Living on an island like Ireland has the con that you cannot easily drive to other destinations. Luckily, flights to mainland Europe are cheap thanks to low-cost carriers. But is roaming with Virgin Mobile Ireland as low as a one-way flight to the UK, Paris, or the Netherlands? Is roaming with Virgin worth it, or should it be avoided at all cost? Let’s find out.
Can I roam with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
Virgin Mobile Ireland customers can roam in 202 destinations around the world. Because of the roaming regulation of the European Union, you can Roam like Home in 37 destinations without having to pay additional roaming costs since 2017. In the other destinations, however, charges apply.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
What do I need to know about roaming with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
Virgin Mobile Ireland customers can roam all over the world. However, different rates apply for each destination zone.
Virgine Mobile Ireland splits its roaming destinations into the following three zones:
- Zone 1 – EU (Roam like Home)
- Zone 2 – Canada & the United States
- Zone 3 – Rest of World
Roaming within the EU is subject to the fair-use limit of your plan, which you can find in My Virgin Media.
Those who have a Virgin Unlimited plan can use their unlimited calls and texts while abroad but can use up to 9.1 GB of your unlimited data allowance at no additional cost.
Those who have one of the 2GB plans, your monthly call, text, and data allowance works the same as it would in Ireland at no additional cost, which is 250 minutes, 250 texts, and 2 GB of data.
Virgin has two data add-on for customers who want to visit the United States, Canada, or both destinations within the same trip. You can purchase the 175 MB US-Canada for €20 (€0.114/MB) or the 500 MB US-Canada for €55 (€0.11/MB) – both add-ons are valid for one month.
How do I enable roaming with my Virgin Mobile Phone?
Roaming is enabled by default, meaning that there is nothing you need to set up to get it working. However, just to be sure, you can check the roaming status on My Virgin Media or by calling Virgin.
Using My Virgin Media
- Log in to your account
- Go to the My Virgin Media Overview page
- Under My Products, click the phone number you are going to use when abroad
- Under the Service restrictions while roaming section, make sure that all the sliders are turned to the Off position if you want to roam (On if you do not want to roam)
- Extra step (recommended): turn on the EU Roaming Data Cap to prevent any data roaming costs when in Europe.
You are all set!
Calling Virgin Media
You can either reach Virgin at 1908 for free (within the EU) or chat with them on their site, Whatsapp (clicking the link starts a chat with +353 89 600 0016, which is Virgin Media Ireland), or by texting them at +353 86 180 2267.
If you wish to call Virgin when not in the EU, you can call them at +353 89 619 1908 – standard roaming rates do apply when doing so.
Virgin opening hours are as follows:
- Mobile care: Monday to Saturday – 9 am – 7 pm
- WhatsApp: Monday to Sunday – 9 am – 8 pm
- Mobile posting: Monday to Saturday – 9 am – 9 pm and all day on Sundays
What are the roaming charges with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
Roaming rates differ per roaming zone and per action.
1. All prices are in Euros (€/EUR)
2. Calls are charged per minute or text
3. Prices for calls apply to both mobile and landline numbers
4. Data usage rates are charged per MB or GB and are specified in the table
5. When calling or texting in a zone 1 destination, you can text or call to other zone 1 destinations free of charge. For example, a call from France to Portugal would not count as an out of bundle event
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 1 Roaming Rates (EU)
|Destination||Out. Call||Inc. Call||SMS||Data|
|Roam like Home||–||–||–||–|
No additional costs if you stay within your allowed usage, which is max. 9.1 GB for unlimited plan subscribers, and 250 minutes, 250 texts, and 2 GB of data for 2 GB plan subscribers.
