Using your mobile phone overseas can be an expensive exercise. Phone service providers often charge exorbitant rates. And although some now offer special global roaming packages, they are still generally poor value when you compare them to other options out there.

One option to bring down the cost of overseas calls is to buy a prepaid local SIM card in the country you are visiting. This at least means you pay local rates, not the more expensive overseas rates for making calls and sending messages. But with WiFi connections available in so many parts of the world, there is a better way nowadays and it doesn’t even have to cost a cent.

As our members discuss this week, it is easy to make cheap, or even 100% free phone calls from anywhere in the world using apps or programs that connect to the internet. All you need is a WiFi connection. And with countless free apps available, there’s no reason to pay to use your phone overseas.

A popular pick among our members is Viber. Viber offers free calls and texts to anyone else with the program and is available not only as a smartphone app, but also as a download for your computer.

Just called my mum (Worcester to Melbourne) using Viber on wifi and works a treat. I always only use Viber.

The more well-known Skype is another popular choice. Like Viber, it is free to call anyone with the program but Skype can also be used to call landline and mobile numbers for a much lower price than your telco probably charges.

Other free options suggested by our members when it comes to communicating over a WiFi connection include Apple’s FaceTime service, Line, Tango and Facebook’s WhatsApp. MyNetFone and ClicknCallnow also get a recommendation each.

MYNETFONE have their neosaver plan which provides 100 calls a month for $5 to 31 international destinations as well as aust landlines.

For low volume but longish calls i’d recommend clickncallnow at 20c untimed to a lot of international destinations. quite reliable.”

A potential problem with relying on a WiFi connection is that calls could be slow or drop out if the internet connection is poor. But provided that you have access to reasonable WiFi, there are a lot of good, free options out there.

As long as you have access to a better than ordinary wifi connection you can use Skype, Viber. If the internet is slow, I find both Skype and Viber (especially) become painful with dropouts or distortions etc.

How do you make calls from overseas? Do you have a better way to communicate? Why not contribute to the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]