There are many ways in which to save money on phone calls from both landlines and from mobiles. I’ve been living in Spain for several years now and have discovered some very worthwhile money-saving phone services. So how do you save money on your phone bills? Please don’t just pick up your landline phone or your mobile and dial without reading further.
Cheap international phone calls
Many people don’t bother with a landline these days, but you do get slightly cheaper rates using the companies listed below when calling from a landline as compared to a mobile phone. However, the call rates from mobiles are so cheap it’s not worth getting a landline if you don’t already have one.
Whilst calling local and national numbers is reasonably priced with companies like Movistar, it can be expensive to call internationally on a regular basis. Now with the new European roaming rules in place, saving money on international calls applies when phoning countries outside of the EU.
Here are some recommendations of phone services that give you cheap international calls from your landline and mobile.
Rebtel is a calling service which lets you access cheap international call rates when calling from your mobile phone or from a landline by over-riding your mobile service provider. There is no need to change your service provider or your existing number.
You need to register online and create a Rebtel account at their website. Add some credit. Then register your phone numbers – the phones that you will be calling from. Download the app to your smart phone, if you have one, to make using the service even easier.
Get as many friends and family to register too, because all phone calls to other Rebtel users are free. If you don’t have a smartphone it’s still simple to use the Rebtel service. Via your account online you can add you main phone contacts and Rebtel will generate a local number for each contact.
Localphone.com give you a replacement local number for any phone number worldwide. You can store this number like any other number in your phone, as it will always be valid for the original number you allocated it to.
Register your phone numbers (the numbers that you will be calling from), add the regular numbers you call to your Localphone contacts and local numbers will be generated for them. Add credit and save money on your calls.
Localphone have apps for Android phones and for the iPhone. This makes it much easier to dial because you can access your Localphone contacts easily, import contacts from your phone contact list, or dial directly via the Localphone dial pad. The app includes wi-fi calling too.
Localphone used to be my preferred service, but I’ve recently switched to Rebtel as their rates are now cheaper to the countries I dial. However, they still offer significant savings for international calls, and the which country you dial regularly should decide which of these two services you use. Both services give their rates online.
Lobster is a relatively new mobile service on the market and is specifically aimed at English speaking people living in Spain. Lobster offers various plans for different levels of data usage. Each plan comes with unlimited calls and texts in Spain, to the UK and other countries and plans vary in price depending on the amount of data included.
There is no contract or limited period – you renew on a month by month basis. All you need is to provide identification, your credit or debit card payment details through a secure process, and you’re good to go. It doesn’t have to be a Spanish credit or debit card, and you can cancel at any time.
The service requires that you use their SIM card, which you can order from their website, calling them for free on 1661, or from their outlet in Barcelona (Carrer Floridablanca 78).
Lebara is a cheap pay-as-you-go mobile phone service. They give a flat rate for national calls and cheap mobile international calls. You need to purchase the Lebara starter pack which comes with a Lebara SIM card (if you want to keep your existing mobile phone number you can). Calls to other Lebara members are free of charge and there are no monthly fees or contracts to sign.
In 2009 Lebara won The Mobile News Awards for the UK’s Most Innovative Service Award, and they offer the same service in Spain. They have calls to selected countries from 1c per minute.
DialAbroad is a good system for landlines and when you’re travelling abroad, but you can also use it from mobiles. You can simply dial an access number to override your landline provider, then dial the number you want to call. Open an account online and add credit. You’ll then receive a pin code which you can use to access their call network.
There’s really no reason for running up large bills on your landline or mobile phone when living in Spain (or any other country for that matter), so I hope this article has inspired you to look into these services and save yourself some money on phone calls.