Home - , , - Updated: The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals

Updated: The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals

Making international calls on your prepaid phone can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. The big mobile operators are happy to charge the unwary a fortune for calls to non-US numbers, even to Canada and Mexico. Verizon and T-Mobile charge as much as $1.99/minute to calls to European and Asian countries. AT&T is a little better, but still costly with per minute surcharges as high as $1.09 to China or 89¢ to the Philippines.

Fortunately there are a number of prepaid mobile operators with much lower international rates. PrepaidPhoneNews.com has gone though dozens of prepaid provider's international calling options to find the operators and plans that offer the least expensive international calling and messaging options .

This post is updated frequently as plans and pricing are constantly changing.

Last Updated 11-Oct-2017: MetroPCS plan changes.

Read on for my recommended prepaid operators and plans for international calling and texting.

Unlimited plans: If you make a lot of international calls, 500 minutes a month or more, an unlimited international plan can be a good deal. These plans are either stand alone plans that include unlimited domestic and international calls and texts or unlimited international add-ons to unlimited domestic plans. Either way, you will end up paying between $20 and $70 per month for unlimited domestic and international talk and text.

There are several things to watch out for with unlimited international plans:
  • They only cover calls to certain countries. Many sizable, but expensive to call, countries including the Philippines, El Salvador and Nigeria are usually not included.
  • For many covered countries only calls to landlines are included, not to mobile phones.
  • They may not be truly unlimited. I've seen a number of complaints from users who had their unlimited international plans shut off for using too many minutes. How many is too many? Your guess is as good as mine but I suspect more than 2000 minutes a month would be pushing the limit
In spite of these limitations, "unlimited" plans can still be a good deal. Just be sure the plan you choose covers the phone numbers you want to call and don't be surprised if you get cut off. If you do get your unlimited international plan canceled for overuse, please leave a comment so that other readers can get an idea of what the hidden limits are and which operators to avoid.

On all plans watch out for cumbersome access number dialing schemes. Several operators don't let you dial international calls directly. Instead you have to dial a 3 to 11 digit access number, wait for a prompt and then dial the international number. It's possible, but tricky, to automate the process by using a calling card app or by inserting pauses and waits in the address book dial strings, but I recommend choosing an operator that allows international direct dialing.

Here the table below lists unlimited international prepaid plans. Click the operator name in the first column to jump to a detailed description of that operator's plans and services.

Unlimited International Plans
Plan Int'l Add-On Price Required Monthly Plan Price Network Countries Included Landlines Countries Included (Mobiles) Text Countries Int'l Access Number Notes
Ultra Mobile included $19 - $49 T-Mobile 60 24 200 direct
Lycamobile included $19 - $45 T-Mobile 60-75 25-40 supported, number of countries N/A direct
Red Pocket included $20 - $65 T-Mobile 60-75 25-40 supported, number of countries N/A direct
H2O Wireless included $30 - $60 AT&T 50 8 supported, number of countries N/A direct
GoSmart $10 $25 - $55 T-Mobile 70 0 200 direct $50 call credit
Simple Mobile Included $25 - $60 T-Mobile 64 16 supported, number of countries N/A direct Unlimited calls to up to 15 int'l numbers
Airvoice included $30 - $50 AT&T 80 9 supported, number of countries N/A 10 digit
T-Mobile $5, $15 $45 - $75 T-Mobile 2 - 70 2 - 32 200 direct
Telcel America included $25 - $60 T-Mobile 60 20 supported, number of countries N/A direct Unlimited calls to up to 15 int'l numbers
Boost Mobile $5, $10 $35 - $50 Sprint 2, 70 2 - 7 180 direct
MetroPCS $5, $10 $40 - $60 T-Mobile 2, 75 2 supported, number of countries N/A direct
Virgin Mobile Inner Circle $5, $10 $50 (1st year $1) Sprint 2, 70 2 - 4 180 direct
Cricket 0, $5, $15 $50 - $60 AT&T Unlimited to Mexico & Canada included, $5/mo adds 36 more Unlimited to Mexico & Canada included, $15/mo adds 1000 minutes to 32 more 35 direct
AT&T included $45 $65 AT&T 2 2 190 direct Unlimited calls to and roaming in Mexico and Canada
Straight Talk included $60 At&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon 63 4 N/A 11 digit Unlimited calls to up to 15 int'l numbers
1 Plus a "cost recovery fee" of 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more. $19 plan includes unlimited calls to 10 countries, $29 and higher plans include unlimited calls to 40 countries.

Unlimited Domestic Prepaid Plans with low per minute international rates. If you already use an unlimited monthly plan for domestic calls and need less than 1000 international minutes per month, it can be less expensive to pay by the minute for international calls. Several operators let you add some extra funds to your account that you can use to make international calls for as a little as a penny per minute. Some even include some free international calls with their international add-ons.

Rates vary widely and no one operator offers the best rate to every country. To help you compare I've defined a prepaid market basket of five frequently called countries. It includes the three nations (Canada, Mexico and the UK) that send the most visitors to the US, plus the three countries (Mexico, China and the Philippines.) with the most foreign born US residents.

For each provider I've computed the average Market Basket Price per Minute for calls to mobile phones in the five countries. Here are the best deals.

Unlimited Monthly Plans with Low Per Minute International Rates
Operator Market Basket Price / Minute Network Monthly Plan Price Int'l Call Credit Included Int'l Text Rate Int'l Access Number
Ultra Mobile 2.1¢ T-Mobile $19 - $49 1 $1.25 free direct
Lycamobile 2.8¢ T-Mobile $19 - $59 0 - $25 free direct
Red Pocket Mobile AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint $20 - 65 none free direct
Boost Mobile 17¢ Sprint $35 - $50 none 10¢ direct
1 Plus a "cost recovery fee" of 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more.

Pay as you go: For light users (under approximately 300 combined domestic and international minutes and texts per month) a pay as you go plan is usually the least expensive option. The best of these plans charge about 5¢ per domestic minute, 8¢ and up per international minute and 2¢ per domestic and 10¢ per international text. Here are the pay as you go plans with the best international rates.

International Pay As You Go
Operator Market Basket Price / Minute Network Per Minute Domestic Rate Min. Monthly Plan Cost Domestic / Int'l Text Rate Int'l Access Number
Lycamobile 8.8¢ T-Mobile .05 .0083 free incoming .04/.12 outgoing Direct
Airvoice $10 Plan 9.8¢ AT&T .04 $10 .02/.10 10 digit
Airvoice PayGo 15.8¢ AT&T .10 $3.33 .10/.10 10 digit
H2O $25 Plan 22.66¢ AT&T .025 $25 .025/.10 Direct
H2O Pay As You Go 25.06¢ AT&T .05 $3.33 .05/.10 Direct


International calling apps and services: There are many Android and iOS apps that let you make international calls for free including Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, Viber, KakoTalk and Line. These apps let you make completely free calls using WiFi provided the person you are calling has the same app. Most of these apps can also make calls to international phone numbers inexpensively.

If you need call actual international phone numbers occasionally, Google Voice is a good option. Rates are low and unlike with some of the other calling apps, the money you add to your Google Voice account does not expire. Sample rates per minute for calling mobile phones in the market basket countries are: Canada free, China 1¢, Mexico 2¢, Philippines 12¢, UK 1¢ for a market basket price of 3.2¢/minute, which is competitive with the best rates from mobile operators. When you sign up for Google Voice, you get a one dollar credit to make international calls. After that the minimum top-up is $10 and Google Voice credit never expires. Google Voice makes calls using cellular voice, not data so if you pay per minute for local calls that will increase the market basket price. Google Hangouts can do WiFi calling at the same rates as Google Voice using your Google Voice balance.

