Tesco Phone Card Abroad Assignment

Your Tesco Mobile device is already set up to work while you're abroad. Just switch it on when you arrive and it will automatically connect to a local network, who'll send you a welcome text.

Connect to a network manually

If your phone doesn't pick up a local network, you can do it manually. Find your destination on our international calling page and you'll see the networks you can use in that country. If there's no roaming agreement, you might not be able to use all the normal services on your phone, like calling Customer Care and the automated payment line.

Our online device guides are full of useful information on how to use your phone. Find your phone and follow the steps on how to connect to a network manually. 

Calls and texts

Calling and texting when you're in a Home From Home destination comes out of your monthly allowance or free credit. Calling and texting out of our Home From Home destinations is not included. When you’re calling or texting the UK, you don’t need to add the UK country code, just dial or text the number like you would at home. And don’t forget that you'll be charged for incoming calls while you're abroad if you're visiting a country outside of our Home From Home destinations.

Voicemail messages

It's free to receive to receive messages while you're abroad. Listening to your voicemail comes out of your allowance or bundle when you're in a Home From Home destination. If you're somewhere else, we'll charge you the cost of a call back to the UK. You can switch voicemail off by dialling 2915 and switch it back on by dialling 2905. You can listen to your messages abroad by dialling 905 from your Tesco Mobile phone.

Using data abroad

You can use data abroad just as you do at home and it will come out of your monthly allowance if you are in a Home From Home destination. In other locations, roaming charges will apply. The best way to avoid paying for data abroad is to turn off data roaming on your phone or tablet before you leave and then use free Wi-Fi wherever it’s available. To find out how to do this on your device check out our device guides.

Know the costs

Make sure you check the call, text and data charges from abroad to the UK before you go away. You can also check roaming costs in our free Tesco Mobile app.

How does it work on your tariff?

Pay as you go

Simply use your device as normal while you’re abroad and top-up on 4444 from a Tesco Mobile phone if you need to. It’s free to call 4444 from your Tesco Mobile phone when you’re abroad. Triple Credit and bundles you've bought will be used when you're in a Home From Home destination but make sure you know the other call charges from abroad to the UK.

To check your balance while you're abroad, text the word BALANCE to 2112 for free.

Pay monthly Capped customers who joined on or after 8 August 2013

Simply use your phone or tablet as normal while you’re abroad. If you use up your safety buffer while you’re away you can:

  • Call 4488 free to make a one-off payment
  • Increase or remove your safety buffer in our app or by calling 4488 free from your Tesco Mobile phone

If you know you’re going to be using your device while you’re away, you can increase your safety buffer before you go. You can also remove your safety buffer if you like. But remember that if you don’t have a safety buffer you could run up a big bill because you won’t get any warnings until you reach your account limit.

Pay monthly Capped customers who joined before 8 August 2013


If you're going to a Home From Home destination your phone is ready to use. If you're travelling in the rest of the world you will need to top-up before you go by calling 4488 free from your Tesco Mobile phone. Our newer tariffs let you choose a safety buffer, instead of having to top-up, which you might find more convenient.

Need more help?

If you have problems using your device abroad, please call Customer Care on 00 44345 301 4455 from another phone and we'll be happy to help. It'll cost you the same as a call back to the UK.

Got family and friends abroad to keep in touch with, or going abroad and looking for ways to call home on the cheap? We've got you covered! Having loved ones abroad doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of expensive calls and scary phone bills.

To prove just how easy it is to stay in touch without compromising your pub budget, we've complied our top tips on low cost international chinwags.

No more excuses not to call mum and dad, then!

Ways to make cheap international calls

Free calls online

It's amazing how much the internet has revolutionised the way we speak to friends and family – both abroad and at home!

The arrival of VoIP software (we don't know what it means either, but it's not so important) means that as long as you and your callee have got access to the internet, you can chinwag to your heart's content at no extra cost. Woopiee!

Note that both you and the person you're calling need to be signed up to contact each other through these apps. Many will offer “real world calls” to landlines and mobile phones if you buy credit, but this isn't very cost effective. If it's a phone you need to call, skip to the next section.

Here's our top pick of apps to get you connected.

  1. Skype

    Perhaps the most well known video calling platform of them all, Skype is free to download on any computer and can also come as an app on your smartphone.

    Skype is pretty prolific these days, and is often even used for job interviews, so it's definitely worth signing up for an account if you haven't already.

    It's also worth noting you don't have to video call all the time – audio calls are acceptable too.

    Check out Skype »

  2. Facetime for Apple

    Basically, any Apple device, whether it be an iPhone, iPad, iPod or a Mac has this cool bit of kit called Facetime on it which allows you to call any other Facetime user.

