Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cheap International Calling

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.

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.

1 comment:

Rebecca R. Farnsworth said...

When I am out of the country on business, I use Skype to video conference with my husband. It is free, and as we both have video cameras and mics on our computers (mine: external, his: integrated), we can chat for free. When he is not near his computer, I can still call his phone for relatively little through Skype. The rates vary, depending on where you are calling, but still very inexpensive. I think it was only a few cents a minute for me to call him while I was in Albania. However, this DOES require me to be near a computer with internet access. This caused a problem when I was in London and at a hotel that did not have free internet access (like a true frugal, I refuse to pay for internet access at hotels). I discovered then, that it costs nothing more to text my husband when I am out of the country than it does to text him when I am in the country. So, we did a lot of texting while I was in London. On a few occasions, he was able to go to his parent's home to use their internet phone that has free international calling. However, watch out for that one! They ended up getting a huge bill anyway, When my Father-in-law called to ask about it, he was informed that in some countries, England being one of them, hotels charge a fee for incoming calls. This was nowhere stated in any of their literature. So we had no idea. Crazy! Anyway, watch out for that, and if you have it on your plan, use texting when in doubt of charges. :)