Frequent calls to Canada from the U.S. can be pricey. Before choosing an international calling service provider, it pays to spend some time sizing up your options. Here, we’ll offer some insight into using popular online services to contact your loved ones without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more about Canada-U.S. relations, calling rates for traditional providers, and making international calls to Canada on the cheap - or even for free.
A Friendly Border Relationship
Canada and the U.S. have shared trade and immigration for generations, and the U.S. census of 2010 shows that over 900,000 U.S. citizens have immigrated from Canada. Regardless, Canadian-American families wishing to contact friends and relatives across the border end up paying extra to place their call through major phone providers. These rates are often accompanied by additional hidden fees, international taxes, and carrier surcharges that aren’t apparent until you open your monthly bill.
The Cost of Staying Connected
If you choose to make international calls to Canada from the U.S. through your landline or mobile phone plan, traditional providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint offer rates averaging $0.49 per minute. This fee can be lowered to around $0.09 per minute if customers decide to opt into the provider’s international calling plan, which on average adds an additional $5-$15 monthly fee on top of your regular phone bill.
Budget-friendly Canada Calling Options
For international callers interested in other options, there are plenty of cheap and free possibilities in the form of online services and downloadable applications. Rebtel, Skype, and Vonageare examples of popular and reliable international calling services that allow you to make unlimited calls to Canada without putting a dent in your wallet.
All of these services are free when both users have the applications, but for calls made through traditional phone plans, here are the calling rates between the US and Canada:
Rebtel has no monthly fee, while Skype charges $2.99 per month in addition to their per minute rates. Vonage charges a flat rate of $9.99 for unlimited calls.
While all these options seem quite inevepensive, before choosing one, think how much time you will spend talking.
On average, a Canadian living in the US calls home for about 170 minutes each month. This puts a different perspective on these companies' pricing. However, all of them are still cheaper than any US-based mobile operator.
All 3 low-cost applications work with both PCs and smartphones, giving savvy callers plenty of choices when making calls to Canada.