Cheapest way to call U.S. from Europe?

Apr 15th, 2001, 10:27 AM
Posts: n/a
Cheapest way to call U.S. from Europe?


Does anyone have info on the best/cheapest way to call the U.S. from Europe - specifically from London, Paris and Amsterdam? A specific calling card?

Thanks in advance,
Apr 15th, 2001, 11:56 AM
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I don't know about ATT or Sprint, but MCI has a plan called International Weekends where you can use your calling card to call from Europe very inexpensively (from France $.17/min--.09 on weekends) for $3/month. If you are traveling in several countries, this seems to be the most logical thing to do because you can call from your hotel room. We switch over a few days before we go and switch back to our old plan upon return. One caveat: make sure your current plan (or a similar one) will still be available for switchback. Also don't make operator-assisted calls. If the operator comes on for any reason, tell her you don't want her and try again.

If you do a search ("phone") above, you can find long threads on the subject, but for several countries, I think a program with one of the American biggies is the best.
Apr 15th, 2001, 05:32 PM
Bob Brown
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I guess it depends on how you measure "cheap". I want no strings attached to any lingering agreement with MCI or ATT.
They have ripped me off once to often.
In France and Switzerland, I buy a phone card. In Paris I got a Telecarte and used that extensively. The only draw back is that you might leave with a few units on the card. But I found the card to be a good way to phone home. Because of the 6 hour time difference, I was often headed somewhere in Paris when it came a good time to call home. With the telecarte, I just popped into a phone booth and made the call. An LED display told me how much I had left on my card.
I could watch my money disappear as I talked, which has a good effect in that I shortened the call before I ran up a huge bill.
Also check with the desk at your hotel.
Sometimes the hotels do not gouge you on international rates. But the telecarte in Paris for me was the unattached, no lingering entanglements way to go.
Apr 15th, 2001, 06:32 PM
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I've used an MCI prepaid card for my last three trips to Europe. Very inexpensive. The rate on mine is 5.9 per unit; a phone call from Germany or France is 3 units (18), from Italy 4 units (24), England 2 units (12). I can recharge it with up to 360 units a week; the cost is billed to my Visa card. The only problem is trying to find a telephone that accepts coins. You may have to buy a local telephone card in order to get a dial tone. Or call from your hotel.

Apr 16th, 2001, 04:57 AM
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To be honest, I would advise doing in Europe what I did the other way around when I was in the US - go into a few newsagents/tourist stores and see what they have on offer. In the local shops around me they seem to sell about 20 different international calling cards, each one slightly cheaper than the next.
Apr 16th, 2001, 09:56 AM
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I went to Costco and bought a MCI Worldcom rechargeable card. It costs about 5.5 cents per unit, from the UK to the USA costs 3 units per minute. It worked fine in England and Scotland. It came with 240 minutes, you can add more with your Visa Card. It come with toll free numbers for any country in the world.
Apr 19th, 2001, 04:57 PM
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Just back from London. Bought a phone card in a local store for five lbs.(about 7.50 U.S.) Used it numerous times. It couldn't have been easier.
Any international phone card is the easiest way to call home. US international code is 001.
Apr 19th, 2001, 11:51 PM
Posts: n/a
Wait until you get to Europe and buy an international phone card in each city from a news stand or tobacco shop. It's much cheaper!! All you have to do is keep track of how many minutes you've talked and how many minutes you have left so that the phone card doesn't cut you off in the middle of a conversation.
Jul 12th, 2001, 04:44 PM
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My wife and I were recently in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We found that buying a phone card in the country was VERY cheap. A $10 card purchased in Germany got us about 1hr45min of calling time back to the U.S., for example. No special need to fool with MCI or Sprint or special access numbers!
Jul 12th, 2001, 05:21 PM
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We have had great luck with both the MCI and Sprint prepaid phone cards. We have found them to be cheapest at Costco and we have used them everywhere we've travelled - all over the US, all of Western Europe, Egypt, Samoa, Tahiti, and Central America. The rates are a little cheaper with the Sprint card, but both are good buys and both can easily be "recharged" with additional minutes billed to your credit card which allows you to keep the same card virtually forever (no need to memorize new PINs over and over!) In certain countries we have had to buy a local phone card to get access to the public phones, but they're pretty inexpensive as you don't need to have much time on them - just enough to access the 800 number for Sprint or MCI and then you convert over to your calling card. Another plus: You can buy them in multiples at Costco and they've made great gifts for our friends oversees as they are so inexpensive. It allows us to keep in touch with them!
Jul 12th, 2001, 08:50 PM
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I'd suggest buying a phone card here. We tried 2 in Italy, one purchased in Rome and one purchased in Florence, and neither would work. We even got a hotel staffer to help us to make sure we were using it correctly. Run of bad luck, I guess. At any rate, I'd discourage any operator-assisted or collect calls. Very expensive--$38 for 7 minutes.
Jul 15th, 2001, 12:45 PM
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It sound like buying a rechargeable card in UK is the way to go but I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with a rechargeable card called "ekit" which includes voicemail and internet time?

Jul 15th, 2001, 02:10 PM
Posts: n/a
I'm not sure about an ekit, but one of my clients is originally from Paris and uses something called Net2Phone ( since he calls home all the time.

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