Monthly Plans priced at $39.95 and higher now include a bundle of free international calling minutes:
- The $39.95 Unlimited Talk n Text plan includes 100 international minutes.
- The $55 plan includes 200 international minutes.
- The $69.95 plan includes 400 international minutes.
PagePlus is also offering a new $9 Global Card, that can be used to call mobile phones and more countries than are included with the free offer. The Global Card is an add-on that can be used with any monthly or the "Standard" pay-as-you-go plan. The $9 Global Card never expires and remaining balances roll-over as long as the account is active.
Rates using the Global Card are quite good. I use a prepaid market basket of five frequently called countries to compare international rates across carriers.. 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. PagePlus' prices per minute for calls to mobile numbers in the market basket countries are:
Canada 1.6¢; Mexico 5.4¢; China 1.5¢; UK 7¢; Philippines 15.2¢, for an average price of 6.14¢/minute.
On plans without unlimited domestic calls, international calls count against your bundle of included minutes. On the pay as you plan these prices are in addition to the 4¢ to 10¢/minute rate for domestic calls.
The average price of 6.14¢/minute is a little higher than Lycamobile (3,8¢) and Ultra Mobile (3.6¢ - 4.5¢) but better than Red Pocket (7.4), Virgin Mobile (16.4) and Boost Mobile (17¢). See The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals for a detailed comparison of prepaid international pricing.
These changes are a big improvement pricewise over PagePlus's old international rate of $1,50/minute to most counties. But there are a couple of downsides to PagePlus' new international offers. For one, international texting is still a relatively pricey at 20¢ per message sent or received. Many competing prepaid operators now offer unlimited free international texting on monthly plans. The other issue is one of convenience. International direct dialing is not supported, to make an international call you must dial a 10 digit access code (212-202-6521), wait for a voice prompt and then dial the international access code and international number you're calling followed by a pound sign. That's 11 extra characters for every call.
Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: Page Plus