. I also use the SIM only in the US the next October. Could I keep going like this, only using the SIM two months out of the year and exclusively abroad? Or does it need to be used in the UK at some point ten months every year? Thanks!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Katie,
      Thanks for your comment! (sorry, I was away on holiday for the past two weeks). You’re right: unfortunately, the All in One bundle has now gone up in price to £20 for 30 days usage. The £10 bundle is still priced as before so could be a better value option depending on how much data you actually require.
      Great research with regards to the inactivity period! You’re right: the SIM card will need to be used at least once every 180 days. As a separate requirement, the Feel At Home offer dictates that you can’t use the SIM card exclusively abroad in a Feel At Home country for more than 3 months in a year. If you’re leaving the phone in a drawer and not using it for the whole month, I don’t believe this will count towards your limit.
      With regards to the example you’ve given, I think this should probably be OK in keeping your SIM card active. The only thing also worth mentioning is you’ll need a All in One bundle to use the Feel At Home offer. Hence, you’ll need to buy a £10 bundle in April and October. Alternatively, if the bundles won’t actually be useful, you could just go with normal Pay As You Go credit outside of Feel At Home. That way, you add some credit to your account (e.g. £5 without any bundles). You would then send a text message every 6 months to keep the SIM card active (from the US, it’ll be 4.3p/message to a UK or US number).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  65. Lillian said:

    Hello, I live in Canada and will be travelling to the UK and on to Paris. I have had my Samsung unlocked so I may purchase SIM cards abroad. I am not clear whether I am able to use the Pay As You Go plans you describe, or are they only available to UK residents travelling abroad? Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lillian,
      Anyone is able to pick up a Pay As You Go SIM card in the UK (there’s no need to actually be a UK resident). So yes: you can definitely use the Pay As You Go plans listed here. This includes the Pay As You Go SIM card from Three & the ‘Feel At Home’ offer when travelling in France.
      Ken

      1. Lillian replied:

        Thanks for the information. I’ve noticed that some of the sites will send a SIM card to you. We don’t have time for that now before we leave. Does Three have retail outlets where they may be purchased?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Lillian,
          They do indeed – you can see their store locator here! You can also buy a Three SIM card at most supermarkets.
          Ken

          1. Lillian replied:

            Thank you for your help!

  66. J Bean said:

    I have just bought a payg sim and the feel at home all you can eat data/500mins and texts, I plan to use it in my phone before I go (in the Channel Islands) is this classed as the UK or France or not included as there is no mention. Also when we go to France (within the 30days) as I cannot use my phone for tethering can I put the sim in my iPad to use the data allowance? Thanks for your help.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi there,
      Thanks for your question! Unfortunately, the Channel Islands is treated as a separate country (it’s neither the UK or France). For this reason, you need to pay EU roaming rates when using your handset in Jersey. This is 13.8p/minute to make an outgoing phone call, 3.6p/minute to receive an incoming call, 4.3p to send a text message and 14.5p/MB when browsing the internet. There’s more information here on the Three website. If you choose to use the SIM card in Jersey, you’ll need to top up extra money alongside the All-in-One bundle.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  67. Martyn said:

    For Three subscribers on holiday in the USA wishing to call a USA/Canada mobile or landline, this can be done completely free of chage using the Google hangouts dialler app.

    Simply connect to a data connection via mobile data or a Wifi access point and dial away for free.

    From Google info:

    Almost all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. A few U.S. and Canadian destinations will cost USD 1 cent per minute depending on the specific phone number. The 1-cent rate may vary depending on the local currency. You can look up the cost through the calling credit page for your Google Account. You also can make calls to destinations outside of the U.S. and Canada with low international rates.

    See: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/6079055?hl=en

  68. Geraldine said:

    I am unsure where my comment (4th Aug) has gone too, but I will try again.

    I am currently a 02 customer and interested in transferring to the 3 package for my hols in oz in September. Following my return can I return to my 02 network (without cost) followign my return as 3 network is very weak in the area I live

    I would appreciate a reply for this

    Many thanks Geraldine

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Geraldine,
      Sorry about your previous comment: I’m also a little unsure about where it has gone to!
      With regards to your question, it would be possible for you to do this. Essentially, you need to use a PAC Code twice: once to move your number to Three and then once again to move your number back to O2. Despite it being possible to do this, I would probably recommend against do so. Your old account on O2 will be closed (there might be a fee for ending your contract early or you may lose unused Pay As You Go credit).
      A better thing to do would probably be to just keep the Three SIM card on a temporary number. If you want to continue receiving calls on your O2 number, you can always set up a call divert to the new number.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Geraldine replied:

        Hi Ken

        Many thanks for the reply and it is very informative. In regards to retaining my 02 number and setting up the divert from my current mobile number to a 3 sim card – does this divert/transfer also apply when receiving texts/

        Regards
        Geraldine

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Geraldine,
          Unfortunately, the diversion only applies to incoming phone calls (text messages will not be forwarded). You can, however, stick the O2 SIM card back in your phone to receive the text messages abroad at no charge (just make sure you put the Three SIM card back in before replying to the message to avoid the extra charges).
          Ken

          1. Darren replied:

            If you are on O2 check out the TuGo app (not sure if it works on PAYG) but this should allow you to send/receive texts and make calls using your O2 number when abroad using a three SIM. You will probably need to be on Wifi though to make a decent quality call using the app.

  69. Kellie said:

    I am travelling to the Dominican Republic soon and wondered if this is included as US? Also can I purchase a data only Sim on PAYG that includes the Feel at Home, and use it in my MiFi device? Advise appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kellie,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the Dominican Republic is not included in the Feel At Home offer. The roaming charges when using your phone there are £2/minute, 35p/text and £6/MB. You’ll also pay £1.25/minute when receiving a phone call. For more information, see this page on Three’s website.
      Ken

      1. Kellie replied:

        Hi Ken, thanks for your reply. However I did check on Threes website and entered the Dominican Tepublic into the search bar to see if it was covered by their Feel at Home programme and it said that the Dominican Republic was covered Ms their art we there was Orange. Can you verify this please? thank you.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Kellie,
          As the information on this page shows, I don’t believe the Dominican Republic is included. Could I kindly ask where you saw the information about it being included in the Feel At Home offer? I suspect a quick phone call to Three Customer Services (call 333) should clarify this once and for all 🙂
          Ken

  70. Russell said:

    Hi Ken,
    I’ve just received my sim PAYG with Feel at Home 15 bundle. I intend to use it when I go to Rome on August 9 for 2 weeks.
    Excuse my ignorance, but should I register and start to use it a few days before I leave the UK in order to benefit from the 30 day allowance? Or can I register it now but be assured that the 30 day clock starts ticking from the moment I first make use of it?
    Yours confusedly,
    Russell

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Russell,
      Thanks for your comment. The All-in-One bundle will last 30 days from the activation of your SIM card. For this reason, if you’d like it to cover the duration of your trip you should probably wait to activate it sometime in August.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  71. David M said:

    Hi, sorry for the stupid question, as you seem to have answered this before, but you mention that to call a local number in USA on the three sim, 3 would charge, where is that charge taken from if not your allowance, reason I ask is I have just bought a PAYG sim with cash, so no way of charge being deducted from a card or account

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi David,
      Not at all – there’s no such thing as a silly question! On the Pay As You Go SIM card from Three, out-of-bundle usage is taken from your Pay As You Go balance. In your case, when making a US-to-US call, it’ll cost you 13.8p/minute. If you actually want to call US phone numbers, you should put extra credit on to your SIM card. For instance, you could top-up £15 (£10 for the All-in-One bundle with £5 remaining on your balance for out-of-allowance calls).
      As a further cost-saving measure, consider using voice-over-IP apps such as Skype. They’ll normally charge you only about 1p/minute to call a US number.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  72. Darren said:

    Hi Ken,

    I am going to the USA shortly and I am looking to purchase a data only Three sim. If I do this can I put it in my iPad and use my iPad as a hotspot? I know this is tethering, however isnt it just the same as putting your data sim in a Mifi.

