A few weeks ago, a visitor at my house needed to make an international phone call. It was something that needed to be done immediately, so she made the call. It was over thirty minutes.
We figured.... how bad could the costs be?
I had my attention on this, so I called my phone carrier (Verizon) and found out that because I didn't have an international calling plan, the call was going to cost about $1.50 a minute!! Yikes!
Luckily, I had called in time and I added an international plan to my phone plan. This dropped the rate down to 4 cents a minute! It cost about $5 a month for this plan, so it was worth it. Of course, now I have to remember to cancel the plan so I don't keep getting charged.
The morals of this story?
1. International long distance calling is EXPENSIVE if you don't have an International Plan.
2. If you DO make a call on your expensive plan, call your company right away and they may be able to help you lower the rate.
3. If you only make infrequent international calls, you should find a company that specializes in cheap rates for infrequent international calling.
Now I know #1.
I did #2.
Here is #3. Rebtel.com
You can try out this company with a free international phone call. The way it appears to work is that you register, then you call Rebtel and put in "your friend's" number that you want to call. You are then given a number that is a "local" phone number for "your friend." Therefore, you are only charged local rates. A bit confusing, but I think that is why the first call is free.
You can use this service on your landline or your mobile phone. Sounds pretty good to me.
I be there are other cheap international calling programs out there. Send me a comment and I'll post them here.
Remember... staying in touch with friends and family is important.... even if they are in another country.