Roaming with Virgin Mobile UK: All You Need to Know

Interested in going to mainland Europe? Since June 2017, you do not have to worry about roaming charges when traveling within the European Union. But what if you want to travel to the US? Or New Zealand? Perhaps getting a tan in Fiji? Should you bring your Virgin Mobile phone with you to roam? In this article, we will analyze the roaming options with Virgin Mobile UK.

Can I roam with Virgin Mobile UK?

You can use your Virgin Mobile phone in over 170 destinations. Because of the roaming regulation of the European Union, you can Roam like Home in 43 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 UK?

Virgin Mobile customers can roam all over the world. However, different prices apply for each destination zone, and the prices can differ between Pay Monthly subscribers and Pay As You Go customers.

Virgin Mobile splits its roaming destinations into 7 zones:

  • Zone 1 – Europe (Roam like Home)
  • Zone 2 – Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey & Isle of Man)
  • Zone 3 – United States, Canada, Australia & New Zealand
  • Zone 4 – Turkey & Switzerland
  • Zone 5 – Rest of World Zone 1*
  • Zone 6 – Rest of World Zone 2*
  • Zone 7 – Rest of World Zone 3*

* If you joined Virgin Mobile after December 2017 or swapped your SIM since that date, you cannot roam in the following 13 destinations:

If you want to roam in these destinations, consider getting an international SIM card like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, or SimCorner. I recently made a comparison post of the popular international sims out there.

If you are a Virgin Pay Monthly customer and you have been with Virgin Mobile for less than 3 months, Virgin may ask you to deposit £50 before they enable roaming on your plan.

Regarding billing for Virgin Pay Monthly subscribers, it can take some time before Virgin’s network partners to process your charges and send them to Virgin. As a result, you may not see the cost of using your phone abroad on your next bill – it could be the bill after that.

Man sitting seaside

How do I enable roaming with my Virgin Mobile Phone?

At least 24 hours before leaving the UK, you have to follow the following steps to enable roaming on your phone:

  1. Log in to Your Account
  2. Go to Plan and Device
  3. Select the Manage Services tab
  4. Scroll down to Going Abroad
  5. Turn the slider to ON
  6. While you’re there, check that your International call barring is switched OFF

You are now ready to enjoy your trip overseas!

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!

What are the roaming charges with Virgin Mobile UK?

Roaming prices differ between Virgin Mobile Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go Customers. The prices are discussed below.

Virgin Mobile Roaming charges for Pay Monthly subscribers

Notes:
1 All prices are in Pound Sterling (£/GBP/British Pound)
2 RLH stands for Roam like Home
3 Out. Call stands for Outgoing Call
4 Inc. Call stands for Incoming call
5 SMS is charged per text message
6 Data is charged per MB
7 The table is best viewed in landscape mode or desktop view (when on mobile)

DestinationOut. CallInc. CallSMSDataPicture Messaging
Roam like HomeRLHRLHRLHRLHRLH
Channel Islands0.3Free0.15Free0.5
USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand21.50.51.50.5
Turkey & Switzerland1Free0.5Free0.5
Rest of World Zone 12.61.50.51.50.5
Rest of World Zone 251.50.61.50.5
Rest of World Zone 34.81.51.21.50.5

Virgin Mobile Roaming charges for Pay As You Go customers

Notes:
1 All prices are in Pound Sterling (£/GBP/British Pound)
2 RLH stands for Roam like Home
3 Out. Call stands for Outgoing Call
4 Inc. Call stands for Incoming call
5 SMS is charged per text message
6 Data is charged per MB
7 The table is best viewed in landscape mode or desktop view (when on mobile)

DestinationOut. CallInc. CallSMSData
Roam like HomeRLHRLHRLHRLH
Channel Islands0.3Free0.150.5
USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand21.50.55
Turkey & Switzerland1Free0.50.5
Rest of World Zone 12.61.50.55
Rest of World Zone 251.50.65
Rest of World Zone 34.81.51.212.5

Where can I roam with Virgin Mobile UK?

Below you can find every destination where you can roam grouped by their zones.

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 UK Roam like Home Roaming Destinations (Zone 1)

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canary Islands
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Antilles
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madeira
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Reunion Islands
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Vatican City

Virgin Mobile UK Channel Islands Roaming Destinations (Zone 2)

  • Jersey
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man

Virgin Mobile UK Zone 3 Roaming Destinations (Zone 3)

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United States
World map on hands

Virgin Mobile UK Zone 4 Roaming Destinations (Zone 4)

  • Turkey
  • Switzerland

Virgin Mobile UK Rest of World Zone 1 Roaming Destinations (Zone 5)

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia 
  • Bahamas 
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • Nepal 
  • Pakistan 
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia 
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan 
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Set up FREE flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog when ticket prices drop!