    If the above is not possible, will most MiFi’s work in the USA if I buy one off eBay?

    Thanks,

    Darren

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Darren,
      Thanks for your comment. According to the information on Three’s website, you can use a mobile broadband SIM card in Feel At Home countries (e.g. the USA). My interpretation, therefore, is it shouldn’t be a problem using your iPad over in the USA.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Darren replied:

        Hi Ken,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Will I be able to tether other devises to my ipad though, such as my phone, laptop etc?

        Will three allow this, this will save me the expense of purchasing a MiFi.

        Thanks

        Darren

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Darren,
          My understanding is you won’t be able to tether the data onto other devices (e.g. a laptop). This is because the data is only for use on the device where you actually have the SIM card. With regards to MiFi usage, it might be worth clarifying the policy directly with Three (unfortunately, I’m not quite sure how “tethering” is defined when it comes to MiFi).
          Ken

  73. Peter Pedal said:

    “Three has also added that streaming and accessing VPNs may be slower than if you were in the UK. The speed limitation is unlikely to affect users under normal day-to-day smartphone usage (e.g. web browsing, e-mail, messaging and apps). However, if you’re watching videos online or attempting to access a secure corporate network, you may notice the effect of the speed reductions.”

    This statement is absurd and a direct lie.
    Streaming is so slow that it is completely utterly non-functional. As in wait 15 minutes and you get 4 seconds of audio until it buffers again. Video will load 15 minutes and you only get the first still frame. No, I’m not exaggerating.

    No, spotify, no radio, no youtube, no streaming what so ever.
    No VPN (also functionally disabled, although not blocked so they can propagate the marketing lie that service MIGHT be ‘a bit slower than UK’ at round 1 kbps)

    iOS App store extremely slow, download 10mb app (tiny app), wait 20 minutes.
    You quickly want to load an app to check the metro lines in France? yup, go get a coffee and wait and wait and wait and you might get it downloaded.

    Web sites sometimes load, sometimes don’t. In general are decent.

    SpeedTests.app is also a scam with clear priotitized traffic for the ‘speed test’.
    It’s not a speed test, it’s a marketing tool that has no bearing in reality for an end users experience. Speed test will show 9 Mbps looking great, but use it and it’ll take you 1 minute to send an imessage. Or try to load your my3 page to check your available minutes and it will literally take +3 minutes and multiple ‘page failed to load’ because of time-outs.

    I tried all 4 supported roaming partners, service is identically poor from all 4. All traffic is tunnelled back to UK where Three clearly is crippling the roaming service.
    This is from central Paris. If you look you’ll find users reporting the same all over Europe.
    Pity no-one actually reports on ACTUAL USAGE experiences but I guess it’s easier to blog an Echo of the marketing lies. Oh well.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve occasionally heard this from some other people too, though we tried it recently in Italy and in Spain and the service worked without any problems (it was fast enough even for making voice-over-IP calls, though I didn’t try streaming videos from YouTube). It would definitely be good to get some more clarity from Three (expected speeds when travelling abroad and whether there are any known situations that can cause your connection to be throttled.
      Ken

    2. Sam Harrington replied:

      Having the exact same problem I am currently in Italy but in April when I was in Spain for a week I was getting 7mb/s on speedtest.net app and I could actually watch videos in 1080p, now that I’m in Italy unfortunately I am getting 5kb/s actual speed. I also seem to have found sorta a work around, simply go to the three website on your phone start watching the makeitright video (which plays perfectly even though it’s on YouTube) then just stop the video and go back to YouTube on the web browser and you can watch YouTube videos fine for the next 10 mins or so. At first I was very pleased with FAH service from three but the piss take speeds of Max download 10kb/s is just bs and should not be classed as usable internet.

  74. Maggie said:

    Hi there,
    Hope you are doing good!
    My “pay as you go” will expire on Jul 4, and I will go to Italy on Jul 1, besides upgrading” pay as you go” to “Feel at home all in one 15 bundle”, can my card extend more days?
    And I also like to confirm if I can share the hotspot of “feel at home” with my other devices in Italy?
    Thank you for your help in advance.
    Have a good day.

    Cheers,
    Maggie

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Maggie,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I believe it’s only possible to buy an add-on that lasts for 30 days. For this reason, you’ll need to buy another All In One bundle to last you for the final three days. As an alternative, you could pay the out-of-bundle rates (they might be marginally cheaper if you’re only using it for 3 days and if you’re a fairly light user).
      With regards to tethering/personal wi-fi hotspot, unfortunately this isn’t allowed on the Feel At Home service.
      Sorry!
      Ken

  75. PaulV said:

    Hello Ken

    We have a team of people travelling to America once a year, usually for approx 3 weeks at a time.

    Sounds like the PAYG Three “Feel At Home” scheme would be perfect!

    Do you know if I am able to delay activation of the tariff? Eg order early, then activate 3 days before the trip?

    Also, once the initial 30 days coverage has expired, can the card lay “empty” for several months, and then be reactivated for journeys to other countries? Is it just a simple “top up” before you go?

    Thanks!
    Paul.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment 🙂 As far as I understand, if you order your SIM card from Three’s website, it only activates when you first use the SIM card (this is always how it has worked for me in the past). Hence, you just need to activate the SIM card before you actually want to use it.
      Once your 30-day bundle has expired, the SIM card itself continues to stay active. The only condition is you need to use the SIM card at least once every 6 months. When you want to use the SIM card again, simply top it back up and buy another All in One bundle.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  76. Cameron Jones said:

    Wow, I just found this service and yours was the first third party review of it I have found. What an amazing deal…. I am traveling to the UK, then to Sweden and Norway for 10 days afterward, so it seems that 3 has found a customer in me. My only question is this – it is not clear whether mobile broadband is covered. On the 3 site, it does say that mobile broadband SIM plans are OK with this plan, but then I see elsewhere that tethering is not allowed. So I am hoping for confirmation that if I buy, say, the 25 gbp 7 GB mobile broadband plan for my mobile hotspot, I will be able to continue to use that hotspot when I am in Sweden without any changes. Can you (or anyone) confirm that is the case? Thanks! Worst case scenario, I can just use my cell phone, but then my girlfriend would feel very left out of the fun 🙂 Thanks for the writeup and any help!

