Vodafone scraps free roaming in New Zealand

By David Flynn, December 1 2017
Vodafone scraps free roaming in New Zealand

Vodafone Australia will axe free roaming in New Zealand from February 2018, bringing Kiwi country back onto its $5/day scheme.

The carrier abolished roaming charges for Australian subscribers travelling to New Zealand in February 2016, allowing trans-Tasman travellers to use data, make and take calls and swap text messages without paying any additional roaming fees.

Two years on, that appealing deal is being scuppered starting February 8, 2018.

New Zealand will go back to being one of almost 60 countries covered by Vodafone's $5/day global roaming plan, although there remain a few noticeable holes in that roaming map, foremost among them being the UAE.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

08 Aug 2012

Total posts 32

With mobile terminate rates falling, and Voda plc having an extensive NZ network, easy way for VHA to grab some needed revenue.

$5/day is still a great deal.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Aww that's a shame! Really enjoyed not having to worry about phone usage on my NZ trips. But $5/day roaming is still far superior to any other telco in the market.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

25 May 2013

Total posts 8

I got caught out at Doha....so be careful to check. Vodafone at $5/day is still the best deal going.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1025

Better make sure they will still offer the $5/day roaming at all. The small print on their website about the $5 roaming gives an "offer ends" date, which they keep extending.

If only they would stop overcharging me for it. For the last 2 bills, they've charged me for roaming fees on days that I didn't even use the phone. (ie, they charge me for 4 days of roaming on my last bill. I used it for 3 days.)


01 Jun 2014

Total posts 3

For $5/day roaming the day starts midnight EST (or ESST summer time) in Australia, not the day/time of the o.s location you might be in.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2437

PAZ: Time zones are irrelevant. When your phone does something to trigger a $5/day charge, all access in the 24 hours immediately following that charge forms part of the 'day' you've paid for. For example, if you arrive overseas and use data, send a text or make a call at 5pm local time, you'll be charged $5 and nothing more for the next 24 hours. You can even see the exact time each $5 charge was triggered via the Vodafone app and website (so if the $5 period on your last day away expires an hour before your flight home departs, you can be smart and turn off data on your phone - and just use the airport or lounge WiFi - to avoid being billed another $5, unless you need to make a call or send an actual SMS).

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 146

@Himeno - not sure if this was the reason but if you use it for a period of say 70 hours, from midday on Wednesday to 10am on Saturday, they'll charge you for 4 days (Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat)

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1025

Nope, it's based on 24 hour periods. Time zones are not considered.

If you make a call at noon UTC Wednesday, the 1200-1159 Thursday UTC period is one day. If you were to send a text at noon in London, then fly to New York, the same 'day' is valid until 7am the next morning in NY.

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 175

Voda's '$5 a day' plan is still the best deal for global roaming, even in New Zealand, but a shame all the same that free roaming in NZ bites the dust.


01 Jun 2014

Total posts 3

Re the time when the $5/day kicks in, Vodafone advised me it starts at midnight EST.
Anyway, it's still a great deal.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1025

Vodafone gave me the same info that Chris posted.
1 $5 charge per 24 hour period after an billable action (send txt, use mobile data, make/answer call) is taken. Timezones don't factor into it.

20 Jun 2014

Total posts 59

Damn. My parents just went to NZ on holiday, I bought them a $40 month to month SIM from Vodafone Australia to cover it. It was cheaper than a travel SIM and had 6GB of data. I guess too many people must be doing that.

03 Dec 2017

Total posts 2

Due to the actual monopoly Telco market (Du/Etisalat) at UAE, a deal for outbound roaming agreement for Voda, which support lower rates to making profit from $5 per day is almost like mission impossible. Notice that not only voda, but many global Telcos found outbound roaming deals with UAE carries is really a hard nut to crack.

Hence, I would not expect any time soon UAE been included in the $5 per day roaming country list at voda.

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 118

Can anyone confirm whether they're connecting to 3G (only) or 4G in different countries?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

I've had 4G in many countries under Vodafone roaming

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 15

Such a shame it was a fantastic product ,they need to increase the annual $5 a day roaming from 90 to 1/200 or unlimited as people like myself and many others will do the quota in a short time.

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