Recommendations: I advising choosing based on price and which network (T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon or AT&T) works best for you. There are some especially good deals if you can use T-Mobile, especially Ultra Mobile and Lycamobile for their $20 unlimited international plans and the lowest pay international pay per minute rates to most countries

Text Only: If you mainly want to send international texts, Airvoice, AT&T, GoSmart, H2O, Red Pocket, Ultra Mobile, Simple Mobile, Telcel Amerixa and Lycamobile all include unlimited international text messaging with all monthly plans. On pay as you go, the best deals are 10¢ per international text from Airvoice or H2O.

International roaming: The following operators and plans include unlimited voice and text roaming and data roaming in Mexico: AT&T GoPhone $45 and $65 plans, Cricket $50 and $60 plans, all Simple Mobile plans, all Telcel America plans, T-Mobile $75 ONE Plan .

Canadian roaming is included with the: AT&T GoPhone $45 and $65 plans, Cricket $50 and $60 plans, T-Mobile $75 ONE Plan. All include unlimited roaming minutes and texts and the same data limits as domestic use.

The Details: here's a bit more about each of the operators mentioned in the table above. The operators are listed alphabetically. Click the operator's name to go to their webpage:

Airvoice (888-944-2355) is an AT&T MVNO that's been in business since 1999. Airvoice has monthly and pay as you go plans

Monthly unlimited plans all have unlimited domestic talk and and unlimited domestic and international texts
  • $20/month includes 100 MB* of data
  • $30/month includes 1 GB* of data and unlimited international calling to 80+ countries
  • $50/month includes 5 GB* of data and unlimited international calling to 80+ countries
* Only the first half of data (50 MB, 500 MB or 2.5 GB) is high speed. The second half is throttled to 128 Kbps or less.

Pay as you go: Airvoice has two pay as you go plans:
  • Pay As You Go: 10¢/min, 10¢/text, 6.6¢/MB, $1/month fee, minimum top up is $10 every 90 days
  • $10 Talk & Text: 4¢/min, 2¢/text, 6.6¢/MB, no monthly fee, minimum top up is $10 every 30 days
Unlimited International Plans:
Unlimited international calls to landlines in 80 countries and mobile numbers in eight (list of covered countries) are included with $30 and $50 monthly plans.

International add ons:
A $10 intentional add-on can be added to any plan. It provides the same unlimited international calls to landlines in 80 countries and mobile numbers in eight (list of covered countries) that's included with plans priced $30 and higher. With this add-on pay as you go and $10 plan users pay the same 10¢ or 4¢ per minute for covered international calls as they do for domestic calls.

Pay per use international call credit can be added to any plan by purchasing PayGo International Long Distance PINs in $5 increments. Added funds are good for 180 days and unused funds roll over as long as the customer refills before expiration. Sample rates per minute: Mexico landline 2¢, India landline 2¢, Philippines landline 14¢, UK mobile 4¢ (lookup rates).

Airvoice requires dialing a 10 digit access code for international calls.

Airvoice Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 0 or 0.9¢; Mexico 5¢; China 0 or 2¢; UK 4.1¢; Philippines 17¢ - Total 28.94¢ / 5 = 5.8¢ ($20 plan), 5.22¢ (plans $30 and higher), 15.8¢ (pay as you go), 9.8¢ ($10 Talk & Text).

Airvoice Mobile International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 10¢/each on pay as you go and $10 plans. International MMS (picture messages) are 10¢/each to send and receive on all plans. International MMS on monthly plans are funded using a $10 Cash Card. Unused cash card balances never expire as long as the account remains active and the accounts plan isn't allowed to lapse,

Airvoice international rate page.

For more on Airvoice, see Prepaid Operator Profile - Airvoice Wireless

AT&T GoPhoneicon (800-901-9878) has monthly and pay as you go plans. Per use international voice rates are very high but many plans include unlimited international text messaging and GoPhone's international add-ons can be a good value for frequent international callers.

Monthly domestic plans:
  • $30/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging. No data included, add 250 MB for $5/month
  • $35/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging, Unlimited data throttled to 128 kbps after 1 GB. Add 1 GB for $10/month.
  • $45/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging, Unlimited data throttled to 128 kbps after 6 GB. Unlimited calling to and roaming in Mexico and Canada. Add 1 GB for $10/month or 4 GB for $20/month.
  • $65/month: unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited domestic and international text messaging, Unlimited data throttled to 3 mbps, Unlimited calling to and roaming in Mexico and Canada.
There's a $5/month discount for using auto-pay on all current AT&T monthly plans.

Other plans
  • Pay as you go plan: 25¢/min, texts; 20¢ domestic, 25¢ international, $8.33/month minimum
  • $2 Daily plan: unlimited domestic minutes and unlimited domestic and international texts. $2 charged only on days used.
International add ons:
  • $5/month International Long Distance package can be added to any plan including the 10¢/minute and $2/day plans. It provides 250 minutes of calling to cell phones and landlines in Canada, India, China and several other countries and to landlines in over 50 countries (list of countries).
  • $10/month International Plus Long Distance package can be added to $35, $45 and $65 monthly plans only. It includes 1000 minutes of calling to cell phones and landlines in Mexico, Canada, India, China and several other countries and to landlines in over 50 countries (list of countries).
  • $15/month East Asia/India package can be added to the $35, $45 and $65 monthly plans only. It includes unlimited calls to landlines and mobile phones in China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore & South Korea and reduced rates to 30 other countries (list) in East Asia.
  • $15/month Latin America/Caribbean package can be added to the $35, $45 and $65 monthly plans only. It provides lower per minute rates to 45 Caribbean and Latin American countries (list).
International Roaming: In addition to the Canadian and Mexican roaming included with the $45 and $65 Plans, GoPhone users on other plans can roam in Mexico and Canada. Calls are 25¢ per minute in Mexico and 39¢ in Canada. In both countries texts are 25¢ to send and 20¢ to receive, MMS are $1.30 to send and 25¢ to receive and data is $1.95/KB.

AT&T has international direct dialing (no access code required).

AT&T Market Basket prices ($45 and $65 plans): Calling mobiles: Canada 0¢; Mexico 0¢; China $1.09; UK 49¢; Philippines 89¢ - Total $2.47 / 5 = 49.4¢.

AT&T Market Basket prices ($30 and lower plans without international add-on): Calling mobiles: Canada 19¢; Mexico 26¢; China $1.09; UK 49¢; Philippines 89¢ - Total $2.92 / 5 = 58.4¢.

AT&T Market Basket prices ($30 and lower plans 1st 1000 minutes with $10 add-on): Calling mobiles: Canada 0; Mexico 0; China 0; UK 49¢; Philippines 89¢ - Total $1.38 / 5 = 27.6¢.

AT&T Mobile International Messaging: 25¢/each.

AT&T Mobile international rate page.

For more on AT&T, see: Prepaid Operator Profile: AT&T GoPhone

Boost Mobile (866-402-7366) is one of Sprint's prepaid brands. All plans include unlimited domestic calls and messaging.

Monthly unlimited plans
  • $35/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 3 GB
  • $50/month unlimited, unthrottled (video streaming is degraded to 480p resolution, audio streaming is restricted to 500 Kbps and online gaming data is throttled to 2 Mbps)
    Additional lines on the same account are $25 each.

    International add ons:
    • $5/month - Todo Mexico Plus unlimited international texting, unlimited calling to Canada and Mexico including to mobile phones. Roaming in Mexico (supported phone required).
    • $10/month - International Connect Plus unlimited international texting, unlimited calling to landlines in 70 countries (list of countries) and to mobiles in Mexico, Canada and 5 other countries. Discounted rates to over 200 countries (list of countries).
    Boost has international direct dialing (no access code required).

    Boost Market Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 10¢; Mexico 20¢; China 15¢; UK 20¢; Philippines 20¢ - Total $0.85 / 5 = 17¢.

    Boost Mobile International Messaging: 10¢/each.