    1. Cameron Jones replied:

      I read through the rest of your comments below and it appears that this question has already been answered in the affirmative. No need to answer again unless I’m missing something. Thanks for a great write-up!

  77. Colin said:

    Hi

    I’m going to the U.S. later in life he year for a month. Wife and I will both have iPhone 5s on ee just for wifi and Skype use, but we need to be able to take incoming UK calls and texts. I will also have a spare iPhone 4 on the 3 “feel at home”, and some sort of throwaway Verizon package from Walmart when we arrive to actually be in contact (some British mobiles don’t work at all over vast swathes of the western U.S.)

    If I set up call forwarding on the iPhones from the ee numbers to the 3 number before I leave home, and the phones are ALL later located within the U.S. will we be charged international rates? Or should I set the forwarding up in advance direct with ee? Then in theory it should happen “at the exchange”. Or have I got that wrong! Or should I leave both ee phones on airplane mode (with a prerecorded message to call the other 3 number) until we get home?!

    Thanks

    Colin

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Colin,
      Thanks for your comment. With call forwarding, EE has to “look” for your handset at the last known location or network. For this reason, if your handset connects to the network in the US, you’ll be charged the international calling rates. Worst of all, this also happens when using voicemail (which is why I normally recommend turning off voicemail when going abroad). If your EE phone never connects to the network in the US, it should be fine as you’ll only be charged the normal rates for UK call forwarding. You should double-check to see how much this costs on your plan (it’s not always free when using EE).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Colin replied:

        Thanks Ken.

        Voicemail off and “Aircraft Mode” on both ee phones from check in at Heathrow for the duration of the trip it is then!

        Subsidiary question, should I set the call forwards up with ee first rather than just doing it on the iphone? It looks obvious that I’ll need to do it that way, as if the call ever has to go through the ee phone to be diverted it’ll need to be connected so I’ll be billed, but I thought I’d check.

        I think the forwarded calls to the 3 mobile will come out of my ee monthly minutes, which shouldn’t be an issue.

        Thanks again

        Colin

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Colin,
          Thanks for your comment. This is probably something you should check directly with EE – I’m not sure exactly how phone calls are diverted. My understanding is that call divert should always happen at the network level (otherwise, it wouldn’t know what to do when your phone is turned off or in flight mode). I believe the call divert menus are simply plugged in to EE’s network (it probably does something clever like sending a text message to set it up on the network).
          Ken

  78. Alan said:

    Hi Ken
    My wife and I will be travelling to the UK, France and Italy later this year.
    If we purchase two PAYG ‘feel at home’ sim cards will we be able to call and TXT each other without cost when in France and Italy or will these be charged calls and TXTs?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment. With Feel At Home, you can call and text each other using the allowances on your All in One bundle. On the £10 bundle, there’s 100 minutes and 3000 texts. Meanwhile, the £15 bundle has 300 minutes and 3000 texts. Providing you stay within these allowances, calls and texts to each other will be free.
      Ken

  79. mando said:

    my son is going to Spain for 1 month and is currently on and tied into a EE contract … how can I benefit from buying a three sim for him … (as I pay his bill on EE I don’t want no stupid bills )

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Mando,
      Thanks for your comment. The first step is he’ll need to unlock his handset from EE: this typically costs £8.99. After unlocking, it’ll be possible to use the handset on other networks (e.g. with a Spanish SIM card or with a SIM card from Three). For more information, see my articles on unlocking an iPhone or unlocking a Samsung Galaxy handset.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  80. Peter Scargill said:

    How badly has the market economy failed us if this is the best we can do. Sharing phone data is very important to many of us who carry laptops or tablets for work and play and yet as soon as you move out of the UK, tethering is banned. This is attrocious – it is 2015 for heavens sake not the turn of the 20th century.

    We need some REAL competition for these sharks.

  81. Julie said:

    Hi Kenu
    Lots of great info here. Before Vodafone bought/merged with Three in Australia, we always used Three Like Home when we visited Italy. This appears to be on the same lines.

    I will be heading to Europe and the States from Australia in August for 3 months. We have a business in Italy and I have a local Sim card for our 40 day stay. Prior to arriving in Italy, we will be spending 4 days in transit in France. After leaving Italy, we will be in Austria for about 5 days, 5 days in Germany, back to France for a couple days and then doing a Rhine river cruise for 7 days in Germany, back to France 3 days and then down to Spain for 3 days.
    We then do a cruise from Spain to Florida – after which we will drive across to Dallas before flying back to Australia via HK.

    Sorry to lay out my whole itinerary. I am trying to figure out if I bought a Three Prepaid Sim via an Australian online merchant can I use it for my whole trip without being cut off. Would texting in Germany on our two visits plus from the ship be enough? Should I buy two Sims?

    Also if I buy a mobile data Sim, can I use it in my iphone 5S to run as a mobile hotspot?

    Thanks in advance for wading through this complicated itinerary and the issues it throws up.

    J

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your comment. You should indeed be able to use your SIM card in those countries without being cut off. Using your phone in a non-Feel At Home country (e.g. Germany) means that month won’t count towards your limit of 3 months. Anyhow, given you have a brand new SIM card, it shouldn’t affect you for the duration of your trip. When topping up your SIM card, you’ll need to add extra credit to cover the usage in non-Feel At Home countries.
      With regards to your question about mobile hotspot, unfortunately this isn’t possible when using Feel At Home. You can use one of Three’s mobile broadband SIM cards abroad with Feel At Home but this would obviously entail getting an extra device in which to use that SIM card.
      Ken

  82. Callum said:

    Hi Ken

    I am going on holiday to Tenerife at the end of next week and was considering using the Three feel at home whilst I am there.

    I am currently in-between contracts and was going to sign on a sim only deal with Vodafone. I am currently with EE and also wanted to keep my phone number.

    However I also wanted to take my phone number over to three when I use the feel at home, which I was going too buy a PAYG sim card for one month to use on the trip.

    What I would like to know is whether I would be able to move my number over to three and then Vodafone one month later, or is there a limit on the number of times I could move my number between providers?

    Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks

    Callum

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Callum,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s no limit on how many times or how often you can move your phone number. So it’s perfectly possible to transfer your phone number from Vodafone to Three, then from Three to EE. In reality, I would consider about the extra hassle involved (e.g. you’ll need to call up both Vodafone and Three when getting the PAC Codes to leave their network). If it sounds like it could be too much work, you can set up a call divert from Vodafone to Three which will allow you to receive incoming phone calls abroad. For more information about transferring a phone number, you can read the article I’ve written here.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Callum replied:

        Hi Ken

        Thanks for your advice, got myself a PAYG sim with the £15 add-on and am leaving tomorrow.

        I have two more questions if you don’t mind.

