'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation


Summer is over, which means that a fleeting velvet season has begun at domestic resorts, after which it will be possible to bask in the sun and swim in the sea only abroad. For many on vacation, the smartphone becomes the main communication device, which has long become an indispensable companion of a modern person in all spheres of his life. However, the current realities of mobile business and pricing peculiarities have taught us that mobile communication in foreign trips is one of the significant items of expenses and often rises on a par with plane or train tickets, and even accommodation. Experienced travelers know more than one way to save money on a trip abroad. This includes buying a local SIM card, and disabling data transmission and using Wi-Fi in hotels and public places, and, as a last resort, even refusing to use a smartphone as a means of communication and setting a flight mode during a trip.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

As a fairly frequent traveler, I take the issue of providing myself with uninterrupted communications seriously and always try to find the most economical options. Often, such searches lead to unexpected and not always obvious discoveries. This happened on my last trip. And so, before the next flight abroad, I decided to share with you my option to save decent money on communication abroad, while not bothering to buy SIM-cards from foreign operators. Therefore, today I will talk about how to save money using a SIM card of a Russian operator. I hope that our 'chief for cellular operators' Sergei Potresov will not mind that I climb a little into his garden.

So let's go.

My main operator is MTS, and it turned out that this particular operator has a very interesting offer – the 'Zabugorische' option.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

Yes, this is far from a new and therefore familiar solution for many trips abroad. But do not rush to disperse and even more so accuse me of advertising something. In fact, in matters of choosing an operator for trips, I adhere to the position of 'who is cheaper, so the food'. It just so happened that before the previous trip, I came across one interesting promotion, which ultimately allowed me not to pay for communication at all, being in Italy.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

But before we move on to the 'life hack', I think it is important to remember the parameters of the option, which in itself is a good proposal.

So, 'Zabugorische' is an option that allows you to use the packages of your tariff plan while abroad without overpaying for roaming.

It is also important to remember that in order to use the option, you must be served on a package tariff plan, for example, the Smart line. A more detailed list of TPs on which Zabugorishche is provided can be found on the operator's website.

The second thing to be aware of is that, unfortunately, the option does not work in all countries. Here is a list of countries where Zabugorishche will not work:

Algeria, Andorra, Bahamas, Guam, Iran, Cuba, Madagascar, Maldives, Oman, Panama, Northern Mariana Islands, Seychelles, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Philippines, South Ossetia, Jamaica, satellite systems, ships and aircraft.

In addition, there are countries in which Zabugorishche will not work only in the networks of certain operators:

in the Digicel operator network in countries and islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti, Grenada, Dominica, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Turks and Caicos.

In the networks of other operators, when you are in the above zones, the Zabugorische service is valid

Keep this in mind when planning your trip.

Now about the prices.

All countries are divided into two large groups:

  1. Popular countries that include:

    Abkhazia, Australia, Armenia, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Denmark, Israel, India, Spain, Italy, Canada, Qatar, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, UAE, Portugal, Romania, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey (including Northern Cyprus), Ukraine, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, Estonia.

  2. Other countries.

    These are all other countries. Except for the excluded countries listed above.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

Differences in tariffing

The difference is that in popular countries the option costs 320 rubles per day and provides the opportunity to receive incoming calls in the amount of 100 minutes per day, as well as to call Russia for free up to 100 minutes per day. Exceeded 100 minutes? Until the end of the day you communicate for 25 rubles. in a minute.

But when you are in other countries, the conditions are slightly different.

The option costs 390 rubles, and free incoming calls are charged according to the scheme – the first 10 minutes of one call are free. Starting from 11 minutes of each such conversation – 25 rubles per minute. Those who like to chat should remember that there are 200 such free minutes in total and they are provided until the end of the calendar month.

Outgoing: 1 minute – base rate for the host country. Then from the 2nd to the 5th minute – 25 rubles, and from the 6th minute again the basic tariff.

But this is with regard to calls.

Now about the Internet.

In popular countries, the package included in your tariff plan is consumed, but there are also limitations, this is 500 MB per day at an unlimited speed, and upon exhaustion, the speed is limited to 128 Kb / s until the end of the calendar day.

In other countries, a traffic package is provided, which may differ depending on the host country. More details can be found on the website.