    Boost Mobile international rate page.

    For more on Boost, see Prepaid Operator Profile - Boost Mobile

    Cricket Wireless (800-274-2538) is AT&T's value priced prepaid brand. It offers monthly plans only.

    Monthly domestic plans: All include unlimited domestic calls and texts.
    • $30/month ( autopay discount not available) - 1GB 8 mbps data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less
    • $40/month ($35 with autopay) - 4GB 8 mbps data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less
    • $50/month ($45 with autopay) - 8GB 8 mbps data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps or less
    • $55/month ($50 with auto pay) - unlimited 3 mbps data
    • $60/month ($55 with autopay) - unlimited 8 mbs data
    The $50, $55 and $60 plans also include:
    • Unlimited calls to Canadian and Mexican landlines and mobile phones
    • Unlimited MMS to Canada and Mexico
    • Unlimited voice and text roaming and data roaming up to plan limits in Canada and Mexico
    • Unlimited international text messaging to 38 countries.
    On all plans, high-Speed data is throttled to a maximum of 8 Mbps for LTE data and 4 Mbps for HSPA+. After the high-speed data cap is reached speed is further throttled to about 128 Kbps. Additional high-speed data is available for $10 for 1GB good for a month.

    International add ons (available with $50 $55 and $60 plans only):
    • $5/month Cricket International add-on that lets you make unlimited calls to landlines in 36 countries
    • $15/month Cricket International Extra add-on includes unlimited calls to landlines in 36 countries, unlimited international MMS picture messaging to the same 36 countries and 1000 minutes of calls to mobile phones in 32 countries.
    Pay per use international calling and messaging are not available on Cricket.

    International Roaming:
    $50, $55 and $60 plans include unlimited, SMS and data roaming in Mexico and Canada. Mexico and Canada roaming voice, messaging or data use must not exceed 50% of total use in any consecutive three month period.

    Cricket has international direct dialing (no access code required).
    For more on Cricket, see: Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket Wireless (CDMA)


    Go Smart Mobile (877-582-7788 is owned by TracFone and uses the T-Mobile network. Go Smart has a good unlimited international add-on but per minute international rates are high.

    Monthly domestic plans: all include unlimited domestic voice and unlimited global text messaging (list of supported countries).

    • $25/month - no data
    • $35/month ($30 with auto pay) - unlimited 3G data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 4 GB
    • $45/month - unlimited 3G data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 12.5 GB
    • $55/month - unlimited data, throttled to 128 Kbps after 20 GB
    LTE is not available. High speed data is 3G
      International add ons:

      Purchase a $10/month International Calling add-on for unlimited calls to landlines in 70 countries including all five market basket countries and unlimited text messaging to over 200 countries. List of GoSmart unlimited voice countries. $50/month credit for calls to other countries and mobiles.

      GoSmart International Calling add-on Market Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 0; Mexico 5¢; China 5¢; UK 33¢; Philippines 48¢ - Total $1.51 / 5 = 18.2¢.

      Purchase a $10 Global Calling Card for pay per use international calls (pay per use rates)

      GoSmart Global Calling Card Market Basket prices: Calling mobiles: Canada 25¢; Mexico 25¢; China 20¢; UK 33¢; Philippines 48¢ - Total $1.51 / 5 = 30.2¢.

      GoSmart has international direct dialing (no access code required).

      GoSmart International Messaging: unlimited international SMS is included with all plans.

      International roaming: roaming voice and SMS are available in Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic at the following rates:
      Canada: 59¢/min, 20¢ per outgoing text, incoming texts are free.
      Mexico: $1.79/min, 20¢ per outgoing text, incoming texts are free.
      Dominican Republic: $1.99/min, 20¢ per outgoing text, incoming texts are free.

      Gosmart international rate page

      For more on GoSmart, see: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared

      H2O Wireless (800-643-4926) is an AT&T MVNO with monthly and pay as you go plans.

      Monthly Plans: All include unlimited domestic calls, unlimited international calls to 50 countries (list), including mobile numbers in 8 countries and unlimited domestic and international text messaging.
      • $30/month - 2 GB of 8 mbps data, then unlimited 2 G data, unlimited calls to 50+ countries, $10 international call credit
      • $35 - 3 GB of 8 mbps data, then unlimited 2 G data, unlimited calls to 50+ countries, $10 international call credit
      • $40/month - 6 GB of 8 mbps data, then unlimited 2 G data, unlimited calls to 50+ countries, $20 international call credit
      • $50/month - 8 GB of 8 mbps data, then unlimited 2 G data, unlimited calls to 50+ countries, $20 international call credit
      • $60/month - 10 GB 8 mbps data, then unlimited 2 G data, unlimited calls to 50+ countries, $20 international call credit
      High speed data download speeds are throttled to 8 mbps for LTE amd 4 mbps for HSPA on all plans.

      Pay as you go: H20 has two pay as you go plans:
      5¢/min, 5¢/SMS, 10c/MMS, 10¢/MB, $10 every 90 days minimum top up.
      2.5c/min, 2.5¢/SMS, 10¢/MMS, 10¢/MB, $25 every 30 days minimum top up.

      H2O claims that it supports international direct dialing but some users report it doesn't work.
      If you get an insufficient funds error when dialing direct try using the access number. There are different access numbers for monthly plans: 1-213-808-6199 and for PayGo plans: 1-562-252-0100.
      After dialing the access number:
      1) when you hear a dial tone dial the full international number starting with 011 followed by the country code and phone number.
      2) Do not press send or call after dialing the international number

      H2O Market Basket prices (unlimited plans)
      Calling mobiles: Canada 3.2¢; Mexico 28.7¢; China 0; UK 24.9¢; Philippines 39.9¢ - Total 96.7¢ / 5 = 19.34¢

      H2O Market Basket prices ($25/30 days pay as you go, add 2.5¢/min for $10/90 days plan)
      Calling mobiles: Canada 5.7¢; Mexico 31.2¢; China 6.1¢; UK 27.4¢; Philippines 42.4¢ - Total 112.8¢ / 5 = 22.56¢ (25.06 on $10/90 day plan)

      H2O International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 10¢/each on pay as you go


      Lycamobile (845-301-1612) is a T-Mobile MVNO with monthly and pay as you go plans and low international voice rates. The Lycamobile website is confusing and Lycamobile has a history of changing plans and pricing with little warning

      Monthly plans: All include unlimited domestic voice, and unlimited domestic and international text messaging.
      • $19/30 days - 100 MB of data at 4G speeds, unlimited calls to 60 countries
      • $23/30 days - unlimited data (1 GB at 4G speeds), unlimited calls to 60 countries, $1.50 international call credit, $1.50 international call credit
      • $29/30 days - unlimited data (1 GB at 4G speeds), unlimited calls to 65 countries, bonus minutes to 18 more countries, $2.50 int'l call credit.
      • $35/30 days - unlimited data (6 GB at 4G speeds), unlimited calls to 60 countries
      • $45/30 days - unlimited data (7 GB at 4G speeds), unlimited calls to 60 countries
      • $50/30 days - unlimited data at 4G speeds, no included international calls or credit
      Pay as you go: Domestic minutes are 5 cents, incoming texts are free, outgoing domestic texts are 4¢ and outgoing international texts are 12¢ cents each. Data is not available. There is no minimum payment but you must have a billable event (call, outgoing text or data use) every 90 days or your service will be cancelled.