        1. Does it cost my friends and family in the UK extra to call or text me?
        2. Are there any extra steps I have to take to allow my sim to work in Tenerife

        Thank you

        Callum

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Callum,
          Thanks for your comment. To answer your questions:
          1. Nope, they’ll only pay their normal rates for calling a UK mobile number.
          2. Nope, a Pay As You Go SIM card from Three should work immediately and automatically in Spain. I’d double-check the SIM card works whilst you’re still in the UK (just to be sure your handset is unlocked and that it’ll accept the SIM card from Three).
          Have a lovely trip!
          Ken

  83. Alex said:

    I’m based in the USA and will be traveling to the UK later this month. I ordered a Three Pay as you Go SIM on eBay and will be installing it in my unlocked iPhone 6 Plus. Do you know if I will be able to activate the SIM while in the US the morning before my trip? Will I be able to simply dial 444 or do I need the longer +44 number that ends in 444?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether this is possible (I’ve never tried activating the SIM card abroad). Do please let me know how you get on (would be interesting to know this as lots of people have asked!). With regards to the 444 top-up line, there’s no need to add a prefix to this number (it’s always just 444 wherever you are).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  84. Arc said:

    The network speed when using Feel At Home in the USA is actually very poor. The connection ranges from 100 or 200k download (most of the time) to a 1 meg if you’re lucky (when roaming on T-Mobile). Swap to a local T-Mobile SIM in the exact same location and you can get 10 to 12meg most of the time. I can repeat this test over and over again, so be warned, if you *NEED* a decent connection for using maps etc, don’t rely on Three Feel at Home.

  85. Annie said:

    Hi Ken

    I’m confused about the Feel at Home offer. If I’m traveling to one of the countries covered by the deal will I be able to use my UK allowance to call local numbers in the country I’m visiting, or just UK numbers?

    Annie

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Annie,
      You’ll only be able to use your allowances to call a number in the UK. To call the local country, a small charge applies (starts from 15.6p/minute but it varies depending on the country). With regards to receiving incoming phone calls, this is free and can either be from the UK or the local country. For more information, please see the section on out of bundle charges.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  86. Alan Richey said:

    Hi Ken

    You are probably sick of hearing this, but I also have now joined the ‘blocked’ club because I spent more than 3 months in the last year out of the UK (4 separate trips to the USA). As you have said, common sense tells us that Three should simply remove you off the Feel At Home tariff and transfer you to a ‘normal’ roaming tariff rather than blocking you completely. I was actually blocked while crossing the Arizona desert so if I had a problem or my family needed to contact me in an emergency we would have been in real trouble.

    I assume Three understand this problem they have caused, but have you heard any explanation from them as to why they can’t just switch us onto a normal roaming tariff if we exceed the limit ? Is it a technical limitation or just a lack of flexibility on their part ?

    Regards

    Al

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alan,
      Sorry to hear that you were cut off whilst in the Arizona Desert. It is a real problem that Three should think about again (as you say, common sense will suggest they should just charge you for what you use abroad rather than cutting off your service entirely). I don’t know whether this is a technical limitation or simply a badly-thought out rule from the team at Three. I’d suggest following this up directly with Three by making a written complaint (they should hopefully give you a proper explanation). If you do learn anything interesting, do please get in touch and let me know – I’d also be really curious to find out the reasons.
      Best regards,
      Ken

      1. Alan Richey replied:

        Hi Ken

        I did follow your advice and a few weeks ago I submitted the complaint. The result – absolutely nothing, totally ignored. Can’t say I’m very surprised though.

        Al

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Alan,
          Sorry to hear this. Three are normally fairly good in responding to complaints so I’m a little bit surprised they’re yet to respond. I do apologise: there’s not much else I’m able to suggest in finding out Three’s explanation for the policy.
          Ken

  87. Jd said:

    Hi
    I am using a pay as you go SIM as I’m abroad in Italy. I am not able to use youtube or any video from any other site. Even when I try to download apps from the appstore it didn’t work. Can you plz tell what’s the problem – is it a network problem or other? I’m using iphone 6 plus
    Thanx

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jd,
      Thanks for your comment. What kind of coverage are you getting when using your phone over in Italy? Is it 2G or 3G coverage? There are multiple reasons why this might be happening: the coverage might be too slow to support video or it could be another issue with network connectivity. It’s possible there might also be some throttling on Feel At Home service (according to Three, the service is often slower when abroad but they claim this is due to the local network operator).
      Ken

  88. Ian said:

    A very useful article.

    Do you know if this Feel at Home offer can be used with one of 3’s data-only SIMs for a Mifi?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ian,
      Thanks for your comment. The Feel At Home offer can indeed be used with mobile broadband SIM cards. For more information, see the “Mobile roaming with Feel At Home is available for all Three customers” heading on this page. As usual, you’ll need to make sure you have a mobile broadband SIM card – you can’t use a normal smartphone SIM card in a MiFi device.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Ian replied:

        Thanks Ken. Here’s a really dumb follow-up question. What do you do to buy a mobile data-only SIM (for MiFi) and then add the Feel At Home bundle?

        PS: Just to be clear… if I get a PAYG data-only sim for my 3 MiFi.. what if anything else do I need to do to use this France and Spain?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Ian,
          You can get a mobile broadband SIM card from Three via this link. If you need a USB dongle or MiFi, you can get it via this link instead.
          The data allowance on your mobile broadband SIM card can be used abroad in Feel At home countries (no need to buy a special bundle for the Feel At Home service).
          Hope this helps,
          Ken

  89. Vicki said:

    Hi,

    I an currently residing in France. I renewed a contract with three in January 2015 – at the time I mentioned to the sales person that I live in France for much of the year but he didn’t mention any limit at feel at home. I am now in a position where the feel at home allowance has nearly run out making my phone useless but me tied into a 24 month contract an I am in France now until November! I have contacted three but they have said there is nothing I can do. Feel pretty annoyed as they were quick to sell me the contract but mentioned nothing about this when I said I lived in France. Can you usually reduce your contract to change the package (£48 a month)? So at least it makes the hit a little less bearable?

    Many Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Vicki,
      Sorry to hear about the situation. My recommendation is make an official complaint in writing to Three: this will escalate your issue and will hopefully make it easier for the contract to be reviewed. As the salesperson didn’t mention the 3 month limit, I believe you’d have a fairly strong case in getting this reviewed.
      Best of luck,
      Ken

  90. Helen said:

    Hi, I’m from Australia but will be able to purchase PAYG ‘feel at home’ sim cards before we leave for Italy, France, Spain. My partner and I will both have these SIM cards – when we are calling each other (e.g. Rome) do we use the +44 prefix and then our phone number (excluding 0) or do we use the international code of the country (e.g. Italy) we are calling from? As we are not UK residents we will be unable to buy add on or additional allowances so will be reliant on just the credit received for the month. Thank you for a very good informative site.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Helen,
      Thanks for your comment. With the Feel At Home SIM card, you’ll receive a phone number that’s based in the UK. Hence, you should always call it with a +44 prefix (i.e. +44 7123 456 789). The +44 prefix relates to a UK-based phone number (it doesn’t mean the phone is actually located physically in the UK!)
      Hope this helps and have a lovely trip to Italy, France and Spain!
      Ken

  91. martin a said:

    I have recently received a text telling me my phone will be blocked for overseas use even though I was invariably unable to use the network in France, and returned home within the 3 month limit.

    I am especially put out I am just got this notification even though I have not been out of the UK in the last six months, but will be very shortly overseas with a disabled child when the ability to make/take calls is essential.

    whilst I can understand someone taking excessive advantage of your offer should be first warned, and then blocked is understandable, to block someone at very short notice who has not made more than a couple of calls is not fair.

