Free International Texting on iPhone: How to Keep in Touch with …
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Free International Texting on iPhone: How to Keep in Touch with …

The International
Calling Guide

  • Free Calls
  • Mobile Apps
  • International Calling
  • Texting / SMS
  • VoIP
  • Country Codes
  • Language: English
    • English
    • Français
    • Español
How to Send an International Text Message

How to Send an International Text Message

  • Category: Texting / SMS

Sending international text messages (SMS) while you are abroad can be very expensive. If you are not careful, it can lead to an astronomical increase in your bills. But rest assured, you can keep in touch with your family and friends in other countries without emptying your bank account.

lang=”EN-US”>Many international text messaging apps and websites are free, meaning you won’t have to use your roaming. Turn off your mobile provider data or put your phone on Airplane Mode when you leave your country. Use Wi-Fi instead, and download one or two apps that provide international texting services. 

How to text an international number?

You can send an international SMS to a phone by using your carrier data roaming plan. The cost varies from one carrier to another. You are charged twice, when you send and when you receive international messages, so take that into account when you send texts the “old-school” way. The process is simple and it works just like a voice call. In the phone Messaging app, type your country’s exit code followed by the cell number you want to text. Then, write your message and press Send.

But the classic texting system has flaws too. Some users sending texts from the US to Europe and vice-versa mention that their messages don’t go through. The most common answer in this case is that the two data carriers aren’t compatible. This is explained by the fact that the US uses CDMA technology, while most of the world chooses GSM. If your message doesn’t go through, you should call your carrier to ask about the issue.

Fortunately, there are free ways to text internationally by using Wi-Fi. You just won’t be using the traditional texting service to do so. Instead, you must use an app like the ones you will find below.

Popular international texting apps

Wi-Fi options are more and more popular, mainly because they are free. All they require is a download and a sign-up, which sometimes is optional too. They work on Android, iPhone and Windows phones, making them easy to use by anyone. The only inconvenient is that both you and the family member or friend you want to contact must have them installed.

WhatsApp is used by billions of people because it allows users to send chats, pictures and videos to their contacts for free. Most smartphone owners already use the Facebook Messenger app chat, with its simple and intuitive design.

They are accompanied by WeChat, China’s no.1 chat app with similar functions to WhatsApp. Additionally, Skype uses one of the first VoIP services with cheap international SMS/text rates. And for those looking for stable connections there’s Viber, which uses Wi-Fi for free group chats and calls.

However, keep a close eye on your data plan, because some limited packages can be eaten up quickly with these services. Of course, these apps are dependent on a data connection. This means that the person you contact must be “online” in order to receive your messages.

How to text international numbers for free

Because not everyone likes to use chats, there remains a strong need to send real text messages straight to the phone number of a recipient. But this increases your SIM-card costs, so how can you text someone in another country for free?

An alternative to roaming and Wi-Fi-chugging apps is Rebtel. This provider uses an app to allow users to chat for free. The only requirements are that both you and the person you want to message have the app installed on your phone and sign up for an account (if you haven’t yet). This way, neither you nor the recipient have to pay roaming fees when chatting from anywhere in the world. And you won’t have to worry about signal drops, since the connection can be made through Wi-Fi.

How to send international SMS on iPhone

If you are an iPhone owner, you can send an international text message using a variety of apps. Some work more like chat services that use your data plan or Wi-Fi, while others assign a text-only phone number to every contact.

The go-to app for free international texting on an iPhone is iMessage. It’s not technically an SMS sending option, but it does the job when the person you are contacting has an iPhone. It works with a data plan and over Wi-Fi, so you can choose the setting you prefer. But remember to turn your Wi-Fi on and the mobile data plan off while abroad, so you won’t get charged insane rates.

How to text internationally for free via PC

And for those who prefer to use a web-based app to send free international SMS, there are a few options for PC. Services like SendSMSNow and TalkSMS let you send free international texts every day. The simple and intuitive design is easy to use, but it has a drawback. You either need to sign-up or you get a limited number of SMS per day (sometimes only 1).


Which country would you like to call?

Related articles See more
  1. 1

    Must-Have International Texting Apps
    Category: Texting / SMS

  2. 2

    The Evolution of the Text Message
    Category: Texting / SMS

  3. 3

    Apps for International Texting with iPhone
    Category: Texting / SMS

  4. 4

    Text the world for cheaper: Which operator offers the cheapest SMS service?
    Category: Texting / SMS

  5. 5

    AT&T International Texting review
    Category: Texting / SMS

We use cookies to improve your experience. Read our policy .

Skip to main content

  • HDR iPhone
  • How to Lock Apps on iPhone
  • Best Apple Watch Golf App
  • Forgot Apple Id Password?
  • iPhone Battery Drain
  • Burst Photos iPhone
  • iPad Split Screen


Free International Texting on iPhone: How to Keep in Touch with iMessages or a 3rd-Party App

By Conner Carey
updated on 05/02/2018

How to Send International Text Messages

If you travel or do business internationally, you know how costly roaming charges are. Unless your mobile carrier is T-mobile (limited to 2G data speed), you need an additional service plan for international texting.  AT&T  international texting costs $10 a month, as does Sprint , but don’t worry; you can text free in Italy, Germany, the Philipines, or almost any other country you can think of with iMessages. With iMessage, you can text from anywhere for free, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and the person you’re messaging also has an iPhone or Mac. If you want to be able to internationally text friends without iPhones for free, you’ll need a free texting app. Let’s get started learning how to avoid monstrous phone bills by sending free iMessages, or using a free text app!  

