You need to make an international call, so what do you do? If your answer is simply pick up the phone and dial, you’re totally wrong. Whatever you do, don’t do that! Unless, of course, you’re okay with paying high fees of more than $1 per minute. Assuming you’d rather save some cash on your international calls, let’s take a look at some other options. There are ways you can pay less and talk to your long-distance friends and family more. Here’s how.
Using a broadband phone service is one of the best ways to save money on international calling. This service using VoIP, which is Voice Over Internet Protocol. Essentially you’re just using your Internet connection to make your calls. To do this, you’ll sign up with a service and receive an adaptor that gets connected to your phone. Attach it, and that’s it. Just make calls like you normally would, and your international friends can call you directly, too.
Lingo is one broadband VoIP service provider. You get a ton of features, including voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, three-way calling, call waiting, and the ability to call right from your computer. Lingo costs just about $25 per month for unlimited calls. Learn more at www.lingo.com.
Skype and Alternatives
Skype has totally changed the way people connect with each other around the world. If you have a friend in another country, all both of you need to do is download Skype. Instantly you’ll be able to instant message, voice chat, and video chat, all for free from your computers. If both you and the person you want to call have a computer and Internet access, using Skype or a Skype alternative like Vbuzzer or VoxOx, is the best way to eliminate the cost of international calling altogether. Once you have Skype, there are monthly and pay-as-you-go plans available that will allow you to call mobile numbers from your computer, too.
Mobile VoIP App
When you want to make international calls on your cell phone, a great way to save is to download a mobile VoIP app. With mobile VoIP, your international calls will be routed through a local access number. Your call will be charged as a local call from your mobile service provider, and you’ll pay the international fee through the mobile VoIP provider. One popular mobile VoIP app is Vopium. With Vopium, it’s very easy to make and receive international calls and texts, with pay-as-you-go rates as low as 2 cents per minute. If the person you’re calling uses Vopium, too, then the call is totally free.
If you aren’t too keen on all these Internet-based options for international calling, you can still save money. While it won’t be as cheap as the other options, purchasing and using a calling card is less expensive than the international rates your phone company will charge. So if you plan on making any calls to outside of the U.S., first invest in a prepaid calling card to help you save.
Stella Brown is the lead editor for Color Communications Magazine. Stella relies on the most advanced grammar checker to expedite her work as a writer. Currently she is running a series on International cell phone plans.