    To completely block a phone without the chance to pay higher rate seems something the regulator needs to be made aware of

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Martin,
      I’m totally agreed that this is unacceptable. Rather than blocking your use of the network when abroad, Three should simply go back to charging international roaming rates (this would be 18.8p/minute, 5.9p/text and 19.8p/MB). I understand why they have the three-month policy (to stop people living abroad from taking advantage of the offer) but there really needs to be an alternative for UK residents who are inadvertently caught out.
      One way you can get around this is by ordering a separate Pay As You Go SIM card from Three (the new SIM card will start from zero months). However, the new SIM card will have a different phone number so may cause confusion for people who try to call you.
      Ken

      1. martin a replied:

        I have since had a few conversations with the sympathetic, but unmoving, complaints team at 3 so will be getting a different SIM to transfer my number to from another network provider

        seems a dumb policy to me as I have not abused the so called cheap calls, and was prepared to pay to stay with them, surely they have the technology to isolate real misuse and to issue warning one could respond to?

        I feel this goes against the spirit of EU regulations, so once I have written response I will peruse this with OFCOM.

        thanks for your support and the service you provide

        martin

        1. Michael replied:

          Same here – had my roaming cancelled in the middle of a trip – no chance of getting my number active again. It’s probably not easy for a complaints team to explain rules that don’t make sense at all. If I had been travelling to other countries than feel at home – everything would still be working – but bad luck had my destination on the list – so my number becomes useless.
          How sad is this policy if you can’t revert to paying for a service you desperately need and are practically forced to look for a new service provider.

          Michael

  92. Giuseppe said:

    Hi Ken, for several months, this year, I’ve been in Italy for work. I received this text:

    Hello. Feel At Home is for UK customers going abroad for short trips. As you have used Feel At Home exclusively for or 3 months in the last 12 we will be turning your roaming services off within the next week. You won’t be able to use your device abroad but you will in the UK.

    I understood the problems, but how I woud sort it out?
    Please, help me, because I need this number (everyone I know in UK has this contact) and I can be in UK only in the end of May.
    Thanks so much and congratulation for your useful tips.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Giuseppe,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, one negative side effect of the Feel At Home offer is the new restriction which stops you from exclusively using the phone abroad for more than 3 months per year. The rule is designed to stop customers from using their UK SIM card abroad for long periods (as your usage abroad will incur charges to Three UK). I believe Three’s response is that you should be using a different SIM card when abroad for long periods (e.g. like when you’re living or working in another country).
      It’s probably worth giving Three Customer Services a quick call to discuss your situation (you can reach them on 333). Unfortunately, however, unless they’re willing to re-instate roaming services to your account there’s probably very little you’re able to do. The only thing I’m able to think of is to physically visit a non-Feel At Home country once every month (this is probably only possible if you live close to the Swiss/Liechtenstein/Slovenian borders or if you’re willing to fly back to the UK!). Alternatively, you can leave a message on your UK voicemail informing people about your number in Italy.
      Sorry I wasn’t able to be more helpful!
      Ken

  93. Markus said:

    I’ve just arrived in Austria with my new iphone6… Using 3’s Feel at Home… Or rather trying to. No network whatsoever 🙁
    Do I need to activate something?
    Markus

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Markus,
      Make sure your phone is set to choose a network automatically. If you’re using an Android-based handset, go to Settings > More networks > Mobile networks > Network operators > Select a network automatically. This ensures your phone is able to find a roaming partner network when abroad.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  94. yossi said:

    Hello Ken ,

    I have 3 sim card that I purchased in Scotland (I traveled to Scotland last year and used pay as you go deal ).
    I ‘ll travel to Vienna/Austria in Apr 2015 for one week .
    Can I use the 3 sim card in Austria , and what is the best deal for me to use in Austria .
    Thanks
    Yossi

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Yossi,
      Thanks for your comment. You can indeed use the Three UK SIM card when travelling to Austria later this year. To do so as part of the Feel At Home offer, you’ll need to buy an All in One bundle (this means you’ll need to have £10 or more remaining on the SIM card). Also, do be aware that Three SIM cards can expire after six months of inactivity.
      If you aren’t able to use your Three UK SIM card, you can also buy a SIM card locally in Austria.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  95. Richard Bird said:

    Hi Ken.

    My family and I will be going to Orlando at the end of next month, and I too decided to get a PAYG SIM from Three to make use of either their £10 or £15 add on. Obviously once abroad it allows roaming using the add in’s inclusive minutes to ring back to the UK, but does the inclusive minutes allow for ‘local’ calls from my phone to my family’s mobiles whilst they are in Orlando with me?

    An example would be for us to split up in one of the parks and for me to be able to call them to see where they are at some point in the day for us all to get back together again (their phones would be on their normal UK tariffs and NOT with Three).

    The other alternative would be to use the park’s free wifi to keep in touch using Skype or Facebook Messenger for example, but I hear that a lot of the park rides won’t allow you to take phones on them and that they have to be put in lockers which you also pay for.

    Any help and advise would ge greatly appreciated.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Richard,
      Thanks for your comment. With ‘Feel At Home’, the important thing is where the number is based rather than where the SIM card is physically located. Hence, you’re able to call & text UK-based phone numbers at no extra charge. If your family is using UK-based SIM cards whilst in the US, it’ll be totally free of charge for you to call them or text them.
      Note, however, whilst it’s free for you to make them a phone call, they’ll probably be charged for receiving the incoming phone call (other networks charge up to £1.20/minute for receiving a call in the US). So whilst it’s free for you to make the outgoing phone call, it probably isn’t free for them to actually answer the call. You can get around this either by texting your family (it’s always free to receive an incoming text message) or by getting your family to also use a Feel At Home SIM card.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Richard Bird replied:

        Thanks Ken for the info. Think I’ll get another PAYG SIM for the wife and we can text each in the parks.

  96. Vincent said:

    Hi,

    I am a three customer paying monthly for the all-you-can-data plan from September 2014. Do I qualify for the Three Feel At Home Plan in Rome (Italy)? I am going to Rome tomorrow, But I don’t know if it charges me any if I turn on ‘roaming’ on my iPhone 5s to access internet, phone or text back to UK.

    Best wishes,
    Vincent

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Vincent,
      Thanks for your comment. You’ll be glad to know that your plan does indeed have the Feel At Home offer (the offer is available to any customer on Three who has an allowance included on their plan). Have a really lovely trip over to Rome (I was there only a couple of months ago… Be sure to try out all of the wonderful ice creams ;-)).
      Best wishes,
      Ken

  97. sara said:

    Hi, I have a three allowance on my Lg P760 phone that perfectly works in the UK. I’m currently on holiday in Italy and even if my international roaming has been activated my sim card has no signal whatsoever (only emergency calls). It is like my phone cannot connect to any italian providers, it’s strange because Italy is a feel at home destination..

