How to Make Cheap Calls to India From the US
For those who need to call India on a regular basis, an inexpensive option is imperative. Using traditional operators to make calls to India can be extremely costly; most major carriers charge a hefty per-minute fee plus an extra fee per call. Subscription services, pay-as-you-go plans, and other options are available, but the best one for any particular user will depend on a variety of factors.
How often calls to India are made, how long they last, and what type of phones the calls are being placed to and from will all factor into the cost of each call made. Someone making daily short calls to India will need a different plan than one who needs to call India only once or twice a month, or who stays on the phone for a longer period per call.
Four Different Ways to Make Calls to India
1. Traditional phone service. This is one of the more expensive ways to make calls to India. For example, AT&T offers a plan for consumers who only need to make limited calls to India, charging $9.99 for 60 minutes and 17 cents per minute thereafter. Many mobile carriers are even worse, with Verizon charging $3.99 per month plus 29-30 cents per minute for calls to India.
2. Calling cards. Prepaid cards have become a popular way to make calls to India because pre-paying is often seen as a good way to take control on spending and you can use them from almost any phone. The advertised rates will generally be between 1.9 and 3 cents per minute, but these cards usually have hidden fees. Most charge a weekly fee of up to a dollar, and round each call up to the nearest 3-4 minute mark, and some charge a connection fee per call as well. Read more to discover some of the pitfalls of the calling card market.
3. VoIP. Several internet based VoIP services exist that allow you to use an internet connection to make cheap calls to India. Skype is one of the most popular VoIP services, with calls to India costing around 9 cents per minute plus a small connection fee. Google Voice charges the same rate for calling landlines, but only 2 cents per minute for calling mobile phones.
4. Rebtel. A more sophisticated VoIP application, Rebtel allows you to make cheap calls to India without binding monthly fees or connection fees, and no difference in rate between calling landlines or mobile phones. You are also given a local number to use for your contacts, so a call home to your Auntie in Calcutta is as cheap as making a call to a friend in the same town as you back in the US.
Calling to India shouldn’t be expensive, whether you are trying to stay in touch with family and friends or need to communicate for business. Finding a plan that lets you make cheap calls to India whenever you need to will keep your finances in check and allow you the freedom to call as often and for as long as you wish!