    Of course this relies on both parties being Apple-ed up to to the nines, but if you are it's a really good shout as it comes preinstalled and the line is generally really decent.

    Check out Facetime »

  3. Viber

    If we haven't exhausted you enough already with options, it's well worth checking out Viber for your calling abroad options.

    A nifty little purpleapp that works on pretty much all the platforms you could ever think of, Viber lets you call or text on WiFi for free.

    Check out Viber »

  4. Google Hangouts

    If you've and your callee have got a Gmail account, Google Hangouts is a great option for calling (and pretty under rated if you ask us). Whereas the likes of Viber and Skype aren't without their occasional glitchy lines, Google Hangouts is practically flawless.

    An additional bonus is you can attach moustache and hat stickers to each others faces while you video chat – a great distraction tactic for when they ask how your coursework is going!

    Check out Google Hangouts »

  5. Facebook messenger

    You'd be forgiven for forgetting that calls and video calls are also available via your Facebook Messenger window. Just have a look out for the phone or camera symbol next to their name in your chat box, and click to call.

    Note that calls on FM are only possible if both of you are online at the same time.

    Check out Facebook Messenger »

  6. Line

    Line is one of the lesser-known online calling apps in the UK, but it's massive in Asia. This is a fun one to use to, as the app has the most ridiculously massive catalogue of stickers to add into your chats.

    One issue is that it doesn't work across devices (so your computer and phone) as you can only assign one device to a phone number.

    Check out Line »

Re-routing & International Calling Cards

If you don't have the luxury of free wifi to hand, or you need to call a phoneline abroad as opposed to just a digital device, there's still no need to splash out.

Override providers allow you to call abroad from any phone by dialling what's called an ‘access number' followed by the actual phone number you'd like to call.

You’ll only be charged the cost of a normal phone call in the region you're making the call to (plus a 4p connection charge), so while these calls aren't free, the savings are HUGE. You're talking about knocking a 24p/min call down to 1p/min. Wowza!

Override providers work by having you sign up to their service using your phone number and arranging a direct debit. You'll then be charged at the end of each month – but only for the calls you actually make.

You'll be given the company's access number to enter into your phone before the international number you want to call, and they will charge you accordingly.

The most prominent company offering this service are called 18185 – find out their rates plus how to sign up here.

Another possible way to use override providers is by simply dialling a special number before the number you're ringing, and the price of the call will be added onto your bill.

Whilst this is pretty straight forward (no sign-ups necessary) and a bit cheaper than it would be to call abroad directly from a mobile, it's still much more expensive than the other options mentioned in this guide.

International calling cards

If you're the kind of person who prefers to play it simple, and don't want to spend money you don't have, an international calling card is definitely a goer.

You can buy an international calling card from most newsagents, and how it works is that you buy a card with a particular value (£5, £10, £20, etc.) and on the back of the card you'll scratch off to reveal a number that you dial to reroute the call and start using the credit on the card. You'll also be charged the local call rate on top of this.

Another option is to pick up a prepaid international calling card. Tesco offers one where you can top up as little as £3 at a time, and then use the special number on the card to call abroad from as little at 1p/min.

What's good about this one is that as well as topping up online or on the phone you can also do it at any shop with the paypoint sign.

Check out Tesco's Calling Card »

International SIMs/Tariffs

If you're going to be making a lot of calls on a regular basis, it might be worth getting yourself a special mobile bundle to accommodate this.

You can pick up international SIM cards cheaply (often for free) and you just top up as you go. Alternatively, you can speak to your mobile contract provider for the cost of a bundle to call home.

  1. Lycamobile


    The biggest name in international SIMs, Lycamobile will dish you out a SIM free of charge. You can then choose to go PAYG, topping up credit when necessary, or go for one of their international bundles.

    The cheapest bundle they offer is £15/month for 100 free international call minutes (+ unlimited free UK calls and texts + 4GB data) or £30/ month will get you unlimited free international calls (+unlimited free UK calls and texts + 5GB data).

    Just make sure the region you're calling is on their list, otherwise this will be a waste of your cash!

    Check out Lycamobile »

  2. O2

    O2's international SIM offers the cheapest rate of all the major mobile providers, with rates from 1p/min.

    Again, you'll be able to get your hands on a free SIM, and contract lengths are only 30 days long, so you're able to renew or cancel whenever is suitable.

    For £15/month, you get unlimited calls and texts to other UK O2 users, plus £15 credit to go towards international calls and texts.

    Check out O2 »

So there you have it, the cheapest way to have gossip with your mates and famalam abroad.

If you've got any other ideas on how to make a call on the less pricey end of the scale give us a shout in the comments below!

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