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 1 Out of Bundle Roaming Rates
|Calls to Ireland or zone 1 destinations||0.25|
|Calls to zone 2 & 3 destinations||1.99|
|Texts to Ireland or zone 1 destinations||0.1|
|Texts to zone 2 & 3 destinations||0.024|
|Data per MB||0.0054|
|Calls to Virgin Mobile (1908)||Free|
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 1 Fair Use Exceeded Surcharges
|Data per GB when EU Roaming cap exceeded||5.54|
|Usage for Non-Periodic Travel – Data (GB)||5.54|
|Usage for Non-Periodic Travel – Minutes||0.039|
|Usage for Non-Periodic Travel – Texts||0.012|
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 2 Roaming Rates (Canada & US)
|Calls to any zone||1.99|
|Texts to any zone||0.4|
|Data per MB||7|
|Calls to Virgin Mobile||1.99|
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 3 Roaming Rates (Rest of World)
|Calls to any zone||2.5|
|Texts to any zone||0.4|
|Data per MB||7|
|Calls to Virgin Mobile||2.5|
Where can I roam with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
Below you can find every destination where you can roam grouped by their zones.
Virgin Mobile Ireland Roam like Home Roaming Destinations (Zone 1)
- Canary Islands
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- Saint Martin (French Part)
- United Kingdom
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 2 Destinations
- United States
Virgin Mobile Ireland Zone 3 Destinations (Rest of World)
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador: Buying Guide”>El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Falkland Islands
- Hong Kong
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Puerto Rico
- St Kitts & Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
- Sao Tome & Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Seychelles Islands
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Timor-Leste (East-Timor)
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
Set up FREE flight alerts and get notified when ticket prices drop via Airfarewatchdog!
Can I roam on planes with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
In-flight roaming is not possible with Virgin Mobile Ireland.
Can I roam on cruise ships with Virgin Mobile Ireland?
Maritime roaming is not available with Virgin Mobile Ireland.
Is roaming as a Virgin Mobile Ireland customer worth it?
If you are visiting a destination within the Europen Union, you will be fine, as you get either use your allowance in those destinations (2 GB plans) or use max. 9.1 GB while roaming (Unlimited Plan subscribers).
The only thing you should be worrying about is not to exceed your allowance, as the surcharges are expensive (€5.54/GB for data roaming).
Roaming in zone 2 and 3 destinations should be avoided to prevent high roaming bills. €2 per minute in the US or Canada becomes €20 if the phone call lasts for 10 minutes. Even receiving a phone call in those destinations get charged at €1 per minute.
Things are more expensive in zone 3 destinations where you pay €2.50/min and €2 to receive a phone call. It will be worth it when it is an emergency call, but not in any other case. I would recommend getting a local SIM card sim or an international SIM card like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, or SimCorner to save on costs.
Luckily, voicemails are not popular nowadays, so you do not have to worry about those rates too much (€2/min and €2.50/min for zone 2 and 3 destinations respectively).
Data roaming in zone 2 and 3 destinations should be avoided at all costs because of the €7.00/MB charge (or €7168/GB).
If you are in the US and Canada for a short period and want to data roam, then the €20 175 MB add-on may be something to consider. However, if you are willing to spend €55 on the 500 MB add-on, you are better off getting an American or Canadian local SIM card, as you can get much more data for less than €55 in both destinations.
As always, I would recommend using an internet-based app like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Skype for calling and texting, as long as you are connected to a WIFI network, as most pay-as-you-go roaming rates are insanely high, like the ones of Virgin Mobile Ireland.
In short, as long as you are roaming within zone 1 destinations and keep an eye on your usage, you will be fine while roaming. If you are visiting the US or Canada, getting the €20 175 MB add-on may be something to consider, although not recommended (you are better off using WIFI networks). Roaming in other destinations should be avoided because of the high costs associated with roaming, and a local SIM card or an international SIM card like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, or SimCorner should be considered instead.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices for your preferred destination drops.
Book Your Accommodation
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the currency of your destination for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!
https://www.virginmedia.ie/pdf/Mobile-Standard-Rates-Online-version-of-02-05-2019.pdf (This link may prompt you to download a PDF depending on your browser settings)
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