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Best iPhone 6s feature for travelers


I am a complete Apple fanboy.  Most of the time when Apple comes out with a new product, I can’t wait to hand over my money for it.  I had been using my trusty iPhone 5s for two years.  I was on the fence about upgrading until I found out about one feature, the best iPhone 6s feature for travelers.

There has been a TON of talk in the blogosphere about Apple Pay and Discover’s 1o 20 22% cash back deal.  I am guessing many people will go out and buy $10,000 in gift cards with the intention of churning them for a $2,000 profit, only to find that Discover really doesn’t pay cash back on gift cards.  I hope I am wrong.  I won’t be going the gift card route but will be using Apple Pay with Discover when possible.  22% cash back on purchases is good without having to game the system (that will likely end up gaming you).  If you want to apply for a Discover card, feel free to use this link.  It will give you a $50 credit now and another $50 credit in one year (which I also get).  I do not know of any better offers out there and you have to have a referral to get this deal, which is why I am posting this link for you.

While the Apple Pay Discover is great, it isn’t the best iPhone 6s feature for travelers (besides, that is more about Apple Pay than the phone itself).

I believe the best iPhone 6s feature for travelers is a very technical change that is not highly advertised.  It is the fact that the iPhone 6s now supports a total of 22 LTE bands (23 on the AT&T version).  LTE is a 4G wireless technology that results in faster data when not on WIFI.  The iPhone 6 supported 16 LTE bands.  My 5s supported just 11 LTE bands.  This means not only is the phone more compatible with additional LTE carriers worldwide, but it also means much better coverage for T-Mobile customers in the US.

T-Mobile has been rolling out its Extended Range LTE which uses the 700MHz spectrum.  This is technical jargon, but in the real world it means that if you are on T-Mobile, you will get better reception when inside buildings and even when farther away from a cell tower.  I have T-Mobile and work in an office building in downtown Seattle.  With the 5s I got zero reception at my desk.  With the 6s I now get full bars on LTE.

This is especially useful for those of us frequent travelers because T-Mobile offers free data and texting in over 140 countries worldwide.  No other big US carrier offers this perk.

Before the iPhone 6s, the argument could be made that AT&T or Verizon offers better coverage.  That may be true in some areas of the country.  However, I would venture a guess that with the inclusion of the additional bands that make use of T-Mobile’s 700MHz bands, AT&T and Verizon no longer offer better coverage than T-Mobile for most American customers.

This means there is no reason for frequent travelers not to switch to T-Mobile.  It is cheaper, allows you to use it overseas at no additional cost (for data and text), and now has just as good of coverage as any carrier.

While there are other great features, I find the best iPhone 6s feature for travelers is the increase in LTE bands that allows better coverage for T-Mobile customers and while traveling abroad.

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