If you ever been assigned to work internationally or have a loved one who is or maybe you have family in another country, you know how expensive international calling rates can be. And you don’t want to have to sacrifice your relationships due to the prohibitive costs involved in calling internationally.
The good news is that VOIP has provided some excellent, super cheap international call rates opportunities. I’ll cover the rates involved with some of the most popular low cost international call plan providers out there. It’s time to ditch that old calling card!
Right now all calls made within Google Voice in the U.S. are free to Canada and the U.S. But did you know that you can also purchase low cost international minutes via Google Voice? You can make the calls via your mobile phone, by calling in to Google Voice with any phone, or even through a Google Chat window. And the international call rates are cheap.
Here is a list of Google Voice international rates by country for landline calls:
- Canada – Free
- China – $0.01/minute
- U.K. – $0.01/minute (landline)
- Mexico – $0.01/minute (landline), $0.09 (mobile)
Outside of international calls, Google Voice is free.
In order to make international calls with Google Voice, you’ll need to first purchase credit in your GV account. Click ‘Add Credit’ on the left side of your inbox or on the Billing tab of your Google Voice Settings.
Skype to Skype calls are free worldwide, making it a great fit if those you are communicating with also have a Skype account. If they don’t, and you are calling a land-line or mobile with your account, Skype international rates are still pretty cheap:
- Canada – $0.023/minute (landline, mobile varies) + $0.023 connection fee
- China – $0.02/minute + $0.02 connection fee
- U.K. – $0.023/minute + $0.023 connection fee
- Mexico – $0.035/minute + $0.01 connection fee
Skype also offers up different packages for where you call the most:
- Unlimited U.S./Canada – $2.99/month
- Unlimited North America (U.S./Canada/Mexico) – $7.99/month
- Unlimited World (63 top countries) – $13.99/month
Compared to Google Voice, Skype would be a better method if both parties have a Skype account. Otherwise, Google Voice is a bit cheaper.
I’m a big fan of Ooma because it can completely eliminate your land-line costs and cut your cell use, all while enjoying the same user experience and clarity that a land-line provides. And if you make a lot of international calls, Ooma becomes an even better deal.
You have a few different options with Ooma, but if you buy in bulk or via a 1,000 minute plan, you really have a chance to save. The monthly plans allow you to call 60 of the most commonly called countries (including Canada, China, UK, Mexico, France, and Australia) at a flat fee of $17.99 per month. Without a plan, Ooma international call rates are still pretty low:
- Canada – $0.014/minute, bulk – $0.01/minute
- China – $0.025/minute, bulk – $0.02/minute
- U.K. – $0.03/minute, bulk – $0.01/minute
- Mexico – $0.029/minute, bulk – $0.06/minute
Check out my Ooma Review for more on the Ooma VOIP system.
Vonage is a bit on the pricier end from a monthly subscription standpoint. You’re probably better off going with an Ooma if you want a VOIP unit that you don’t need to have a computer turned on to use or a cheap data plan to burn through. Both Ooma and Vonage are stand-alone units that replicate a land-line experience.
International calls to Canada, China, U.K., and Mexico (60 total countries) are all included in the Vonage World Plan, which is $9.99 for the first 3 months, and then $27.99 each month after, with a 1-year agreement. Comparatively, an Ooma would pay itself off within about a year, excluding an international plan.
Cheap International Call Rate Discussion:
- What other methods have you found to make cheap or free international calls?
- What is your preferred international call provider? Why?