How to make international calls
Various ways to make international calls.
1. Using your long distance provider. The most readily available means of calling from US internationally is to pick up your phone, dial the international access code - 011 - then the country code, followed by the area code and the local number. Though this method is perhaps the easiest, it is, unfortunately, the most expensive one. Depending on the country you are calling, the rates could be as high as $3 a minute.
2. Phone cards bought at a retail location. A cheaper alternative is to use a calling card - a prepaid debit phone card. You purchase a certain amount of minutes that are subtracted with each call you make. A phone card might have either a toll-free or a local access number that you dial from your home phone or perhaps a cell phone. Phone cards can be purchased at a gas station, a grocery store, a warehouse club, retail stores, etc. While using a prepaid phone card bought from a brick-and-mortar retailer will save you money over using your home long distance company, you will still end up paying extra for a little piece of plastic the card is printed on and for the retailer's overhead.
3. Phone cards purchased online. The cheapest alternative is to buy prepaid phone cards online. This is not a brand new technology, in fact it's been around for over ten years. The phone cards you find online are often from the same companies that sell them in retail locations, but because they are saving money on printing, marketing and delivering those cards to brick-and-mortar locations (and giving retailers their share to pay for their overhead), they offer you the same services at a much lower price. As we've mentioned before, the sales of online phone cards have been around for years. In these years, only those companies that offered the best quality for the best price have been able to survive the competition. Moreover, certain companies specialize on certain locations; it is best to shop around different international phone card providers to find the best rates. For example, one company might offer the best rate for calling Mexico, but if you are looking for calling card to call Russia, you won't get the most competitive rates. With that in mind, there are online stores that offer you a variety of calling cards only from those companies that have been around for years and who have been consistent in receiving a positive customer feedback. Links to online phone card stores.