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Understanding how you will be charged while travelling

Learn about roaming charges, how to avoid unexpected roaming charges while travelling or near the US border, and information for travelling across Canada

How to avoid roaming charges while travelling or when close to the US border


Travelling to the US and internationally

When you arrive at your destination you will receive a welcome notification explaining the applicable roaming rates if you choose to use your device. This does not mean you are actually being charged for roaming.

If you’re looking to avoid roaming charges altogether, simply turn data roaming OFF in your mobile device’s settings and refrain from making calls, answering calls and sending any outgoing texts. Receiving incoming texts will never result in any roaming charges, as long as data roaming is turned OFF to avoid using mobile data for any pictures or videos that they may contain.

For more information on how to turn data roaming on and off in your mobile device’s settings, visit our support article.

Avoiding roaming charges when close to the US border

Sometimes if you are close enough to the US border and the signal from neighbouring US networks is stronger than the TELUS network, your device could automatically connect to a US network as if you are roaming. If this happens, any usage may accidentally be billed as roaming. In addition, you will likely receive a Welcome SMS notification that makes it seem like you are in the US.

Here are some tips to avoid accidental roaming charges when close to the US border:

  1. Turn data roaming off in your mobile device’s settings

Having data roaming off in your mobile device’s settings when close to the US border will help avoid accidental data roaming charges. For instructions on how to manage data roaming in your device’s settings, visit our support article.

  1. Manually select TELUS as your mobile network operator

Your device is set to automatically connect to the TELUS network while in Canada. However, to ensure seamless service if you travel to the US this setting will also pick up the applicable US network whenever its stronger. So if you are constantly connecting to a US network while still in Canada, you can manually select the TELUS network in your device’s mobile network settings to help avoid this.

Note: If you opt for a manual selection of the TELUS network, remember that you will need to switch back to the automatic network selection setting if you ever decide to roam in the US or internationally to ensure your service will work.

Find out how to manually select your network operator in your device’s settings.

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Using mobile data and Wi-Fi


Using mobile data (data roaming turned ON)

Depending on what travel coverage you have for your plan (Easy Roam, Roaming Pass or pay-per-use), the use of mobile data through our roaming partner’s network will be charged as follows:

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from data usage (if a 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Data will be used from your monthly plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Roaming data will be used from the pass
  • If no data is included in the pass, then the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply.

Tip: You can only use mobile data while roaming if data roaming is turned on in your device’s settings. For more information, see the above section in this article about avoiding roaming charges.

Using Wi-Fi while data roaming is turned OFF

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate
  • No charges apply

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Any minutes, text or data included in the pass will not be used
  • No charges apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • No charges apply

Important: If you’re using Wi-Fi while roaming and data roaming is turned ON in your mobile device’s settings, then roaming data charges may apply if the Wi-Fi signal weakens or disconnects. The charges will depend on the travel coverage for your plan just like when you’re using mobile data through our roaming partner’s network.

Search your travel destination at telus.com/travel to confirm the standard roaming pay-per-use rates.

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Text and instant messaging


Depending on what travel coverage you have for your plan (Easy Roam, Roaming Pass or pay-per-use), this is how the use of text and instant messaging through our roaming partner’s network will be charged.

Receive incoming texts from any number (no pictures or videos)

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate
  • No charges apply

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Any minutes, text or data included in the pass will not be used
  • No charges apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • No charges apply

Send outgoing texts to any mobile phone number in the world (no pictures or videos)

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will activate (if a 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Outgoing texts will be used from your monthly plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Outgoing texts will be used from your roaming pass for every 160 characters

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate of $0.60/text will apply, every 160 characters

Send or receive texts containing pictures or videos

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate (if a 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Data will be used from your monthly plan
  • If outgoing, a text will be used from your monthly rate plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • If outgoing, a text will be used from the amount included in the pass for every 160 characters
  • Roaming data will be used from the pass. If no data is included in pass, then the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • If outgoing, the standard roaming pay-per-use rate of $0.60/text will apply, every 160 characters
  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

Using instant messaging, like iMessage for iPhone and WhatsApp

This information applies for use of instant messaging over our roaming partner’s mobile network, and not Wi-Fi:

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from data usage (if a 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Data will be used from your monthly plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • If outgoing, a text will be used from the amount included in the pass for every 160 characters
  • Roaming data will be used from the pass. If no data is included in pass, then the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • Roaming data will be used and the standard roaming data pay-per-use rate will apply

Tip: Picture/video messages and instant messaging apps require a data connection to work. They will not work if data roaming is turned off and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. You can still use instant message apps on Wi-Fi to avoid any roaming charges. If you’re using Wi-Fi, just ensure data roaming is turned off in your mobile device’s settings to avoid accidental data charges.

Premium and subscription SMS numbers are always excluded and will be billed at the standard roaming pay-per-use rate for every 160 characters.

