There are better alternatives to paying hundreds of dollars on international phone calls. One of these alternatives are international calling cards.

International calling cards are a prepaid method of making a long distance call that is cheaper than going through your local phone company. You put a prepaid balance on the calling card and once you have used up that balance you either have to buy a new card or put more money on it. Each card has an 800 number or a local access number that must be typed in. Once you have typed in the 800 or local access number, you will enter a PIN number that is given to you. After that, you will be prompted to enter the phone number that you would like to call. International calling cards are compatible with any touch-tone phone.

However, there are some downsides to using an international calling card. Many companies will include policies in the fine print, and unless you read them carefully you could get charged a large fee. Given the multitude of these hidden fees, it is nearly impossible to be an informed consumer. Many companies will purposely not disclose their calling rates to trick consumers into buying their calling cards, making them think it will be a cheap and convenient solution.

Another alternative to paying outrageous long distance charges is to use a WiFi-calling app. For example, YouRoam enables you to make long distance phone calls while only being charged a minimal fee, as low as $1(USD) per minute depending on which country you are calling. All calling rates are clearly displayed before you make a call so there are no hidden fees. The app also allows you to keep your same phone number so that anyone can call you at any time, without having to remember a username or new number.Even if the person you are trying to reach doesn’t have the app, you can still call or text them. Additionally, YouRoam is a pay-as-you-go app, which means you only get charged for the minutes you use.

While international calling cards may seem like the easiest or cheapest option, the reality is that apps such as YouRoam can save you money and the headache of getting charged hidden fees.

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