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Free Mobile Offers 35 Days of Roaming in US

Cell phone service in France keeps getting cheaper. This month the low-cost operator Free has become the first to offer commitment-free mobile phone packages under €20/month that include the new Pass Destination: 35 days of free roaming per calendar year when traveling to the US and Canada (it already covers the EU and 100 other countries in red on the map). That means you get the same service you’d have as if you were inside France (unlimited calls, texts and up to 3GB of data). 

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The service is €19.99/month for the mobile phone service, or €15.99/month if you’re also a Freebox internet/landline/cable client. Once you go over 35 days the usual international roaming fees apply. According to most tech news sources, roaming fees will probably be a thing of the past in less than two years, so Free is just an early adopter of what will most likely be followed by the other operators. Read details here in English.

This news came just in time for me! I’m planning on a 36-day trip to the US this fall, so I’ll be switching operators this week . I’m currently with SFR Red, which is another commitment-free option, but with expensive roaming fees in the US. 


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  • Hey! I am American and French but moving to The Netherlands. Do you think it would make sense for me to get this plan given that I’d be out of France? I’m tempted because of the 35 days. But curious. Would my time in The Netherlands count toward the 35 days? Or not because it’s EU?

    Also — do we know if the 35 days can be spread out throughout the year?

    I realize you aren’t a rep haha, but if you have any insight would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • It would be counted as Europe, not the US, but I did recently read somewhere that if you’re out of France for more than three months (or that they otherwise don’t believe you’re a French resident) that they will cancel your service. You should have your contract where you live most of the year. That article is several years old now, so you need to look at the fine print on any new packages, as they change all of the time. Also…I have to say I wasn’t so happy with the coverage of Free in the US, and they kept blaming it on my phone (I have a Google Pixel) not their service. I wouldn’t rely on it as a long-term solution in any case.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Rabia: yes, you can only call from within the country you're visiting or back to France for free, calls between the countries (ie USA and Canada) will cost the normal long distance rate. I just switched over and will be in the US next month, so I'm going to test it for myself! 🙂

  • I would like to make a comment about the unlimited calls you mentioned are included in the 'Pass destination'.If you understand french check the following link https://mobile.free.fr/assistance/677.html , in the second paragraph it says 'Les appels, SMS & MMS sont donc illimités depuis ces destinations vers ces mêmes destinations et la France métropolitaine', it does says calls, SMS & MMS are unlimited from those destinations to the same destination and France. The way it is written in french is confusing but the unlimited calls mentioned are only from the country you are in and to France, for example if you are in the US you can only call US numbers (land lines and cell phones) and french numbers, You cannot call from one European country to another one, it works the same way than explained above, if you are in the UK, outgoing calls only in the UK and France.