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The best mobile plans with international calls in Australia
Keep in touch with the world without breaking the bank.
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 that offer some great prepaid deals on unlimited international calls. And of course, if you're looking for the best-prepaid plans for a trip Down Under, check out our prepaid guide for travelling around Australia here.
Let’s take a look at the best phone plans for international calls.
- : amaysim $30 UNLIMITED
- : Upfront Basic
- : Medium Optus Choice Plan
- : Medium SIM Only Plan
- : Lebara Small Plan
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 plan with unlimited international calls
amaysim $30 UNLIMITED
If you're looking for a great value plan with unlimited international calls, amaysim is an easy choice.
The $30 recharge gets you unlimited international calls to 28 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.
Most plans at a similar price include a smaller amount of countries.
If that's not quite what you're looking for, here's a quick round-up of amayism's plans with international calls included:
Best Telstra plan for international calls
Telstra Upfront Basic
Telstra doesn’t offer any plans with unlimited international calls out of the box, but its Upfront plans are rather unique in that they let you call ANY country.
You read that correctly, all Telstra Upfront plans include 30 international minutes each month that can be used to call any standard international number.
While that's not a huge amount of minutes, the plan could still be a good option if you're trying to call a country that's not typically supported by other telcos.
You also get unlimited international SMS.
If you need more than 30 minutes, you can add a calling pack to any Upfront plan. These start at $10 per month. The cheapest option includes unlimited standard calls and SMS to 23 countries.
There's a $20 per month option which then gives you the aforementioned unlimited calls and a further 200 minutes for an additional 45 destinations. The $30 per month pack increases the number of destinations to 93.
Here is the complete range of Telstra Upfront SIM-only plans. These can also be bundled with a new phone.
Which countries are included in Telstra's Zone 1 international calling pack?
Telstra's Zone 1 international calling pack includes unlimited talk and text to these countries:
Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the USA, US Virgin Islands, and Vietnam.
International calls on Telstra prepaid plans
If you need more than 30 minutes of international call time each month, you can look at one of Telstra's prepaid plans. Recharges from $30 includes some international minutes.
For example, Telstra's $30 recharge gets you 300 minutes to Zone 1 countries, 60 minutes to Zone 2 countries, and 5 minutes to Zone 3 countries. The more you spend, the more minutes you get.
All Telstra prepaid plans worth $30 and up also include 100 texts to any country.
Here are Telstra's prepaid plans with international calls:
Which countries are included in Telstra's international calls on prepaid?
Telstra's prepaid Zone 1 countries are different to its Upfront plan. The destinations you can call include:
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, Vietnam
Zone 2 countries include:
Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Greece, Italy, Laos, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, France, Iran, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico, Mongolia, Palestinian Authority, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Slovak Republic, Venezuela
Zone 3 countries are as follows:
Austria, Comoros, Croatia, East Timor, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Surinam, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe
Outside of these locations, you’re looking at anywhere from 30 cents to $2 per minute.
Telstra international call rates
If international calls aren't included in your Telstra plan, you're looking at hefty charges to call your overseas contacts. You'll pay anywhere between 30 cents to $2 per minute.
Best Optus phone plan for international calls
$59 Optus Choice Plan
The most popular Optus plan that provides free international calls is the $59 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 100GB of 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. Epic Data plans and monthly Flex plans include unlimited international calls to up to 15 countries: Canada, mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, UK and the USA).
Alternatively, you can pay an extra $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.
Below are Optus' postpaid and prepaid plans with international calls included.
Best Vodafone phone plan for international calls
Vodafone Medium SIM Only Plan
The Vodafone Medium SIM Only Plan gives you unlimited calls to Vodafone's Zone 1 countries and 300 minutes to Zone 2 countries. Even if you spend more on Vodafone's Large plan, you won't get any extra international inclusions.
This plan also be bundled with a new phone.
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, 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, Spain Canary Islands, 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 $3.60 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.