      Lycamobile has international direct dialing


      Lycamobile Market Basket prices (unlimited plans with unlimited international calls to 60 or more countries):
      Calling mobiles: Canada 0¢; Mexico 0¢; China 0¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 9¢ - Total 14¢ / 5 = 2.8¢

      Lycamobile Market Basket prices (pay as you go):
      Calling mobiles: Canada 1¢; Mexico 3¢; China 1¢; UK 5¢; Philippines 9¢ - Total 19¢ / 5 = 3.8¢ + 5¢ basic paygo rate = 8.8¢ (pay as you go)

      Lycamobile International Messaging: free on monthly plans, 12¢/each on pay as you go

      Lycamobile International Roaming: pay per ninute voice and pay per message SMS is available on Lycamobile while roaming in most countries. Rates are on the high side; 49¢ per minute, 10¢ per outgoing text with free incoming texts in most countries including the five Prepaid Phone News market basket countries of Canada, China, Mexico, the Phillipinges and the United Kingdom. Data roaming is not available.

      Lycamobile international rate page.

      For more on Lycamobile, see our Prepaid Operator Profile - Lycamobile

      MetroPCS (888-863-8768), which is part of T-Mobile has monthly plans only. The base plans don't include any international features but international add-ons are competitively priced.

      Monthly unlimited plans: all include unlimited domestic talk and messaging.
      • $30/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 2 GB
      • $40/month unlimited data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 5 GB
      • $50/month unlimited data on phone. No hotspot
      • $60/month unlimited data on phone. Hotspot data throttled to 128 Kpbs after 10 GB
      International add ons:
      • $5/month - Mexico Unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico including to mobile phones. Unlimited voice, text and data roaming in Canada and Mexico. Unlimited texting to most countries. Effective Nov. 12, 2017 high speed roaming data capped at 5 GB on all plans. Available with $40 and higher plans.
      • $5/month - Canada Unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico including to mobile phones. Unlimited voice, text and data roaming in Canada and Mexico. Unlimited texting to most countries. Effective Nov. 12, 2017 high speed roaming data capped at 5 GB on all plans. Available with $40 and higher plans.
      • $10/month - World Calling unlimited international texting, unlimited calling to landlines in 75 countries (list) and 200 minutes to mobiles in 39 countries (list), 20 minutes of calls landlines and mobiles in Cuba. 200 minutes, 200 outgoing text, unlimited incoming texts and 200 MB of data while roaming in 21 countries (list) Available with $50 and higher plans only.
      Without one of these plans you can only make international calls on MetroPCS by using a prepaid calling card or an international calling app like Google Voice.

      MetroPCS International Messaging: only available with $5 and $10 international add-ons

      MetroPCS has international direct dialing (no access code required).

      MetroPCS Add-on services page (includes international)

      For more on MetroPCS, see Prepaid Operator Profile - MetroPCS

      Red Pocket Mobile, (888-993-3888) offers monthly plans on the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon networks. All Red Pocket plans include unlimited international SMS and unlimited (500 minutes on $10 plan) international calls to landlines in 72 countries and mobiles in 24, including calls to landlines and mobiles in all of the Prepaid Phone News market basket countries except the Philippines.

      Monthly Plans:
      • $10 - 500 minutes, 500 domestic or international texts, unlimited domestic MMS, 500 MB data.
      • $15 - 1000 minutes, 1000 domestic or international texts, unlimited domestic MMS, 1 GB data
      • $20 ($19 with autopay) - Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 500 MB data, unlimited international messaging, unlimited international calls to 72 countries
      • $30 ($25 with autopay) - Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 1.5 GB of high speed data, unlimited international messaging, unlimited international calls to 72 countries.
      • $35 ($30 with autopay) - Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 3 GB of high speed data, unlimited throttled data, unlimited international messaging, unlimited international calls to 72 countries.
      • $50 ($45 with autopay) - Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 5 GB of high speed data, unlimited throttled data, unlimited international messaging, unlimited international calls to 72 countries.
      • $65 ($60 with autopay) - Unlimited domestic voice and messaging, 8 GB of high speed data, unlimited throttled data, unlimited international messaging, unlimited international calls to 72 countries.
      Red Pocket has international direct dialing (no access code required)

      Red Pocket Market Basket prices - Calling mobiles: Canada 0¢; Mexico 0¢; China 0¢; UK 0¢; Philippines 15¢ - Total 15¢ / 5 =

      Red Pocket International Messaging: international SMS and MMS up to domestic messaging limits are included with all plans.

      Red Pocket international rate page.

      For more on Red Pocket see: Prepaid Operator Profile: Red Pocket Mobile

      Simple Mobile (877-878-7908) is another Tracfone brand. It uses on the T-Mobile network only with no roaming.

      Unlimited International Plans: Simple Mobile has five plans with international calling and messaging. All include unlimited domestic calling, unlimited international calls to landlines in 64 countries and mobile phones in 16. All plan features are also available while roaming in Mexico.

      • $25//month ($23.75 with auto pay) - unlimited domestic and international* calling and texting, 1 GB of high speed data and unlimited 64 Kbps throttled data.
      • $30//month ($28.50 with auto pay) - unlimited domestic and international* calling and texting, 2 GB of high speed data and unlimited 64 Kbps throttled data.
      • $40//month ($37.50 with auto pay) - unlimited domestic and international* calling and texting, 6 GB of high speed data and unlimited 64 Kbps throttled data.
      • $50//month ($45 with auto pay) - unlimited domestic and international* calling and texting, unlimited high speed data (video limited to 480p, no hotspot).
      • $60/month ($57 with aito pay) - unlimited domestic and international* calling and texting and unlimited high speed data, 8 GB hotspot.
      * unlimited calls to landlines in 64 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and to cell phones in 16 countries including China, Mexico, India and Canada. Click here for a list of included countries. Unlimited calls can only be made to up to 15 unique international numbers per month.

      For calls to countries that aren't included with the internationals plans or if you need more minutes, there's a $10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at competitive per minute rates. The unused card balance doesn't expire as long as you an international call at least every 180 days and your Simple Mobile plan is active.

      International Text Messaging: all Simple Mobile plans include unlimited international texting

      Simple Mobile supports international direct dialing.

      For more about Simple Mobile see Prepaid Operator Profile: Simple Mobile.

      Straight Talk (800-299-7784) is another brand of América Móvil's Tracfone division. It offers service on all four national operators (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint). Straight Talk offers different phone models for each network as well as AT&T Verizon and T-Mobile based SIMS and a Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) program for Sprint phones.

      Unlimited International Plan: Straight Talk offers a single $60/month unlimited international plan. It includes unlimited domestic voice calling and messaging, 10 GB/month of high-speed data, unlimited throttled data and unlimited calls to landlines in 63 countries, including all the market basket countries except the Philippines and to cell phones in Canada, China, India and Mexico (list of covered countries). The plan also includes 400 minutes per month to mobile phones on the América Móvil owned Claro network in Guatemala. Users can only make international calls to 15 unique numbers per month.

      For calls to countries that aren't included with the internationals plans or if you need more minutes, there's $10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at competitive per minute rates. The unused card balance doesn't expire as long as you an international call at least every 180 days and your StraightTalk plan is active.

      International Text Messaging: Straight Talk's unlimited plan includes unlimited international texting to 173 countries, but only on two phones that Straight Talk hasn't sold in at least four years!

      Straight Talk requires using an 11 digit access number or Straight Talk's Android or iOS app for international calls.

      For more on Straight Talk see: Prepaid Operator Profile - Straight Talk.

      Telcel America (800-220-9518) is another brand of América Móvil's Tracfone division. It's targeted at users do do a lot of international calling, especially to Mexico. Telcel America currently only offers phones that use the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile based SIMs are also available. In the past, Verizon or Sprint based phones were also depending on phone model.

      International Plans: Telcel America offers five plans with international calling and messaging plus roaming in Mexico. All plans include unlimited domestic calling and unlimited domestic and international messaging, unlimited calls to landlines in 60 countries (list of covered countries) and to mobile phones in 20 counties including Mexico, Canada, China and India. Unlimited international calls can be made to up to 15 unique international numbers per month.

