Three has scrapped international roaming charges in 60 destinations including in most of Europe, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Singapore and others.
In the UK, Three offers a mobile roaming package known as Feel At Home. Asking customers to ‘Go Roam’, the charges for using a mobile phone abroad in 60 destinations have been removed on eligible Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go plans. This means you’re able to use your normal UK allowances including your minutes, texts and mobile internet at no additional charge.
The offer makes Feel At Home a great package for anyone who wants to continue using their smartphone when abroad. You’ll be able to continue using 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 full Feel At Home offer is available to customers on both Pay Monthly Advanced plans and Pay As You Go. It’s also available on mobile broadband tariffs for your mi-fi 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. Customers with a Pay Monthly Essential price plan have access to a cut-down version of the offer called ‘Feel At Home In Europe’.
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 mobile network can benefit from the offer. Finally, we’ll discuss alternative roaming offers that are also available on the market.
- 1 What is Feel At Home?
- 2 Limitations & Restrictions
- 3 Coverage
- 4 Non-Three Customers
- 5 Alternative Roaming Offers
- 6 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 7 More Information
What is Feel At Home?
Feel At Home is the flagship roaming offer from Three UK. With the offer, customers travelling to one of 60 destinations can use their normal UK allowances at no additional charge. This includes your UK minutes, texts and mobile internet.
The full offer is available to customers with a Pay Monthly Advanced price plan or Pay As You Go tariff. On Three’s lower-cost Pay Monthly Essential price plans, customers will only have access to Feel At Home In Europe.
Feel At Home Countries
The following countries are included in the Feel At Home offer (free roaming in countries marked with an asterisk are not available to Essential plan customers):
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong*
- Isle of Man
- Italy (includes Sardinia and Sicily)
- New Zealand*
- Portugal (includes Azores and Madeira)
- Republic of Ireland
- Spain (includes Canary Islands and Balearic Islands)†
- Sri Lanka*
- United States of America (including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands)*
The offer, when used in countries outside of Europe, is known as “Feel At World Around The World”. When you’re visiting one of these destination, the potential cost savings can be significant compared to on other mobile networks.
Imagine, for example, a family taking a trip to the USA. On rival mobile networks, you’re likely to pay 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 500MB|
|giffgaff||£1.00/minute||£1.00/minute||30p/text||20p per MB|
|iD Mobile||£1.40/minute||£1.25/minute||35p/text||25p per MB|
|Tesco Mobile||£1.29/minute||89p/minute||40p/text||£5 per MB|
|Virgin Mobile||£1.50/minute||£1.00/minute||30p/text||£5 per MB|
|Vodafone||£1.35/minute||£1.00/minute||49p/text||£5/day for 25MB|
Because of the large 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.
When using Feel At Home In Europe, you’re probably unlikely to save very much money compared to your current mobile network. This is because all UK mobile networks have been legally obliged to provide EU roaming at no extra cost since June 2017.
Out of Bundle Charges
With Feel At Home, you’re able to use your normal UK allowances when travelling abroad. If you run out of inclusive allowances whilst travelling, you’ll pay the following out-of-bundle rates:
|Out-of-bundle rates when visiting||An EU country||A non-EU country|
|Voice calls to the UK||3p/minute||3p/minute|
|Voice calls to country you’re visiting||3p/minute||£1.40/minute|
|Receiving voice calls||Always free|
|Text message to the UK||2p||2p|
|Text message to country you’re visiting||2p||2p|
|Receiving a text message||Always free|
For more information, please see Three’s international roaming guide (enter the name of the country you’re visiting for in-depth information on charges).
It’s worth noting that your UK minutes and UK text messages can only be used for contacting other UK-based phone numbers (as well as EU-based phone numbers when you’re travelling in Europe). For instance, you can use your inclusive allowances to call friends and family in the UK. You could also call 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 based in another country, you’ll need to pay an additional amount for this.
Feel At Home on Pay As You Go
The Feel At Home offer can be used on Three’s Pay As You Go service at the normal rates of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB.
To get the best value from the Feel At Home offer, we recommend converting your credit into an All in One bundle. This is a 30-day bundle with inclusive minutes, texts and internet and is fully compatible with the Feel At Home offer:
On bundles costing £20 or more, you can use up to 9GB per month of your data abroad in a Feel At Home country. You can use all of your inclusive minutes and texts for contacting UK-based phone numbers (including fellow holidaymakers who also have a SIM card from Three).
You can order a Pay As You Go SIM card from Three with an All-in-One preloaded. We recommend choosing either the All-in-One 15 or All-in-One 20 bundle.
Limitations & Restrictions
It’s worth being aware that the Feel At Home offer has a number of restrictions:
- Tethering or personal hotspot isn’t permitted when you’re travelling to a Feel At Home country outside of Europe.
- Data usage is restricted to 12GB/month if you’re a Pay Monthly customer or 9GB/month if you’re a Pay As You Go customer.
- There are restrictions in place so you can’t use the service exclusively abroad.
- There’s no 4G internet when you’re travelling abroad: international roaming is limited to 2G and 3G.
