It is no big secret that calling someone in a different country can put pounds on your phone bill, including extra charges, connection fees, and more. Therefore, for people who need to make international calls regularly like students or businesspersons, the need for a cheaper option is a pressing one. There are, thankfully, plenty of strategies for cutting the cost of international calls on a mobile phone if you know where to look and how to find them. This guide covers the basics so that you never have to overspend on this type of call ever again.

International Calling SIM

The first place to look is at a dedicated, international calling SIM card that will offer you exactly what you need to keep on phoning with lower rates and better consistency. These SIMs are Pay as You Go, which means they are activated by the action of adding funds. They tend to come with a standard allowance for UK minutes and texts, while also allowing access to call minutes for 42 external countries. Anywhere that is not covered by this basic allowance presents discounted rates for phoning, so all the bases are catered for. This all means that you won’t have to pay £4 a minute for a catch-up with relatives in Australia!

What is It, Exactly?

Before you decide whether this is the option best suited to you, understanding a bit more about what a SIM does is useful. The term ‘SIM’ stands for Subscriber Identity Module and is a unique code ascribed to each mobile user in the world. The plastic device sits inside your phone storing essential data like contacts. Though the storage capacity is limited, they are still integral parts of what makes a mobile phone functional, and you can’t make calls without one. An international SIM allows users to communicate with relatives, associates, and so on overseas for a lower cost overall with fewer restrictions too.

International Calling SIM Card: Key Differences

You may be wondering, why would you need a dedicated SIM when you could just buy an add-on similar to your pre-existing package. Well, there are some differences here that need observing that may sway your decision in either direction.

They Are More Cost-Effective

It is hard to argue with the fact that these SIMs, when compared to the standard bolt-on/add-on options, are significantly better for your monthly finances. Instead of paying for addition after addition, you have a ready-made, willing, and waiting SIM just for this purpose. This is better for anyone who makes international calls on a weekly or even daily basis because it means that money is preserved and protected for monthly usage.

Rolling Commitment

A rolling commitment is one that you sign up for each month. Compared to an add-on, this means you get to choose and refuse whether or not to pay the cost and activate the international minutes. If you had it as a part of your contract, then this would be added to your monthly bill without any action on your part, which means those months you don’t need it, you will face the charge regardless.

No Unexpected Costs

Contending with unexpected surcharges on monthly bills is a direct route to disturbing your sense of security when it comes to all things financial. Having a budget is essential in modern life, and people need to be able to predict what bills are coming and how much they are going to cost to manage life effectively. So, being able to have a set payment with consistent features is arguably more attractive than a contract that may increase your interest, fluctuate the rates, or limit what you can do in terms of calls and texts to international phone numbers.

SIM for International Calls: How Do They Operate?

So, how exactly is it that these SIM options manage to cut the costs for millions of users worldwide? It is all down to how they work. While a traditional SIM or local SIM, there is a restriction in terms of which network it can utilize. An international SIM allows open access to a range of networks all over the world, making it easier and more direct when it comes to calling, texting, and so on. This is largely possible owing to mutually beneficial partnerships across the leading providers in the world and remains functional because so many people see the benefits and sign up.

What Are the Top Tips for Cutting International Call Costs?

These SIM cards are a great option, for all the reasons mentioned above. They are quite literally designed to deliver a great service for anyone in the position of needing this type of access. However, other factors at play could facilitate lower costs overall as well. So if you have a certain number of messages to send overseas, or phone calls to make for your business, here are the best ways to get the job done at a lower, fairer price.

Use Apps Like WhatsApp

WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms use a Wi-Fi or 4G/5G connection to send and receive messages. That means, if you are traveling abroad, or need to connect to someone overseas, a platform like this makes it easier and you can switch the connection to your Wi-Fi to curb the charges. Though it doesn’t always negate the higher cost margin because even Wi-Fi providers take note of things like international connection and charge accordingly, so it is still worth combining this option with a specific SIM too.

Make Sure Your SIM is on the Best Deal

As with any purchase, it is in your best interest to shop around and see what’s out there. Leading providers like Lebara are the go-to platform for these international SIM models and will always have competitive options to pick from depending on what you actually need and how you want to use the minutes or messages in the long term.

Have Another SIM for Local Usage

While international options are great for this purpose, they don’t always have the most to offer in terms of local communication choices. So, it is always a safe bet to keep your original SIM or invest in one that will give you better rates for all of your national communication needs. Of course, there are plans out there that consider both sides of the coin, and these are the ones to look for. 

Make Sure Your Handset Supports the SIM

You also have to make sure your handset will support the SIM without incurring extra charges or malfunctioning. There is no point in buying a SIM card that won’t work on your phone, so always check this out before you make any financial commitment as you may end up in a detrimental position where you are losing money and wasting time.

Plan Before You Travel

Travelling requires a lot of planning regardless of where you’re going or how long for. Whatever the purpose, and wherever the destination, ensure that every precaution has been considered and you’re not going to face any barriers to communication when you get there. Sort everything out before you go, and life will be easier.

Avoid the hidden charges, extortionate rates, and general disadvantages of making international calls by taking charge of the process.