How to save money on making international phone calls

Business woman on phone

Making international calls from the UK has become much more commonplace than it once was, which has led to a much wider variety of ways to keep people in touch.

Just a few years ago, being able to chat over the phone with family and friends who were overseas could be very costly, but the good news is that now, this is no longer the case. Instead of having to face potentially large costs to keep in touch with your friends and family living and staying abroad, you can choose from a large number of different ways to make and pay for international calls, with some options that won’t cost you anything extra. We’ll take a look at all the different options to consider if you want to make international calls for less.

Consider a SIM-Only Deal with International Minutes

If you prefer to contact your overseas family and friends using a regular phone call, a SIM-only plan could be an ideal option for you, with many SIM-only deals coming with international minutes included. Lebara offers a range of cheaper SIM-only plans with international minutes that you can use to call mobile and landline numbers in over forty different countries around the world, included in your plan. Plans start from just £5 per month and there is no commitment required; simply top up your Lebara mobile and choose the plan that you’d like for the month, giving you the option to purchase more international minutes for months where you’re likely to need more time to speak to the people in your life who are overseas. Lebara offer some of the best SIM-only deals for international calling; visit their website today to compare SIM-only deals available and find the right fit for your needs.

Free Online Calling with VoIP

The ability to instantly and freely communicate with others around the world is still one of the best and biggest developments to come from the internet. Voice Over IP (VoIP) services are certainly one of the best options out there when it comes to making international phone calls for free, and you can use the service from a range of different devices including your smartphone, PC, laptop or tablet. To take advantage of free VoIP calling, you and the person that you are calling will need to be using a device that is connected to the internet. Some online call providers that you can use to make free online international calls include:

WhatsApp: WhatsApp is a popular smartphone messaging service that you can also use on a PC or laptop. While you might use it more often for sending messages to friends, you can also use it to make internet calls to people in other countries free of charge. However, bear in mind that data charges may apply if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection when making the call.

Skype: Skype was one of the first online calling services and immediately became popular with anybody wanting to make cheaper international calls. Only calls between internet connected devices are free, and you will be charged if using Skype to make a call to a mobile or landline phone number. You can use Skype from your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet with a handy app.

Viber: Viber is a popular app-based service that is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, along with laptops and PCs. Internet-based calls are free between registered users and there are low rates available for calling landlines internationally.

Apple FaceTime: If you and your friend or relative overseas both use an Apple iPhone, iPod, iPad or MacBook, you can take advantage of FaceTime to call one Apple device from another. This is a facility that comes included on all Apple products.

How VoIP Works

VoIP services allow customers to make free phone calls by using a smartphone, PC or laptop app. The VoIP provider takes the analogue call data and converts it into a digital stream which is cheaper to send via internet traffic compared to traditional telephone networks. All VoIP providers allow their customers to make both voice and video calls for free, which makes it an excellent option for staying in touch face-to-face with your friends and family overseas. Only data-related charges will apply if there is no Wi-Fi network available to the person making the call. It’s a wise idea to check your Wi-Fi or data contract if you plan to make a lot of international VoIP calls to ensure that you have enough data available to make the calls without incurring huge charges.

Override Deals for Landline Calls

While VoIP calling is a fantastic option to have for those looking to stay in touch with people overseas, sometimes it’s not possible to use it, for example, if one or more of the devices do not have any internet access. In this case, you may require a more traditional method of staying in touch. The good news is that since low-cost and free internet calling options have become more popular, there has been an increase in ways to make cheaper international calls from mobiles and landlines, including using an override provider, which is one of the most popular options. You can easily sign up with an override provider online and choose whether to pay for international calls separately or add them to your standard bill. Some good override services to consider include:

LycaCall: This override service allows customers to make cheaper international calls from their mobile or landline phone, with a per-minute rate for phone calls rather than a monthly fee for a certain amount of calls.

Vonage: This service offers two different plans to suit your international calling needs. The first plan allows you to make unlimited landline calls to five countries, and the second plan is for those who want to make unlimited calls around the world.

18185: This override service allows you to make international calls charged at a per-minute rate, with the option to pay your bills either separately or along with your landline charges.

What’s the Cheapest Option?

As long as you and your friend or relative overseas has a reliable Wi-Fi connection with no limits on VoIP calling, there’s no denying that online calls are the cheapest option when used through a laptop, PC, smartphone or tablet. However, VoIP might not always be the best option for everybody, for example, people who prefer to talk on the landline telephone or people living in countries where they might not have access to the same apps that you are using back home. However, there are still several excellent ways to keep the costs of making international calls down, particularly SIM-only mobile deals with included international minutes that allow you to easily keep in touch with your relatives and friends abroad while on the go.

Whether your friend has recently moved abroad or you’re living overseas and want to keep in touch with your family, the good news is that making international calls is no longer as expensive as it used to be. Today, there are plenty of free options for calling people overseas thanks to VoIP services like Skype and FaceTime, and for those who want a more traditional option, international SIM-only deals and override services provide a way to keep the cost of staying in touch, down.