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Sara,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you tried the setting which forces your phone to search for networks automatically? On an LG Android device such as yours, you can find this option through Settings > More… > Mobile Networks > Network Operators > Select Automatically. The phone will then try connecting to all available networks from which it has a signal (hopefully, one of those networks will be 3 Italia or Wind – both of which have a Feel At Home roaming agreement with Three).
      Ken

  98. David said:

    Hi. Thanks for the information. Some clarification on the three month rule please. Are these calendar months eg May June etc and is the twelve month period your contract year or again calendar year? If suspended are you reinstated in the next year. We spend a lot of time outside the UK and use Feel at Home at various locations but usage both calls and internet is very light.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. My personal understanding is it’s based on a 12-month trailing period rather than a contract year or calendar year. Here’s the relevant section from Three’s website:
      “If you only use your plan in a Feel At Home destination for a complete month, and this happens three times within a year, we may have to suspend international roaming on your account, which would mean you wouldn’t be able to use your phone or device abroad anymore.”
      If you think this policy might affect you, it’s probably worth clarifying with Three Customer Services.
      Ken

  99. Jules said:

    Hi Ken will be going to Rotterdam, would this be classed as France to use feel at home thanks.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jules,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe Rotterdam is in the Netherlands so unfortunately would not be included in the Feel At Home offer. If you’re travelling to a European country which isn’t part of the Feel At Home offer, I recommend having a look at the article here (it highlights some of the best alternative deals available).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  100. Lisa said:

    Hi, quick question about the 3 months limitations. How does it work? Is using Feel at Home for 3 months straight not allowed? Or have I misunderstood it? I’m asking as I have several mini trips booked e.g. 1 week in March, 1 week in April and 1 week in May. As long as the sim card registers itself back in the UK between those periods it should be ok? Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lisa,
      That’s right 🙂 As long as you’re using the phone in the UK during a given month, it won’t count towards your limit of 3 months per year. The terms and conditions state that the UK allowance can’t be used “exclusively abroad for three (3) months within a twelve (12) month period”. You should be fine with regards to the three one-week trips 🙂
      Hope you have a lovely time abroad!
      Ken

  101. jigga said:

    Ridiculous. Spain isn’t there. Who cares about finland Denmark etc? Why not Spain Portugal Germany

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jigga,
      You’ll be glad to know that Spain is being added to the offer from April 1st, 2015.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  102. Alex said:

    This is really brilliant, I have used it a lot, in France, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US! I also know it works in Sri Lanka!

    However I am soon to be moving to Sweden, where Three also operate, but as far as I could understand from the Swedish website using google translate, they don’t do Feel at Home for Swedish contracts. I understand you can’t use the UK subscription indefinitely (Why not actually? Surely EU competition rules should allow it!), but do you know if any other Three subsidiaries have a similar roaming deal to the UK? Is it likely to happen elsewhere? They did do something similar a few years back but withdrew the offer when no-one else followed the lead.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I’m only aware of Three in Ireland having a similar offer (their ‘Three Like Home’ offer is much more restricted… it only works on Three-branded networks in six selected countries). Going forward, the European Union is due to scrap roaming charges within the EU on the 15th December 2015. Hopefully, after that date, we should see better value roaming offers from networks across Europe.
      Ken

      1. Alex replied:

        Just to let you know that whilst 3 Sweden don’t seem to be offering feel at home or equivalent, 3 Demark (www.3.dk) do (to different destinations to 3 UK, such as Greece and Portugal). I’d be interested to know the relationships between the different Three subsidiaries, and why the offer is not equivalent.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Alex,
          Thanks for your comment and for the useful information! Unfortunately, for mobile network operators, there’s a wide disparity between the product offerings in each country & territory. Often, similarly-named networks actually have a different ownership structure (e.g. Three in Australia is actually a 50/50 joint venture with Vodafone, Three in Hong Kong has a different owner, etc). Each network is also run on a separate basis with different product offerings depending on the local network. In some ways, it makes a lot of sense as the market conditions differ in each country (cost basis, regulatory requirements, spectrum availability, consumer demands, etc). However, it can also be super annoying, as you’ve found when comparing the product offerings in each country. Wikipedia seem to have some pretty good info on Three’s ownership structure and the relationship between their networks in each country.
          Ken

  103. muhammad atif iqbal said:

    Hy now a days i am italy and before some days i was using my u.k base mobile but now i buy new italian base from here but my three u.k number is not working ?so can i change my sim card from here on three italy?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Muhammad,
      Thanks for your comment. I didn’t quite catch the question you were asking: have you bought a phone from Three in Italy and found it doesn’t work with a Three UK SIM card? If so, the reason for this is because the handset is locked to Three’s Italian mobile network. You’ll need to ask them to unlock the handset before you’re able to use a Three UK SIM card (this is despite Three UK and Three Italy sharing the same name!)
      Ken

  104. Gerry said:

    Hi,
    I am a three customer with a sim only rolling monthly plan ( since 2012). Two queries:
    Do I qualify for the Three Feel At Home Plan?
    Is there an update regarding Spain’s inclusion on the list of participating destinations?
    Thanks,
    Gerry

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Gerry,
      Thanks for your comment! To answer your two questions in order:
      1) Yep, you qualify for the Feel At Home offer!
      2) Unfortunately, there’s no update at present regarding Spain. I would expect Three to announce additional countries some time in the future but they’re yet to announce any specific date specific (EU roaming charges should eventually be scrapped on all networks by December 2015 so I’d expect it to happen sometime before then). For the time being, Three is offering the Euro Internet Pass (£5/day for all-you-can-eat data). Alternatively, you can pay for data at 19.8p/MB.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Gerry,
        Not sure if you’re still monitoring this situation, though I’m glad to report that Spain and New Zealand are being added to the Feel At Home offer from April 1st, 2015. Good news if you’re planning a trip to Spain later this year 🙂
        Ken

        1. Matt replied:

          Can you clarify if the Canary Islands are also included in the addition of Spain to the Feel at Home offer please?

          1. Ken Lo
            Ken replied:

            Hi Matt,
            At the moment, Three provides roaming in Spain using Movistar and the Xfera networks (I presume these two operators also cover the Canary Islands?). Their webpage on roaming also describes Spain as “Spain – incl. Canary & Balearic Islands”. For this reason, I believe the Canary Island should be included in the offer unless things change before the launch in April. That said, it’s probably worth checking directly with Three just to be sure you’re covered by the offer.
            Ken

  105. kanjana said:

    Hi i have 3 sim and i pay monthly . sunday i’m going to italy can i use internet free?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kanjana,
      Yep – you can use the internet for free with the ‘Feel At Home’ offer when travelling in Italy!
      Ken

  106. Paul said:

    This deal is great. I used it in Italy for my summer holidays – using navigation apps was really useful :+)
    I’m off on a cruise in December to Portugal and the canaries – any news on an extension to use in these areas?

  107. Dominic said:

    Hi,

    This looks great and have bought a SIM only plan with unlimited data. You mention that I will need to wait 30 days to use abroad but in the pdf brochure it says the following, so have the rules changed? Thanks.

