What Is the Best Way to Call Overseas?

If you need to make international long distance calls, you have several options from which to choose. Some will be more expensive than others, but they will all work. What is the best way to call overseas? That greatly depends on your situation.

Different Ways to Call Overseas

Here is a list of some of the most common ways to make international calls so you can assess your opportunities:

  • Landline: You call another phone through a phone in your home or office. Your phone is connected to a standard phone line.
  • Cell phone: You call another phone through your cellular phone wherever your plan will extend.
  • Computer: You use a video chat program to contact someone through the internet.
  • Pay phone: You go to another location and pay to use an international phone.

What Is the Best Way to Call Overseas?

The best way to call overseas is to find the phone plan that is going to cost you the least amount of money. This may be a cell phone plan, but usually it will be associated with a landline phone. The reason cell phones cost more money than landlines is because they require more advanced equipment. The idea of calling with a house phone may seem outdated, but it’s inexpensive and it works.

Even though the internet offers many free or low cost ways to call overseas, the connection between countries is sometimes undesirable. Advertisements indicate that you can call someone with crystal clear video chat, but you’ll be lucky if your signals even allow you to see the other person. Landlines have much stronger signals, so you can hear the other person without any issues at all. That is why they are so desirable.

How International Calling Plans Work

Most phone plans will not allow international calling unless you sign up for it. The phone company has to unlock the option for your phone to call out. Once they do that, you can enter your call out code (011 for the United States) plus the country code and phone number for the place you are calling. You will be charged a connection fee as well as a per-minute fee, depending on how your policy is set up.

Some phone companies offer lower prices per minute for people who make a lot of international calls a month. You may be able to pay a fixed price for the full month and have unlimited minutes of communication. You may also be able to pay a fixed price for a certain amount of minutes, which will be lower than the pay-as-you-go option in other policies. You have to think about how often you need to call overseas to determine what pricing structure will be right for you.

Important Factors to Remember about Calling Overseas

If you call someone overseas, that person will also have to pay for international calling. If the person is willing to accept collect calling, you can forward all of your fees to him or her to pay. Make sure the person you want to talk to is aware of their own fees, and make sure their phone is set up to accept international calls. You may need to test this out before an emergency happens.

You also need to think about the time zone changes when calling overseas. If you live in Texas and need to call Germany, you might not want to do so at 7 pm your time. That is going to be very early in the morning for the other person. Of course, if the person you are trying to call will be around, you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure you compare time differences before scheduling a call.

If you are not used to watching your minutes on the phone, now might be a good time to start. As much as you may want to talk to your loved ones in another country, you also have to think about your budget. Keep a clock or timer by you to track your calls so you know how much they cost. Make sure you put that money away so you can avoid a past due bill.

How to Pick the Right Phone Provider

Now that you know what is the best way to call overseas, you need to think about which phone company is going to be best for you. The first step in this is to compare international calling plans based on their features. You will want one that will reach the country you need to contact without any issues at all. You may also want to compare fixed monthly accounts to pay per minute accounts, depending on the volume of calls you want to make. Assess the options side by side to see what is right for you.

Once you have a few packages in place, you can start comparing the cost for each one. Is there a monthly fee for the account, or do you just pay per call you make? Do you have to pay per minute, and if so, how much. It may be best to run a mock calculation to determine what your phone bill will be under different circumstances. Then you should be able to find the right phone provider for you.

Don’t be scared to call overseas. This is something that anyone can do with the right phone line on hand. While there are other ways to make international calls, landlines are the most reliable options around. All you have to do is make sure you pick a phone company that can help you. Check out the international plans available to you, and you will be talking to someone overseas in no time.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.