Why Calls to Cuba are so Expensive
Since phone calls to Cuba are often expensive the process can be extremely frustrating for those with family members there. The Cuban government controls all telecommunications which means that any international call terminating in the country is subject to a very high tax. This makes calls to Cuba from the US nearly ten times as expensive as calls to the rest of the world!
History of the Problem
The historical issues between the US and Cuba have long been documented and it overlaps into the telecommunications industry too. In 2000, Cuba imposed a 10% additional tax on all calls terminating in the country. US phone companies already had restrictions in place regarding how much they would pay Cuba, and had to start routing calls through third party carriers. As a result, additional costs keep mounting for calls that terminate at Cuban landline or mobile/cell phones.
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Over the past decade, whenever US companies have tried to negotiate reduced rates, the Cuban government has threatened to cut off telephone communication between the two countries altogether. Fortunately though, we are now witnessing political and economic inroads between them, with attempts at working to knock down trade barriers and build relations.
So, while the reality is that you should remain prepared to do a little research to find out your best options, the extreme increase in prices of yesteryear seem to be on the wane. Let’s look at some of your options below.
Available Options for Making Calls to Cuba
Traditional US phone carriers usually require an international calling plan to make calls to Cuba. This means a set monthly fee followed by a per-minute rate. AT&T’s U-Verse plan works out to a cost of 91 cents per minute plus taxes and fees associated with the calling plan, and an additional 91 cents per minute for calls terminating on a mobile phone. Verizon’s I-Dial costs $1.99 per minute to landlines or mobiles, or $1.19 per minute plus a $3.99 monthly fee.
Many people turn to calling cards to make calls to Cuba, but these are often not as advertised. Many users find that they always get a busy signal, or the call appears to connect but they cannot hear the other party, while minutes tick away and funds are deducted from the card. Advertised rates can range from 65-89 cents per minute, but the fine print will reveal rounding (up to 3 or even 5 minutes in some cases), weekly fees (ranging from 50 cents to $1.00 per week), and other additional surcharges.
VoIP services require the Internet!
Normally, the VoIP market is as a great place to shop for cheap phone-calling services. However since many Cuban homes don’t have internet access it can be difficult to find the right provider. What you essentially need is a service that uses the internet (the US side) to contact a normal landline/cell number (the Cuban side), which means that even most VoIP services don’t allow cheap calls to Cuba. The popular PC to PC or PC to phone provider Skype charges around $1.15 per minute plus a connection fee for calls to Cuba, and Google Voice charges 98 cents per minute with call quality often criticized by users. But don’t fret, there is a great solution!....
Making Calls to Cuba with Rebtel
Rebtel is a service that allows calls to Cuba to be made for as little as 65 cents per minute, and there are no connection fees, monthly fees, or rate differences for calling landlines or mobile phones. Rebtel also boasts high call quality and even provides a visible and contactable service support, something that is often difficult in the faceless world of internet services.
By allowing for clear calls to Cuba at a very competitive rate and with complete service transparency, Rebtel’s service helps makes family ties stronger with friends and family back in Cuba without making a huge dent in your finances.