Here are Vodafone's postpaid and prepaid mobile plans with international calls.
Best prepaid plan for international calls
Lebara $24.90 Small Plan
If you’re looking for a budget prepaid, you might also want to consider Lebara Mobile. This Vodafone 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 26 selected countries plus 100 minutes to Zone 1 countries (200 to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) and 30 minutes to Zone 2 countries.
For comparison, here are Lebara's other plans with international calls:
What countries are included in Lebara's international calls?
Lebara offers unlimited international calls to these destinations on its $24.99 per month Small plan:
Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Lebara's Zone 1 countries, which most plans have minutes for, are as follows:
Afghanistan, American Samoa, Austria, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Venezuela, Vietnam
And lastly, Zone 2 countries are as follows:
Croatia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria
The exact make-up of unlimited, Zone 1, and Zone 2 can vary on each Lebara plan, so be sure to check the fine print if you go with a different option.
Other plans with international calls
Of course, the above plans aren't your only options for calling overseas. Plenty of providers offer plans with international calls included as a standard feature. Boost Mobile, Tangerine, ALDI Mobile, Coles Mobile, Dodo, and iiNet all have international calls on select plans, to name a few.
Here's a look at the most popular plans with at least some international calls right now. Be sure to check exactly what destinations are included if you're looking to call specific countries.
The best international roaming plans in Australia
Going overseas instead of calling overseas? You may want a plan with international roaming.
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.
What to look for in a plan with international calls
There are several things to bear in mind when looking for a mobile plan that has international calls.
Generally speaking, we look at plans that include calls to the ten most searched calling destinations; the usual suspects. The UK, NZ, USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
But if you need to make calls to a country that is not on that list, then it's important to double check whatever plan you're looking at does indeed include the country/countries you wish to call. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter as much whether your provider has the most international destinations on the list as much as it does the required ones.
How we choose the best plans with international calls
As above, when choosing the best plans with international calls, we look at plans that offer calls to the most popular countries that are searched for. Outside of this, we look at things like value for money and additional perks, including plans with enough data and those that are competitively priced.
While we're pretty confident that most consumers will be satisfied with our choices for the best phone plans with international calls cover, sometimes a mobile plan that's the right pick for us may be the wrong fit for you. For that reason, we also include some of the other options available from a given provider.
International calling FAQ
Many providers include unlimited international calls on select plans, but you'll be limited by the number of destinations you can dial. You'll typically need to spend a minimum amount to get unlimited international calls.
Boost Mobile offers unlimited international calls to 20 countries as a minimum of all of its 28-day recharges, for example.
amaysim has unlimited international calls to 28 countries on $30 recharges and up.
Other providers that offer unlimited international calls on select plans include Vodafone, Optus, Woolworths Mobile, ALDI Mobile, Lycamobile, and Lebara.
Just double check the plan you're interested in supports the destination you want to call before you commit to it.
If your plan doesn't include international calling inclusions or it doesn't support the country you want to call, the best option is to use an over-the-top app like WhatsApp.
The likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, FaceTime, and Skype all support voice and video calls. Since they don't use traditional phone networks, there are no fees for calling overseas. You'll just need to ensure whoever you want to talk to also has the same app.
Telstra's SIM-only Upfront plans all include 30 minutes of calls to any destination each month. They also have unlimited SMS to any standard international number.
If you need extra minutes, you can add on an international calling pack starting from $10 per month.
The $10 per month option gives you unlimited standard calls to 23 destinations.
Many Vodafone plans include unlimited calling or international minutes for a large number of destinations. If your plan doesn't include these or you want to call a country not that's not an eligible international calling destination, you'll be up for pay-as-you-go rates.
The exact rate depends on your destination. They can start at little as $0.10 per minute, but you can pay as much as $4 per minute in some cases.
You can find Vodafone's pay-as-you-go rates for international calls here.