Best phone plan with international calls – September 2020

Keep in touch with the world without breaking the bank.
  • Best Optus

    $49 Medium Optus Choice Plan

    Read Review
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    35 selected countries
    60GB per month
  • Best Telstra

    $50 Prepaid Complete Plan

    Read Review
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    51 selected countries
    Limited minutes and data
  • Best Vodafone

    $65 SIM Only Super+ Plan

    Read Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    90 selected countries
    'Infinite' data
  • Best MVNO - amaysim

    $30 UNLIMITED Plan

    Read Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    28 selected companies
    30GB data
Recent Updates: 3 weeks ago
The MVNOs still come out on top when it comes to value, but out of the big three, Optus is by far the best option for unlimited international calls.

For those with friends or family overseas, a phone plan with unlimited international calls included could ease your worries so you can talk as much as you want with loved ones without the weight of a hefty phone bill on your mind.

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone all offer a range of popular phone plans with free and unlimited international calls. However, you’ll want to compare the selected international countries that you can call for free. Otherwise, it’s also worth considering one of the many MVNOs who offer some great deals on unlimited international calls.

Let’s take a look at the best phone plans with international calls.

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What's an MVNO?

Although there are dozens of mobile providers to choose from in Australia, there are only three mobile networks: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Other mobile providers like amaysim, Belong and Lebara offer their plans using these three same networks, but usually at a better price. In the industry, providers like these are called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).

Best Optus phone plan with unlimited international calls

The most popular Optus plan that provides free international calls is the $49 Medium Optus Choice Plan. Available on either a 24-month or 36-month handset repayment bundle or as a BYO phone, SIM-only plan, it offers unlimited standard international calls to 35 selected countries from Australia, along with a generous 60GB data.

Which are the destinations on the Optus international calls country list?

There are 35 countries Optus provides free unlimited international calls to from Australia. They are as follows: Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Mainland China, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.

If you don’t have unlimited standard international call inclusions on your Optus plan, you can either get a $10 per month unlimited standard International Talk & Text Add-on on eligible Optus Choice Plans or opt for Pay As You Go (PAYG) Rates.

If the country you wish to call isn’t one of the 35 countries listed above, you could consider adding an International Talk & Text Add-on for $10 a month which offers calls to another 11 pre-selected countries, including Austria, Bangladesh, Chile, Croatia, Fiji, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Beyond this, you’ll be paying PAYG rates.

Optus international call rates

If you’re on an Optus prepaid plan, your international call rates will vary depending on your specific plan. Typically though, the call rate to most countries will range from 3 cents to $1 per minute. The most common call rate is 10 cents per minute for a majority of destinations.

Otherwise, if you’re on a postpaid plan with Optus that doesn’t include unlimited standard international calls, you may be able to purchase the International Talk & Text Add-on, or else you’ll be charged PAYG rates. These are typically more expensive, starting at 35 cents per call with an additional charge per second, per 30 seconds or per minute, depending on which postpaid plan you’re on. Usually, you’re looking at charges of around 36 cents to $5 per minute for standard mobile calls, depending on the specific country.

Best Optus MVNO phone plan with unlimited international calls

If you’re sold on the Optus network, you could consider opting for an Optus MVNO instead. With an MVNO, you’ll get the same Optus network access, often at a better price.

amaysim’s $30 UNLIMITED Plan is an extremely popular plan on the Optus network and offers unlimited standard international calls to 28 selected countries, including Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.

It’s a 28-day prepaid plan, so it may be easier to control your monthly bill since you can’t accidentally run excess charges without topping up first. It also boasts 30GB data per month, so you can stream to your heart’s content.

Best Telstra plan with international calls

Telstra doesn’t offer any plans with unlimited international calls, however, its $50 Prepaid Complete plan includes 300 minutes to selected Zone 1 countries and 60 minutes to selected Zone 2 countries. It also contains a decent 8GB per month (plus bonus data on your first few recharges) and $5 extra International Credit to spend on calls and texts (standard international rates apply)

Which are the destinations on the Telstra international calls country list?

For the Prepaid Complete plan, the selected Zone 1 countries include Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, UK, USA, Vietnam. Zone 2 countries include Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Columbia, Iceland, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, France, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates. Outside of these locations, you’re looking at anywhere from 30 cents to $2 per minute.

If you’re on a Telstra postpaid plan, you also have the option of adding an International Call Pack for an extra $10 per month, which includes unlimited standard calls and SMS to 20 countries. However, not all of them are the same as the ones available for free via the Pre-paid Complete plan.

The full list of countries included are: Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, UK, USA, Vietnam.

Telstra international call rates

Outside Telstra’s dedicated Prepaid Complete Plan and International Call Pack, you’re looking at some pretty hefty charges to call your overseas contacts. No matter where you’re calling, there’s a flat $0.40 connection fee, plus a destination-based, per-minute charge – anywhere from 44 cents to over $2 per minute to fixed line numbers, sometimes more to mobiles.

Best Telstra MVNO phone plan with unlimited international calls

There are quite a few Telstra MVNOs offering decent plans with international call inclusions. One of the most popular ones is the Belong Large 40GB Plan providing unlimited international calls to 30 selected countries, which is almost on par with the number of countries available with Optus. That’s pretty good for an MVNO.

The full list of selected countries is as follows: Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.

Best Vodafone phone plan with unlimited international calls

The Vodafone $65 SIM Only Super+ Plan ($55 per month if you sign up before 13 October) gives you 1000 minutes to what Vodafone calls its ‘Zone 1’ countries and 200 call minutes to its ‘Zone 2’ countries.

As well as unlimited international calls to selected destinations, a big plus of the $65 Super+ Plan is it also provides ‘Infinite’ data. Once you’ve used up your data allowance of 100GB at maximum speed, you’ll still be able to browse the net with a speed cap of 10Mbps.

Which are the destinations on the Vodafone international calls country list?

For postpaid customers, Vodafone’s Zone 1 countries are Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

In Zone 2, you’ll find Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Faroe Islands, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican City State), Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Spain Canary Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Vodafone international call rates

For prepaid customers who don’t have a Combo Plus plan (or do, but are calling someone outside of Zone 1 or Zone 2), call rates vary based on your plan. Connection fees may apply and range from 35 to 40 cents, and country-based rates also apply per 30 seconds or per minute.

As for postpaid, selected plans include unlimited standard international calls to Zone 1 and limited minutes to Zone 2, however, PAYG rates apply for countries outside of these zones. Rates differ depending on when you signed your contract, but the most recent plans charge a connection fee of 28 cents with a charge ranging between 10 cents to $4.50 per minute.

Best Vodafone MVNO phone plan with unlimited international calls

If you’re looking for a budget option on the Vodafone network, you might also want to consider Lebara Mobile. This MVNO has a wide variety of plans with unlimited international calls. The cheapest option clocks in at just $14.90 for the Extra Small Plan, offering $3 international call credit which is equivalent to up to 300 call minutes to selected countries.

Lebara Mobile’s $29.90 Medium Plan is one of the telco’s most popular plans. You’ll get unlimited international calls to 30 selected countries plus $5 call credit lasting up to 500 minutes to selected countries.

If you seriously have family all over the world or often make international business calls on your personal mobile, you might even want to consider the Lebara $49.90 Extra Large Plan that gives you unlimited standard international calls to a whopping 56 selected countries. You’ll also enjoy $10 international call credit to other selected countries, which is approximately 1000 standard call minutes per 30 days.

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