Inexpensive international calling cards:  the cheapest international calling card rates and direct calling rates can be found within the advice on this page. If you have other inexpensive ways to call nationally or internationally, please use the email link on the bottom of this page and share your knowledge about cheap international calling cards (with more than 400 people who visit this page).

International study abroad/work abroad advice at my Germany Photos index  Top 5 ways to make Cheap calls within the US

Want to know more about calling America from abroad?

Free basic instructions for how to make international calls
cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)

Jonathan's Advice

Top 10 Cheap ways to keep in touch with America when you study and stay in Europe

and how to let your family and friends from America keep in touch with you without running their phone bills through the roof.

cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2)


    Search Our Prepaid Phone Card Rates  

These searches are for you if:

  • You need an international calling card for when you go abroad

  • You need an inexpensive international prepaid calling card rate

  • You need a prepaid calling card for a call you need to make from where you are now

  • You want great international calling cards and awesome national calling rates!


Because I studied in Oldenburg, Germany, this centers around studying in Oldenburg.  However, most of this applies to studying/working anywhere in Europe.

If you want the best rates on cheap international and national calling cards, as well as airfares, be sure to check out the links on this page marked with a How to make an international phone call cheap

If you're looking for ways to save money making calls from your computer to a phone, click here.

1.  Don't Call.  Don't buy a calling card.  Don't heed my advice for inexpensive international calling cards.
Note:  Not calling is not recommended and not a good idea if you want people to think you're still alive.  However, if you went to Europe to escape a (crazy ex who wouldn't stop calling, psycho roommate, calls from a long distance company's bills collectors, etc.) this may be the absolute best international calling strategy you can use.

2. Do call

Use an international calling card!  I have traveled a lot, and I have used many different international calling cards.  I am convinced that the best and cheapest calling card company is Noblecom.  Well, let me take that back.  I know of cheaper calling card companies, but often the calling cards don't work consistently.  (In fact, these other calling card companies are often the same types of companies that will sell you swampland in Florida.  Go ahead and purchase an international calling card from some other company if you're the kind of person who wants to buy some cheap swampland as a real estate investment.  Otherwise,) sample rates for Noblecom's cheap international calling cards:

Example call rates for Noblecom International calling cards
to the USA:

Calling Germany - US   6.9 CPM
Calling UK - US 
5.9 CPM
Calling Canada - US 
(from 1.9 CPM!)

Example call rates for Noblecom International calling cards
from the USA:

Calling USA - Germany (4 CPM!)
Calling USA - China
(6 CPM!)
Calling USA - UK (4 CPM!)
Calling USA - Mexico (10 CPM!)


How do Noblecom's international calling cards work?

You go to the Noblecom site, and use the international calling card search.  When you have found a calling card that suits your needs, you purchase the card.  Noblecom will then process your international calling card order instantly, and within minutes (sometimes seconds), you will have a PIN number and an access number sent directly to your email.  You can begin using your international calling card immediately!  When you dial the access number, you will be given dialing instructions and you can call your number for the cheap rates that are offered by Noblecom's calling cards.

Really, the best way to get Noblecom calling cards is just to go to their web site.  You can get them in some retail locations, but it's easiest and quickest to get them online.

Note: Noblecom also has awesome rates for calling within the US.  You can make national long distance calls, using Noblecom calling cards, for 1.5 CPM.  Check it out!

Because I have been blessed to be able to travel to many countries in the world, including China, Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Italy, and the Vatican, I want to share what I've learned to help you find better deals for calling from America to Europe than the card(s) you may currently be using.  Noblecom has a great site for calling cards can be gotten to very easily simply by using the the calling card search box, or by clicking on the calling cards which are, listed to the right.  Parents, or husbands, or wives, or friends/family, can even send these calling cards to their loved ones living/working in Europe through the power of email.

Noblecom Calling Card Search Takes you directly to calling cards for the countries you select.
Calling from:
Calling to:


international calling cards from Noblecom

international calling cards and cheap cards from Noblecom

international calling cards and cheap cards from Noblecom

international calling cards and cheap cards from Noblecom

international calling cards and cheap cards from Noblecom

international calling cards and cheap cards from Noblecom



3. Have your parents/loved ones set up a 1800 #.

Check out Kall8 for some awesome deals for setting up 800 numbers.  They're an awesome 800 number company and can get you some great 800 number deals!  Also check out the features, because if you get even a few international calls on your 800 number, it can be very easy to rack up an international long distance bill in a hurry.  But Kall8 has come up with a solution.

