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MSE 3 PAYG workaround

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BarkingMad
BarkingMad Posts: 56 Forumite
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We've been with 3 since 2018 on a 1 month notice plan with 50% friends and family discount. At the time, the 1 month option was good because we wanted to try the service/coverage and the 50% discount made it a reasonable cost for that flexibility.

Over time the price has increased so it just under £11/m for 4GB. We've used the roam free capability in the US and Europe on an annual basis until C19.

I'm thinking of reducing costs, and I'm aware that changing contracts may mean I would be subject to CPI+3.9% (or similar) annual increases and possibly no free roaming.

One of the suggestions on the MSE website for roaming is the 3 PAYG SIM. How would this work if, say, I moved to another provider and used a 3 PAYG whilst abroad, but....
a) my bank/credit card provider/other party tried to call me. Is it possible to forward all calls to the temporary 3 number?
b) a website wants to send a SMS to my number (part of 2 factor authorisation logon). I'm guessing there's no way to forward text messages to the temporary 3 number? Perhaps the website would provide another way to verify me through 2FA?

Any thoughts?
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  • eDicky
    eDicky Posts: 6,640 Forumite
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    Even when there's roaming charges an incoming text is always free on any network. So at least the login codes can be received to your regular number free of charge. A dual-SIM handset can be very useful for travel.
    Evolution, not revolution
  • BUFF
    BUFF Posts: 2,185 Forumite
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    I woudn't make any long-term plans regarding roaming & the 3 PAYG sim (& I am one who espouses them).
    Whilst it doesn't currently attract the per day cost for roaming that the 3 contract sims now do I imagine that it is just a question of time ... (most of the competitors already do this).
    Whilst there are still free options for roaming in Europe it's harder for the US.
  • BarkingMad
    BarkingMad Posts: 56 Forumite
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    Thanks for the replies.

    @eDicky, I guess an incoming text is considered "data" so would it arrive if I had roaming and data turned off? Looking at my phone, I can have mobile data on, with roaming off, so perhaps it would arrive.

    @BUFF, yes, for the time being I'll probably stick with the current 3 contract. EE have a Roam Abroad Pass that is £10/month for 30 days in the USA. Although EE isn't the cheapest pay monthly provider in the UK.
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,500 Forumite
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    Why stick wth a contract, loads of much cheaper PAYG deals, eg SMARTY, who use the 3 network so same coverage, £6 a month for 4GB of data including EU roaming https://smarty.co.uk/plans/4gb-data
  • eDicky
    eDicky Posts: 6,640 Forumite
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    I guess an incoming text is considered "data"

    Text messages (SMS) are independent of mobile data and not affected by data settings, so will arrive whenever cellular roaming is active.
    Evolution, not revolution
  • BarkingMad
    BarkingMad Posts: 56 Forumite
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    zagfles said:
    Why stick wth a contract, loads of much cheaper PAYG deals, eg SMARTY, who use the 3 network so same coverage, £6 a month for 4GB of data including EU roaming https://smarty.co.uk/plans/4gb-data

    It may be swings and rondabouts for non EU (e.g. USA) travel. I'd save approx £5 per month, or £60 per year with SMARTY. The USA charges are 10p/mb. Say I used 1GB then that would be 1000 (MB) @ £0.10 per MB = £100


  • BarkingMad
    BarkingMad Posts: 56 Forumite
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    eDicky said:
    I guess an incoming text is considered "data"

    Text messages (SMS) are independent of mobile data and not affected by data settings, so will arrive whenever cellular roaming is active.

    Thanks. I didn't appreciate SMS were not data.
  • k_man
    k_man Posts: 1,636 Forumite
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    What model is your mobile, and how often do you need to roam?

    A second SIM (or for more choice, eSIM) used for international data is usually only around £3 per GB
  • BarkingMad
    BarkingMad Posts: 56 Forumite
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    k_man said:
    What model is your mobile, and how often do you need to roam?

    A second SIM (or for more choice, eSIM) used for international data is usually only around £3 per GB

    Roaming was for around 21 days per year pre C19 and cost of living increases. 7-8 in the USA. I've an IPhone SE 2020.

  • k_man
    k_man Posts: 1,636 Forumite
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    Then you should be able to add an eSIM for data.
    Lots to choose from:

    https://esimdb.com/usa
    https://esims.io/countries/united-states

    Many of the providers offer eSIMs covering multiple countries, and data with long expiry.
    E.g. BNESIM E7 covers 100 + countries, most of Europe, US and includes UK (so you test before you go!)

    And keep your main SIM/contract as is, without compromising the package just for a few weeks foreign data.

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