Roaming in Mexico: A Visitors Guide to Costs for Each Provider
I strongly believe in the value of keeping in touch with other people, especially while travelling. After writing a recent guide on roaming costs I was curious how much it costs specifically to use roaming in Mexico to stay in touch with people - both in Mexico and back home. I put together this guide on how much it costs people from around the world to roam in Mexico.
Roaming in Mexico is typically free for anyone coming from the US on major providers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. This includes data, texts, local calls, and calls back to the States. For visitors arriving from Canada, the UK or Australia expect to pay about the equivalent of approximately 150-200 pesos per day.
For the major providers from each country, the table below contains details on how much roaming in Mexico costs (all in your home currency):
|If you are from:||Expect to pay for roaming in Mexico|
In this guide to roaming in Mexico I've looked at how much it costs to roam your phone into Mexico if you're coming from each of these countries (click to skip ahead):
All currencies I use in these further details are the local ones (i.e. $10 under the section for United States means USD, and $12 under the Canadian section means CAD).
In general, it can be cheaper to get a local SIM card on arrival in Mexico. Unless you’re an American with one of the many US plans that include roaming in Mexico.
Roaming in Mexico is typically included if you have an unlimited plan from one of the larger cell providers. Including:
- AT&T: Free on many Unlimited plans, otherwise $10/day
- T-Mobile: Free
- Verizon: Many plans are free though some attract a charge of $5/day
I found that most of the plans with the big providers including roaming in Mexico at no additional cost. If your plan does not include roaming in Mexico, it can be cheaper to buy a local SIM card on arrival - particularly if you’re staying more than a few days.
I’ve looked at further details on what’s included for each of the big providers when you roam their plans into Mexico:
Many of AT&T’s Unlimited plans include Mexico roaming at no additional cost. This includes the Unlimited Starter plan.
That means when roaming in Mexico with AT&T you get:
- Data: Same as your plan back home
- Talk: Unlimited calls to Mexican numbers, unlimited calls to the States
- Texts: Unlimited texts to Mexican and US numbers (except for ‘advanced’ messaging, which is not available)
On a few other plans, Roam Mexico or Roam North America (which includes roaming in Mexico) is an add-on you have to buy. On plans that aren’t Unlimited it seems you have to buy the International Roaming Pass ($10/day)1.
Roaming in Mexico with T-Mobile is free if you have an Essentials or a Magenta plan.
The Essentials plan when used for roaming in Mexico includes:
- Data: Unlimited, at 2G speeds
- Talk: Unlimited
- Text: Unlimited
The Magenta plan when used for roaming in Mexico includes:
- Data: Up to 5GB at 4G speeds (then unlimited 2G)
- Talk: Unlimited
- Text: Unlimited
I reached out to T-Mobile to confirm - unlimited calls includes both calls to Mexican numbers while you’re in Mexico and calls back to the States2.
Roaming in Mexico with Verizon costs $5/day, or free if you have a Start, Play, Do or All Unlimited plan. A TravelPass can be added on to your plan and you’ll only be charged for the days you use it3.
The TravelPass includes:
- Data: 500mb full speed and then a slower speed after that
- Talk: As per your plan at home
- Text: As per your plan at home
I couldn’t find how much the speed slows down to and I’m not personally with Verizon myself. Please reach out if you’ve experienced it, I imagine it slows down based on network congestion rather than to a fixed speed.
To activate the TravelPass with Verizon, text
4004. More information is available on their website here.
Roaming a Canadian cell plan into Mexico typically costs about $12 per day. This typically gets you either access to your monthly plan, or additional data, along with unlimited talk and text in Mexico and back to Canada. In particular:
- Rogers, for $12/day your monthly plan quota is used
- Telus, for $12/day your monthly plan data is used but you get unlimited talk and text
- Bell, for $12/day you get an additional 500mb of data and then unlimited but slow data, and you get unlimited calls and text to Mexico and Canada
I’ve included further details for each of these major providers below.
Rogers’ Roam Like Home includes Mexico for $12 per day. Using Roam Like Home means that you can use:
- Data: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Talk: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Text: Deducted from your monthly plan
Calls can be used on Canadian numbers (just like normal) and to regular Mexican numbers as well.
Each day (and therefore $12 charge) counts as the calendar day ending at 11:59pm Eastern Time, regardless of where you are actually roaming. You’re only charged on calendar days when you make/receive a call, send a text, or use data (so receiving texts does not trigger Roam Like Home charges)4. Roaming is capped at 15 days per monthly bill - I usually advise if you’re looking to stay more than a few days in any country you should try your best to pick up a local SIM card.
Telus has its Easy Roam plan which costs $12 per day for use in Mexico. This means you can use:
- Data: Deducted from your monthly plan
- Talk: Unlimited to calls to Canada and Mexico
- Texts Unlimited to any phone number in the world
Easy Roam is activated as soon as you use roaming data, send a text, or make or answer a call. It is then active for 24 hours from that time.
Easy Roam is capped at $180 per billing cycle which equates to 15 days in Mexico5. I usually advise to pick up a local SIM card if you’re planning to stay more than a few days.
