Does Unlimited Texting Include International Messages?

Unlimited texting gives you the ability to send as many messages to people as often as you want. While this may seem like a pretty straightforward policy, there is one stipulation to consider. What happens when the person you’re texting lives out of the country? Does unlimited texting include international messages? The information below explains some general policies about international text messaging so you know your options.

Does Unlimited Texting Include International Texts?

With most cell phone providers, international text messaging falls under a completely separate policy. There should be a disclosure in your text messaging terms of agreement that states how much international texting costs. If not, it will use the term “domestic” for the policy to distinguish between text messages inside and outside of the country. If your policy lists international text messaging as an inclusion in your plan, you will not have to worry about it.

How Much Does International Text Messaging Cost?

The cost of international text messages varies from carrier to carrier. Most of them charge between $0.20 to $0.25 for both sending and receiving text messages outside of the country. If your phone carrier allows you to approve messages before receiving them, you can choose to decline them and thus, bypass the charges. Otherwise, you will just need to be prepared for these costs.

Note that multimedia messages will likely cost more to send and receive. On average, expect to spend $0.50 per multimedia message if you are sending it internationally. Also note that the cost in messaging may vary from country to country. Most cell phone providers have a list of rates by country somewhere on their website.

How to Send Text Messages to Other Countries

Here is a basic outline of the steps needed to send international text messages:

  1. Check for compatibility. Ask your friend or family member which cell phone provider he works with so you can make sure your text messages will go through. Most cellular companies will accept messages from other companies, but some only work within their own country. Pay particularly close attention to the multimedia messaging policies, as those vary widely between companies.
  2. Use the right phone number. Assuming the other person’s phone is compatible with yours, you can send a text messages to the person’s number. When you do so though, you need to make sure you include the dial out code for your country and the country code for the other person’s country. For instance, in America, the dial out code is 011. The dial in code for Argentina is 54. Thus, if you were sending a message to someone in Argentina, you would type 01154+(phone number).
  3. Send the text message. Once you have the right number in place, you can send the text message as normal.

How to Save on International Text Messaging

If you know you will be sending a lot of international text messages, use these tips to save money:

  • Ask about international packages. Some phone providers will offer bundle prices for a certain number of international calls or texts per month, depending on what you need.
  • Send emails instead of text messages. As long as your data plan supports the number of emails you need to send, you can connect with people outside of the country without spending extra money.
  • Ask your friends not to text. If you are taking a trip, tell your friends how costly it will be to receive texts and ask them to withhold texts while you are traveling abroad.
  • Compare international texting prices. Every phone company is different. You have to find out which one is the most affordable for you.

Consider this advice, and you may be able to send international text messages without breaking the bank.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.