Whether you’re traveling in the United States and want to make overseas phone calls or you’re a U.S. citizen who needs to call another country, there are several ways to dial an international number. If you learn the basics for dialing a foreign number, you will be able to call anyone successfully no matter which device you use.
Method One of Three:
Dialing an International Number from a Cell Phone or LandlineEdit
1Dial “011” on your keypad. Use the International Direct Dialing (IDD) number for the U.S. before dialing any other numbers. This signals that the phone number you will dial next is outside of the United States.
- Remember that “011” is the prefix for only the United States. If you are placing a call from a country other than the U.S., you will need to find the IDD for that country.
- Sometimes international phone numbers will be listed with a “+” symbol before the digits of the phone number. If you are dialing from a cell phone, you can use the “+” symbol (typically found on the same key as the “0”) in place of “011.” Or just replace the “+” with “011” if you wish.
2Put in the country code next. Determine the country code for the country you are calling to. This number will vary depending on what the country of origin is for the number you wish to dial, but it will always have 1-3 digits.
- As an example, if you were calling a phone number in Australia, the country code is “61.” So, you would dial 011 (IDD number) then 61 (country code).
- Note that some countries share a country code. For instance, the United States, Canada, most of the Caribbean, Guam, and other U.S. territories all share the country code “1.”
- There may also be a number added to the country code if the given country has a different method for calling a mobile phone rather than a landline. For instance, in Mexico, you must dial “1” after the country code (“52”) to reach a mobile phone number.
3Dial the city/area code, if applicable. After the international dialing code and country code, you will dial the city code or area code, typically given as part of the local number. This narrows down the phone number to a specific city or region within the country you’re calling to.
- The city/area code can be a number between 1-3 digits long.
- Note that smaller countries may not use city or area codes at all, in which case you will dial whatever phone number is given.
- Note that if a city/area code is not given to you, you should ask for it from the individual that holds the phone number rather than look it up based on location. Someone’s current address or home city may not be the same as their area code, because a phone can be purchased in a different area code than where it is used.
4Input the remaining digits of the phone number. Dial the remaining digits of the phone number you were given after you have put in the IDD number, country code, and city/area code. Then press the call button on your phone to place the call.
- Note that a phone number from another country may have more or fewer digits than the standard 7 numbers in a domestic U.S. phone number.
- If a “0” is given before the phone number you are meant to call, omit this and dial the following phone number. The zero is a “trunk code” meant for domestic calls within many countries, but is not used for placing international calls.
- For a complete example, say you are calling the British Museum in London, England in the United Kingdom. To call from the U.S., you use the IDD number “011.” The country code for the UK is “44,” and the area code for London is “20.” The rest of the phone number is “7323 8299.” So, in total, you would dial 011 44 20 7323 8299 to place your call to the museum.
Method Two of Three:
Using an Online Calling ServiceEdit
1Use Skype for dialing international numbers. Call international phone numbers directly from the popular Skype application for computer and mobile devices. Buy Skype credit to pay as you go or a subscription to make a payment monthly.
- Open the dialpad in your Skype app using the button that looks like the 10 keys on a traditional phone dialpad. Then select the country you are calling to from the dropdown menu. The country code will automatically be added, so you need only press or type in the rest of the phone number with area code. There is no need to use an IDD number.
- If the person you are trying to call has a Skype account, you can skip dialing a phone number altogether and call him or her for free. Just add him or her as a contact to start a free audio or video call at any time.
2Try another service like MagicApp or PopTox. Use another similar internet-based service to make calls to international numbers. Use a computer with an internet connection or a mobile device with a data plan to call regular phone numbers through these applications.
- Try out services like PopTox if you want to make calls from a computer browser without having to download any software or app.
- Use mobile apps like MagicApp and Talkatone to place international calls for free. Or, try a service like Google Hangouts, Rebtel, or Vonage to make calls at affordable rates.
3Consider an online service that doesn’t use phone numbers. Ask your call recipient if you can reach them through other online applications that don’t require calling a traditional phone number. Many of these VoIP services are free to join and to call other users of the app.
- Try out popular services like Google Hangouts, Viber, or Facebook Messenger. These apps simply require you to join the service in order to call other users of the service for free.
- Make sure both you and the person you are calling are connected to a reliable internet connection before placing a call through an application on your computer or phone. Data rates still apply for using any app on your mobile device unless connected to WiFi.
Method Three of Three:
Determining the Cost to CallEdit
1Find out if the international phone number is mobile. Determine if the foreign phone number you are given is a landline or a mobile phone. This can affect the rates you are charged for calling it from the U.S. and may change how you place the call.
- International calls to cell or mobile phones are often charged at higher rates than those to fixed or landline phones. You may want to determine what type of phone it is you are calling beforehand, and dial a landline phone if you have the option to.
- Some countries have a standard way to distinguish whether a given phone number is for a landline or a mobile phone, typically through the number or numbers that it starts with.
2Ask your phone carrier about international call rates. Talk to the service provider for the phone you will use to make an international call before you dial. Ask both the provider for your landline and for your cell phone, if you have both, as the rates may differ.
- If you plan to make calls abroad frequently, talk to the provider about their international calling plans. Otherwise, inquire about the one-time rates you would be charged to place a single call to another country.
- Some phone service providers may give you other specific instructions for dialing an international number. You should also remember that when dialing from any internal business line, you may need to dial “9” to reach any external line.
3Learn more about international calling plans and cards. Investigate all the fees associated with international calling plans, prepaid calling cards, and other calling options. You should know exactly what you will be charged for an international call, especially if you plan to make them frequently.
- Be wary of international calling plans from your current phone service provider. While these may advertise competitive rates per call, there are often additional fees or overage charges, and the package may only be cost-effective if you plan to make a certain number of calls per month.
- Consider an international calling card or online service for an option that is typically less expensive than calling plans for cell phones or landlines. Calling cards are prepaid, so you pay only for what you use. Internet-based services may be free or have other flexible pricing options. With any service, you should make sure you understand all of the charges and policies.
How do you call Spain from a U.S. cell phone?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- First, you need to dial either the "+" symbol on your cell phone or the IDD number for the U.S., which is 011. Then dial the country code for Spain, which is 34. Finally, put in the Spanish phone number you are given, which will be 9 digits long including the area code.
Can I call a US phone number if the phone is located in Dubai?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Calling a US phone number while it is outside the USA is possible only if roaming is enabled from your communications company. If you want to travel outside the country and still receive phone calls on your mobile phone, you should contact your service provider and enable roaming.
Do I dial 20 for the city code if I'm calling a cell phone?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- It's optional to put in dialing codes, but to be safe, you should do so - in case there is another number like it in the country. Whether you're calling from a landline or from a cell phone makes no difference.
The best way to make international calls from the USA depends on what device you’re using. If you’re calling from a cell phone or landline, dial “011” followed by the country code, area code, and phone number you wish to reach. To use an online calling service like Skype, open the dial pad and select the country you want to call from the dropdown menu, then enter the area code and phone number.
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