Eight things you need to know about Optus $5 global roaming
The competitive roaming plans give you 5GB per day plus free texts and calls back to Australia.
Optus is making a play for Australia’s frequent flyers and globetrotters with the debut of $5 per day global roaming.
Yes, that’s the same price as Vodafone’s long-standing signature roaming deal – but there are some significant differences between the Optus and Vodafone offerings.
Meanwhile, the two telcos continue to run roaming rings around Telstra, whose ‘Day Pass’ add-on costs $10 per day for a paltry 1GB of data.
Optus’ launch of $5 overseas roaming also comes as rival Vodafone gets ready to increase the cost of most post-paid plans by $5 per month as of April.
Here’s what you need to know about the new Optus $5 roaming deal.
As the branding indicates, Optus now offers overseas roaming for a flat rate of $5 per day in the 102 countries which make up Optus’ list of ‘Zone 1 Destinations’ (this is just shy of the 109 destinations covered by Vodafone’s $5 per day roaming).
That $5 per day gives you a whole 5GB of data to chew through – and that’s almost certainly enough for all your email, browsing, navigational, streaming and hot-spotting needs. This 5GB is a dedicated roaming allowance which comes on top of your Australian plan, whereas Vodafone’s roaming. plans draw from the single ‘unified’ data allowance of your plan in Australia.
However, if you happen to blow past that 5GB limit in 24 hours, Optus will automatically activate another $5/5GB add-on.
Unused data doesn’t roll over from one day to the next: if you pay $5 but use only 1GB of data, that other 4GB is wiped as midnight and you start afresh with another 5GB for another $5 the following day.
Optus’ $5 per day roaming plans also include phone calls and text messages within your roaming country as well as calls and messages back to Australia.
An Optus spokesperson has confirmed to Executive Traveller there’s only one $5 charge per 24 hour period even if you visit more than one Zone 1 country.
This is of course commonplace in Europe and Asia – so if you’re based in London but pop across the channel to Paris and then over to Switzerland or Belgium on the same day, for instance, you’ll be on the same $5/5GB roaming plan all the way through.
While the $5 roaming plans of Optus and Vodafone largely cover the same countries, one exception in Optus’ favour is the UAE: you can enjoy 5GB roaming plus calls and text in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Gulf country for $5 per day with Optus, while under Vodafone it’s a ‘Pay As You Go Roaming’ country with data charged at $1 per minute and $1 per 60 seconds to make and receive calls.
While Optus’ $5 global roaming isn’t available on every Optus plan, it’s included in the most popular set of planes including the core Optus Choice Plus plans along with Optus Plus Family, Optus Plus Kids, Optus Plus Promo and the Optus Qantas SIM-Only plans.
(If you’re unsure if your plan supports $5 roaming, open the My Optus app, click the Service and under Add-ons, looks for the $5 Roaming option.)
For more details on Optus $5 global roaming, click through to optus.com.au/mobile/plans/international-roaming.
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11 Jul 2014
Total posts 894
Looks like a good option, on my iPhone 14 I have Optus and Telstra eSim phone lines active at the same time. I then normally activate global roaming on the Optus esim while travelling and also buy a 200gig physical sim and use it as a hotspot for data.
The problem I have with Optus is I’m on an old old plan that is 5 sims with 200gig of data per month for $65.00 (good deal). Optus doesn’t like giving me these new add ons with that very old plan but they do come to the party with an extra discount. Optus needs to give all customers access to this $5.00 5gig deal!!!
14 Jan 2013
Total posts 18
$5 per day still seems ridiculously expensive.
I always grab a sim from sim corner before overseas travel. Much better value but you do have to use a new local number.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
08 Jun 2014
Total posts 259
Vodafone $5 a day has been excellent for my travels over maybe a decade. Especially if I have a total limit of 100GB a month, I don’t have to worry about going over. I am uncertain how much data I use overseas a day transferring images for my work so oPtus coming into the ring isn’t that ideal.
23 Aug 2022
Total posts 2
My wife and I have had good and bad experiences with $5 roaming. Recently been to Japan and it didn't always auto rollover. Had to message over 2 separate days/times to correct it. Spent an hour or so each time, in the middle of a holiday. Worked in the end but a bit clunky.
22 Jan 2020
Total posts 71
Vodafone is still the best option but the Optus one does come a close second. With Vodafone you don't even need to think about how much data you are using as you are using your monthly plan, just overseas. Have been using it since the 3Mobile days and never had an issue.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
18 Oct 2012
Total posts 129
Does anyone know if Telstra intend to match voda/optus in the near future ?
Etihad - Etihad Guest
21 Jul 2019
Total posts 148
Telstra haven't even enabled global roaming for pre-paid customers despite promising since at least last, if not before then. So there is little chance Telstra will even try to match this $5 offer. I'm a rusted-on Telstra post-paid customer of 20 years, but even I concede they suck. They never offer anything remotely reasonable, which is why I'm finally signing up with Optus. Someone here said $5 is still expensive. I don't agree with that. $5 is cheap and good value which is why Voda and Optus offer it, and why customers like me are signing up. And the convenience of not having to faff about with new sim and new numbers on every trip to every different country.....well, you can see why I think $5 is excellent value.
American Airlines - AAdvantage
15 Feb 2013
Total posts 44
Has anyone discovered voice over wi-fi yet? It pretty much makes global roaming redundant for most people. I only discovered it by accident.