      Unlimited Voice and text roaming and data roaming up to plan limits in Mexico is also included on all plans. Data used in Mexico counts against the plan's high speed data allowance
      • $20 ($18 with autopay) 7 day plan - unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 2 GB)
      • $25 30 day plan - talk and text only, no data
      • $30 ($28.50 with autopay) 30 day plan - unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 1 GB)
      • $40 ($37.50 with autopay) 30 day plan - unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 4 GB)
      • $55 ($49.50 with autopay) 30 day plan - unlimited data (throttled to 64 Kpbs after 10 GB)
      • $60 30 day plan unlimited, unthrottled data

      For calls to countries that aren't included with the internationals plans or if you need more minutes, there's $10 Global Card that lets you call landlines and mobiles in over 100 countries at per minute rates. The unused card balance doesn't expire as long as you an international call at least every 180 days and your Telcel America plan is active.

      International Text Messaging: all Telcel America plans include unlimited international texting

      Telcel America supports international direct dialing for calls from the US and from Mexico to Mexico or Mexico to the US. For calls from Mexico to countries other than the US and Mexico dial 001‑415‑655‑0992 followed by 011 - country code - city code - phone number or use Telcel's Android or iOS app.

      For more about Telcel America click here.

      T-Mobile (800-866-2453)

      Monthly Plans: all include unlimited domestic voice and unlimited domestic text messaging.
      • $45/month Simply Prepaid - 4GB of unthrottled data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps
      • $55/month Simply Prepaid - 6GB of unthrottled data, unlimited data throttled to 128 Kbps
      • $75/month T-Mobile ONE Prepaid - unlimited, unthrottled data on the phone. Hotspot data throttled to "3G" speeds, video streaming downgraded to 480p quality.
      International calling and roaming: The $75 T-Mobile ONE plan includes unlimited calls to Mexican and Canadian landlines and mobiles and unlimited voice, messaging and data (including high-speed data up to plan limits) roaming in Canada and Mexico. These features can be added to the $45 and $55 plans for $5 per month extra.

      International add ons:
      • $5/month ($45 and $55 plans only) - Unlimited calls to Mexican and Canadian landlines and mobiles and unlimited voice, messaging and data (including high-speed data up to plan limits) roaming in Canada and Mexico.
      • $15/month: Unlimited international texts, unlimited calling to landlines in 70+ countries, unlimited calling to mobile numbers in 32 countries List of countries covered.
      International Text Messaging: international texts without the $15 international add-on are 10¢ each.

      T-Mobile has international direct dialing (no access code required)

      For more on T-Mobile see: Prepaid Operator Profile - T-Mobile

      TracFone (800-867-7183) is owned by América Móvil and has pay as you go plans only. Tracfone pricing is quite complicated:

      TracFone feature phones: the price per domestic voice minute ranges from 6.6¢ to 16.5¢ per minute depending on the refill denomination for "double minutes" phones. There are also "simgle minutes" phones which you should avoid as they double the per minute cost.

      Domestic texts are charged as a third of a minute. Data is either half a minute per minute of browsing (older phones) or 1.5 voice minutes per KB of data (phones released since June, 2012).

      TracFone Android phones and BYOP SIMs use a pricing model with separate buckets for minutes, data and texts. They can be topped up with either traditional minutes cards or special Smartphone Only refills which include various amounts of minutes, texts, data and days of service. TracFone Android phones and BYOP SIMs manufactured before April, 2017 get triple talk, text and data, AKA "triple-triple" when topped up with a regular pay as you go minute refill. For example, a 60 minute card provides 180 minutes, 180 texts and 180 MBs of data. TracFone smartphones and BYOP SIMs manufactured after April, 2017 are labeled "smartphone cards only". These phones do accept minutes cards but the minutes do not triple-triple, a 60 minutes card gives you 60 minutes, 60 texts and 60 MB, not 180 of each.

      Smarphones and SIMs Price per minute, text or MB of data varies from 4.4¢ to 11¢ depending on refill denomination.

      The minimum monthly cost is $6.67 ($19.99 refill every 90 days).

      "Free" Basic International calling: Tracfone users can make no surcharge calls to landlines in 60 counties and mobile phones in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, San Marino, Singapore and Taiwan.

      $10 Global Card: Lets you make calls to phones not included with in free international calling. The card balance does not expire as long as the card is active. See this page for more information and rates for all countries

      Sample rates per minute to call mobile phones in the market basket countries theat aren't included in "free" international calling plan. Mexico 1.73¢, Philippines 13.75¢, United Kingdom 6.12¢. These rates are in addition to the 4.4 to 33 cents per minute that TracFone charges for domestic calls.

      TracFone International Neighbors: On request, TracFone will give you up to three local Mexican numbers that friends and relatives can use to call your TracFone for the price of a local call. Click here for more details and to signup.

      Tracfone requires an 11 digit access code for international calls. The access code is 1-800-706-3839 (305-938-5673 if calling from Alaska, Hawaii or the U.S. Virgin Islands) for the free Basic International calls or 305-938-5673 or TracFone's Android app when using the $10 Global Card.

      TracFone doesn't support sending international texts.

      For more on Tracfone, see Prepaid Operator Profile - Tracfone

      Ultra Mobile (888-777-0446) is a T-Mobile MVNO which offers monthly plans only. All plans include unlimited international texts at no extra charge.

      Monthly Plans: Ultra Mobile has five monthly plans, all of which include unlimited domestic calling, unlimited international text messaging and unlimited international calls to either 11 ($19 and $29 plans) or 60 countries (list). All plans include unlimited calls to Mexican and Canadian numbers, including mobiles. $29, $39 and $49 plans also include 1000 minutes of no extra charge international calling to landlines in 45 additional countries and mobiles in 18. The difference between the plans include the amount of data and how much international call credit is included with each plan. The choices are:
      • $19/month - unlimited calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobiles in 20, a $1.25/month international call credit, a one time $5 international roaming credit and 100MB of data.
      • $29/month - unlimited calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobiles in 20, a $1.25/month international call credit, a one time $5 international roaming credit and unlimited data (throttled to 2 G speeds after 2 GB at LTE speeds and 2 GB at 3G speeds )
      • $39/month - unlimited calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobiles in 20, a $1.25 international call credit, a one time $5 international roaming credit and unlimited data (throttled to 2 G speeds after 3 GB at LTE speeds and 3 GB at 3G speeds )
      • $49/month - unlimited calls to landlines in 60 countries and mobiles in 20, a $1.25/month international call credit, a one time $5 international roaming credit and unlimited, unthrottled data (subject to deprioritization after 20 GB).
      Ultra adds a "cost recovery fee" to all airtime purchases from retail locations and 3rd party online PIN sellers. The fee is 50¢ on airtime loads of $10 or less and $1 on airtime loads of $10.01 or more. For airtime purchases from the Ultra Mobile site Ultra adds sales and use taxes and Federal Universal Service Fund Fees. These taxes and fees vary with the user's location.

      International Roaming: Ultra offers free incoming text and pay per minute and outgoing text roaming in over 140 countries at 6¢/minute and 2¢/outgoing text in Canada and Mexico and 25¢/minute and 5¢/outgoing text in other countries. Data roaming is not available. All plans include an initial one time roaming credit. Additional roaming credit can be added in $5 increments. Roaming credits do not expire as long as Ultra Mobile service is kept active.

      A unique Ultra Mobile feature is "Call Me Free", a no extra charge service that provides local access numbers in 44 countries that non-US family members and friends can use to call Ultra customers for the price of a local call.

      Ultra Mobile has international direct dialing (no access code required)

      Ultra Market Basket prices (all plans): Canada 0¢; Mexico 0¢; China 0¢; UK 1.5¢; Philippines 9¢ - Total 10.5¢ / 5 = 2.1¢

      Ultra Mobile International Messaging: no extra charge, unlimited domestic and international messaging is included with all plans

      Ultra Mobile international rate page.

