With the recent technological adjustments, calling abroad has never been easier or cheaper. Free calling apps litter the app market. You just have to download them, sign up and start calling anyone around the world.
The problem with those apps is they only work with digital devices that can connect to the internet. So what then if you want to call abroad but only has a landline phone in sight?
Clearly, you can’t use those apps but there are cheap ways of making international calls from a landline. Here’s how you can do it:
Long-Distance International Calling Plan
Telephone network providers usually offer long distance international calling plans. They just charge you more for it than local calls.
You first need to check how much your phone operator charges for international calls. Apart from the per-minute rates, they usually charge other auxiliary fees. So you need to do the math and figure out how much you need to actually pay for a call.
Call rates also tend to vary per country. It depends on the number you’re calling too. Landline to landline international calls also tend to be cheaper than landline to mobile ones. If you need to make calls abroad on a regular basis, its more practical to just sign up for a long-distance international calling plan. Some network providers even offer unlimited minutes per month. (Check out our post on how much international call packages cost.)
Calling international numbers usually involve keying in a handful of prefix codes too. So familiarizing yourself with dialing codes and area codes would also be helpful. Each country and territory has a different dialing code while cities also have their own area codes. It’s all available on Google though so you won’t have to worry much about it.
International Prepaid Calling Cards
People have used prepaid call cards since the 50’s. The concept was born in Italy but have gained most fame in Japan. It’s a small rectangular card made of PVC plastic or thick paper.
The credit amount and minutes are usually printed on the front along with the telephone company name. The back has a scratch-able part that contains the PIN. This PIN will be keyed-in along with the dialing codes and destination number. Nowadays, you can also buy these prepaid calling cards online. You pay with your card and you get the PIN by email or SMS.
Unlike long distance plans, these call cards are prepaid. Which means you have to pay before you can call. It’s one of the advantages for this system. This pay-as-you-go international calling service gives you more flexibility than calling plans.
First, there would be no phone bills that would pile up at the end of the month. Secondly, it’ll be easier to stick with your budget since you get to choose an amount and number of minutes. If your calls abroad are few and far between, this will suit you best.
MyLine used to offer international calling plans exclusively to India. Recently, it has expanded its coverage to more than 150 countries and territories.
It offers the cheapest international calling rates for international calls to mobile and landline from any device. The system works just like that of international prepaid call cards except that all transactions are done online.
When you want to call abroad, you just need to go to the MyLine website. Then you choose a plan, enter your account information and payment details. A couple of minutes later, you will receive a PIN in your email or mobile number.
The best thing about MyLine is it also gives you unlimited international mobile SMS once you sign up for an account which you can use on any mobile device. That’s on top of the affordable rates starting at $0.011 per minute. Call credits are also valid for 180 days making it perfect for those occasional calls.