As you can see, the option itself is pretty good. But this is not enough for us. We want even more profitable. And it is possible.

Actually, to the very pulp.

A small spoiler: perhaps the method is not suitable for everyone, but whoever seeks will always find.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

So, even during my last trip, I learned that MTS, together with the VISA payment system, is holding a promotion, thanks to which you can use the 'Zabugorishche' option for free if you are the owner of a VISA card of one of the premium categories.

These are cards of the Platinum, Signature, Infinite categories.

Depending on which card you have, you will receive 7, 14 or 28 days of free 'Zabugorishch'.

  • Platinum – for 7 days,
  • Signature – for 14 days,
  • Infinite – for 28 days.

On the one hand, cards of these categories are in themselves an expensive pleasure, on the other hand, we live in Russia, where there is a kind of banking system, thanks to which almost any resident can get himself, for example, a credit card, which turns out to be a privileged category.

It is only important to know that we are talking specifically about the category of the card, and not about the name.

For example, Tinkoff Bank has a Tinkoff Bank Platinum card. But that's just the name of the card. This card will not work for us. We need a card that will have premium not in the name, but in the category of the payment system itself.

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

How to distinguish such cards from each other?

We look at the logo of the payment system. It should say VISA Platinum, like this:

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

Most often, you will be able to find a Platinum card. Therefore, you should only count on 7 days of freebies. If you have cards of other, higher categories, then I can assume that being abroad, you do not need to save some 320 or 380 rubles a day. ? Although…

They like to give out premium cards either to new banks that are just gaining a client base, or banks that have been working on the market for a long time and need to increase this base. Or promoting a new product. In general, if you search, you can find. In the search for such banks, I am not an assistant – here you are, since our country is large and in different regions there may be different conditions. One thing I can say for sure – you can find it. For example, I once issued a VISA Platinum card without service fees and without a credit limit.

So, suppose we have found the card, since it is actually not difficult, given that the card can in fact not be used without getting into loans and interest (if the card is a credit card). We only need from it the very fact of connecting auto payment.

Now, actually, how to get freebies. And this is very simple. It is necessary to connect auto payment from MTS to the number with which you are planning a trip using the MTS 'Personal Account' or on the MTS website in the 'MTS Money – Auto Payment' section.

It is important. Auto payment on the side of the telecom operator, and not in your bank account!

'Freebie' or save on communication on vacation

All. After a couple of days, you will receive a message to your number with a proposal to connect the Zabugorishche promotional service using a simple combination, which will also be in the message.

The option can be added while still in Russia, since it will start working only when the number is registered in the network of a foreign operator and when you try to use the connection.

This is especially cool – with one premium bank card you can connect auto payment for several numbers. And also auto payment from MTS can be connected with any amount and frequency. But there are also limitations – one number can take part in the promotion only once.

Another important thing is that after the end of the grace days, the options are disabled. Don't miss this moment, so as not to be left without an option abroad – it's expensive. ?

And one more thing – if you are one of those who like to move from one country to another during their vacation, keep in mind: each registration in the network of a different tariff zone (popular countries – other countries) is minus one day.

That is, if you go from a 'popular country' to an 'other country' and then return to a 'popular country' in a day, you will lose three days of the promotion.


That, in fact, is all that I wanted to tell you. I hope you find this useful and help you save on communication costs during your trip. Whether this method of saving is right for you, you decide for yourself. This is not the only solution, and yes, it is not that simple. But opportunity is always better than no opportunity.

I, having the simplest VISA Platinum card without obligatory payments, have been using this method for more than one trip, and if a trip is expected longer than 7 days, I just take two SIM cards with me, which I use in turn, getting two weeks of freebies.

At the moment, the promotion has been announced before the end of this year, so those who are planning a trip abroad before the New Year have a good chance to save money. No other operator has anything similar (UPD: the promotion with VISA is also valid for other operators, however, in terms of the totality of the volume of services provided, in my subjective opinion, MTS is preferable), even on special tourist SIM cards, which still turn out to be significantly more expensive than free. It is a pity that the action is only until the end of the year. However, when it is over, I will look for something else that will also save on travel, and if I find it, I will definitely share it with you. All successful and interesting trips, new experiences and discoveries. And I went to pack my bags.

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