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Cheap way to call the USA from Europe
Old 06-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Cheap way to call the USA from Europe

What is a cheap way to call the USA from Europe? I know there is Skype and will use it when wifi is available. But, if there is no wifi, what are other inexpensive ways to call the USA from Europe?
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:37 PM   #2
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What is a cheap way to call the USA from Europe? I know there is Skype and will use it when wifi is available. But, if there is no wifi, what are other inexpensive ways to call the USA from Europe?
We picked up a calling card at the drug store. Not as cheap as skype but nice for a backup. If you have a compatible "global" cell phone you can also purchase local SIM cards with minutes for your trip.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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If you're in France, ask a local resident if you can borrow their home phone. Most French people have free phone calls to a large number of worldwide destinations as part of their Internet access, thanks to the market being led by a company called Free.fr - they're kind of the Southwest Airlines of the Internet. Every other French ISP, including the old telco "monopoly", has had to follow suit as Free has introduced more and more features on their packages. (I have no connection with them other than as a very satisfied customer.)
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #4
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I don't get it. You're telling me you can afford to go to Europe but you are worried about spending too much on some phone calls home? Give me a break. Buy a calling card and forget it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:17 AM   #5
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Skype. 2 cents a minute.

If you're going to be living there, get Vonage with a US based account. Plug and play right into your local router. Plus with a US based phone number US friends can call for free.

If just travelling, get a phone card.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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Which country are you visiting? Buy a local SIM card and you could cheaply call US right from your mobile. For Sweden, Tele2 offers a plan (Pay as you go) SIM card called as Amigos. I am sure similar are available in other countries too.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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We've used a simcard we got ahead of time from Telistial (on the web) in both Ireland and France. I works great in my unlocked android and they have them for iphones as well. The great part is you can get a US number so kids and friends can text/call without having to call international and free options such as incoming texts and calls.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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I believe that Google Voice is 1.2c per min from UK to USA. Google Voice Rates.

Basically, I ditched my landline 2 months ago and hooked up a device called the Obi110 to my internet, and signed up for a Google Voice account. Then, you buy a specific cordless phone (DECT6.0 enabled) and hook it into the Obi110. Voila, free local and long distance calling (unlimited), plus very cheap international calling.

If you can set up a network router, you can set up an Obi110 no problem. And for $44, it's a pretty good investment. I could do a how-to guide for this forum if needed...
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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I don't get it. You're telling me you can afford to go to Europe but you are worried about spending too much on some phone calls home? Give me a break. Buy a calling card and forget it.
This is the LBYM forum. If the OP can afford to go to Europe, it's because of all those recycled dryer sheets and smart phone call plans.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:47 AM   #10
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This is the LBYM forum. If the OP can afford to go to Europe, it's because of all those recycled dryer sheets and smart phone call plans.
Exactly. I'd suggest that he call Johnnie collect from Europe and have Johnnie pass on the message.
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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What is a cheap way to call the USA from Europe? I know there is Skype and will use it when wifi is available. But, if there is no wifi, what are other inexpensive ways to call the USA from Europe?
A calling card is a reasonable alternative, but these days most everywhere you stay in Europe either has wifi available or available close by.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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This is the LBYM forum. If the OP can afford to go to Europe, it's because of all those recycled dryer sheets and smart phone call plans.
Sorry, I forgot about LBYM. My bad.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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This is the LBYM forum. If the OP can afford to go to Europe, it's because of all those recycled dryer sheets and smart phone call plans.
I thought this was the Financial Independence/(Retire Early) forum. FI would imply an ability to afford such travel regardless of whether one employs LBYM.

(RE would imply an ability to enjoy such travel while you still young enough)
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #14
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Alas, my cell phone is one that works on a CDMA system, so buying another SIM card is not an option. I have thought about geting a overseaa unlocked GSMA phone for use when traveling outside the USA.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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I thought this was the Financial Independence/(Retire Early) forum. FI would imply an ability to afford such travel regardless of whether one employs LBYM.
Ah, but then FI would also imply that you can afford a few bucks for phone calls.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:41 AM   #16
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Ah, but then FI would also imply that you can afford a few bucks for phone calls.
Yup ...

We never really worried about the cost of phone calls while traveling outside the country. In the scheme of things, that's a very small expense and has always been included in our travel budget.

Now if you wo*ked, went to school, or lived there for any length of time, than that's another situation. In that case, you would have your own service from whatever country you are in.

BTW, the one way you can be "stung" is to have a smart phone and you leave your data access on outside the country. Ours will not roam automatically (but voice calls will). Most smart phones can be set so this dosen't happen, but just be aware that if you don't have it turned off, data roaming charges can become quite high. Rather than using the local phone data access, we'll just turn on our respective phone's wi-fi so we can get our mail and internet access and turn it off when we're done.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:25 AM   #17
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Ah, but then FI would also imply that you can afford a few bucks for phone calls.
So, BigNick, are these the people who are confusing this FI forum with a LBYM forum?

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Old 06-18-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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Alas, my cell phone is one that works on a CDMA system, so buying another SIM card is not an option. I have thought about geting a overseaa unlocked GSMA phone for use when traveling outside the USA.
A couple of years ago we decided to do this when we went to the UK for 10 weeks. Before we bought one, a relative actually gave us an "old" phone of hers and we took it to one of the many stores that unlock phones - cost 10 pounds. The phone was much better than my old one, so on return to the USA I put in my USA SIM card. When we went to the UK last year I simply put in a UK SIM card.

However, for calls back to the USA I still always used Skype.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:18 PM   #19
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How much calling is involved? If a lot and you have wireless, a Magicjack can be an option which covers calls to US and Canada.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #20
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We have an unlocked GSM phone just for our Europe trips. It's an old "dumb" phone but it works. Unfortunately, our trips are spaced out enough that I can't keep the sim active. (They expire after 1 year if you don't use them.). So I just buy a new sim each trip.


I bought my unlocked gsm phone on ebay about 6 years ago.
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