      For more on Ultra Mobile, see: T-Mobile and T-Mobile MVNOs Compared

      Virgin Mobile Inter Circle (888-322-1122), is owned by Sprint and offers monthly plans only.

      Monthly plans. all include unlimited domestic text messaging
      • $50/month - unlimited domestic minutes, unlimited data ($1 for the first 12 months for accounts activated before Sept. 30, 2017
      International add ons:

      $5/month: unlimited calls to Mexican and Canadian landlines and mobiles, unlimited international text messaging.

      $10/month: unlimited calls to landlines in 70 countries and mobiles in 4 including Canada and China, 200 minutes/month to mobiles in 50 countries including Mexico and the UK. Discounted rates to other countries, unlimited international text messaging.

      Virgin has international direct dialing (no access code required)

      Virgin Mobile Market Basket prices: Canada 10¢; Mexico 20¢; China 15¢; UK 20¢; Philippines 20¢ - Total 85¢ / 5 = 17¢

      Virgin Mobile International Text Messaging: Not available without an international add-on

      Virgin Mobile international rate page.

      For more on Virgin Mobile see: Prepaid Operator Profile - Virgin Mobile


      Sidewalk flags image cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by Tom Magliery

      110 comments:

      Comment Page :
      1. Do not forget there are other MVNO's than the ones mentikoned here. They offer other plans that rival the carriers mentioned bere.

        ReplyDelete
      2. Tracfone has a great International Long Distance plan. No additional charge at all.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. This post mentioned Tracfone and links to the post that describes Tracphone ILD.
          -You have cumbersome access number and language choice dialing.
          -You have to buy a Tracfone dumbphone.
          -You have to pay relatively high Tracfone minute rates.
          -You can only call cellphones in a handful of major countries.
          -You deal with Tracfone's poor customer service when something goes wrong.

          Delete
      3. PTel has about 40 countries that add a penny a minute to their 5 cents a minute PayGo plan, so that brings it down to 6 cents a minute if the countries you call are in there. Haven't tried it though, and hopefully I read it right:

        List of countries and a note that "you pay for International per minute rate plus regular airtime rate at all times" is here: http://www.platinumtel.com/plans/intlrates

        ReplyDelete
      4. It does require a 3 digit code in front of the phone number, though. Better than 11 digits!

        ReplyDelete
      5. SpotMobile is another, Airvoice, Jolt, H2O.....competitive as well.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Yes they are. Spot Mobile is now defunct.

          Delete
      6. What Lycamobile? i just switched from simplemobile and i believe their rates for call are:

        Rates for paygo:
        2 cents - per minute of talk
        4 cents - per text message
        6 cents - per mb of web

        http://slickdeals.net/f/5936054-Lycamobile-T-Mobile-MVNO-with-Paygo-Rates-of-2cents-minute-4cents-text-6cents-MB-Also-Unlimited-Talk-and-Text-for-19-per-month

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Have you seen their international calling rates? Not good, certainly too expensive for "best" consideration here.

          Delete
        2. Have been using LycaMobile for over a year now. $29 a month - unlimited calls to 5 international numbers. In my case, I regularly call 2-4 family members (in India). So, this is perfect for me.

          Delete
      7. Recommendations: "PTel for the lowest domestic and international pay as you go rates."
        Is this still your recommendation?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Yes, although if you don't care about international texting Lyca is better. But 12¢/text kills Lyca for general use.

          Delete
        2. Platinum Tel discontinued operations in 2015.

          Delete
      8. Lycamobile International Add-on Edit:
        "$20/month - same as the $10 plan but includes 17 additional calls and calls to Mexican mobile phones."
        17 additional countries?

        ReplyDelete
      9. Just bought international call from Airvioce, and they text me a passcode for logging in ILD, but I couldn't. I Called the service couple times, they are always busy. Useless!

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I have Airvoice and never a problem with the ILD. You have to be extra careful with the website they use. It's a thrid party company. Formerly Vintalk(Vincall). They are an abysmal company. Thankfully Airvoice took over the site even though Vincall still owns it outright. From my experience the reps are not that busy to help with the issue. All carriers have a hold time. The ILD rates on Airvoice, SpotMobile, and UltraMobile are the top 3. Airvoice is the only AT&T while the other 2 are T-Mobile native network based. Take your pick.

          Delete
      10. telcel, has 1000 minutes to cell to mexico now

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Only 400 minutes to Mexican cellphones are included.
          1000 world-wide >destinations, whatever that means.

          Delete
      11. Any input re: call plan from US to India?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I didn't look at rates to India specifically when I researched this article but I believe all the unlimited international plans mentioned cover calls to landlines in India and most cover calls to mobiles too.

          On the pay per minute international plans calls to India are typically pretty low.

          Determine how many minutes of calls to India you need and which network works best in your location. For the operators that offer plans you need on your preferred network(s), click the links to the operator's site in each one's detail section to verify if India is covered and at what price.

          Delete
      12. Dennis, you should update information about PTel. Now you can call international directly without that 3 digit access number.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Not according to the PTel website ptel.com/plans/intlrates

          To place an International Call:
          Dial TEL (835) from your PTel GSM phone
          Listen to the prompt then enter the destination number, country code first (without entering 011)
          Then, press the pound (#) key
          For calls to the Caribbean, you must dial the number 1, followed by the area code, and then the 7-digit number

          Delete
      13. My wife calls Europe directly by adding 011 before number. And it works. Without dialing 835. They don't update their website too often :)

        ReplyDelete
      14. Ultra Mobile monthly plans include 1000 international minutes to over 70 countries, not just the 5 countries listed above.

        ReplyDelete
      15. Ptel says you can call these counties for 1c/minute now: Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Russia (Metro Moscow), Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Venezuela

        https://www.ptel.com/plans/intlrates

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. This should increase Ptel's ranking in the charts for low international calling costs.

          With PayGo, the rate is still only 6c/minute to these countries.

          Delete
        2. Thanks, but the rates for calling mobile phones in the market basket countries (Canada 1¢; Mexico 14¢; China 1¢; UK 13¢; Philippines 18¢) haven't changed.

          Delete
        3. Didn't the Ptel rate for Mexico change from 14c to 1c? Or do you use the highest rate or average rate for Mexico?

          Delete
        4. Oops. I see now that the marketbasket includes only rates for mobile phones.

          Delete
        5. PTel charges 1¢/minute to call Mexican landlines and 14¢/minute to call Mexican mobile phones. I use mobile rates to compare providers because there's more variation between providers for mobile rates and because the majority of calls today are between mobile phones.

          Delete
      16. Sat-Fi. Satcom on your WiFi smartphone or tablet:
        http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/globalstars-sat-fi-deliver-satellite-coverage-wi-fi-enabled-devices/2014-01-29

        ReplyDelete
      17. BREAKING NEWS ! CRICKET S5 COMES OUT TOMORROW $589.99 BEFORE MAIL IN REBATE $539.99 AFTER

        ReplyDelete
      18. Some companies include "free" international calling minutes in their monthly plans but your international calls never go thru. Ultra Mobile and Spot Mobile are the worst at this

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I never had an issue using the free international credit the couple of months that I was with Spot. I haven' tried Ultra.

          Delete
      19. Hello. Dennis
        I have seen a few comments like the one above that say free international calls never connect with MVNOs like Ultra Mobile, Airvoice and others. Is this true?
        Thanks.

        ReplyDelete
      20. I have seen a few comments that say free international calls never connect with MVNOs like Ultra Mobile, Airvoice and others. Is this true?
        Thanks.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Calls can fail for a variety of reasons but I believe that the vast majority of international calls on all carriers do go through.

          Plans that include "free" international calls are generally limited to calls to landline numbers only and for calls to some countries calls may only be supported to certain cities.

          If you have specific numbers that you need to call, I recommend asking perspective operators customer support if those numbers are supported.

