How much does it cost to text internationally? It can be free or range up to $100/month. It all depends on the wireless carrier, your location, text type (SMS/MMS/Wi-Fi), and your current phone plan features.
We’ll cover the ins and outs of international texting – what it is, when you need it, and how much it costs – in this handy guide.
What Is International Texting?
International texting refers to sending and receiving text messages (SMS, MMS, and Wi-Fi) to or from a foreign country. International texting can mean:
- Texting a number in another country while you’re in the US
- Texting a number in another country while you’re traveling abroad
- Sending a text via Wi-Fi connection to or from another country
International texting, when it’s not free, is usually billed to the sender, not the receiver. That means receiving a text from a foreign country won’t result in charges to your phone plan or account with most wireless carriers.
If you want to avoid being charged for international texting by your wireless carrier, you can always opt for Wi-Fi texting using an internet connection while you’re abroad.
For example, iMessage and apps like TextNow or WhatsApp allow you to send free messages via your Wi-Fi connection without using cellular service.
International texting enables you to stay connected when you’re communicating with someone who doesn’t live in the same country as you or when you’re traveling out of the country.
But how much does it cost to text internationally? That largely depends on the wireless carrier you’re using, the country you’re sending messages from, the text delivery method (SMS, MMS, or Wi-Fi), and what kind of phone plan you have.
Let’s take a closer look at the average cost to text internationally on average and with the most popular wireless carriers next.
How Much Does It Cost to Text Internationally?
The cost of texting internationally can be a bit of a worry for travelers or people keeping in touch with a friend, family member, or colleague in another country.
In some cases, it’s free and included with your prepaid or postpaid phone plan. In others, you’ll need to purchase roaming credits, a daily use plan, a monthly international add-on plan, or pay per text message sent.
We’ll show you the average cost of international texting and cost by different wireless carriers below, including:
- Boost Mobile
- Mint Mobile
You’ll see quick references to the cost for stateside (international texts sent from the US) and abroad (international texts sent from foreign countries) texts for each carrier.
Average International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free, $0.10-$0.50/text, or $5-$15/month
- Abroad: Free, $0.05-$1.30/text, or $10-$100/month
Many wireless carriers offer international texting from the US (stateside) for free if you’re on an unlimited data plan (like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint).
Sending Wi-Fi texts to international numbers with iMessage and free texting apps won’t cost you anything.
Other carriers charge $0.10-$0.50 per text or a monthly international calling/texting add-on fee ranging from $5/month to $15/month in addition to the regular cost of your monthly prepaid or postpaid plan.
Texting internationally from a foreign country is free with some wireless carriers, like Sprint and T-Mobile, in selected countries. In most cases, you’ll pay an add-on fee in addition to your monthly plan cost ranging from $5/month to $100/month.
If you forego an international calling/texting add-on and prefer to pay per text, you can expect to be charged anywhere from $0.05-$1.30 per SMS or MMS text when you’re outside of the US.
Verizon International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free w/Unlimited data plans
- Abroad: $0.50/SMS; $5-$10/day (TravelPass); $100/month (International Plan)
Texting internationally when you’re stateside (in the US) is free with Verizon if you already have an unlimited data plan.
If you’re outside of the US, you’ll pay $5/day (Canada and Mexico) to $10/day (other countries) for a prepaid TravelPass that applies your regular plan’s talk, text, and data allowances for international usage.
If you’ll be outside of the US for 10 days or more, Verizon’s International Monthly Plan is a better option. For $100/month, you get unlimited international texts and data with 250 calling minutes.
There’s also special international Pay As You Go pricing at $0.50 per international text sent and $0.05 per text received for use on cruise ships and airplanes.
AT&T International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free with Unlimited plans or $0.25/SMS, $0.50/MMS
- Abroad: $0.50/SMS; $10/day (Day Pass); $35 (Prepaid Add-On); $60-$100/month (Cruise plan)
With AT&T, you can send and receive international texts for free from the US with your regular Unlimited phone plan. If you don’t have an Unlimited plan, it costs $0.25 (SMS) or $0.50 (MMS) to send international texts from the US.
When you’re abroad, you can choose from pay-per-use international texting at $0.50/SMS or $1.30/MMS if you don’t plan to text much. Purchase an International Day Pass for $10/day for unlimited international calls, texts, and data.
You can purchase a $35 AT&T Prepaid International Add-On plan that’s good for 7 days when you’re traveling abroad and already have an AT&T prepaid plan. It includes unlimited talk and text with 5 GB of data.
AT&T also offers special packages for cruises. Cruise Basic is $60/month and includes unlimited international texts, 100 minutes, and 100 MB of data. Cruise Plus is $100/month and includes unlimited text, talk, and 1 GB of data.
T-Mobile International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free with Essentials, Go5G, Magenta, ONE; $0.10/SMS
- Abroad: Free with Essentials, Go5G, and Magenta; $5/month (International Pass)
T-Mobile offers free unlimited international texting from the US with the Essentials, Go5G, Go5G Plus, Magenta, Magenta MAX, and ONE monthly plans. If you don’t have one of these plans, the cost to send an international text from the US is $0.10/SMS.
You can purchase an International Pass for $5/day that includes calling and data, but texting only applies in some countries. Otherwise, opt for one of their plans that comes with free international texting outside of the US.
These plans include Essentials ($90/month), Go5G ($130/month), Go5G Plus ($150/month), Magenta ($140/month), and Magenta MAX ($170/month).
Sprint International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free SMS texting to 180+ countries
- Abroad: Free SMS texting (Sprint Global Roaming); $15/month (International Connect)
Sprint offers free international texting (SMS only) from the US to more than 180 countries at no additional charge. All you need is a monthly Sprint plan to access this feature.
