Previously, many providers would shed international credit from their plans entirely, but now, international texts and minutes are almost a standard expectation from providers. If you need to call overseas a fair bit, or you just like having that feature, what are the best phone plans for international calling? Find out in this Canstar Blue guide.
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The following table shows a selection of sponsored SIM Only plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.
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Mobile plans with international calls and texts
While international calls and texts may seem like standard inclusions to some, not all providers and plans offer them. But which providers should you look to if you’ve got to make an overseas phone call? The providers that offer plans with international calls and/or text include:
There are more than 30 providers out there operating on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, with each offering international calls and texts as part of the plan, or as additional extras, depending on the brand and plan.
In the table below, you’ll find a selection of postpaid and prepaid plans, worth consideration if you’re after an international package. As international inclusions are almost a standard from some providers, most of the plans in the list below will have international inclusions. If you’d like to read-up on providers, scroll below to read about international inclusions.
Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use Canstar Blue’s phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans on offer from mobile providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
AGL Mobile International Plans
While more well-known as being part of the energy space, AGL offers a number of phone plans, with some of these plans including international call and text allowances. The telco charges $0.55 per international SMS and have a $0.40 call connection fee.
ALDI Mobile International Plans
ALDI Mobile offers a number of mobile plans with international calls and texts. Some of their plans have unlimited calls and texts to a number of locations, with the full list of available countries outlined on the ALDI Mobile website.
Amaysim International Plans
Amaysim offers a number of plans with unlimited calls and texts to both landline and mobile numbers in a number of countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan and the UK. For a full list of available countries, check the Amaysim website directly.
If you’re looking to make a call to a specific country, Amaysim outlines the costs to each country available, with calls ranging between $0.06 and $4.50 per minute, with SMS costing $0.25 per message, and MMS messages priced at $0.75.
Belong Mobile International Plans
While all of Belong’s mobile plans include unlimited national calls and text to landline and mobile numbers, none of the plans include international calls as part of the deal. However, you can add unlimited standard calls and texts to 30 selected destinations for an additional $5 per month, which can be added you active your SIM card with Belong. Selected destinations include countries such as Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Mexico, Romania, South Korea, Thailand and the US.
Bendigo Telco International Plans
Offering a number of phone plans, Bendigo Telco only offers international calls and texts through a few of them. International allotments varies, although the allowance is for eligible countries only, with Bendigo Telco listing the countries via its website. International call rates will vary between countries, with prices ranging from $0.62 to over $14.
Boost Mobile International Plans
Boost Mobile offers calls and texts to a select number of international destinations, with unlimited standard calls to 20 destinations – including Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand and UK – as well as 300 minutes to standard numbers from 30 select destinations, which include Afghanistan, Chile, Italy, Qatar and Sweden. Boost also offers 300 texts to standard numbers to any country in the world.
Catch Connect International Plans
Catch Connect doesn’t include any international calls or texts in any of its plans, but does allow an ‘International Extras’ pack to be purchased separately if you’re looking to make an overseas call. The International Extras pack comes in two options, 100 minutes for $5, or 300 minutes for $10, both of which allow you to make calls and send messages to 32 destinations, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Singapore and Thailand.
Circles.Life International Plans
Circles.Life offers international calling on some of its plans, with call rates ranging from $0.11 to over $12 per minute, with the full list of countries and their costs listed on the Circles.Life website. All calls are billed in 30-second increments, with a $0.30 flagfall also applying to calls.
Coles Mobile International Plans
While it may not have many plans, each of Coles Mobile plans includes unlimited calls to 15 selected destinations. The selected countries include Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UK and the US. You can also call other destinations on Coles Mobile, but will be subject to additional costs, with rates ranging from $0.12 to $4.49 per minute.
Dodo International Plans
Dodo offers international calls on a number of its plans. Inclusions range from 100 minutes to 300 minutes, all of which are available to 35 selected countries, including the likes of Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, South Africa and Sri Lanka, with countries outside of these 35 select destinations costing between $0.31 and $23 per minute.
Everyday Mobile International Plans
Everyday Mobile (previously Woolworths Mobile) offers mobile phone plans and SIM-only options, including prepaid and long expiry options to help suit your budget and usage. All phone on a plan, SIM-only and 30-day prepaid options over 30GB include unlimited international calls and texts to 22 select locations, including Bangladesh, Canada, France, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore. Everyday Mobile also offers an International Add-on for $5 per month, which gives you unlimited calls and texts to 10 select countries, along with the ability to pay-per-minute on other countries, although a flagfall of $0.40 is applied to every call.
Exetel International Plans
Exetel has a number of mobile plans available, but only a few of them offer international calls and texts to select countries. Countries include Bangladesh, Canada, China, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UK and the US. Exetel also offers an International Call Add-On, which includes 300 minutes to 30 countries, with all international calls incur a flagfall of $0.40 per call, with calls billed per 60 second increments.
Felix Mobile International Plans
Felix Mobile only offers the one phone plan, a $35 per month plan, which does not include any international call or text allowances. However, there is an International Calls add-on available for an additional $5 per month, which includes unlimited calls and text to over 40 select countries. The full list of selected countries is available on the Felix Mobile website, with the add-on available to purchase via the Felix Mobile app, and can be removed at any time.
