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
  • Brazil (from 15th June 2017)
  • 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
  • Singapore (from 15th June 2017)
  • 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 362 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Jeff Owen said:

    No one (including 3 sales personnell) seems to mention that Three’s European roaming only lasts for 2 months even if you buy a PAYG 12 month sim.

    So useless for longer stays or multitrips.

    1. Ken replied:

      Hi Jeff,
      Yes – it’s certainly something the Sales staff conveniently miss out in their pitch! It’s worth noting however, this shouldn’t affect holidaymakers or people going on fairly short trips. This is because the limit is defined as 2 “complete months” abroad in a 12-month period. So if you were to spend half of a given month in the UK and half of it abroad, that month wouldn’t count towards your limit of 2 complete months.
      The limit of 2 complete months is definitely significant for people who spend an extended amount of time abroad. On PAYG, you can kind of side-step things by using a different SIM card but of course, this will have a different phone number on it.
      Ken

      1. Jeff Owen replied:

        Hi Ken

        Thanks for your response – I agree it’s fine for short breaks. But when you specifically ask for something that will only be used abroad, one expects a truthful & helpful response from Three & its agents. This did not happen – so I will not use three again.

        Regards
        Jeff

  2. Frank said:

    Hi Ken,
    Just asking if you have any news (or even opinions) on what THREE are going to do with their Feel at Home service after June 15th this year. EU laws now SEEM to say that the service should be at no extra cost (within “Fair Usage Limits”) and the smae service as on your home network but are THREE going to lift their restrictions on 4G connections (currently only 3G at best) and tethering?

    I know that they are making announcements about adding extra countries but by comparison to other networks (for EU use) they are going to slide quickly down the attractiveness scale if they don’t allow 4G connections and make some concessions towards tethering.

    Vodafone are currently looking like the best bet if data is high on the list especially with their 50Gb for £30 12 month OR 30 day contracts.

    Thanks for the excellent webpages and information – really useful.

    Frank

    1. Ken replied:

      Hi Frank,
      Many thanks for your comment. Yes, it will be very interesting to see what Three does with their Feel At Home service in the EU next month. Obviously, they’ll need to up their game as the other major networks are now offering this as well (and in many cases, with fewer restrictions than Three currently has on their Feel At Home service). Personally, I’d really like them to introduce 4G roaming along with tethering and the relaxation of their current fair usage policy. I suspect decisions in this area will be guided by what rival networks do and also what they’re allowed to get away with in the EU legislation.
      I think this is definitely an area to watch very closely over the next few months, as I wouldn’t want to speculate on what changes Three might decide to make!
      Thanks again and have a great weekend,
      Ken

      1. Frank replied:

        Ken,

        Thanks for your thoughts – very similar to mine. I am currently on a contract with THREE until December but if they don’t up their game then they will lose a customer who has been with them for about 8 years.

        I have never had any problems with the network in the UK (no more than other networks I believe) and the Feel at Home service has been very useful to me over the last couple of years but times change. After this first few months of excitement we then wait 18 months until Brexit kicks in to see what the networks will then do about ‘free roaming’ which we happy customers are going to get courtesy of the EU.

        Being somewhat cynical, I suspect their prices will rise in the short term to cover lost revenue from lack of roaming revenue but if they revert to the ‘old’ system in 18 months I bet the prices don’t go down – we will simply be expected to pay for roaming again on top of the increased prices!!

        Thank again, Frank

  3. Ken said:

    Hi all,
    Just a quick note that Brazil and Singapore will be added to the Feel At Home offer on June 15th, 2017. This has just been announced here in a press release.
    Ken

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