- Customers with an Essential Pay Monthly plan can’t access Feel At Home outside of Europe.
In the following section, we’ll discuss each of these limitations in more detail.
No Tethering Outside Europe
In the UK, customers with an Advanced Pay Monthly contract can use tethering or personal hotspot to share their mobile internet connection with other devices (e.g. with a laptop or tablet).
When travelling within Europe, tethering can be used as normal on Advanced Pay Monthly contracts. Customers on Pay As You Go can tether from their credit at the normal 1p/MB rate.
When travelling outside Europe, the Feel At Home offer prohibits you from tethering. For more information, please see the “Usage restrictions” listed on Three’s website:
If you’re on an Advanced Plan, you can’t use your phone as a Personal Hotspot in a Feel At Home Around The World destination. If you want to tether in a Feel At Home in Europe destination, whatever type of plan you’re on, you can buy a Personal Hotspot Add-on.
Fair Usage Policy
When using Feel At Home in Europe, there’s a fair usage policy of 12GB/month on Pay Monthly plans and 9GB/month on Pay As You Go. Further data usage beyond this limit will be surcharged at 0.78p/MB. This is a soft limit so you’ll never lose access to mobile data for exceeding this fair usage limit inside Europe.
When using Feel At Home Around The World (i.e. outside of Europe), there’s a fair usage policy of 3000 minutes, 5000 texts and 12GB of internet (or 9GB if you’re a Pay As You Go customer). Outside of Europe, this is a hard limit and if you exceed it, your data usage will be blocked for the rest of the monthly billing period. If you exceed the fair usage limit outside of Europe twice in a rolling 12-month period, Three reserves the right to suspend international roaming on your account.
The Feel At Home offer is designed for UK residents making a trip abroad (it isn’t designed for people who actually live abroad for an extended amount of time).
When using Feel At Home in Europe, Three will look at the balance of your usage over a rolling 120-day period. If over the 120-day period, you spend the majority of your time abroad in Europe and also use more of your allowances abroad than you do in the UK, Three reserves the right to add a surcharge to your plan. The surcharge will be 3p/minute, 0.9p/text and 0.73p/MB and you’ll be given at least two weeks notice before a surcharge is applied.
When using Feel At Home Around The World (i.e. outside of Europe), a different limit applies to your usage. Here, Three will look at the number of “complete months” you spend abroad in a Feel At Home country. By complete months, this means you’ve spent the whole month abroad in a Feel At Home country (note: if you’ve used your phone in the UK or another country during a given month, it will not count as a complete month). Customers mustn’t spend more than two complete months abroad per year in a Feel At Home Around The World country:
Feel At Home is intended for our UK customers who are visiting one of the destinations for short periods, like holidays or business trips. It isn’t designed for people who live abroad or stay for extended periods.
If you roam exclusively in a Feel At Home Around the World destination for any two complete months in a rolling 12-month period, we may suspend international roaming on your account, meaning you will no longer be able to use your phone or device abroad. Of course, we will let you know in advance if this is likely to happen. 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, the restriction won’t apply.
These restrictions are listed in Three’s price guide.
At present, Three only offers a 2G and 3G roaming service. You won’t have access to 4G coverage when travelling 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, you’ll only be able to use Feel At Home In Europe. When travelling to countries outside of Europe (Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Macau, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, US Virgin Islands and USA), you’ll need to pay international roaming charges as Feel At Home Around The World is not included.
If you’re currently on an Essential price plan, you can benefit from Feel At Home Around The World by upgrading to an Advanced price plan. Alternatively, you can use a Pay As You Go SIM card for the duration of your trip.
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:
Coverage in other countries is limited to 2G and 3G as Three currently lacks any 4G roaming agreements.
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 Pay As You Go SIM card for their trip abroad.
For £15, you’ll get 3000 minutes, 3000 texts and 5GB 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 (of which up to 9GB can be used abroad in a Feel At Home country).
You can also use the SIM card abroad at Three’s standard Pay As You Go rates of 3p/minute, 2p/text and 1p/MB.
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 £12/month with the Feel At Home offer (prices start from £16/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
For more information about roaming offers in Europe, see our guide to EU Roam Like Home offers.
If you’re travelling outside of Europe with a Pay Monthly contract on another mobile network, there may be some alternative roaming offers that can save you money on your current network:
- EE: 4GEE Max
If you’re a Pay Monthly customer on EE’s 4GEE Max tariff, you’ll get inclusive roaming in Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the USA. On other 4GEE tariffs, roaming is available from £4/day.
- O2: O2 Travel
If you’re a Pay Monthly customer on O2, you may be able to roam in Turkey for £3.99/day and in other selected destinations for £4.99/day.
- Vodafone: Vodafone Global Roaming
If you’re a Vodafone Pay Monthly customer, you can roam in 60 selected destinations for £5/day.
In general, Three offers the best value roaming in countries where the Feel At Home offer is available (if you were to spend more than a couple of days abroad, it’s likely Three will offer better value). 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.
Keeping Your Phone Number
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.
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:
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, the account on your old mobile network will be closed automatically.
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.