Monday, July 22, 2013

Easy Ways to Save Money on International Phone Calls

Whether you're a frequent traveler or have friends and family living abroad, you probably already know the toll that international calls can take on your finances. Major international carriers like Verizon, Virgin Mobile, and AT&T offer discounted per-minute rates if you plan ahead, but these can still cost a bundle even for a short phone call. Texting rates aren't much better, costing as much as 50 cents per text to numbers located abroad. These fees have risen in recent years as more consumers carry smartphones, because these mobiles cost more to roam internationally. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get started with making cheap international calls and lowering your bills. 

Contact your carrier before travelling.


If you're planning on travelling to a foreign country, you'll want to notify your carrier ahead of time and find out if they offer lower rates. At the very least, find out the rates to call home from abroad and what local calls and texts will cost. This will prevent any surprises once you get back home. It may be advantageous to simply turn off your phone if these fees seem too high, and look at the other alternatives mentioned below. 

Use Wi-Fi services to avoid roaming charges.


For those who opt to carry their smartphone abroad, roaming charges can take a huge hit on your phone bill. There are usually settings you can choose from to manage roaming and data usage. This includes turning off international roaming, and turning on the Wi-Fi connection. This will reduce your charges for using data, because you will be using a local network rather than your usual carrier.

Purchase pre-paid phone cards.


Whether you're travelling or need to call loved ones who live overseas, you'll get lower per-minute rates if you purchase pre-paid phone cards. There are old-fashioned calling cards which are designed either for general international use or offer low rates for specific countries. You can also purchase a pre-paid phone or SIM card to call Pakistan or any other international destination. Be sure to compare rates and any associated fees carefully, as these can vary widely. 

Use Smartphone apps to reduce costs.


Another way to benefit from lower rates on international calls is to use online calling services like Skype and Rebtel. These rely on Wi-Fi connections rather than regular international call networks, which is why they're able to provide far lower rates on calls. Many of these can be downloaded as free apps for your phone, so you can still use your mobile. Encourage your contacts to download the same services and you can save even more, because calls placed over the computer or between members of the same network are usually free of charge.

By following these basic steps, you can significantly reduce your international phone bills and avoid getting taken for a ride by your mobile service provider. Terms and conditions will vary, so it's best to weigh all options to find the best deal for your most-called destinations



2 comments:

  1. It is possible to use a travelsim card, which is international sim card, with dree incomming calls, rates for outboud and Internet a pretty normal and the service is good.
    using this sim card, every time I need o travel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used travelsim myself when i was travelling around the Europe. Not sure if that's the best one - but prices were quite okay for the roaming, incoming calls were free.

    ReplyDelete

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