Awesome calling cards and 800 number



4. Email

Hello?  No email account yet?  If you don't already have an email account, spending a semester or a year in Europe is a good excuse to get one.  I've linked you to a couple sites on the right which give free email.  If you don't choose one of these, there are hundreds of other free email providers.

email providers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)

email providers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2)

I have purchased tickets through Orbitz, and it most often offers rates lower than the airlines' web sites.

    Special Flight Deals on Orbitz!

5. High Speed Internet

If you are not studying at the University of Oldenburg, contact your exchange University to find out if you will have an Internet connection or at least access to the Internet.  It's helpful to know.

In Oldenburg, if you are going to live in Hermann Ehler's House or Huntemannstrasse, the Internet connection is not expensive.  (In Huntemannstrasse, less than $30 for the whole semester.)  Provided of course that you have a computer (taking or buying a laptop is recommended) with high speed Internet capability, this gives you access to email (see #4) sending SMS' (see #7), Instant Messaging (see #8). 


I included this above, but here it is again, because it really works well.
Try this search for some great calling cards and great rates!

International calling cards from America
International calling cards to the world
6. Get a "handy"

Why do Germans call a cell phone a Handy?  It's like asking why do people park in driveways and park in driveways.  I really don't know.  It's someone else's job to figure these things out.

A handy is a cell phone.  Besides allowing you to receive and send SMS' (See # 7), they also allow you to receive phone calls for free.  Since the phones are prepaid, it only costs you when you call, not when someone calls you.

 When I was in Oldenburg, the E-Plus store in the Innenstadt had a deal where they were selling a NOKIA for 99 Marks (about $45), with 25 Marks of prepaid time and 70 Prepaid SMS' (I said see #7).  This was a great deal considering it gave me a phone for the entire time I was in Germany, and when I ran out of time, all I had to do was go back and get a refill card for my phone.  (You'll be able to figure this one out on your own, but if not, the people in the store will help you.)

cheapest calling rates within Europe(picture 1)

Auf Deutsch

(in German)

call girl is a great service.  Learn more about call girl when you call your girl.  Girls can be dumb, but boys can be mean, so you may as well learn to call girl.

7. SMS

We have a lot of things in the US, but I don't know why it's taking America so long to get SMS (phone to phone Instant Messaging).  It's just now getting as popular in America as it is in Europe.  To learn more about SMS, (a major means of communication in Europe) head to my SMS page.

SMS by Jonathan

SMS = Short Message Service


8. Instant Messaging

This I used quite a bit while in Germany.  Both of my brothers have MSN Instant Messenger, some friends of mine from school use Yahoo IM, and some people I met in Germany use ICQ.  Whichever you decide to use, these programs allow you to chat with one or more people in a real time typed (and now voice) conversation via the Internet.  Instead of calling long distance, even though it is very, very cheap, if you've paid your Internet already, why pay for long distance calls too?  You can share files, pictures, viruses (let's not do that), and keep in touch with people at the touch of a button.  Quite awesome!

instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 1)

instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 2)

instant messengers on the cheapest international calling card rates (picture 3)


9.  People calling you from home should use 1016868

(Updated 9/20/02: I couldn't fit all of the 1016868 information on this page.
Click here for better and more complete information)

If you want to save your people (who are calling you long distance from America) some moola (do you have people?  It's fun to have people), your best bet is to have them use the long distance routing code.  Kurt also told me about this. 

To use this in the states, you have to call from a phone which is registered to someone (can't be a pay phone), and it can't have long distance blocking on the service. 

Dial 1016868 before calling.  Then the international calling number (011 from the US), then the country code, then the number.  So calling Germany would go something like this.  1016868, then 011, then 49, then the number. 

Without this number, dialing long distance to Germany directly, my parents were charged over (overcharged) $1.00/minute.  When they used this number, it became 9 cents/minute.






(Updated 9/20/02: I couldn't fit all of the 1016868 information on this page.
Click here for better and more complete information)


10. Tin cans and string

Note:  This is not highly recommended.  Long distance over string can get difficult and due to the long distance between America and Europe, your string may break. However, if you decide to use this method, you are going to need one very long, very expensive, very strong string.  As for the cans, I've heard that the Campbell's Soup ones work the best, although I can't say for sure.


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If you have friends who would be interested in reading this advice, you can tell them about this page.
If you're interested, much more study abroad/work abroad advice is available at my Germany Photos index is my web site.                      Email me International calling advice

If you get in a jam and you need a calling card, you have come to the right place.  Calling cards can be purchased cheaply, even if you're in a jam.

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