    As a SIM Only customer, international roaming is activated immediately on your account, so you can use your SIM abroad, including in Feel At Home destinations straight away.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Dominic,
      Thanks for the heads up on this! I’ve taken a look at Three’s website this morning – it still says “If you are on a SIM plan, it [international roaming] will be activated as soon as you’ve had your account with us for 30 days and you’ve paid your first bill”. That said, it’s possible they’ve changed the rules and are yet to update their website. Could you kindly send me a link to the PDF brochure you mention and I’ll try and investigate this a bit further?
      Thanks a lot!
      Ken

      1. Dominic replied:
        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Thanks a lot Dominic! From the document you’ve provided, it does look as if the policy may have changed. I’m currently double checking this with Three directly and will update the website in due course when I have a definitive answer. The roaming section of their website still refers to you being unable to use roaming for the first month of the contract.

          1. Peter replied:

            Hi Ken,

            Did you find anything more about whether there is a 30 day wait period before Feel at Home is activated?

            I’ll be traveling to the UK for a fortnight from Australia, and then onto france and ireland before shooting back to the UK, but wasnt sure whether i’d be able to use Feel at Home in those countries if i sign up when i arrive.

            Alternatively i’ll probably get a SIM sent over to oz before i leave so i dont have this issue, but it would be handy to pick it up when i’m there.

          2. Ken Lo
            Ken replied:

            Hi Peter,
            Thanks for your comment. I presume you’re ordering a Pay As You Go SIM Card rather than a Pay Monthly SIM Card? If so, Pay As You Go SIM cards are enabled for roaming as soon as you as you get them (hence, it’s perfect for your usage: you don’t need to pass a credit check in the UK… you simply start using it whilst in the UK and continue using it on your trip to France and Ireland). No need to get a SIM card sent over to Australia (in fact, I’m not sure if it’s possible to activate the SIM card from outside the UK!)
            The one-month requirement previously only applied to Pay Monthly SIM Only contracts (this is because they’re a credit-checked product). I didn’t get an official response from Three but I’m unable to find any references to the one-month requirement on Three’s website. Furthermore, the document provided by Dominic suggests that roaming is now enabled automatically on these plans. Also see the comment below from Sue. Hence, I believe the 30 day waiting period no longer applies to Pay Monthly SIM cards.
            Hope this helps and hope you have a lovely trip to the UK!
            Ken

  108. Sue Carter said:

    Hi Ken,

    Travelling to USA in the not too distant future and don’t want my two teenage girls running up huge bils.

    Was made aware of “feel at home” (other half with 3) but can’t swap girls over just yet as they are still tied in to their current contracts. Hence, I was considering buying pay as you go sims.

    I have time to activate before we travel (i.e. 30 days) but just want to know if the allowance will still be available after the initial 30 days or will I need to purchase a further £15 sim so that the phones can used whilst we are in Florida.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Sue

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Sue,
      Thanks for your comment! The ‘All in One’ add-on will only last for a period of 30 days: after that you will need to buy a new add-on though the SIM card itself still remains active. To buy another add-on, simply top-up your SIM card by another £10 or £15 – you then get the package for another 30 days.
      My recommendation is order a SIM card via one of the following links (activate the SIM card just before you leave the UK to maximise the amount of time of time you can use it in the US):

      £10 add-on with 100 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB of internet
      £15 add-on with 300 minutes, 3000 texts and 25GB of internet

      If you’re visiting the US for more than 30 days, either top-up online via the Three website or buy a top-up voucher from a UK-based newsagent.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Sue replied:

        Hi Ken

        Thanks for you response.

        Note Dominic’s comments and would add that I have spoke to 3 to discuss the sim only pay as you go and they too advised that you no longer need to activate 30 days before it can be used.

        I questioned this twice, mainly because its not what their advertising says, but they assured me that it is the case and that they have just not updated their website yet.

        Hope this is the case as I know have 2 sims cards, ready to activate next week.

        Regards

        Sue

  109. Bob Laidlaw said:

    As a 3 user with a full contract and travel on business a lot this Fell at Home deal appears amazing to me. However I’m still nervous that my phone isn’t set up correctly and there will be a big surprise awaiting my return from two in Australia. Can I feel safe that as I’m getting email and Internet, twitter and Google maps here in Australia it’s all on my Feel at Home package or do I need to change decimal phone settings on my Galaxy S 5???

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Bob,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s no need to set up your phone in any special way – simply turn on data roaming and you’re good to go with the offer (on the Galaxy S5 Apps menu, choose Settings > More networks > Mobile networks and enable the option for ‘Data Roaming’). Given the amount of advertising Three has done for the offer, it should be fairly unlikely you’ll receive surprise charges (though do note, local calls to Australian phone numbers are not included as part of the offer). Another thing to watch out for is accidentally incurring charges when travelling in another country (especially if you leave ‘Data roaming’ enabled). You would still pay for roaming data when travelling outside of Feel At Home countries (e.g. when transferring to connecting flight in Dubai/Singapore/etc). Finally, as per EU legislation, there’s a worldwide data roaming limit of £41.29 per month. This would act as a cap on the amount of surprise charges you could get from roaming abroad.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  110. bethan flowers said:

    I’m about to travel to the French Pyrenees and I’m worried my phone will pick up a Spanish network and start costing me Spanish roaming rates (Spain not being included in Three’s Feel at Home list of countries). How will I know if I’m on a ‘free’ French network? Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Bethan,
      Thanks for your comment. You raise a really good point about accidentally roaming onto a Spanish network (this would incur you much higher charges). The best way around this would be to manually select your network after arriving in France. If you manually choose to connect to a French network rather than using automatic network selection, your phone won’t connect to the Spanish mobile network. I’m not sure which handset you’re currently using but on Samsung Galaxy Android devices, you’d go to Settings > More networks > Mobile networks > Network operators and select the French network you’d like to roam on (the best choice would be the network you automatically roam on after arriving in France). For the iPhone, see this help article from Apple’s website (see the heading “Tips when traveling internationally”).
      Don’t forget, you’ll need to change the setting back to automatic network selection after arriving back in the UK (go through the same menu, this time choosing “Select automatically”). If you don’t do this, your phone won’t connect to the Three UK network upon your return (as it’ll still be looking for the French mobile network).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  111. angela said:

    I see France has just been added to Feel at home. Does 3 plan to add other countries? I travel to Spain a lot on business and would benefit hugely from this addition.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Angela,
      Thanks for your comment. Three has gradually been adding more countries to the ‘Feel At Home’ offer. Given this trend and also recent legislation about roaming charges in Europe (due to come into effect from December 2015), it wouldn’t surprise me to see Spain added to the offer in the next year or so.
      Fingers crossed!
      Ken

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Angela,
        Just to give you a quick update on this question: Spain is being added to ‘Feel At Home’ from April 1st, 2015.
        Hope this helps!
        Ken

  112. gogo said:

    Thanks for the tips. Over and above your allowances three rips you off. They do not even warn you when you are close to the limits. One option they provide is to put a cap on your spending. Once you set the cap, they reset it when the contract is renewed. So, always check with them to make sure the cap is still active.

    Another option I use is a dual SIM phone. I use one SIM to receive phone calls and another one to call someone abroad. Both SIMs are in the same phone. Oh, your operator would not want to use it and you will not see it in UK. I had to get mine from India. For example in UK, I use Three mobile as my primary SIM. Their rates to call my parents in India is absurd. That money goes to Lebara and Lyca. I tell my relatives not to store my number as i keep changing the second SIM to call outside UK whenever a new offer comes.