Virgin Mobile UK Rest of World Zone 2 Roaming Destinations (Zone 6)

  • Cape Verde
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Togo

Virgin Mobile UK Rest of World Zone 3 Roaming Destinations (Zone 7)

  • Afghanistan 
  • Albania
  • Algeria 
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Azerbaijan 
  • Bahrain 
  • Bangladesh 
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia 
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Botswana 
  • Brunei 
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon 
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Ecuador

  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Gabon 
  • Gambia 
  • Georgia 
  • Ghana
  • Greenland
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Honduras 
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ivory Coast 
  • Jordan 
  • Kazakhstan 
  • Kuwait 
  • Kyrgyzstan 
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi 
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nicaragua 
  • Niger
  • Palestine
  • Paraguay
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles Islands
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda 
  • Uzbekistan 
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Travelers at an airport

Can I roam on planes with Virgin Mobile UK?

In-flight roaming is not possible with Virgin Mobile.

Can I roam on cruise ships with Virgin Mobile UK?

Maritime roaming is not available with Virgin Mobile UK.

Is roaming as a Virgin Mobile UK customer worth it?

Roaming with Virgin Mobile to European Union destinations is free, which is fantastic for those who want to visit mainland Europe. In those destinations, you do not have to worry about daily quotas or bill shock. In other destinations, however, you should be aware of the roaming rates.

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Do keep in mind, however, that fair-use policies apply when roaming within the EU, and you cannot roam more than your plan allows you to roam. For example, if you have a 20 GB plan for in the UK, you cannot roam more than 20 GB or the remainder of your data plan.

Also, depending on your plan, your Roam like Home roaming may be capped too. For example, if you have the 100 GB plan, you may only be able to roam 20 GB within the EU.

For destinations outside of the EU (or another zone 1 destinations), however, things start to become pricey. For example, making a 10-minute phone call in Australia (Zone 3) would cost you £20 (£2/min). Receiving a call of the same length would be £15 (£1.50/min). Data roaming should be out of question, as you would be charged £5/MB. Imagine downloading a 1 GB video (£5120)! Make sure to be connected to a WIFI network before having to pay high roaming bills.

Roaming in the Channel Islands (zone 2) can be considered too, where making a call costs 30p per minute, receiving calls are free, and data roaming is charged at 50p per MB. Even then, using 1 GB of data becomes £512. That is money you could better spend at your destination instead of giving it to Virgin Mobile. G

But roaming in Turkey or Switzerland (zone 4) can be considered “affordable” if compared to other zones. 50p per MB and £1.00 per minute for making a phone call. The question is whether it will be worth it for you to do any of those while abroad.

For some reason, sending an MMS as a Pay As You Go customer is cheaper than Pay Monthly subscriber (30p vs. 50p).

In Rest of World Zone 3 (Zone 7), let’s say the Maldives, making a call is £4.80 per minute, and data roaming would cost you a whopping £12.50 per MB. That is not worth it at all unless the call is an emergency. I would not even think of enabling data roaming in Rest of World Zone 1 to Zone 3 (zones 5-7) destinations. For these places, I would get a local SIM card or an international SIM card like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, or SimCorner.

My verdict: as long you roam within zone 1 destinations, roaming will be worth it because it is free. Anywhere else and you will be presented with a massive bill after your holiday – not the best way to remember your trip, I would say.

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!


Sources:

https://store.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-mobile/our-mobile-network/data-roaming-abroad.html
https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-mobile-check-data-roaming-costs
https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-mobile-roam-like-home
https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-mobile-roaming-european-zone
https://assets.virginmedia.com/help/assets/documents/Virgin_Mobile_Roaming_Guide.pdf (This link may prompt you to download a PDF depending on your browser settings)

Disclaimer: Information and prices are current as at the date of publication and are subject to change. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions for our Content Disclaimer.

Ernest Adu

Ernest Adu, going by just Adu, is the founder and editor at Phone Travel Wiz. He has been a traveler for 6 years. Although from Europe, the Netherlands, Adu's favorite region in Asia, in particular, East and Southeast Asia. He currently lives in Tainan, Taiwan, and plans on exploring Oceania and more of East and Southeast Asia.

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