Calls to US

Old May 1st, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Calls to US

What the current "best" [cheapest] way to call from Spain to the US?

Thanks
weber6560 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2006, 09:09 AM
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P_M
 
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I put coins into a public phone and found that wasn't too bad. However that was before the days of cell phones that work worldwide, so I'm sure someone else will give you a better suggestion. I am told that pre-paid calling cards are good too.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:16 AM
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I've used Globalphone for years and found them to offer some excellent rates both to and from Europe. Works well with public phones too and you get an English speaking operator. Reliability and access have been fine.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Last year I used a Eurodirect card that I found through leads from this forum. The cost of calls (within Spain or to the US) from a home, hotel, or office phone in Spain was 2.3 cents/minute (260 minutes from the 6 Euro card). It is about 15 cents/minute from pay phones (by law a surcharge for all pay phone calls).

http://www.europhonecards.org/

I bought the card over the internet before leaving the US (that added a dollar or two to the cost) -- no card actually, just an e-mail with the codes. All worked smoothly; it was especially helpful to have instructions offered in several languages when I dialed the toll-free number in Spain.

If you will not need the card for a call the minute you land, you can take your time about buying one after you get to Spain. However, the convenience of having it before you leave home might be worth the slight extra expense.
Buen viaje.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:09 AM
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If your mobile phone has a sim card, and is gsm, you can buy time on a local sim card, and use your phone at local rates.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 10:55 AM
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At kiosks they sell the "happy card" which is way way cheap to use from a pay phone. Also, you can go to a locutorio (calling store) and call from there. In Malaga my locutorio cost me 5 cents a minute to the US. In BCN the cheapest I found was 15, which is more than the happy card.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 02:29 PM
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I always buy a Telefonica Card (the one with the I/C on the card). It's sold at Tabacs in 6 or 12 Euro denominations. I have direct dialed back to the US for less than 2 Euro. The downside is that you have to use a Telefonica phone; the upside: they are all over the place. I bought one at a newsstand in Madrid's Barajas airport, another in Sevilla Santa Justa Renfe station. Relatives have told me that I could add minutes to the remaining credits but I haven't tried that.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:50 AM
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many thanks to all. I'll head for the tabac!
weber6560 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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Saw this on the eurodirect.org website today:
"NOTE: as of August 1st, 2004, there is a new regulation in effect for ALL PREPAID CALLING CARDS when used from payphones in Spain. The regulation adds a 12 cent/minute surcharge to the calling rate when using cards from public payphones and this effects the 2.3 cent/minute rate of the "eurodirect" card ONLY when used from a public payphone. The rate from a public payphone in Spain is now 14.3 cents./min. Since this regulation affect ALL ALL PREPAID CALLING CARDS SOLD IN SPAIN, the "eurodirect" card is still the best and cheapest card on the market. The telephone companies who own the payphones in Spain got this regulation passed since they were losing a huge amt. of money due to the extensive use of prepaid calling cards."
I guess this card (or most cards) would work best from a hotel phone?
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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hey.

my 2 cents.

kayd, the eurodirect card at http://www.europhonecards.org is only 50 eurocents more than it costs in spain. that is just 63 u.s. cents, not a dollar or 2 (not even at the worst exchange rates).

also, there are a lot of crappy cards out there that they sell in spain and the eurodirect card is NOT easy to find since the shops would rather sell a card that makes them more money and gives the customer (you) fewer minutes. you see, the eurodirect card gives you a ton of minutes and hence there is less of a commission for the seller.

ellene, using a mobile phone even with a spanish SIM card in it is NOT the "best" way to call the u.s., not by a long shot. keep in mind that if you do that, the rates will run between 50 cents and 1.20 euros a minute depending on the SIM card you use (vodafone cheapest to MoviStar most expensive). there is a good way to use a vodafone SIM along with the eurodirect card to get cheap calls back to the u.s.a. from the mobile, see http://www.spainsim.com/vodmovicallcards.htm for details.

hey NEDSIRELAND, yikers! it is well known amongst the "locals" here that the "Telefónica Card" is the most expensive way to call back to the u.s.a.

hey Redlionny, you have confused that eurodirect.org site you linkes to with the http://www.europhonecards.org/ where the eurodirect card is sold. NO IDEA who the eurodirect.org people are.

as for that warning, yes, it is true and applies to all cards for use in spain.

as for "I guess this card (or most cards) would work best from a hotel phone?", you are right, using the toll-free access the 6 euro card will get you 260 minutes back to any phone in u.s.a. and canada or to landlines in europe and australia. as long as the hotel does not charge your room for the toll-free call (some do believe it or not), that is all the call will cost.

you can also use it form a cell phone with a vodafone SIM in it and on the "vitamina 60x1" calling plan as mentioned at http://www.spainsim.com/vodmovicallcards.htm

saludos,
jer...
jerfrommultimadrid is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2006, 05:55 PM
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We signed up on www.OneSuite.com, paid $10 by credit card, and then were able to use an access # to dial the USA from pay phone or the phone in our apartment for ~2.7 cents/ minute. You must use different access codes when calling from different countries. I wrote them all in my notes before leaving, but you can get them online wherever you are.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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stokebailey,
In checking the OneSuite.com web site, a phone call from Spain, on the "toll free" line, costs $0.2690/minute plus a connection charge of $0.55/call, hardly a bargain over the conventional Spanish mobile phone rates. The 2.7 cents/minute works if you are calling from the USA to Spain, not the other way around.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 03:42 AM
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i'm with Robert2533 here. nearly 27 cents a minute from spain back to u.s.a. is NOT a good deal compared to the eurodirect card.

the only advantage i can see with the OneSuite system is that it allows for use from multiple countries while eurodirect can only be used from spain.

saludos,
jer...
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Tienen un buen punto.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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WARNING - do not use the operator numbers provided in telephone booths!

During a recent trip to Italy, I had to make an urgent telephone call and didn't have the appropriate operator numbers with me, so I had to rely on a sticker in the phone booth that gave a number to call for long-distance service to North America. The call lasted about 15 minutes and I ended up being charged just under $200 for the call. TRAVELLERS BEWARE!
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