    As a GSM engineer I know never to buy a locked phone from a network provider. There is a reason to keep SIM and phone separate. It is to allow users to switch providers whenever they want. Keeping it network locked is anti-competitive in my view. The EU should make it mandatory to unlock network locked phones after the contract period ends regardless of if the customer asks for it or not.

  113. Christine Carmen said:

    Hi -I have a pay monthly contract with 3 and have done for about 10 years. Is this new deal – Feel At Home – a new deal for new contracts or do we automatically qualify( I have a HTC android phone).
    Do I need to go to my local 3 store for them to activate my mobile or can I use it when I get to anyone of the free countries.

    Thank you.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Christine,
      As far as I’m aware, the Feel At Home offer is available to all customers on Three (providing you have international roaming enabled). There shouldn’t be a problem with older plans and there’s no need to activate the offer (it’s done automatically). You can check the prices when arriving in the other country: you’ll automatically get a text message from Three confirming all the prices.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  114. Gus said:

    Just used in France, worked fine for navigation and light web use. Also, they activated it straight away, perhaps because I’m on a contract, not PAYG. I was wondering whether calls to UK mobiles where the mobile you are calling is also abroad are included?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Gus,
      Feel at Home is activated immediately for most customers on Three (both on Pay Monthly contract and Pay As You Go). The only exception is for SIM Only plans (in which case you’ll need to wait for a month).
      With regards to calling another UK mobile which is also used abroad, yep – they are included in the Feel At Home offer! You’ll always pay the same amount to call a UK mobile number (regardless of if the other person is in the UK or roaming abroad). Any extra charges are billed to the recipient (hence why you often need to pay to receive a phone call when travelling abroad).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  115. David O said:

    Like many people , I have wondered about these free calls. A friend was on one free call abroad and ended up on another carrier. Also not to sure how this works -do you just call from your phone using the international dial code and the direct number and hey presto it works. Must admit I have always used International Sim cards from the likes of Telestial or Go Sim and these have worked fine and there is not contract. Will see how popular the uptake is after the 3’S TV ads and also can u still get a good signal?

  116. Tony Harrison said:

    I found your interesting & useful site very recently, much to chew over. I’ve been looking for the best options re using a mobile in France where I spend a few weeks each year. This “free roaming” from Three looked really good – but nowhere in your review, or AFAICS on Three’s site, does it say “free” doesn’t include making calls within one’s destination country…
    I don’t know about others’ needs but this is always fundamental for me! I visited a Three shop today, specifically to get a PAYG SIM to try out on an old phone. But apart from educating me about this shortcoming, the guy couldn’t advise me about unlocking my old Blackberry to use in France; the EE shop nearby were similarly hopeless about unlocking, declining to reduce their exorbitant charge even though I’m an Orange customer of 15 years’ standing…
    Probably my best bet is to buy a local SIM when in France.
    rgds Tony

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tony,
      Thanks for the kind comments and for your feedback on the Feel At Home offer! You’re right: Three’s offer is only for people calling back to the UK (you would still need to pay when calling a French number). The good news is it’s reasonably affordable: 18.8p/minute to call a French number using your UK SIM card (it’s probably comparable to using a local French SIM card). At the end of the day though, it would really depend on how many calls you’re making to each country. If you’re mainly calling people in France then the French local SIM card will offer better value (don’t forget to factor in the costs of calling back to the UK). If you’re mainly calling people in the UK then Three’s offer is likely to work out a lot cheaper.
      Ken

      1. Tony Harrison replied:

        Agreed Ken, perfectly true that one has to balance the amount of local calls against those back to UK… My concern is that needing to make local calls within France, even if the number of such calls is comparatively limited, immediately gets expensive with Orange/EE’s inflated roaming charges – and even at the sort of acceptable rates by Three which you cite one has to be careful. (I’ve just confirmed with Three those figures.)
        I’ll continue to explore using a Three PAYG SIM-only deal since it still sounds attractive, and far preferable to Orange/EE. For fifteen quid it seems I can have 30 days’ unlimited data, plus lots of talk/SMS minutes.
        rgds Tony

    2. Jonathan replied:

      Tony, a dual sim phone could be useful for you if your travelling. It wasn’t until a few years I picked one up before three’s offer for when in Ireland. Just being able to receive calls from local Sims was a blessing without being charged.

      1. Tony Harrison replied:

        Jonathan, thanks – your advice was echoed by the Three guy I spoke to. I wasn’t aware of “dual-SIM” phones but they sound clever. However, I was at first proposing to use my old Blackberry in France as a 2nd phone – then realised that I could just get my iPhone 4S unlocked and stick another SIM in it for France…
        The iPhone is so very much better and it’s what I’m used to – really don’t want/need to get an additional phone.
        Currently comparing French providers’ SIM-only PAYG deals with Three – lots to be said for the latter since they offer a generous package at modest cost, and my French isn’t good enough to understand the fine print on French websites, or in phone shops over there.
        rgds Tony

        1. Jonathan replied:

          Yea that’s a good way to go. I think for iphone you can get devices that also allow dual Sims for a couple quid. I don’t have one so i never investigated and it was quite a few years ago. Might be something else to investigate for next time

  117. Ruth said:

    I may have just missed seeing it above, but two important points to be aware of for anybody wanting to use a Three SIM on an imminent trip, or to switch to one specially for travelling. Firstly, international roaming of any kind cannot be activated until 30 days after joining Three (it was discovering this that led to me delaying a switch to Three until after I returned from a recent trip). Secondly, it does require activation (by calling customer services – can’t be done online) otherwise the SIM will simply not work outside the UK. Once activated, the settings can be tweaked online.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ruth,
      A great point – thank you! The SIM Only deals are good for roaming providing you order it at least 30 days before you depart (so as to give Three a bit of time to activate roaming on your SIM card). For an imminent trip, Pay As You Go should do the job as roaming is activated immediately.
      Ken

  118. Jonathan said:

    Same here, i use mine in Ireland all the time. Itll be interesting to see how the drive in europe for cheaper to the point of zero roaming charges effects this.

  119. Fred said:

    The USA is hardly “a country people rarely travel to”. I spend a damn sight more time there than in France. This deal is basically the reason I am now a Three customer.

  120. Paul said:

    What a joke! Free for countries people rarely travel to, France will never be free, three like to rip people off, as it’s the most likely destination for Brits, I’m ending my three contract purely on the principle, I’ve been with three for 10 years roughly, now this will make me leave, it’s wrong.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Paul,
      It is a shame that only a few countries are currently part of the “Feel At Home” scheme. When Three first launched “Feel at Home” back in August 2013, it only covered countries where Three has their own local network (Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden). I can see the rationale behind this: it’s much easier for Three to negotiate with other networks when they’re part of the same group (Hutchinson Whampoa). Only in December did they begin to add some extra countries such as the USA where Three doesn’t have their own network. I hope the scheme continues to expand over time – though in my opinion they do deserve applause for launching such an offer.
      Ken

    2. 011manager replied:

      Egg on face… Three have just added France to the growing list of Feel at Home countries!!
      http://blog.three.co.uk/2014/06/05/say-au-revoir-roaming/

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