How to make cheap calls abroad

Find out how to make free or cheap calls abroad from your mobile and landline

Wherever you are in the world, calls abroad shouldn’t be expensive. Whether you’re an international student, a UK expat, or someone who regularly works overseas, staying in touch with friends, family, and loved ones across the globe is essential. 

Without careful planning, though, calls abroad can quickly drain your money away. To keep a tighter hold on your finances, before you pick up the phone, read through this guide for tips on how to make calls abroad super cheap, and, in some cases, even free!

Things to think about when calling abroad

The best option when making international calls depends on your circumstances. Below, you’ll find a few things to think about to help you get the best deal.

Are you calling an overseas landline or an overseas mobile?

When it comes to calling abroad, you don’t just have to think about how much it costs to make the call: you also have to think about how much it costs the recipient to receive it. This varies depending on whether you call a landline or a mobile.


Do your main points of contact live in one household? If the answer is “yes”, you might want to keep an eye on the cost per minute for calls to international landlines. There’s no point shopping around for cheap calls to mobiles if you make the majority of your calls to landlines.


On the other hand, if your loved ones are scattered around the world and you’ll be making calls to multiple different mobile handsets, you might want to keep any eye on the cost per minute for calls to international mobiles. 

Similarly, there’s little point to a great landline rate if you call landlines rarely. However, despite one benefit of calling directly to mobiles being no geographical limitations, it’s important to check you’re not paying a small fortune for the privilege.

How often are you calling abroad?

If you only make calls abroad every now and then, read on for tips on how to get the best one-off deals.

It’s important to remember that regular overseas callers will likely save big by choosing a bundle. Contact your provider if you’re calling from a landline to see what they can offer. Overseas callers from mobiles have the advantage of calling on the move, but can sometimes pay extra to do so.

What kind of caller are you?

The way we communicate with friends, family, and loved ones changes all the time, and we don't have to rely on our voices alone to stay connected. 

With this in mind, it’s worth thinking: what kind of caller are you? Do you prefer to pick up the phone and use your actual voice, listening for responses? Or are you a serial texter, who prefers to chat via a series of messages? Or, are you a mixture of both?

Whatever you are, you need to be aware of how you use your phone to get the most out of any offers that might be suitable for you.

How much is your call budget?

Your call budget greatly influences how long and how often you call abroad. If your budget is flexible and changes month by month, then as long as you look out for hidden charges or a sudden change in international rates, using a Pay As You Go SIM may be the right choice for you. 

Of course, without opting for a bundle you’ll be paying minute-by-minute, so it’s important to keep a close eye on how often you’re calling. If you’ve set aside a specific amount to spend on your phone each month, then finding the right monthly plan is a must, to make sure you don’t over-spend.

Calling abroad from your mobile

If you’re calling abroad from a smartphone, the advantage of this device is that you will always have access on-the-go. One of the cheapest ways to call abroad via mobile is using VoiP technology over Wi-FI or 3G/4G.

Remember, though, that calling over the internet is only cheaper if the person you’re calling is also accessing the line in this way – if you call and they’re using a simple phone line, you will still be charged the same. It’s also important to remember that using 3G/4G to call will significantly drain your data allowance, so be sure to limit your call time if you haven’t invested in a monthly plan.

Pay As You Go calls abroad

By using a Pay As You Go SIM to call abroad you aren’t getting yourself tied into a contract. However, it’s important you know the rates your phone provider offers to the country you’re calling, and that you look out for any hidden costs involved.

For instance, calling a mobile in one country may be a different price to calling a landline in the same country, so it’s important you have all of this information to hand.

Pay Monthly calls abroad

If you’ve opted for paying a set rate on a Pay Monthly plan every month, then you’ll be less likely to be stung by hidden charges. What you should be aware of, though, is how many inclusive international minutes your plan offers you, and whether or not you have the option to call over Wi-Fi.

Most pay monthly providers will offer a free App with their service, so if yours does too, it could save you a lot of money in the long-run.

One-off calls abroad

If you primarily use your phone to call within your country of residence, but you still need to make a one-off international call, using an ‘instant dial’ override provider could save you money.

The override providers allow you to dial through them, and pass on the charge to your standard mobile provider, who will then charge you. The benefit of using an override provider is that if you’re dialling from a mobile, they tend to offer you a slightly cheaper rate. However, if you find yourself doing this regularly, it might be cheaper to choose a monthly bundle.

Add-ons for overseas calls

With an overseas add-on, you’ll be able to “add” an extra monthly charge to your phone which will offer you cheap international calls. With these add-ons, you’ll only pay for what you use, but they can significantly reduce your provider’s standard international call rates.

Calling abroad from your landline

International call bundles

Many providers will offer you international call bundles specifically for your landlines. With these, you may have inclusive minutes to other landlines, but remember that if you’re dialling a mobile you might not be able to use your inclusive minutes directly.

You will, however, be able to use them to call more cheaply through a VoIP service, using a ‘local access number’. To find out whether or not your plan offers this service, explore your mobile provider’s website.

Calling abroad for free

Many mobile providers will offer some options for making international calls for free. By calling through your Wi-Fi connection, you’ll be able to call for free as long as the person you’re calling is also using the Wi-Fi. If your mobile provider offers an internet-calling app, this could be the cheapest choice for you.

Some providers will also offer you free calls to friends and family who use the same network as you, although this varies between providers, so be sure to shop around!

Calling abroad with Vectone Mobile

At Vectone Mobile, we specialise in finding you the cheapest rates and most unique monthly deals on international calls.

For instance, if you want to make calls to one specific country regularly, then you’ll find loads of incredible inclusive minutes to your chosen country, with our Country Saver bundle.

Make calls to Multiple Countries?

If you have many friends and family in many different countries, then our ultimate All-in-One bundle, with inclusive minutes to over 40 countries, is well worth considering.

We also offer Smart Rates, Vectone Connect, and Twin Minutes, so no matter your needs, we have something for you!

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