Published on January 31, 2019 | Last Updated on February 10, 2020
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. But what if you don’t have internet access and you only have a landline phone in sight? Let’s face it, that could happen. Particularly if you’re traveling to remote places.
Clearly, you can’t use those apps. Fret not. In this post, we’ll teach you how to make cheap international calls from a landline. Read on to find out more.
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, it’s more practical to just sign up for a long-distance international calling plan. Some network providers even offer unlimited calling per month. (Check out our post on how much international call packages cost.)
Comparison of International Calling Plans for Landlines
To help you decide which is the best international calling plan for landlines in the US, we’ve compiled this comparison of international calling plans from different carriers.
|Name of Carrier||Calling Plan||Price|
|AT&T||AT&T Worldwide Value Calling||$5 fixed fee per month on top of discounted per minute rate|
|CenturyLink||CenturyLink Choice International|
Landline to landline = $0.07 per minute
Landline to mobile = $0.26 per minute
|Cox||International Calling Plan||$2.99 fixed fee per month on top of discounted per minute rate|
|Frontier||Frontier International Long Distance (MTS) Plan||Rate varies per country but ranges from $1.04 to $9.99 per minute|
|Spectrum||Spectrum Voice International Calling Plan||$5 fixed fee per month plus per minute rate|
|Xfinity||Carefree Minutes World Select 300||$9.95 per month for 300 minutes of calls to selected countries.|
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 of 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 cheap international calls to mobile and landline from any device for as low as $0.001 per minute. The system works just like that of international prepaid call cards except that all transactions are done online. Just go to the MyLine website, choose a plan then enter your account information and payment details. A couple of minutes later, you will receive a PIN in your email or mobile number. If you are traveling to places where internet access is a challenge, you can buy credit at home or at the airport. While at it, list down the country code and dialing code of the place you’re calling to. You’ll need to key it in before the international number you want to call.
The best thing about MyLine is it also gives you unlimited international mobile SMS once you sign up for an account that you can use on any mobile device. Call credits are available starting at $2 and valid for 180 days making it perfect for those occasional calls.
How to Make an International Call From a Landline
Making an international call from a landline is much more complicated than calling local numbers. It involves dialing different codes before the actual number you’re calling. To make it easier for you, here’s a step-by-step guide on calling international numbers from your home phone:
- Dial 011. This is the exit code for all international calls originating from the US. If you are making a call from a country other than the US, you can find your country’s exit code here.
- Dial the country code of the person you’re calling. If you’re not familiar with country codes, you can browse it here.
- Dial the area/city code (if applicable). If you’re calling a landline, this is typically included in the phone number. While calls to mobile numbers usually don’t require area codes. To make sure, you can search for the area code here.
- Dial the rest of the phone number. If you’re given a number that is prefixed with “0”, don’t include it. That’s a prefix meant for local calls and not necessary for international calls.