What needs to be turned off to avoid international charges?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ddublu, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2011
    Heading to Punta Cana on Friday....I had a Verizon intl plan put on my iPhone 5 but would really like to step away from work for this vacation....The resort will have wifi around the whole place so when I do have my device I will use that for most communication.....obviously i would turn cellular off but around messaging, is turning off "send as sms" the only other thing to turn off? MMS too, right?
  2. macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2011
    If you want nothing to come through on charges, calls, texts, etc, they make sure to put it in "Airplane Mode", if you want to get calls and texts, make sure to turn off "data roaming".

    all of that is in settings
  3. macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Airplane mode will certainly prevent you from getting charges, but the problem is it also disables Wifi and Bluetooth, which you don't want.

    Turning off Cellular Data and Send as SMS, and not answering your phone if it rings, will take care of most of the problem. However you will still be able to receive text messages via SMS, which I think you still get charged for. If you don't get many text messages then this might be sufficient for you. I'm not aware of a setting to completely turn off the cellular connection, other than Airplane Mode which disables everything.

    I have an AT&T phone so I can just pull the sim card, which completely takes care of the problem. I know Verizon phones for use only in the USA don't use sim cards, but I see that the Verizon iPhone supports GSM for international use. Does that mean it has a sim card? If so you could just pull it out to disable the cellular connection completely while out of the country. At least assuming Punta Cana is using GSM and not CDMA...
  4. macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    You can turn on airplane mode and still manually switch on wi-fi.
  5. macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Not quite. Due to the way GSM works you can end up being billed or double billed for calls that go to voicemail (once for the inbound call and once for the call going back to your voicemail center in the US). Airplane mode or shutting off the device is best practice if avoiding all international roaming charges are the top concern. As pointed out above, WiFi can be enabled in airplane mode.

    At&t's site is very clear about this

    but Verizon doesn't seem to be.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    (For ATT phones only) I always simply lock the SIM when I am abroad...
  7. macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Cool! Thanks, I never realized that. Looks like you can turn on Bluetooth also. That solves the whole problem then I think. Just leave Airplane mode on, and turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
  8. macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2012
    The Netherlands
  9. macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2011
    MN, USA
    If your phone is unlocked, an option could be to take along a sim cutter, buy a local sim and put it in your phone and have a local phone number. I generally have been using local SIMS in different countries for many years now.
  10. macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Not quite, because you can still be charged for receiving text messages.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2010
    This is the place
    This is the easiest and quickest way to avoid all international charges, but still get any messages wifi capable.

    Airport mode on, then manualy turn wifi back on.
  12. macrumors Core

    Oct 17, 2011
    With WiFi available, using that and iMessage (or any other data-based messaging service) along with Talkatone (or something else similar for calling, if needed) generally does the trick.

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