Verizon Prepaid has expanded it’s Travel Pass international roaming program to the Caribbean island countries of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Turks & Caicos and to the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Until now, Travel Pass was only available in Canada and Mexico.
The prepaid Travel Pass, which Verizon launched in February, lets Verizon Prepaid monthly plan users make unlimited calls and texts to the US and to the country you are in while roaming internationally in the Travel Pass counties. You also get data but I’m not sure how much. Verizon’s Prepaid International Plans page says you get data “Based on your monthly plan allowance.” But the Prepaid TravelPass FAQs page says you are limited to 512 MB of high speed roaming data per day.
Unfortunately, Travel Pass is rather pricey, $ 5 per 24 hours in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and $ 10 per 24 hours in the other countries. The fee is only charged on days when the phone is used to make or receive a call, send a text or use data in one of the supported countries. You need to enable Travel Pass using the My Verizon app or website. Verizon recommends that you enable Travel Pass before leaving the US. You also need to have a sufficient balance in your prepaid account to cover the daily fee.
$ 5 a day for roaming in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands is outrageous compared with what many of Verizon’s competitors charge. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have native coverage in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands so there’s no extra charge for using them or their MVNOs in those US territories. Canadian roaming is free with some Cricket, T-Mobile Prepaid and AT&T Prepaid plans and costs $ 5/month on MetroPCS. Mexican roaming is also free on selected AT&T Prepaid, Cricket and T-Mobile Prepaid plans, all GoSmart plans, all Simple Mobile plans and all Telcel America plans and costs $ 5/month on Boost and MetroPCS.
With Travel Pass you are paying a substantial premium for the convenience of being able to use your phone and your US phone number while traveling internationally. As long as you are staying in foreign country for at least a couple of days it’s almost always less expensive to use a local prepaid SIM.
The one travel scenario where Travel Pass might make sense is you are going on a Caribbean cruise. Most cruises visit a different island country every day and port stops are usually less than12 hours. You’d probably rather spend your limited time swimming, snorkeling and sightseeing rather than hunting for SIMs. You might not even save money with local SIMs as even in the Caribbean most SIMs are only a good deal on the island where they are bought with much higher roaming rates on other islands.
Source Verizon via Phone Scoop, map image: Wikimedia Commons