          Delete
      21. Cricket no longer allows international add-on's with the $25 and $40 plans

        ReplyDelete
      22. The post is missing this info
        Cricket's $15 (International Extra) add-on includes 1000 minutes of calls to MOBILE phones.

        ReplyDelete
      23. Straight Talk and NET10 don't include all landline numbers in the countries they support in their unlimited international plans. They have tools on their websites which haven't always worked for me. You can also text a number to 64372 for NET10 and 47787 for Straight Talk and get a response if it's included. You can do this from your current carrier (if they support texts to short numbers).

        ReplyDelete
      24. Are phones in Europe sold unlocked? I travel there often and was wondering if I buy a phone in Europe can I use it in the US?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Anyone have a clue?

          Delete
        2. In most European countries phones with an operator's name on them are usually locked. Unlocked phones will usually be labeled as unlocked.

          In a few countries around the world including Israel, Andorra, Columbia and Singaphore all phones are sold unlocked by law or convention See https://chimeratool.com/help/sim-lock-country-laws for more information.

          Delete
      25. Will GoSmart allow the international calling add-on's with the $25 plan?

        ReplyDelete
      26. Hi Dennis,

        Which all prepaid services allow international roaming? I guess its just T-Mobile pre-paid and LycaMobile. Are there any more?

        -NG

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. AT&T GoPhone roams in Canada and Mexico.
          Verizon and PagePlus roam in Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean islands.
          Rates are listed in the operator profiles for each operator on the site.

          Roaming is expensive on all the US operators. Using a travel SIM like TruPhone or buying a prepaid SIM for each country you visit will be less expensive for anything but extremely light usage.

          Delete
      27. Thanks Dennis. I understand roaming will be expensive, I was just looking for emergency usage and be able to receive banking related text alerts. As I am interested in Europe and Asia, I guess out of the major carriers, T-Mobile is the only service offering wide international roaming on prepaid.
        http://tmo-assets-1524598101.netdna-ssl.com/prepaid-phones/pdf/IntlCallingRates.pdf

        ReplyDelete
      28. Why not just use an international calling service like PennyTalk? No need to involve the cellular service at all. We have been using PennyTalk for years.

        ReplyDelete
      29. Dennis, Boost Mobile $35 a month plan has 1gb not 500mb.

        ReplyDelete
      30. FreedomPop needs to be added to your list. Their plans:

        - Global Free 100. $0/month, but you have to specifically enable
        this on your account. 100 minutes/month to Mexico, UK, Canada,
        India, and over 50 other countries. Not specified whether to
        landlines or cell phones.

        List of countries not specified, probably the same as Global Plus 300.


        - Global Plus 300 - 300 minutes/month for $5/month.

        Landlines and Mobiles: American Samoa, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Guam, India, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand,
        U.S. Virgin Islands

        Landlines Only: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, France,
        French Guiana, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia,
        Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
        Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom,


        - Global Pro 1000: 1000 minutes for $10/month.

        List of counries looks to be the same as Global Pro 300.


        - Global Virtual Number: $5/month.

        Currently Available: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia,
        Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway,
        Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand,
        United Kingdom

        Coming Soon: Belgium, China, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg,
        Malaysia, France, Malta, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland


        It should be said that you can accomplish similar things by loading an app on your smartphone. Apps like Google Voice/Google+, MagicJack, UppTalk, NETTalk, etc
        assign users a virtual US phone number. The user can then call any US phone
        number for free, and can receive a call from another US phone number.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. FreedomPop Internationa is covered here: FreedomPop Adds Free and Paid International Calling Plans.

          As a VOIP app combined with a data only plan, FreedomPop isn't really comparable with the cellular voice based services covered by this post.

          Delete
      31. Does anyone know which company has the best rates to El Salvador mobile phones? Thanks.

        ReplyDelete
      32. Personally I have learned to stay away from any network carrier international plan. Any Ios or Android VoIP app can compete or outmatch what any carrier offers with better voice quality and pricing points.

        ReplyDelete
      33. Can you add picture message (MMS) info?

        Also, calls disconnect after:
        Cricket - 2 hours
        Straight Talk - 1.5 hour
        H2O - 2 hours

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. H2O disconnects after one hour, not two. You can call right back, of course.

          Delete
      34. Which GoSmart and Virgin plans cost $20?

        Why isn't H2O included in the unlimited international plans table?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. $20 Virgin WiFi Lovers Delight 300 minutes, unlimited text, no data
          GoSmart's cheapest plan is $25. I've corrected the table.

          H2O should be there, I'll add them on the next rewrite.

          Delete
        2. If Virgin's $20 plan only includes 300 minutes how can it be used with unlimited international plans?

          Delete
        3. You're right that wouldn't work. Virgin does have a Walmart exclusive $20 PayLo unlimited talk plan. I'm not sure if the $10 international can be added to it or not.

          Delete
      35. Dennis - really great information you have presented, very helpful in understanding what is available. The Cricket information has one error that I found. The $50 plan now includes 5GB of data. Thanks

        ReplyDelete
      36. The table says only H2O plans from $40-$60 include international calling, instead of $30-$60.
        Simple Mobile's $50 and $60 international plans now include more data than what is listed.

        ReplyDelete
      37. The table says T-Mobile's international add-on's are available with the $40 plan, while the details section says they're only available with plans priced $50 and higher. Which is right?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Stateside add-ons are available on the $40 plan. I'll update the post.

          Delete
      38. Use google voice to call intl #s.. Most countries have 1c or less....

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I agree. I avoid most of those silly calling plans and having to tie myself to a specific carrier. I find that Google Voice has excellent international rates and with a smartphone you can configure it to route all international calls directly through GV with no extra codes to enter. Another option is Skype. Skype rates are very competitive and when you factor in that you can often buy Skype refills at a 30% - 50% discount it becomes a great deal.

          Delete
        2. I agree.. Wonder why people having smartphones (especially android) use another carrier (or calling cards) to call other countries.. that too noting different calling #, access codes etc. in Google voice, we can directly call the end user # as stored in phone address book..

          Delete
        3. I use Google Voice for all calls, including my very infrequent international calls. It's great if your international calling needs are modest. But it's a pay per minute service, if you use hundreds or thousands or international minutes per month a plan or add-on that includes unlimited calling to the countries you call can be a less expensive choice.

          Delete
      39. Why didn't MetroPCS make the list?

        ReplyDelete
      40. Mobile World Congress Week: Why you're still Paying so much to use your phone overseas. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-26/why-international-mobile-rates-are-stuck-in-the-past

        ReplyDelete
      41. Dennis where is the link to sign up for lycamobile pay as you go. I went to the website but I don't even see it list there.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. it's pay&go by default unltil you activate some plan AFAIK

          Delete
        2. That's correct. Buy a SIM without a plan. Activate the SIM and add $10 and you are on Pay As You Go. See Prepaid Operator Profile - Lycamobile for more information.

          Delete
      42. https://gousmobile.com/international

        ...and quite flexible plan

        ReplyDelete
      43. H2O has direct dial international now.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Yes, Dennis, do update when possible, direct dialing and texts to overseas countries plus Lte at a great price, makes H2o great

          Delete
        2. I'm not sure what you want me to update. The H2O site's help page says

          "You have two options to call internationally with H2O® Wireless Pay-As-You-Go plan. You may dial directly to your destination number or configure our International Calling number to take advantage of our competitive rates to 53 pre-selected countries."

          I take that to mean that you must use the access number to get the best (free) rate.

          The post says:

          "H2O requires dialing an 11 digit access number to make free calls to 50 countries on unlimited plans. For other calls international direct dialing is supported."

          Does that match your experience? If not what needs to be changed?

          Delete
        3. Just saw this note after I posted my comment on H2O below. I can confirm that you do not need to dial the access number yourself, at least not on the monthly unlimited plan (which I'm on). The Help text you quote out of date (not your fault, I know!). Here is their latest International Rates web page: https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=intRates -- no mention of access numbers, just direct dialing.

