Cheapest Way to Call Canada from the US

Cheapest Way to Call Canada from the US

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 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 a recent U.S. census shows that over 1 million U.S. citizens have emigrated from Canada with up to a million more working and studying there on long-term visas.  So you’d think market forces would keep prices low when calling home, right?

Unfortunately this is not the case and Canadian-American families wishing to stay in close contact across the border usually fall foul of some extortionate rates from phone providers. With hidden fees, international taxes, carrier surcharges and rates charged for receiving calls, there simply has to be a better way.

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 cheaper possibilities in the form of online services and downloadable applications. Rebtel, Skype, and Vonage are some of the market leaders with regards to rates and service quality, though there are many more out there so it’s worth doing your research.

Many of these services are free when both users have the same applications, but the above mentioned services even provide excellent rates when calling traditional mobile/cell phones and landlines.

Rebtel have various packages to drive prices down, while Skype offer either a base pay as you go credit  or a small monthly subscription fee in addition to their per minute rates. Vonage charges a flat rate of around $10-12 for unlimited monthly calls.  Check provider websites as prices can fluctuate.

Keep in mind your own personal requirements when making a decision.  For example, each Canadian living in the US calls home for about 170 minutes each month. This puts a different perspective on how much you should be willing to pay, although VoIP services (online apps) offer much more competitive rates compared to any standard US-based phone operator.