GoTalk International Plans
One of arguably the smaller telcos available in Australia, GoTalk offers international call and text on all of its plans, although there are some slight variances between plans. International SMS costs $0.15 on each plan, but calls will vary between plans, with some including flagfall charges. GoTalk outlines the call rates on its website, with some costs also dependent on peak/off-peak times, so it’s best to look into the fine print before dialling.
Hello Mobile International Plans
Hello Mobile offers unlimited international calling to select countries, with a full list of the Global Connect Unlimited section available on the Hello Mobile website. However, not all of the select countries include mobile calls, and generally are for landline numbers only. If you’re looking to call a specific country, you can also search the calling rate to get an idea of how much to budget for your next phone call.
iiNet International Plans
Another name that’s more linked to NBN than phone plans, iiNet offers 100 minutes of international calls on some of its plans, but only to select countries. All SMS to overseas numbers will cost $0.50 per message, while MMS messages will cost $0.75.
iPrimus International Plans
iPrimus plans each have unlimited text to international numbers, also coming with a select number of minutes of calls to international numbers to 35 select countries. These countries include Denmark, France, India, Japan, Russia, Sri Lanka and the US. iPrimus has a flagfall of $0.40 per call, with international rates ranging from $0.39 to over $14 per minute, depending on which country you call.
Kogan Mobile International Plans
Kogan’s 30-day plans don’t include international calls and texts, but the brand does offer add-on packs if you’re looking to stay in touch with someone overseas. They can only be purchased with an active plan, with a $5, $10 and $15 option available. All offer 250 minutes of international calls, but the price increases gives you more countries to call, with select countries available on each plan.
Lebara Mobile International Plans
Founded in Norway, Lebara perhaps unsurprisingly has some plans with international credit as standard. Lebara outlines the costs involved with each available country, allowing you to budget your minutes if you need to talk to multiple people.
Lycamobile International Plans
Lycamobile is another internationally-inclined telco with varied international credit allowances. Its international plans start at $10 for a 28-day plan, with multiple plans available. The smallest plan with international capabilities includes 30 minutes to nine countries, while the largest plan includes over 300 minutes to 14 countries. LycaMobile also includes a search function so that you can determine how much a call to each country will cost you.
Moose Mobile International Plans
Moose Mobile offers either a no lock-in contract, or a 12-month contract for users to choose from. SMS messages cost $0.50, and MMS cost $0.75 per message, with call rates ranging between $0.37 and $18.50 per minute.
More Mobile International Plans
More Mobile offers calls to top 15 countries on some of its plans, with a couple of different travel and international calling packs available to add on to all of their plans. The countries included are outlined fully on the telco’s website but include Canada, China, Greece, Hong Kong, UK and Malaysia.
NuMobile International Plans
NuMobile offers a number of SIM plans on the Telstra network, with the majority of its plans offering international inclusions. Some plans include unlimited standard talk and text to 15 countries, including Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UK, US and Vietnam.
Optus International Plans
One of the big players, Optus offers a number of SIM-only plans, with the Medium, Large and Extra Large including unlimited standard international call and text to 35 select countries. Some of the 35 countries include Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Malta, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, UK, US and Vietnam. Those on a plan that don’t include international allowances may also be eligible for a $10 International Talk & Text Add-on, but are recommended to contact Optus directly to discuss the plan. Optus additionally outlines the cost per minute for each country across its range of plans, allowing you to budget for any future calls you may want to make.
Pennytel International Plans
Pennytel offers a number of plans with international calls and texts capabilities, but only a few have unlimited to 15 select countries. These countries include China, Malaysia, India, New Zealand, UK and US. International call rates are outlined on the Pennytel website.
Southern Phone International Plans
Southern Phone offers a number of SIM-only plans, all of which have international call capabilities with varied allowances. Southern Phone also has a call connection fee of $0.40, and has the same international call fees as Optus, as the brand uses the Optus network for its Australian operation.
SpinTel International Plans
SpinTel doesn’t offer any inclusions for international calls on its plans, but does allow you to call and text overseas numbers through the service. You’ll have to firstly enable the outgoing international calls feature, which can be done via your account settings, with Spintel also outlining the individual costs to call each country on its website. International SMS messages will cost $0.35 per message, while MMS messages will cost $0.70 per message.
Tangerine International Plans
Offering a number of SIM-Only plans, Tangerine includes unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles on its larger plans. Each include unlimited calls to 15 select countries, which include China, Singapore, Germany, Ireland and the US, although you can still make calls to other overseas countries, although you’ll have to pay between $0.83 and $12.93 per minute.
TeleChoice International Plans
TeleChoice offers either a month-to-month plan, or 12-month plans for users to choose from, with international calls and texts available on select plans on both options. All month-to-month plans include international SMS, with a few including unlimited calls to 20 select countries, which include Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, UK and the US. The larger plans also include limited minutes to 20 more select countries – including France, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Turkey – with the allowances increasing with each plan. You can also opt for an ‘Any Country International Calls’ pack, with either a $5 or $15 per month plan available.
