Best phone plan with international calls this month

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

    $55 Optus Choice Plan

    Read Review
    4.5 out of 5 overall
    35 selected countries
    80GB per month
  • Best Telstra

    $50 Prepaid Complete Plan

    Read Review
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    51 selected countries
    Limited mins 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

    Read Review
    4 out of 5 overall
    28 selected countries
    30GB data

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 prepaid 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 for international calls

The most popular Optus plan that provides free international calls is the $55 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 80GB data.

Which countries are included in Optus unlimited international calls?

There are 35 countries Optus provides free unlimited international calls to from Australia. They are as follows: Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, 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. Outside of these countries, you’ll be paying Pay As You Go (PAYG) rates.

Prepaid customers, on the other hand, have a couple more options. You can choose the Epic Data plan, which starts from $30 per month and includes unlimited standard international calls to 15 selected countries (Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, UK and USA), or you can opt to pay an additional $5 per month for 300 international minutes to 50 selected international destinations, which include the following: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam.

Optus international call rates

If you’re on an Optus prepaid plan without the $5 International Talk add-on, 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’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 for 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 (with 20GB bonus on your first three renewals), so you can stream to your heart’s content.

Best Telstra plan for international calls

Telstra doesn’t offer any plans with unlimited international calls, however, its $50 Prepaid Complete plan includes 1,000 minutes to selected Zone 1 countries, 150 minutes to selected Zone 2 countries and 15 minutes to selected Zone 3 countries. It also contains a decent 28GB per month, plus 22GB of bonus data on your first few recharges.

Which countries are included in Telstra’s unlimited international calls?

For the Pre-paid 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 Upfront plan, you also have the option of adding an International Call & SMS Pack for an extra $10 per month, which includes unlimited standard calls and SMS to 23 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, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA, US Virgin Islands, and Vietnam.

Telstra international call rates

Outside Telstra’s dedicated Pre-paid 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 plan for international calls

There are quite a few Telstra MVNOs offering decent plans with international call inclusions. One of the best value ones is the Woolworths Mobile $35 SIM Only plan, which provides unlimited international calls to 22 selected countries. That’s pretty good for an MVNO. You also get the added goodies that come with a Woolies Mobile plan, including 10% off one grocery shop per month and up to 200GB of data banking.

The full list of selected countries is as follows: Bangladesh, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.

Best Vodafone phone plan for international calls

The Vodafone $65 SIM Only Super+ Plan gives you unlimited calls to what Vodafone calls its ‘Zone 1’ countries and 200 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 (300GB if you sign up before July 29), you’ll still be able to browse the net with a speed cap of 10Mbps.

Which countries are included in Vodafone’s unlimited international calls?

For postpaid customers, Vodafone’s Zone 1 countries are Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Spain Canary Islands, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Vatican (Holy See).

In Zone 2, you’ll find Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brunei, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Faroe Islands, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Vodafone international call rates

For prepaid customers who don’t have international calls included (or do, but are calling someone outside of Zone 1 or Zone 2), call rates vary based on your plan, hovering between 2 cents and $3.50 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 plan for 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 being their popular $24.90 Medium Plan. You’ll get unlimited international calls to 25 selected countries plus 100 minutes to Zone 1 countries (200 to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) and 30 minutes to Zone 2 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 $69.90 XXL Plan that gives you unlimited standard international calls and texts to a whopping 64 selected countries, with 500 minutes to Zone 1 countries and 50 minutes to Zone 2 countries thrown in.

How to call an international number from Australia

Now that you’ve got a plan that includes international calls, you might be wondering how to call an international number from Australia. If you’re more used to FaceTiming or Skyping your overseas friends and family, all those country codes might seem a little confusing at first, but it’s actually very simple.

You only need three things to call an overseas number: The exit code, the destination country code, and the phone number.

The Australian exit code is 0011, or on a mobile, you can simply press and hold 0 to dial +. Find the destination country code below (for the sake of our demo, we’ll use the UK, whose country code is 44). After that, enter the phone number you want to call (dropping the first 0 from the area code, if it starts with one) and press call. Putting this all together, that would look like +44 20 8765 4321 if you’re calling from your mobile or 0011 44 20 8765 4321 from a landline.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

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