Several UK networks provide a low-cost SIM card for international calling. We compare international rates and find the best mobile network for calling different countries.

If you’re in the UK and often make international phone calls, having the right SIM card can save you significant amounts of money.

On a normal UK SIM card, you’ll typically need to pay about £1.50/minute for calling another country. In contrast, a specialist low-cost SIM card for international calling can bring this down to just a couple of pennies per minute (sometimes even to as little as 1p/minute).

In this article, we’ll compare the cost of international calling from the UK to 96 other countries. We’ll look at opt-in deals from the major mobile networks including EE, O2 and Vodafone. We’ll also look at the specialist mobile networks for international calling: giffgaff, Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile.

Overview & Recommendation

If you make a significant number of international phone calls, it will often be best to buy a bundle that includes international calling. For instance, Lebara Mobile offers a number of 30-day bundles that include either 100, 500 or 1000 international minutes (along with the normal allowance of UK minutes, texts and internet):

NetworkMinutesTextsInternetMonthly
Cost
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0003GB£10.00
Lebara Mobile500
+500 intl.
1,0001GB£10.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+100 intl.
1,0006GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,0005GB£15.00
Lebara Mobile250
+250 intl.
1,0003GB£15.00
Lebara MobileUnlimited
+unltd intl.
1,00010GB£20.00

Inclusive international minutes can only be used for calling 42 selected countries.

For more information, see the Lebara Mobile website for a list of inclusive countries or to order a free Lebara SIM card. You can also read our in-depth guide to international calling bundles.

Order Lebara Mobile SIM card (free) →

Comparison Of Per-Minute Rates For Occasional Calling

If you only make international phone calls occasionally or would like to call a country that isn’t included in a bundle, it’s also possible to pay for your international calls on a per-minute basis.

The best value network for occasional international calling really depends on which country you’d like to make phone calls to.

In the following table, we show a side-by-side comparison of per-minute rates for some of the most commonly-called countries from the UK:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
China (+86)3p
(3p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
2p
(1p to landline)
3p
(1p to landline)
2p
(1.5p to landline)
1.5p
(1.5p to landline)
India (+91)5p2p2p2p2p1.5p
Ireland (+353)8p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Italy (+39)7p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
10p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Pakistan (+92)10p
(10p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
8p
(4p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
6p
(6p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Poland (+48)5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Romania (+40)5p
(1p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Sri Lanka (+94)20p
(15p to landline)
22p
(14p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
18p
(15p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Turkey (+90)12p
(5p to landline)
11p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
United States (+1)3p2p5p6p2p1.5p

Cost of calling abroad from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

You can order a free SIM card from EE, giffgaff, Lebara Mobile, Lycamobile, O2 or Vodafone to take advantage of these rates. In some cases, you may need to specifically opt-in to get the lowest rates available.

Order Lebara Mobile SIM card (free) →

How To Opt-In To Lower Rates

On EE, O2 and Vodafone, you’ll need to opt-in to get the lowest per-minute rates:

  • EE
  • O2
  • Vodafone

Opt-in for the lowest rates on EE, O2 and Vodafone.

  • EE: You’ll need to opt-in to the Call Abroad add-on. It’s free to do this on Pay As You Go and you’ll only need to opt-in once (just text CALL ABROAD to 150). If you don’t opt-in to the offer, you’ll pay EE’s standard rates for calling abroad (typically between £1 and £1.50 per minute).
  • O2: To get the lowest rates available, you’ll need to be on O2’s International tariff. Existing customers can switch to the tariff by texting INTSIM to 21300. Please be aware that on the International tariff, you’ll pay a higher rate for your usage inside the UK compared to if you were on the Classic Pay As You Go tariff. If you’d like to benefit from lower international rates on the Big Bundles tariff, you can get this when buying a Big Bundle costing at least £20/month.
  • Vodafone: You’ll need to opt-in to Vodafone’s International add-on. It’s free to do this on Pay As You Go and you’ll only need to opt-in once (text INTERNATIONAL to 2345 or call 36888 from your Vodafone handset). If you don’t opt-in to the offer, you’ll pay Vodafone’s standard rates for calling abroad (this will be at least £1/minute).