Telstra International Plans
As Australia’s biggest telco, Telstra offers plenty of options for those looking to get in contact with someone overseas, with SIM-only, prepaid and international calling packs all available. All of Telstra’s SIM-only plans include unlimited SMS to all countries, and 30 minutes of standard calls to overseas numbers. Allowances and countries are dependent on each plan, and are split into zones, which are further broken out on the Telstra website. Telstra’s International Call packs is split into Zones, with each building on how many countries you can contact, with the three options costing $10, $20 or $30 per month.
Think Mobile International Plans
Think Mobile offers limited plans that include unlimited international SMS. However, all plans include the capability for international calls, although the costs will vary between each plan, with different flagfall costs, as well as costs per minutes. Countries are split into ‘Zones’, with varying costs between each zone, with countries and costs outlined on the Think Mobile website.
TPG International Plans
TPG offers a number of mobile plans but they don’t include any international call or text capabilities. However, TPG also offer an optional International Call Pack as an add-on for a $5 monthly fee, which allows you to call landline and mobile numbers in 37 countries, such as Bangladesh, Colombia, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the UK.
Vaya International Plans
Vaya offers a number of SIM-only plans, available with an optional add-on for international calls to 100 countries. This optional add-on costs $2 per month, and includes 200 minutes across each plan, with Vaya also providing a full breakdown of the costs per minute for each country on its website, with the cheapest rates priced at $0.02 per minute.
Vodafone International Plans
As with the other major telcos, Vodafone offers a number of SIM-only plans with international allowances for talk and text, as well as international talk boosters and add-ons. All of Vodafone’s SIM-only plans include unlimited international SMS, with all plans but the Lite including a set allowance of international minutes, ranging from 100 minutes to unlimited. However, countries are divided into zones, with each plan having a limit for Zone 1 countries, as well as Zone 2 countries, with the full list of countries outlined on the Vodafone website. However, if you need a bit extra, Vodafone offers either a one-off additional cost for additional minutes to select countries, or as an additional $10 per month cost for a bigger allowance to call select countries.
Yomojo International Plans
Yomojo doesn’t offer any international calls or texts on any of its mobile plans, but does offer the International Voice Add-on, although you’ll have to contact Yomojo directly to ascertain the full costs per call and details of the add-on.
Providers with unlimited international call plans
There are a number of providers that offer unlimited international talk and text plans, although the capability isn’t available across every plan and option available. The providers offering unlimited international calls on select plans include:
- Belong Mobile
- Boost Mobile
- Coles Mobile
- Everyday Mobile
- Felix Mobile
- Hello Mobile
What to consider when choosing a phone plan with international calling
While on the surface, each international calling plan may look the same, but there’s a few key areas you should keep an eye on to ensure you’re getting the best plan for your needs. Areas you should consider include:
- Plan Types: Some plans offer unlimited calls and text, while some plans are capped with a set amount of talking minutes. If you only make the occasional call overseas, a capped plan may be better, as they generally come with a cheaper price tag, although it’s best to do your research to navigate the full costs involved.
- Calling Restrictions: Some plans are only compatible with landline numbers rather than mobile numbers, so it’s best to read the fine print as to which numbers and phones you can actually call.
- Available Countries: Some countries are covered with international calling plans, but if you’re looking to call someone in a specific country, you may have to do a bit of investigating as to which provider and plan offers the best country coverage for your needs.
- Additional Features: It’s best to also check the other features of international plans, as some may offer services like data rollover or data banking to help you get the most out of your data, while other plans have an expiry date.
- Cost: Some plans with international capabilities may not be the most budget-friendly, meaning looking into add-ons for your current plan may save you some money down the line.
How to make an international call from Australia
To make an international call, you’ll firstly have to equip yourself with a plan that includes international calls. But once you’ve done that, you’ll only need to know the exit code, the country code for the person you’re calling, and their phone number.
The exit code in Australia is 0011, or if you’re calling on a mobile, use the ‘+’ function (which can be done by simply pressing and holding the ‘0’ button). Once you’ve entered the exit code, enter the country code, and then the phone number you’re trying to call, and you should be connected.
Do I need an international phone plan to receive calls from overseas?
Generally, you won’t need a phone plan with international calls to receive calls from overseas, although it’s always best to read the fine print of any plan that you sign up to so you’re not hit with any additional fees. It’s also worth noting that if you’re making a call to an overseas number and they don’t answer, you’ll still generally be charged for making the call, so make sure they’re expecting your call!
Are plans with international calls worth it?
If you have friends or family overseas, or conduct business internationally, having a phone plan with cheap international rates or international credit is surely enticing. But with the rise of messenger apps and online platforms such as Zoom, do international calls still hold a place in the market? The answer is yes, as often they are simply a feature of a standard mobile plan, although you’ll still have to do your research to see if it’s the most cost-effective option.
However, with plenty of providers offering international calls and texts on a variety of plans, there’s obviously plenty of demand for it, but as to what is the best international calls plan is, will come down to a variety of factors, including your budget, how often you’re making overseas calls and what other features come with the plan.
Original Author: Harrison Astbury