Phone plans with international calls included


WhistleOut
28 April 2016

If you have family and friends overseas, it use to be that you would have two SIM cards: one for local calls and another to access cheap international calling rates. Nowadays, you can get both services in a single package.

In fact, it is now standard for the big telcos to include some international call minutes with some of the most popular phone plans. Of course, if you plan on calling home frequently, you are probably best considering a provider like Lebara which is best known for international connections.

Here are our picks for the best phone plans with overseas calling included. We'll show you the Top 5 most popular destinations for international calls and the cost of a 5-minute call, including any flagfall charges.

Pro tip: we've listed the included countries for many of the plans below. To see only countries that you are interested in calling, use the 'Find on Page' function in your web browser. Hit 'Control + F' on a Windows PC or 'Command + F' on a Mac and enter the name of the country.

If you regularly call overseas, there’s a good chance you are already aware of Lebara. With a strong reputation in low-cost international calling, Lebara has been one of the go-to choices for Australians with international relatives.

Recently, Lebara has made some significant adjustments to its SIM-only mobile phone plans, and now boasts a range of plans with competitive domestic rates with the option to add international calling credit as an optional extra.

Lebara also offers it's unique Unlimited International Plan with unlimited calls to international numbers in 60 countries.

Fixed line and mobile calls to: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Canada,Czech Republic, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong,Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,Peru. Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Spain,South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom.

Fixed-line calls only to: Brunei, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Iceland,Kazakhstan, Martinique, Morocco, Reunion, French Guiana, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa ,Switzerland, Taiwan, Venezuela.

Full rates to all countries can be found here.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:

  1. UK - $0.35
  2. USA - $0.20
  3. China - $0.20
  4. New Zealand - $0.35
  5. India - $0.20

In the past few months amaysim has gone from being a poor choice for customers looking to make calls to overseas, to being one of the best options.

All amaysim Unlimited plans, starting from $24.90, now include unlimited international calls to 10 countries and unlimited international text and MMS messages to 32 countries. Higher cost plans also include extra call minutes for calls outside the unlimited 10.

The 10 unlimited countries are China, Hong Kong, India Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the U.K. and the U.S.A.

Call credit can be used for calls to: Austria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included on all Unlimited plans
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

The latest changes to the Boost Mobile prepaid plan range brought with it big new international inclusions. New $40 and $50 recharge options now include unlimited calls and messages to 10 countries.

The 10 unlimited countries include: Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, the UK and the USA.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included on all Unlimited plans
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

Vodafone's latest Red Plan refresh delivers the goods for international callers, with several plans now including 1000 minutes of international calls to the 10 most popular calling destinations.

If you're looking for a cheaper option, all RED Plans of $40 and over now include international minutes, from 90 minutes up to 300 minutes to any one of 52 eligible countries. If you need more time on the line, Vodafone now charge a flat $6 extra for an additional 60-minutes of talk time once you reach your plan limit.

Families benefit even more when they choose a Share Plan option. Your international call minutes on all connected Red Plans will pool into a single minute total. For example, a family of four, each with 120-minutes of international talk time with have 480-minutes to use across all devices.

Eligible countries include: Austria, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Netherlands, Northern Marianas Islands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Spain Canary Islands, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included with RED Plan
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

A few months later, but no less welcome, Optus now also include some international calling minutes in its post-paid mobile plans — otherwise known as My Plan Plus.

Customers who choose any but the cheapest My Plan Plus options will have either 150- or 300-minutes of international calls every month, depending on the plan level. Calls can be made to 32 countries.

If you choose the cheapest plan level you have the option to add an international calling bolt-on, which gives you calling minutes to the same 32 countries. $5 for 50-minutes or $10 for 150 minutes.

Included countries are: Austria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included with My Plan Plus
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

Following in the footsteps of other smaller telcos, Aldi Mobile now includes a generous allowance of international calls in two of its Value Pack range: the XL Plan and XXL Plan.

The amount differs for each of these plans. The XL Value Pack comes with 150 minutes of calls to international destinations, while the most expensive XXL Plan has 300 minutes. Calls can be made to landlines in up to 44 different countries, and mobiles in 14 of these same countries.

Included countries are: Andorra, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Virgin Islands.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included with XL and XXL Value Pack Plans
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. ed

You may not have heard much about Hello Mobile yet, but it is one of the better options for people who call overseas quite a bit. The telco offers two plans for the same $39.90 fee — one with 1GB data and 250 minutes of international calls each month, and another with 500-minutes, but only 500MB data.

There are 28 countries included in the offer are: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom.

Outside of these select countries, the call rates to other destinations are also extremely cheap. There is a flat $0.30 flagfall on all international calls, but after that most calls are $0.50 per minute, or less.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included with Combo Plus or Freedom 500 Plans
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

Virgin has included an international calling component in its top plans for quite a while. At the moment, you get $200 worth of international calls on an $60 Plan, and $300 worth of calls on its $70, $80 and $100 Plan options.

So, how many minutes does this give you? It will vary depending on where you will be calling, with the cheapest options being $2 or $3 per minute, plus a $0.40 flagfall. For example, if you were to call the UK once for an hour, it would cost $48.40, or one-quarter of the international calling allowance included in the $60 Plan.

Full rates for all countries can be found here.

International text is an extra charge, but is reasonable at only $0.45 per message.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - $4.40
  2. USA - $4.40
  3. China - $5.40
  4. New Zealand - $4.40
  5. India - $9.40

TPG recently switched from the Optus network to the Vodafone network, and the change saw a big shift in the price of international calls -- for better and worse.

Previously, TPG customers could use their included call credit for international calls. Now, all international calls are billed on top of your standard monthly fees.

The good news is that the cost of calls is now much cheaper. For example, a 5-minute call to the UK used to cost $7.90; now it costs just $0.70.

Full rates to all countries can be found here.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - $0.70
  2. USA - $0.55
  3. China - $0.60
  4. New Zealand - $0.80
  5. India - $0.65

All of Telechoice’s mobile plans let customers use any part of their included call credit for calls to overseas numbers, but what is interesting about Telechoice is that its most expensive plan is not your best option for overseas calls.

The Live Starter 55 plan includes 100-minutes of dedicated international calling credit, which is great, but it isn’t going to keep you on the phone for very long.

Alternatively, the Live Starter 45 plan includes $3000 value to be shared between national calls and text and international calls. If you're happy to sign a 24-month contract, the price of the plan comes down to $40 per month. Depending on how you use your phone, this could be a great offer for calling home frequently.

Full international call rates can be found here (PDF link).

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call (to landlines):
  1. UK - $3.40
  2. USA - $2.90
  3. China - $7.90
  4. New Zealand - $7.90
  5. India - $10.35

Telstra was last of the majors to include international calls in phone plans, but now allows customers on its $135 Go Mobile Plan to make up to $150 worth of calls overseas.

If your budget allows, customers on the $195 Premium Mobile Plan to make unlimited international calls to all countries class as either Zone 1 or Zone 2, which accounts for 42 countries including our Top 5 destinations.

If you'd prefer to be on a plan with a lower monthly fee, Telstra also offer international calling add-ons. There are $10 and $15 options, depending on where you want to call.

Cost comparison of an average 5-minute call:
  1. UK - included with $135 Go Mobile Plans
  2. USA - included
  3. China - included
  4. New Zealand - included
  5. India - included

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