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Old 12-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Back in Ohio
Cheap ways to make international phone calls?

After seeing that it would cost $2.49 each minute to use a global phone from Verizon in the country I might be going to, I figure there must be a better way. With the global phone, I could see that someone wanted to call me since my number wouldn't change. But, if I answer, the charges start racking up.

I'm not sure if that $2.49/minute is for every phone call, or just phone calls back to the US. And I'm not sure if a person in the US calls my US phone when I am in a foreign country, will they get charged the $2.49 or will I get charged that because it is my phone that is on the GSM network? How would they know that I'm not in the US if they dial the same number?

Is it possible to buy a cheap prepaid wireless phone and make local calls to a calling card number that has cheap international rates? I guess it is a 1-800 number on the calling card, so it should be toll free for the people in the US that I call. Since it will appear as a 1-800 number on the phone bill instead of a international number.

Last edited by ASU2003; 12-03-2006 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Lion City
I have been buying phone cards. For S$10 I can buy 500 minutes. All you need is a phone.

If you need to use a mobile phone, it is rarely difficult to buy local pay as you go sim cards. The only issue there is that you get a new phone number and the long distance is still expensive (mobile long distance is rarely cheap).
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: T O L E D O, Toledo!!
If you can log on to a PC, skype.com is very cheap to call. $10.00 will last quite a while.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
If you are here in the USA, look at Phone Gateways like FuturePhone.com

They have free international dialing for the cost of a long distance state to state call. You have free long distance on your cellphone? Great... free International suddenly is there...
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I go to this website called ID Phone Card. You can buy cheap long distance minutes. Basically you pay with a credit card and the minutes go right to your phone.
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Between the darkness and the light.
I have T-Mobile, and here's how my international plan goes.
Depending on the country, the rate falls into one of 6 price ranges.

$0.49 (Canada)
$0.99 (most european countries)

While in the country, the rate is applied anytime the phone is on an active call (Making a call, recieving a call, checking voicemail). It doesn't matter if the call is to someone in the building next to you, or to someone back in the US, it's the same rate.

T-Mobile does offer a way around that though if you plan on being in the country for an extended period of time. Say I was spending a year in Germany, I could pay $0.99/minute anytime I use my phone, or I could walk into a T-mobile store in Germany and get a SIM card for the local network (either a prepaid one or by signing up for a plan there). Then I would just swap out the US SIM card with the German SIM card and suddenly I have a local German cell phone with a local German number. (You do have to get your phone's release code before leaving the US to do that though.)

I don't know if Verizon phones use SIM cards, or if there is a way you can convert a verizon phone onto a country's local network. You would have to call their customer support to find out.

Otherwise the best thing to do is go into an internet cafe in the country you will be residing in and get an international phone card. And whatever you do, don't use the card on a payphone, I did that once and my 500 minute card lasted 10 minutes.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: dd.land
Originally Posted by absorbentishe
If you can log on to a PC, skype.com is very cheap to call. $10.00 will last quite a while.
yeah, i think their calls are like 0.09 a minute or something. and if the person you are calling uses it, then it's free, no matter where they are.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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With yahoo messenger you can pc to pc free or pc to phone for cheap minutes, I use it with US and $10 pre paid last me months. I'm not much of a phone talker though.

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Old 12-16-2006, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
Seconding the Skype option. This is free if the other person is using it, and $10 lasts me two months calling from Korea to Canada. I think it works out to 2 cents US a minute or something.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
I use a service called onesuite.com, you basically buy minutes on the net and then use your phone for the calls. Of course rates vary a lot between different countries.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: CA
I use msn messenger to chat, talk, and have webcam conversation with folks back home for free. PC to PC calls are free on most services, I believe. Skype-type services that let you call actual phone lines are probably the cheapest services available. But if you both have computers, why pay?
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Across the way
I also use Skype and find it both economical and convenient. You can also buy a phone number (say, a US or UK number), so that people in those countries pay a national call charge and you get the calls delivered to your computer. Awesome!
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Australia/UAE
i have an ISP back home that ive set up an account with. they gave me an IP phone and i brought it back here.

i call back home for 10 cents aussie..... unlimted time restrictions. anyone with an IP phone from that isp i can call for free.

rarely costs me $10 aussie a month incl $7.95 service fee.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
I find Onesuite to be a good alternative to Skype and cheaper too. It's a prepaid phone card and voip service, like best of both worlds. I'm not in the mood for typing long today so just check their website at Cheap Prepaid International Calling Cards and Discount Long Distance Phone Service - OneSuite
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