How can I reduce my AT&T iPhone bill when traveling internationally?
If you're taking your iPhone overseas you may have read horror stories of people returning home to thousands of dollars in wireless bills. There are several ways to reduce your charges when traveling abroad if you absolutely must have your iPhone.
First and foremost, be sure not to run up hidden data charges when traveling abroad. Select Settings -> General -> Network -> Data Roaming -> OFF. This will make sure that bandwidth is not being used by your iPhone without your permission.
If data roaming is on, make sure you're not surprised by a barrage of email by turning off fetch. Select Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data -> Push -> OFF.
You can also prevent push notifications. Select Settings -> Notifications -> Notifications -> OFF.
Use Wi-Fi whenever possible! Voice over IP apps such as Skype can make calls for a fraction of the cost that AT&T charges. Using Safari or Mail is free if you're already connected to Wi-Fi. Instant messaging will also work using Wi-Fi without incurring roaming data charges.
Calling internationally requires that you contact AT&T to set up your iPhone for roaming abroad. Without an international calling plan you'll be charged the maximum rate per minute. It could reduce your per minute rate if you pay a flat monthly fee for an international calling plan while you're traveling.
Similarly, you'll pay for every bit of data you use abroad. It's possible to get an international data plan that will reduce your bill if you need more bandwidth.
Finally track your usage while traveling so you have some sense of how much money you're going to owe when you return home. To monitor cellular network data and call time from the moment you leave the US select Settings -> General -> Usage -> Reset Statistics.