          I believe what happens is that when you register your phone on one of their plans, they now configure your phone to dial the access number "under the covers" whenever you direct dial an international number. The upshot is that you no longer have to dial the 11-digit access number yourself to get free international calls. I've already made several free calls this month to the UK just dialing the numbers like I do on my home phone.

          Delete
        4. Mike has left a new comment on your post "Updated: The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voi...":

          I'm on H2O's $30 Monthly Unlimited plan, and can confirm that you do not need to dial an access number when making international calls. I'm using an LG G2, and all I need to do is dial the international number (with prefix) and I will be routed and connected automatically.

          Note: The calls are still routed through an access number, but you do not have to dial that number yourself. I believe H2O configures your smartphone to dial the access number automatically when you dial an international number. The only downside left is that your phone displays the access number and not the number you dialed. No big deal, really.

          Delete
      44. Ok I see that is only for the destinations that are not unlimited, such as when I call Honduras. When I call Germany, which is unlimited, I still have to dial the 11 digit number first.

        ReplyDelete
      45. RE: Cricket Voice and Text Roaming in Canada: We drive up and down the AlCan Highway from Alaska thru Canada, transiting the Yukon Territory and wonder if Whitehorse and Watson Lake in the Y.T. are included. The website says only the Northwest Territory is excluded, but also talks about the "Northern Territories" (whatever that means). Cricket Chat doesn't have a clue, and even the Zen Desk is not sure. I noticed Cricket's partner network in Canada, Rogers, only has "extended coverage" in the Y.T., i.e. no towers of their own, so I am guessing not -- we'll just have to use FaceTime or FaceBook Messenger.

        Have any Cricketeers made the trip recently? or does anyone have any way to know? Doesn't seem like this should be an effing 'state secret' ...

        ReplyDelete
      46. Dennis, you've done some extensive research. Thank you for that!
        Personally I find much more convenient to use one of the VOiP services (see links). I've been using
        VoipMove for over a year - as an example, Poland landlines are $0.005 a minute and mobile phones $0.007 (that less than a cent). CosmoVoip I just started using, because the prices are even better for countries I'm calling, even with the 3.9 cent connection fee. 10 minutes for one cent to mobile phones in Poland is hard to resist :) I use the service through an app (when on wi-fi) and an access number (from my cell when away from wi-fi, or landline) - it works really well for me.
        https://www.voipmove.com/dashboard
        https://www.cosmovoip.com/dashboard

        ReplyDelete
      47. Consumer Cellular has very low international rates, not quite as low as the cheapest dial-around service (Localphone) but still low.

        I don't want a carrier with a cumbersome dial-around scheme. And I don't want to have to purchase large blocks of international calling minutes. I'll just use a third-party provider if I have to do dial around.

        One real annoyance is that a lot of prepaid carriers won't even allow your domestic phone book entries to be in standard international format (+1 .....). My friend on Page Plus ran into this when Page Plus dropped +1 international calling in favor of a dial-around scheme after Carlos took over Page Plus. His whole phone book was entered in international format and he thought he would have to edit every entry. Fortunately I found him an Android app which stripped off the +1 if it was present.

        ReplyDelete
      48. After seeing all the plans Ultra mobile seems like the best unlimited plan for calling India around 29 dollars +regulatory fees may be another 3 bucks ..Any suggestions?

        ReplyDelete
      49. Ultra $29, Lycamobile $29 and H2O $30 are the least expensive plans that include unlimited calls to India. Of the three Ultra has the best support. H2O is on the AT&T network so it has more coverage than T-Mobile based Ultra and H2O. If T-Mobile coverage works for you go with Ultra, if not H2O.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. Thanks for maintaining this wonderful website. What does International Call Credit and Call Anywhere Credit mean? Is that credit used when calling countries not in the free list?
          Say in your example of India: If I take $19 plan and get a $1.25 credit, I saw that India calling is 1 cent a min, does it mean $19 plan gives 125 mins of free time to India

          Delete
      50. I've been on Net10 for a few years now via BYOP on a GSM SIM. Today I registered my iPhone 6 A1586 on a CDMA SIM on Verizon. I'm receiving LTE, visual voicemail, I was able to send a international text to Germany as well and although there's a switch for hotspot... There is not hotspot. You do need a Verizon CMDA SIM and an access code. You can get a SIM in the mail free if you sign up and wait for it by post.

        ReplyDelete
      51. H2O has direct dialing for international calling. Also international texting for H2O's unlimited plans are global, not limited to 50 countries as the chart says above.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. I know H2O says they have international direct dialing. However I've seen multiple user reports (here's one: Cannot dial International) saying that it doesn't work, but using the access code does.

          With regards to international texting, "global" is too vague for me. AT&T only claims to support texting to 190 countries. I doubt H2O supports more countries than AT&T. But it's probably more than 50 so I changed the table listing to say "supported, number of countries N/A". Thanks for the heads up.

          Delete
      52. tons of info here. Thanks Dennis! Just a suggestion: I find myself researching international roaming often when traveling out of the USA. Would LOVE to see an article specifically for this need: International Roaming Options for Travel Outside the US. Keep up the excellent work on this site! thanks!!

        ReplyDelete
      53. What plans do you suggest for calls/texts/data while in Canada?

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. "Canadian roaming is included with the: AT&T GoPhone $60 plan (includes data), Cricket $50 and $60 plans (includes data), T-Mobile $50 and higher Simple Choice Plans (includes data)."

          Delete
        2. "Canadian roaming is included with the: AT&T GoPhone $60 plan (includes data), Cricket $50 and $60 plans (includes data), T-Mobile $50 and higher Simple Choice Plans (includes data)."

          Delete
      54. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

        ReplyDelete
      55. I just used MetroPCS international roaming on a visit to Asia. Calla and texts worked great on local networks, but I could not figure out how to enable data on my BYOD Nexus 5.

        Any idea what the correct APN settings are? (I have no problems domestically.)

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. You shouldn't need to change the APN when roaming, the normal APN: fast.metropcs.com should work but you may need to set
          APN roaming protocol: IPv4

          Delete
        2. You replied to my question in another thread -- thank you -- but I wanted to add I did have the roaming protocol as IPv4.

          Delete
      56. Where is Google Fi on this list?? It works great for international use. I have been using it for like 4 months so far in the UAE. It just switched to now LTE, used to be throttled 3G in most countries now they unleashed full speed. It's still $10 per 1GB and .20 a minute for me to call the USA, but I get unlimited MMS and SMS.

        Fi.google.com

        DOES require a Nexus 5X (which I am using) or Nexus 6 or Nexus 6P. But I fly frequently for my job and each time I land I have instant cell phone reception mostly LTE and can text and use my phones Internet and call like normal.

        ReplyDelete
      57. Leaving for Cancun without the kids next week and I did not think about phones till now. We have a Net10 domestic plan using unlocked AT&T phones. What's our best option to make a few phone calls or texts to the grandparents to check on the kids? I'm not in love with Net10 based on past dealings with their administration side, so if switching to another plan/company is ideal, I'm open to it as long as the switch can be made in time and we don't lose our phone numbers (lost one of two when switching to net10...which was strike one for them).

        Thanks for any and all help.

        ReplyDelete
        Replies
        1. AT&T GoPhone $45 plan, Cricket $50 plan are two that include unlimited roaming in Mexico.

          Delete
      58. Red Pocket mobile doesn't offer unlimited international texts. You need to Paygo credit of at least $10 that expires in 30 days. Each international text costs 10 cents.

        ReplyDelete
      59. VZW Prepaid International Calling Plans - https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/prepaid/international-calling/

        ReplyDelete
      60. Black Wireless should be added to this list.

        ReplyDelete
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