When traveling abroad, one of the biggest questions asked is what type of plan you can use with your phone. Sometimes you can get hit with outrageous fees unexpectedly if you don’t properly understand your international data plan so it is vital that you know the terms of your plan before you depart as part of your international trip checklist.
In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the AT&T International Day Pass. I will also list off all of the AT&T International Day Pass countries.
What is the AT&T International Day Pass?
The AT&T International Day Pass allows AT&T customers to pay $10 per 24 hours to receive the following benefits when they are traveling abroad:
- Access to your data plan
- Unlimited worldwide texts
- Unlimited phone calls to the US
- Unlimited calls to 100+ International Day Pass countries
It also allows you the convenience of using your own personal mobile device versus buying a device for your travels. It’s a pretty decent deal and you can find out about the details of each of these benefits below.
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How do I get the AT&T International Day Pass?
The pass is very simple to activate because the first time you use your data, make or receive a phone call, or send a text message in an IDP country, you’ll automatically be charged the AT&T International Day Pass $10 daily fee. This means that you do not have to manually opt-in.
Typically, soon after you touch down in an IDP country and take your phone off of airplane mode, you should receive a text confirming that you are eligible for the pass. If you do not receive a text confirming the pass and how it works, or if you just simply can’t get service, try turning your phone off and then back on. (This usually resolves within a few minutes after you arrive in a new country.)
One important thing to note is that many of your apps that run in the background of your phone need to access data. So in some cases your apps may trigger the pass without you even knowing it. If you want to avoid this, you should keep your phone on airplane mode. You can also turn off cellular data roaming.
There are some ways to use maps off line. One of my favorite apps is Maps.me but you can also use Google Maps off-line as well so if that is your primary concern you don’t have to necessarily use data.
After your initial 24 hour period is up, if you continue to use your data or make or receive phone calls or send text messages, you will reactivate a new 24 hour period that will trigger an additional $10 charge. (The daily fees are calculated and charged to your bill at the end of your billing cycle.)
How do I cancel the AT&T International Day Pass?
You do not need to cancel the pass whenever you arrive back home. You can simply leave it on your device so that the next time you travel abroad it will be active. However, if you would like to cancel the plan you can do that by going online or by calling into the following AT&T phone number: 800.335.4685. Once removed, pay-per-use rates will apply, unless another international travel option is added to your device.
What type of data can I use?
The type of data you will be allowed to use depends on your domestic plan. If your domestic plan includes Stream Saver, it will apply to your international package or feature.
If you go over your domestic plan data allowance then overage charges or a data speed reduction of up to 128Kbps will kick in. If you are hit with the lower speed data, you might not even be able to use some of your apps on your phone and browsing can be extremely slow. So when traveling, always try to use Wi-Fi for your downloads, streaming, etc.
You can send unlimited texts to anywhere in the world as long as those texts are AT&T Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).
Note that this unlimited amount of texts does not apply to other types of messaging services like WhatsApp or iMessages. (You would want to use those services when connected to Wi-Fi to avoid charges.)
Unlimited phone calls
The AT&T International Day Pass can provide you with unlimited phone calls for certain regions. As long as you are in an IDP country you can call the United States on an unlimited basis. You can also call to other IDP countries as well (again, the full list of these countries is below).
If you are not familiar with making international calls, remember that you will need to enter in the country code before you make the call. For example, the country code for the US is “1” so before you dial a US number you would need to input “+1.” You can find a full list of country codes here.
It’s worth noting that if your domestic plan does not allow unlimited phone calls, then overage fees will apply.
Calls from IDP countries to non-IDP countries will incur International Long Distance (ILD) charges. If you are not familiar with the long distance rates, you can find out more about those here.
You also need to be careful about Wi-Fi calling. In fact you should turn Wi-Fi Calling off in your device settings to avoid charges for calls dialed to International Day Pass countries.
It’s a little confusing but basically, with Wi-Fi Calling, you won’t be charged for your calls to the US but you will be charged for calls to all other countries including the country that you are in. In those instances your calls will be billed at the international long distance rate as if you were calling from within the US.
Mexico and Canada
Many domestic plans include usage in both Mexico and Canada. If you have one of these plans then you will not be charged a daily fee while traveling in Mexico or Canada.
There are also some service restrictions that you should consider. This plan is not available for wireless home phone services, connected vehicles, or connected devices. In those instances, pay-per-use international rates will apply. Also, this plan is not to be used aboard cruise ships or airlines.
If you would like to use your phone on a cruise, then you should look into purchasing a cruise package. You can find out more about those here. Just keep in mind that if your cruise transports you to an IDP country, you will be able to use your International Day Pass while on land.
Additional fees and surcharges
When you use your day pass, you might get hit with additional fees and sub-charges depending on your location. For example, there are reports out there of people getting charged an additional $20 on top of their $70 bills when they used their day pass for seven days.
So instead of $10 a day, more likely you might be getting charged something like $12-$17 per day. So just be aware that some of those fees can add up to make your bill a little bit more expensive than you might initially think it would be.
What countries qualify for the AT&T International Day Pass?
Below is a full list of AT&T International Day Pass countries that qualify:
- Aland Islands
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Easter Island
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- French West Indies
- Galapagos Islands
- Great Britain
- Holy See
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- Korea (South Korea)
- Macao (Macau)
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Palestinian Authority
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St. Barthelemy
- St. Eustatisus & Saba
- St. Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten (Dutch)
- St. Martin (French)
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
- Virgin Islands (British Virgin Islands)
The AT&T International Day Pass is very simple to use. You simply start using your data or texting or calling when you arrive in a new country and you will be able to have access to all of your plan subject to a $10 fee that hits every 24 hours. You need to be mindful about your limitations so that you don’t get hit with extra fees or slow down data but overall this is a pretty simple plan to follow.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.