How Much Do International Calls Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

International telephone calls, defined as calls made between different countries, are processed by switches (international gateway exchanges), and the charges for these calls are usually high.

Phone by andrewmalone, on Flickr
Phone” (CC BY 2.0) by andrewmalone

How much do international calls cost?

The price of an international call will vary depending on where you want to call, the phone company and whether one chooses to pay as they go using a credit, like Skype or purchase a monthly subscription. On average, international calls can range anywhere from $0.05 to as much as $2+ per minute plus a monthly fee if you were to sign up with a popular cell phone carrier.  Most of your populated countries, from our research, will cost less than $0.40 per minute, while your smaller countries will cost upwards of $2+ per minute.  This is the price you will pay if you were to sign up for a monthly plan, which, regardless of how many calls you make, can cost $10 to $20+ per month.  This monthly fee will depend on the cellphone carrier and type of international plan you want to sign up for.

To clear up any confusion, only the outgoing international calls are charged the international fee, not the recipient.  If you did receive a phonecall, it will only use your minutes if you were on a minute-based plan.

Refer to our table below to see what it may cost you when calling another country.

CountryMinute Rate Average
Albania$1-$2
Algeria$0.30-$0.55
Australia$0.10-$0.25
Bahamas$0.01-$1
Belgium$0.09-$0.25
Bolivia$0.30-$0.40
Brazil$0.15-$0.40
CanadaFree
Chile$0.20-$0.40
China$0.01-$0.04
Columbia$0.01-$0.05
Denmark$0.10-$0.25
Dominican Republic$0.01-$0.05
El Salvador$0.01-$0.10
France$0.10-$0.30
Germany$0.01-$0.03
Guatemala$0.01-$0.10
India$0.20-$0.30
Israel$0.01-$0.10
Japan$0.03-$0.10
Kazakhstan$0.20-$0.40
Malaysia$0.15-$0.30
Mexico$0.01-$0.10
Nicaragua$0.01-$0.15
Norway$0.10-$0.40
Peru$0.25-$0.50
Philippines$0.20-$0.30
Poland$0.15-$0.45
Puerto RicoFree-$0.03
Russia$0.20-$0.30
Serbia$0.45-$0.65
South Africa$0.35-$0.55
South Korea$0.02-$0.05
Spain$0.10-$0.30
Sweden$0.10-$0.28
United Kingdom$0.10-$0.30

NOTE:  These “per minute” rates are the average cost if you didn’t add an add-on international plan, but this isn’t always the case as Google Voice, for example, has a flat rate.  As noted below, the costs can drop significantly if you were to add a plan from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile, for example.

Verizon, for example, has the Unlimited TogetherSM – World plan, which allows you to make landline calls to more than 70 countries and heavy discounts to an additional 160+ countries.  The cost of this plan, for instance, is $15 per month, plus another $0.05+ per minute depending on the country you’re calling.  Most of your larger countries will cost less than $0.75 per minute.

AT&T offers similar international calling plans, which range anywhere from $1 to $25 per month, plus an additional “per minute” rate, depending on the country  This official AT&T PDF, for instance, says a call to Mexico City would cost $2.71 a minute during off-peak hours without an international plan, but if you selected a calling plan, you could save up to $70 one 30-minute phone call.  The AT&T World Traveler for Wireless plan, as noted in the PDF, will cost $5.99 a month, and this plan offers discounted wireless calling rates to more than 80 countries.  Sample rates include $0.99 a minute in Germany and France or $1.29 a minute in Australia.

T-Mobile has a helpful international calling rate guide, with prices from more than 100 countries.  These are the rates if you would pay if you didn’t add a cellphone add-on plan.

On Skype.com, they offer a World Unlimited plan for $13.99 per month.  This plan allows you to make unlimited calls via Skype to international landlines to more than 63 destinations.  A 300-minute plan is also available for $6.99 per month.

Google Voice simply charges a flat rate per minute, and depending on the country, the costs can range from as little as $0.01 per minute to as much as $7, but on average, almost all calls are less than $0.50 per minute.  You can see a full list of all of the country rates here.

Tips to know

Always read the fine print if you plan on signing up for an international phone call.  Some carriers will advertise great rates, but when you read the fine print, there could be certain restrictions.

How can I save money?

With any of the major cellphone carriers, it is always cheaper to add an international talk plan if you make these types of calls multiple times per month.  For instance, on T-Mobile, if you were to add the Stateside International Talk plan at $15 per month, you can make unlimited calls to France, but without the $15 add-on plan, it would cost $3 per minute.

From what we researched, a VOIP service often offers the best international calling rates.  Vonage, Nextiva, RingCentral and Phone.com all offer discounted plans that can be much cheaper than some of the popular cell phone companies.  The only caveat, however, is that you will need to use a landline-type phone as it will be connected to your home network.  With that being said, always compare various companies as the rates will differ depending on the country you want to call.  It’s always best to choose a provider that offers the best rate to a country you always call.

According to LifeHacker.com, you can make free international calls using Viber or WhatsApp, for instance.


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