It can be hard to maintain communication over long distances, but international calling makes it easier to stay in touch. There are a number of plans with international calls included that you can use to communicate with people outside of Australia, but they don’t all offer the same value. Here are some ways you can call overseas and keep the cost of your communication as low as possible.
Keeping costs down.
There are many factors that will influence how much you pay to make a call to an overseas destination. If the country has a lot of travel exchange and telecommunications agreements – such as between Australia and New Zealand or the U.K., you are more likely to find a cheap deal. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Bolivia might be harder to reach for a low price.
There are many other options for contacting people overseas, including using VoIP services like Skype, video calls, and calling cards. However, those options are not always possible or preferable. If you are looking to make an international call from Australia, a good place to start is to research what your regular service provider can offer you.
Calling with your normal credit.
Most phone companies will let you use your regular balance to call overseas, especially if your plan is pre-paid. However, you will pay a lot more if you simply use your credit balance to call another country. Each company varies on what they will charge per minute, and whether they charge a “flag fall”, or a set connection fee for each phone call. Unless the person you wish to call is in a country that doesn’t have many telecommunications agreements with Australia, you should have access to other, less expensive options through your regular phone company.
Add-ons to your regular plan.
A common option for people on a plan is to pay a small amount on top of your normal monthly payment, often around $5 – $10, to be able to access a number of international minutes. This option is generally only available for a limited number of countries, or the countries are sorted into zones with different calling costs depending the zone. If you want to call a country that isn’t included in most international minute packages but is accessible with an add-on package, this option might be right for you.
Plans with included international calls
These days the only thing separating most higher-value plans (around $25+) is the amount of data on offer – and the included international minutes. On plans that cost slightly more per month, often a limited number of international minutes or amount of international credit is included. Most often, these plans have a limited number of countries that this offer can be used for.
Some companies offer a limited number of international minutes to a list of countries, and some even include unlimited international calls to a select number of countries as part of their plan inclusions. If your country of choice is on either of these lists, it is definitely worth looking into upgrading to a slightly more expensive plan. Not only will your minutes be included, but you will most likely have the added benefit of an increased data allowance, which you can also use to stay in touch.
Companies are feeling pressure from low-cost and free calling facilities like Skype. That pressure is beneficial for customers, resulting in some great deals being offered by Australian telecommunications companies.
The best deal for you will depend on where you want to call and how often you make those calls. If you make frequent calls overseas, consider changing to a provider who can offer you the best deal to your country of choice. In most cases, a little research makes it possible to stay in touch and keep costs down.