If you’re outside of the US, international texting is free and unlimited with Sprint Global Roaming in over 200 destinations.
If you want more data and calling minutes to landlines and mobile numbers, the International Connect add-on is $15/month and also includes unlimited international texting (SMS only).
Boost Mobile International Texting Cost
- Stateside: $5/month add-on (Todo Mexico PLUS); $10/month add-on (International Connect)
- Abroad: $5/month add-on (Todo Mexico PLUS); Other international roaming fees may apply
Boost Mobile does offer international texting when you’re in the US for a monthly fee of $5 (Todo Mexico PLUS, which covers unlimited international texting to 200+ countries).
Opt for the $10/month International Connect add-on if you need more international calling minutes, which covers unlimited international calling and texting.
You have fewer options for international texting when you’re outside of the US with Boost Mobile. The Todo Mexico PLUS plan allows you to text US and Mexican numbers from Mexico, but it doesn’t cover texting from any other foreign countries.
There may be a per-message charge for international texts sent or received while you’re roaming abroad. Check with Boost Mobile for details.
Mint Mobile International Texting Cost
- Stateside: Free SMS texting to 190+ countries worldwide
- Abroad: $0.05/SMS; Must purchase $5-$20 INTL roaming credits
Mint Mobile offers free international SMS texting to more than 190 countries around the world when you’re in the US. If you’re outside of the US, you’ll have to pay for international texting.
Mint Mobile requires you to purchase INTL (International) Roaming Credits in increments of $5, $10, or $20 in order to access international texting and calling ability.
Sending SMS texts to the 190+ countries included in Mint’s service area costs $0.05 per message, so even adding $5 of roaming credits can buy you 100 international texts.
Things to Consider
Now that you know how much it costs to text internationally, let’s take a look at some other helpful hints and tips for texting numbers in another country or while you’re traveling.
- Learn how to text internationally. If you’ve never sent a text to a number outside of the US, learning how to text internationally is easy. You’ll need the country’s international prefix (like 00, or +1), the country code, and the person’s cell phone number to send a text to another country.
- Verify your carrier’s international coverage. Most cell phone carriers offer widespread but not total worldwide coverage for international calling and texting. You can check your carrier’s website or call and speak to customer service to verify where coverage is offered and which countries are included with international texting and calling.
- Limit picture and video texts abroad. Most wireless carriers either block or charge extra for picture and video (MMS) text messages sent to international numbers or while you’re traveling abroad. Read the fine print or be on the safe side and stick to regular SMS text messages to international numbers or while you’re traveling abroad.
- Try Wi-Fi texting for free. If you have an Apple iPhone, you can send free iMessages to international numbers or while you’re traveling abroad as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. Free texting apps like WhatsApp and TextNow are other options for sending free Wi-Fi texts while you’re traveling or keeping in touch with people outside of the US.
- Consider the country of the recipient you need to text. Some wireless carriers offer free international texting to Canada and Mexico without the need for purchasing additional add-ons or paying a per-message fee. If you only need to text someone in Canada or Mexico, or are traveling to either country and need to text while you’re there, see if your carrier includes this service for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
People that wonder “How much does it cost to text internationally?” typically have a few more questions about staying connecting with people via texts in other countries.
Take a look at the FAQs below to learn more!
Can I text internationally with TextFree?
Yes, you can text internationally with the TextFree app. It only works for SMS messages, not MMS (picture/video) messages.
TextFree doesn’t limit which countries you can receive texts from, but you can only send texts to 36 countries with your TextFree number and you must be in the US or Canada to send texts with your account.
Do you get charged for international texts AT&T?
It’s free to send and receive international texts if you’re in the US and have an Unlimited AT&T phone plan. Without an Unlimited plan, international texts cost $0.25 (SMS) or $0.50 (MMS) to send from the US.
If you’re out of the US, pay-per-use with AT&T costs $0.50 (SMS) and $1.30 (MMS) to send international texts. Sign up for an International Day Pass for $10/day for unlimited international texts, calls, and data.
How do I send an international text?
To send an international text, you need the international prefix, country code, area code, and phone number of the recipient.
To text internationally from the US, enter 011 (or +), then the country code for the location of the recipient, then the recipient’s area code and number.
How much does it cost to receive a text while abroad?
With some wireless carriers, it’s free to receive texts while abroad. This is usually included with Unlimited phone plans or with special international plan add-ons.
If you’re paying per message, the cost ranges from $0.05 to $0.50 to receive an international text.
Do I pay to receive international texts?
It depends on your wireless carrier and which phone plan or add-on plan you’re using. It’s free to receive international texts in the US with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Other carriers may charge a small per-text fee to receive international texts. The fee is typically somewhere between $0.05 and $0.50 for SMS or MMS messages.
So, How Much Does It Cost to Text Internationally?
Texting internationally can be $0 or as much as $100/month – it just depends on the carrier you’re using, where you’re texting to and from, your current plan’s features, and the type of texts you’re sending.
While it can be free to text internationally from the US with several wireless carriers, many carriers charge for international add-on plans that include texting from $5-$100/month.
Some carriers require you to have a postpaid contract plan that costs $90+/month to access free international texting when you’re abroad.
Wireless carriers that charge per international text assign fees from $0.05 to $1.30 per text message. It’s usually more expensive to send or receive a picture/video text (MMS) than a basic text (SMS).
In general, it’s not very expensive to text internationally. In many cases, it won’t cost you a dime! But it’s a good idea to know the average fees and costs of texting internationally so you’re never hit with a surprise phone bill.