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Registered: ‎09-07-2010

Using giffgaff abroad.

[ Edited ]

Following some recent posts on a few subjects relating to giffgaff use abroad I thought I would pull together some info into a single thread



Do I need to tell giffgaff I'm outside of the UK


No, by default your giffgaff sim is enabled for use outside of the UK, unless you have previously asked giffgaff to bar roaming. 


Will my phone work


Different regions of the world use different frequency bands for their 2G and 3G mobile services. Check your handset's specifications. The more bands it supports, the more likely it is to work in more destinations




Dual band  : Europe

Tri-band     : USA/Canada

Quad Band :Asia 



Do I need to change my phone settings


Make sure your phone's network selection is set to automatic, to ensure it can pick up a roaming network when you arrive at your destination


Call costs


To make calls and texts whilst you are abroad, you must have sufficient airtime credit, as any calls/texts made whilst roaming abroad do not come from goody bag allowances or free giffgaff to giffgaff allowances and are charged.


If you know that you will be away from the UK for an extended period, then avoid buying a goodybag until your return to avoid wasting money on something you will be unable to use.


People calling your giffgaff number from the UK will still be able to make a free giffgaff to giffgaff call to it if they are entitled to, or will be charged the relevant UK rate or goodybag allowance as the location of your phone does not affect them. 


Please note that whilst roaming abroad, you will be charged for receiving calls, however texts are free to receive 


See for up to date prices



Data Roaming


Bear in mind that using data outside of the UK will be more expensive, in addition costs will be even higher outside of the EU and selected countries. Where possible, make use of free hotel wi-fi and other available sources.


For members using data in any EU country: (Inc, Andorra, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) VAT Inclusive

Members will be charged at £0.45 per MB.


For members using data in any other country: (VAT not inclusive)

Members will be charged at £5.00 per MB.





Picture messages should work as long as you have configured your MMS settings correctly and have sufficient credit, however some people have reported that they have had issues with it not working whilst abroad.



What network will I be on / How to dial internationally


Please note that the following is only a guide as giffgaff have similar roaming agreements to o2 for payg. 


Go to, enter tariff as Pay and Go and enter your destination


This will list the o2 partner network in that area that your phone should roam on. Ignore the prices listed and refer to giffgaff's own prices


In addition if there are any special dialling codes needed for an area, these will be listed.



Other advice


Another alternative to using your giffgaff sim is to obtain a local sim for your destination




Your Experiences


As an extra idea people may wish to contribute their actual experiences when using non-uk networks

This will be subjective and represent the service at the time, not a guarantee that you would experience the same


Maybe add a post with a header of


Country:  eg France

Network: eg Bouygues

Details:   eg Good reception outdoors in cities, limited rural coverage



Credits [ Vincent, commsyeo , andy0,  aandms]

Posts: 17,270
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Using giffgaff abroad

Nice one, may i add if your not bothered about taking your number look here for cheaper options
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Posts: 19,713
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Registered: ‎05-10-2010

Re: Using giffgaff abroad

Excellent piece of information Darren.Salud,Les

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Re: Using giffgaff abroad

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Registered: ‎09-07-2010

Re: Using giffgaff abroad

A kudo to you for reminding me Smiley Happy and amended as requested
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Registered: ‎27-11-2009

Re: Using giffgaff abroad.

[ Edited ]
It will work out cheaper if you use an app to send texts back to the uk , using the smsbug app will only use a few kb,s to send a text, it costs 3 euros to buy a bundle of 100 texts, so every text works out around 5 p each
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Posts: 14
Registered: ‎31-05-2011

Re: Using giffgaff abroad.

Yeah but thats a bit too much effort just to send a text.

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Registered: ‎27-11-2009

Re: Using giffgaff abroad.

What's too much effort? Using smsbug? There's not much effort at all resly
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Registered: ‎10-12-2011

Re: Using giffgaff abroad.

Easier still to find free wifi hotspot and you viber or Skype
Look out for Mc donalds, Starbucks and other big chain with free WIFI and use skype or viber to make cheap or even free call
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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎27-08-2011

Re: Using giffgaff abroad.

Thank you for that. I actually asked a similar question, but now, having logged in again, can't find my original question anywhere! Your answer - and the link about useful tips using your mobile abroad - have helped. I think I have to buy extra credit - maybe £5 on top of my £5 Hokey Cokey goody bag.