Roaming in Mexico on Bell is included on their Roam Better plan. For Mexico, this costs $12 per day and includes:
- Data: 500mb full speed then slowed down to 512kbps for the remainder of the day (by Eastern Time)
- Talk: Unlimited calls to Mexican and Canadian phone numbers
- Texts: Unlimited
Enrol by texting
8000. You can do this before you leave Canada as you’ll only be charged for each day you call, text, or use data when in Mexico6.
Typical roaming costs if you’re visiting Mexico with a phone from the UK are:
- Vodafone: £6/day to use your own allowances
- EE: Free on EE Max pay monthly plans, otherwise around £4.80/day for some data
- O2: £4.99/day for extra quota to be used in Mexico.
Further details for each provider are included below. These are the popular providers that support roaming at a decent rate. While I looked at other providers such as GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile, I really couldn’t find a circumstance where they represented good value roaming in Mexico.
I found that typically it’s only calls and texts back to the UK that are included, calling and texting Mexican numbers may attract international call rates.
Roaming with Vodafone in Mexico costs £6/day for most people, or free if you have the Unlimited Max or Red Entertainment plans.
- Data: Your plan allowance, or 25GB/month if you have an unlimited plan
- Calls: Your plan allowance - this means calling the UK is typically free, but calling Mexican numbers will likely cost international rates
- Texts: Your plan allowance - noting that texts to international numbers (even Mexican numbers) may attract international charges
Roaming is also available on pay as you go plans, but at a casual rate (think 12p per megabyte!) - I wouldn’t recommend it.
The £6/day charge only applies on days when you use data on your phone, make a call, or send a text (receiving calls or texts do not trigger the daily charge)7.
If you have an EE Max plan, then roaming to Mexico is included at no additional charge. The allowances for the EE Max plan are:
- Data: For pay monthly plans you get the greater of your plan allowance or 50GB; for pay as you go you get the greater of your plan allowance or 25GB
- Calls: Your plan allowance when calling the UK; £1.80 to call other numbers (seemingly including Mexican numbers)
- Texts: Your plan allowance when texting the UK
If you’re on a pay monthly plan that isn’t EE Max, then you can buy 500mb of data for £6. Calls can be purchased at the rate of £10 for 60 minutes.
Roaming is available on pay as you go plans, though I wouldn’t recommend it (incredibly expensive!). 400mb of data costs £4 by add-on8.
O2’s Travel Bolt On is available in Mexico and costs £4.99. The Travel Bolt On allowances are:
- Data: Unlimited, though speed may vary
- Calls: 120 minutes to be used on Mexican numbers or calls back to the UK
- Texts: 120 texts to be used on Mexican numbers or messages back to the UK
Data, calls, and texts are NOT deducted from your allowances in the UK. I haven’t experienced O2’s roaming data speed (my only UK experience is with Vodafone), but I imagine it will be usable but not fast.
The Travel Bolt On is only available on pay monthly plans.Text
23336 to get started. This should be done at least 24 hours before you need it and you’ll only be charged for the days you use it9.
Roaming in Mexico typically attracts these costs for Australians:
- Telstra: $10/day for 500mb and unlimited calls and SMS
- Vodafone: $5/day to use your Australian quota
- Optus: $10/day for 1GB and unlimited calls and SMS
More details on each of these included below.
Telstra offers an International Day Pass for $10 per day that covers Mexico. It includes:
- Data: 500mb/day
- Calls: Unlimited calls to standard Mexican phone numbers
- SMS: Unlimited texts to standard Mexican phone numbers
Telstra doesn’t actually state that calls to Australia are part of the International Day Pass, though I’d take a guess they’re included. All quotas are in addition to your normal monthly plan10.
Vodafone Global Roaming is available in Mexico for $5/day. This includes:
- Data: Use your own plan quota
- Calls: Use your own plan quota
- SMS: Use your own plan quota
Roaming is activated automatically once you use your phone in Mexico11.
Optus has a $10/day Roaming Pass available for use in Mexico. This includes:
- Data: 1GB per day
- Calls: Unlimited
- SMS: Unlimited
Data is in addition to your plan allowance in Australia. If you have a plan with roaming allowances included, as soon as these are used up, Optus will roll you over onto this Roaming Pass12.
Optus doesn’t say where the calls can be made. I’d take a guess they include calls to Australia and Mexico when roaming in Mexico.
Roaming Pass is activated in the Optus App and may take up to 48 hours to activate (though you’ll only be charged on days you use it).
How to Beat Roaming Costs
Some of the ways I’ve found to beat roaming costs include:
- Buying a local SIM card
- Using Skype or apps to make phone calls (on that local SIM card, or using WiFi)
- Setting up VOIP to make phone calls
Buying a local SIM card is my favourite, it lets me call and be called in the country I’m visiting. If I’m staying in a country more than a few days I will buy a local SIM card.
I wrote a whole guide about each of these steps, you can check it out here: alternatives-to-roaming
Written by Chris who travels frequently for work and understands what it can be like to arrive somewhere new and unfamiliar.
I wrote Landing Last Minute to help the hurried traveler get necessary information about any destination.