Why is my bill higher than expected?

It can be a shock to see more go out of your bank account than you expected. We know how that feels, so we want to help you understand the potential cause.

Reasons your bill could be higher

Your first and last bills

You might notice both your first and last bills are higher than usual.​

On your first bill, you'll be charged for the first few days as well as your normal monthly charge. Find out more about your first bill.

Your final bill may include any additional charges you owe up to the day you cancelled. They’re added to the monthly charge for the 30-day notice period. Find out more about your final bill.

Price increases during your plan

Your bill might increase in the middle of your plan for a couple of reasons:

  • You've reached the end of a promotional period.
  • We've reviewed your Monthly Charge in line with our terms and conditions. The approach we take to this annual review depends on when you joined Three.

Roaming and using your phone abroad

Roaming is when you use your phone abroad by connecting to a local network. The way you’re charged for this depends on your plan and when you joined us. ​

Did your plan start on or after 1 October 2021? You can unlock your data allowances – and call and text the UK and other Go Roam in Europe destinations – for a daily roaming charge. ​

On a Three Your Way plan? You get up to 56 days of roaming included. If you run out – or are on a Lite plan – you can buy additional 3,7, 14-day Go Roam Passes.  ​

If you’re not in a Go Roam country or don’t have Go Roam, you’ll be charged for use abroad. ​

If you’ve been abroad recently, that may be why you can see extra charges on your account. Find out more about roaming charges or check your individual price guide

Inadvertent roaming

Inadvertent roaming is when your device connects to a network in a different destination from that which you're currently in. This can happen if you live or travel near to an international border, or on a coastline where you may connect to maritime services. Connecting to another network could mean you potentially pay higher roaming charges.

To avoid this, you can turn off data roaming on your device and look out for any notification messages that we send you. You can check roaming costs on our Roaming abroad page.

Inadvertent roaming in Northern Ireland

If you live close to the Northern Irish border, you may sometimes roam onto a Republic of Ireland network without meaning to.

To ensure there are no accidental charges applied to your monthly bill in this circumstance, we've excluded the Republic of Ireland from our monthly fair use limit of 12GB, which usually applies when roaming in our Go Roam in Europe destinations. This means you'll be able to use your data without fear of inadvertently crossing the 12GB limit.

There are no fair use limits for making calls or sending texts whilst roaming in a Go Roam in Europe destination, and the Republic of Ireland is also excluded from the daily roaming charge.

Calling or texting abroad from the UK

If you've called any international numbers or sent texts to anyone outside the UK, you'll be charged for them. Calls to anywhere outside the UK usually have a 1-minute minimum charge, then they're charged by the second.

Calls to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are also charged at international rates.

Find out more about calling and texting abroad from the UK.

Outside of allowance charges


You might have been charged for an out of allowance number. Some numbers are always excluded from your plan, so you'll see a charge for them, unless you block them. These numbers include:​

  • Numbers starting with 070 or non-standard 07 numbers which aren't owned by any of the main network operators​
  • 084 and 087 numbers unless you're in a Go Roam destination with a plan that includes Go Roam. Some exceptions still apply. Find out more about Go Roam​.
  • Calls to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which are charged at international rates​
  • Calls to directory enquiries​


You might have been charged for an out-of-allowance text. This could include:

  • Sending a picture or video message. They aren’t included in your text allowance and cost 55p per message. ​
  • Sending a text to an email address or with a file attached. Your device will treat this like a video or used for services like competition entries, TV show voting, and picture message​
  • Shortcodes. These are numbers used for services like competition entries, TV show voting, and charity donations. You can buy them as one-off purchases or by setting up a subscription. Find out more about shortcodes. ​

You can avoid some of these charges by blocking out of allowance numbers with a Spend Cap.

Three Pay​

Three Pay is a digital payment method you can use to buy games, apps, and digital content. You can use Three Pay on platforms such as PlayStation Store, Google Play Store, Epic Games, Microsoft, Spotify Premium, and more.​

The cost is added to your monthly phone bill. You’ll see the purchase details, the price paid, and customer helpline details for the service. ​

There’s a limit of £40 per transaction and £240 a month. These limits are set by the European Legislation and cannot be amended.  ​

Please note: A Spend Cap will not stop Three Pay purchases. If you want to stop them, please contact the merchant or payment intermediaries. You can find their contact details on your monthly phone bill. They’ll help you set up PIN codes or parental controls to authorise payments. ​

Find out more about Three Pay. ​

Your data allowance

For most of our plans, once you've used up your data allowance, you won't be able to continue using data.​

You can get more data with an Add-on, which will last until your monthly allowance refreshes. ​

Regularly need more data? You can change your price plan to one with a higher data allowance. ​

Got an older plan or Mobile Broadband? You’ll still be able to use the internet once you’ve used up your data allowance. If you do, you’ll be charged for any data used as outlined in your price guide. Check your price guide. ​

Either way, we’ll let you know when you’re almost out of data. 

iCloud Private Relay

If you’re using an iOS device and have iCloud Private Relay switched on, you’ll need remaining data allowance or Pay As You Go credit to access zero-rate websites. If not, you’ll be charged at our standard data rates. Find out more about iCloud Private Relay.

Your account, at your fingertips.

Track your spend, stay on top of bills and access exclusive offers

Download the Three App today

Did you find this page useful?

Any feedback you have helps us make your experience better.