I recently made the mistake of calling a number in Canada with my cell phone last month. This month, I discovered that my call to Canada cost me 48 cents/minute. Thankfully, I chatted for only 10 minutes.
Looking into alternative options, I obviously wanted something cheaper, but I didn’t want to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of being able to make cheaper international phone calls. I call Canada only occasionally, and I think Sprint PCS charges $5/month for the option to call Canada at 10 cents/minute. Blah. That’s still a crappy deal.
After some internet searching, I discovered a company called Localphone.com. Allows me to make really cheap calls to anywhere in the world (internationally and domestically). In many cases, for less than 1 cent/minute. Calls to some countries and mobiles cost a bit more, but that’s because of tariffs imposed by those countries. Essentially, Localphone.com is a pre-paid long-distance service, that does not charge hidden fees, nor does it prematurely expire pre-paid credits (as long as you make 1 phone call per year). I got started with a credit of 5 bucks. And at $0.0070/minute to Canada, that’s a credit good for 12 hours of calling to Canada.
I’ve since discovered that Skype offers a similar service (Skype To Go). If you’re already using Skype, then you may prefer that service. However, for various reasons, I actually prefer Localphone.com. It’s cheaper than Skype, and there are no hidden fees (e.g. no connection fees). Also, Localphone allows me to alias long-distance phone numbers to local phone numbers that I can save to my cell phone’s address book. I can then dial the local number directly from my cell phone, without first calling an access number. Also Skype To Go works from only 11 countries, while Localphone has local call numbers in almost 50 countries, which means I can use it more often when I travel internationally.
Lastly, I should point out that Localphone.com is a UK company, but their web site does not make it particularly clear that their service works for anyone in any country. Also, the cost of calling a country is the same rate, regardless of what country you are calling from.