Related:  15 Top Free Apps for International Travel

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life’s Tip of the Day Newsletter and we’ll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

The drawback of iMessage is that the person you’re texting must also have an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or a Mac. If that’s a deal breaker, I highly recommend using a messaging app like  WhatsApp (free for your first year and only a dollar per year thereafter.)

free texting app

Some other great choices for international texting include WeChat , Viber Messenger , and KakaoTalk . If you have friends, relatives, or business associates in the country where you’ll be traveling, ask them if they have recommendations for favorite free chat apps that work well in their location. You may find a new favorite app!

To text internationally via iMessage, first turn off your Cellular Data . 

Next, check that your  iMessage app  is enabled.

  • Open Settings. 
  • Scroll down and tap on Messages. 

international texting free text international

  • Toggle iMessage on. 

free text phillipines

  • Return to Settings.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi.

international texting text free

  • Check that Wi-Fi is on and connected.

free text message

Now you’re ready to use iMessage from anywhere in the world!

Usinf Free Texting App

What if the person you want to contact doesn’t have an iPhone though? No worries:

  • Navigate to the App Store.
  • Search for WhatsApp or another free messaging app and install it. (the steps that follow are for WhatsApp, but the set up will be similar in most other free texting apps.)

wifi texting app send free text

  • After installation, open the app. It will ask permission to access contacts, tap Allow. 

free text message appEnter your phone number. The app will confirm your number, tap Yes.


The app will send you a text message with a six-digit verification code. Once you’ve received the text message, find the number and enter it. 

You’ll be prompted to set up your profile. You can add a photo and enter your name, or tap Use Your Facebook Info. The app will ask permission to access the information, tap Allow. Then select Done.


Next, invite your friends. 


Note: If your Cellular data is off as suggested at the beginning of the tip, WhatsApp will only work over Wi-Fi. But if you want to make sure you only use WhatsApp over Wi-Fi even when Cellular is turned on, go to Settings > Cellular and toggle Cellular data off for WhatsApp. 


Top Image Credit: lzf /

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Tip of the Day
Cellular Data
Third-Party Apps

Conner Carey

Conner Carey is a writer & joyous creator; she works with online businesses to develop their brand and as a creative consultant to help artists of all kinds get unblocked. You can reach her at (coming soon) or  @connerleecarey on Instagram. She’s currently garage-selling all of her stuff to hit the road in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi. Follow their adventures on instagram @georgiatheRV .

Most Popular

How to Know If Someone Blocked Your Number on iPhone (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

How to Hide Photos on Your iPhone in a Locked & Private Photo Album (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

How to Screen Record with Audio on iPhone (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

How to Create a Second Instagram (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

How to Hide Apps on Your iPhone (& Find Them Later)

4 Ways to Recover Deleted Texts from Your iPhone

10 Best Apps for Free Movies & TV Shows on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

Featured Articles

iOS 12 Draining Your iPhone Battery Life? Here Are 10 Ways to Fix It

Updated for 2018: Easiest Way to Know Your iPhone Model (All iPhone Models, Numbers & Generations)

Save Data on Your iPhone: How to Check What Apps Are Using the Most Data

How to Save (All) Pictures from Messages & Facebook on iPhone

How to Find Your iPhone Even If It’s Dead (UPDATED FOR iOS 12)

Photography Tips: What Is HDR & How to Use It on Your iPhone Camera

Live Photos: The Complete Guide to iPhones Moving Pictures (UPDATED FOR iOS 11)

How to Refresh & Speed Up iPhone 7, 8 & X, as Well as Older Models

How to Power Off & Hard Restart iPhone X

Best Protective Cases for iPhone 8 & 8 Plus: Waterproof, Rugged & Tough

Protect Your Eyes with Zaggs Patented Visionguard Technology

Ensenasoft Mahjong Deluxe 3 Go

Pass the time and improve your concentration with this amazing tile matching game by Ensenasoft. Mahjong Deluxe 3 is an award-winning game that you can play any time, anywhere. This casual solitaire game has beautiful 3D mahjong tiles and a clean interface that’s easy to navigate. For a one-time payment of just $2.99, you can turn off ads, or just keep the ads and play for free forever! Revisit the nostalgia of the solitaire computer games of the ’90s with Mahjong Deluxe Go by Ensenasoft. What are you waiting for? Start matching today!

Customizable Protection for Your AirPods by CASEBUDi

You bring your AirPods everywhere you go, but that doesn’t mean you always want to wear them. For those times when you want your AirPods on hand but not in-ear, you need an easy-to-carry case that keeps your AirPods safe. CASEBUDi will Custom Laser Scribe your info – name, phone number, or your email address – so that your AirPods will always find their way home. That’s just in case of emergencies though. This case has a carabiner attached, so you can securely hook your AirPods to your keys, belt loop, or a purse. Visit Amazon and customize your very own CASEBUDi today.

Check Out Our Sponsors…

Pocket Informant