Search your travel destination at telus.com/travel to confirm the standard roaming pay-per-use rates.

When using iMessage over a Wi-Fi connection

iMessage for iPhones will attempt to send messages to other iPhone users using a data connection. However, if the data connection for your device or the recipient is too weak to send/receive the message over data, then the message will be sent as a normal text message by default. If this happens you will be subject to the applicable roaming charges for sending an outgoing text, depending if you have Easy Roam, a roaming pass or are using pay-per-use rates.

To avoid accidentally sending text messages to other iPhone users when using iMessage, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings
  2. Scroll down and select Messages
  3. Toggle Send as SMS OFF

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Making and receiving phone calls


Calling numbers in Canada and within your current destination, or answering any call

This information applies if you call any Canadian phone number (nationwide), call a phone number within your current travel destination (e.g., from US to US, nationwide) or answer a call from any phone number.

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from voice usage (if a 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Minutes will be used from your monthly plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Will use minutes included in the roaming pass and overage rates will apply if pass limit is exceeded

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

Calling non-Canadian numbers, numbers outside your current travel destination, or any other phone numbers

This information applies if you call numbers outside of Canada or your current travel destination (e.g., from England to US), or any other numbers that are excluded from Easy Roam and roaming passes (see below for the list of excluded phone numbers).

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate
  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Minutes included in the roaming pass will not be used
  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

Other phone numbers that are not included in Easy Roam and Roaming passes are:

  • Calls to toll free numbers while outside North America, 411, 511, and premium/subscription numbers
  • The following US phone numbers: Sanger, California (559-726-XXXX) Carroll, Iowa (712-775-XXXX) Lake Park, Iowa (712-432-XXXX) Oglala, South Dakota (605-562-XXXX) Redfield, South Dakota (605-475-XXXX)

Calling to check your voicemail

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam fee will activate from voice usage (if 24 hour period is not already active)
  • Minutes will not be used from your monthly plan

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Will use minutes included in the roaming pass and overage rates will apply if pass limit is exceeded

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • The standard roaming pay-per-use rate will apply for each minute of usage

Calling *611 and contacting TELUS for support

If you have Easy Roam:

  • Easy Roam daily fee will not activate
  • No charges apply

If you have a Roaming Pass:

  • Any minutes, text or data included in the pass will not be used
  • No charges apply

If you have no travel coverage for your destination (pay-per-use):

  • No charges apply

Search your travel destination at telus.com/travel to confirm the standard roaming pay-per-use rates.

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Monitoring roaming usage


Data usage with Easy Roam and roaming passes can be monitored using the My TELUS mobile app or My TELUS online. For more information on monitoring data usage and the data notifications you will receive while travelling, visit our support article.

Text message and voice minute usage cannot be monitored while travelling and a summary of your texts and minutes will only be available on your bill.

A summary of any roaming pay-per-use usage will only be available on your bill.

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Roaming on a cruise ship or in-flight


Easy Roam, Canada-US plans and roaming passes do not cover you on cruise ships or in-flight. Usage on cruise ships or in-flight will always be charged at $0.60 per text, $7.00 per minute and data usage will be blocked.

Travelling across Canada


The TELUS network covers you nationwide across Canada, so using your mobile device in different cities and provinces across Canada will not incur any roaming charges. You can access your monthly data across Canada without incurring roaming charges, and you can text Canadian phone numbers from anywhere across the country while on the TELUS network. If your monthly plan includes nationwide calling, then you can also call Canadian phone numbers from anywhere across the country.

Note: Calling or texting premium/subscription based phone numbers is always subject to the applicable charges for using that service, no matter where you are located.

Travelling across Canada with a local calling plan

If your monthly rate plan includes local calling minutes, then the Canadian long distance rates will apply for each minute of usage if the call is made outside your local calling area. Your local calling area depends on the home location of your phone number’s area code, your mobile device’s physical location and whether you are making an outgoing or incoming call. The example in the table below illustrates how local calling plans work while travelling in Canada:

Your Phone Number Area Code is local toYou are physically located inType of callThe other phone number’s area code is local toWill you be charged Canadian long distance fees?
Vancouver, BCToronto, ONOutgoing (i.e., call is made by you)Toronto, ONNo, this is a local call.
Vancouver, BCToronto, ONOutgoing (i.e., call is made by you)Vancouver, BCYes
Vancouver, BCToronto, ONIncoming (i.e., call is answered by you)Toronto, ONYes
Vancouver, BCToronto, ONIncoming (i.e., call is answered by you)Vancouver, BCYes

For the applicable Canadian long distance rates when making calls across Canada that are outside of your local calling area, visit telus.com/mobilityppu.

Visit our Easy Roam FAQ page for answers on how local calling plans work while travelling outside Canada with Easy Roam.

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