Cheaper calls to loved ones abroad this ChristmasCall Sydney for the same price as phoning London

01 December 2008

An orange telephone

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For the cost of a local call, you can wish loved ones abroad a Merry Christmas without changing your home phone provider. 40% of you will call abroad on Christmas Day, according to a survey of Which? Online panel members, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Australia, Spain, and the US are among the most popular countries for UK residents to emigrate to, so we’ve looked at cheaper ways to call them.

We found that you’d pay £15 for a 10-minute call to Australia using a pay-as-you-go mobile phone from O2, but only 5p on your home phone using prefix provider DiscountDial. Prefix providers – with which you dial an access number before the number you’re calling – are often the cheapest way to call abroad, at 1p or less per minute.

But services are also cheap at 2p or less per minute. Voip calls are made over the internet to a phone or to another PC.

BT’s International Freedom, an add-on package for your home phone, provides unlimited free international calls for £5 a month. But to make this cheaper than using DiscountDial, you’d have to make more than 1,000 minutes of calls.

Pre-paid Sim cards such as Carphone Warehouse's Mobile World will usually be the cheapest way to call abroad from your mobile, although you will have to pay a fee for a card.

Christmas call choices
  Australia Spain USA
Home phone providers (BT) 27.5p 25p 17.5p
Home phone providers (Virgin Media) 36p 46p 27p
Home phone prefix providers: Discount Dial 0.5p 1p 0.5p
Home phone prefix providers: 1p 1p 0.5p
Voip providers: Skype 1.4p 1.4p 1.4p
Voip providers: Vonage 2p 2p 2p
Mobile(PAYG): Vodafone 99p 89p 99p
Mobile(PAYG): O2 150p 150p 150p
Pre-paid Sim cards 6p 7p 5p

Many Voip and prefix providers change prices regularly, so check before you call.

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