On giffgaff, Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile, there’s no need to opt-in to get the rates shown above. Occasionally, you may be able to access slightly cheaper rates by opting-in to a time-limited promotion (e.g. Lycamobile’s Saver International or Lebara Mobile’s Best Rates offer). Additional terms may apply when opting in to an offer (e.g. there might be a monthly minimum top-up and you may need to opt-in again every 30 days).

By Region

Europe

Most European countries are included in a Lebara All-in-One bundle so a £10 monthly top-up will give you 500 international minutes (along with 500 UK minutes and 1GB of UK data) and a £15 top-up will give you 1,000 international minutes (along with 1,000 UK minutes and 1GB of data).

For occasional phone calls and for calls to a country not included in the bundle, you can pay for your usage on a per-minute basis. Typically, the best value UK network for calling other European countries will either be giffgaff, Lebara Mobile or O2. Prices start from 2p/minute if you’re calling a mobile or from 1p/minute if you’re calling a landline (the price, however, varies substantially depending on the country you’re calling so please double-check in the table below).

The following table compares the cost of calling mobile phones in another European country (the rate for calling a landline is shown in brackets underneath for each country):

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Albania (+355)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
40p
(14p to landline)
39p
(9p to landline)
39p
(9p to landline)
39p
(15p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Austria (+43)10p
(10p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Belgium (+32)5p
(5p to landline)
4p
(4p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
12p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (+387)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
27p
(10p to landline)
29p
(15p to landline)
29p
(19p to landline)
32p
(18p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Bulgaria (+359)20p
(6p to landline)
4p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Croatia (+385)15p
(5p to landline)
15p
(7p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
20p
(6p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Czech Republic (+420)6p
(5p to landline)
6p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
7p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Denmark (+45)5p
(3p to landline)
4p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
19p
(6p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Estonia (+372)30p
(5p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
19p
(6p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Finland (+358)15p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
France (+33)5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Germany (+49)5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(4p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
5p
(1.5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Gibraltar (+350)£1
(£1 to landline)
13p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
25p
(7p to landline)
15p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Greece (+30)15p
(5p to landline)
6p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(1p to landline)
10p
(5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Hungary (+36)5p
(1p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Iceland (+354)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
4p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Ireland (+353)8p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Italy (+39)7p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
10p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Latvia (+371)25p
(50p to landline)
7p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Lithuania (+370)20p
(50p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Luxembourg (+352)15p
(5p to landline)
4p
(2p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
12p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Macedonia (+389)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
28p
(12p to landline)
29p
(9p to landline)
29p
(12p to landline)
31p
(13p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Malta (+356)£1
(£1 to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Monaco (+377)£1
(£1 to landline)
28p
(6p to landline)
29p
(9p to landline)
29p
(9p to landline)
32p
(6p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Montenegro (+382)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
35p
(10p to landline)
29p
(15p to landline)
29p
(17p to landline)
30p
(25p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Netherlands (+31)5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
10p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Norway (+47)8p
(8p to landline)
-5p19p10p25p
Poland (+48)5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Portugal (+351)5p
(3p to landline)
4p
(2p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
19p
(4p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Romania (+40)5p
(1p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
4p
(1p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Russia (+7)20p
(15p to landline)
25p
(3p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(7p to landline)
18p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Serbia (+381)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
32p
(12p to landline)
24p
(9p to landline)
24p
(9p to landline)
32p
(13p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Slovakia (+421)15p
(1p to landline)
9p
(1p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Slovenia (+386)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
14p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
25p
(7p to landline)
5p
(14p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Spain (+34)8p
(3p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Sweden (+46)5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
19p
(7p to landline)
8p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Switzerland (+41)12p
(3p to landline)
10p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
20p
(7p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Turkey (+90)12p
(5p to landline)
11p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Ukraine (+380)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
25p
(9p to landline)
25p
(12p to landline)
25p
(12p to landline)
22p
(11p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)

Cost of calling selected European countries from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

Please remember: the prices shown here are for when you’re in the UK making an international phone call to another European country. If you’re currently travelling in a European country, you should instead see our guide to roaming rates in Europe.

Asia

For international phone calls from the UK to Asia, some countries will be included in Lebara’s All-In-One bundle (namely China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Thailand). If you’re calling one of these countries fairly regularly, it’s likely a bundle will offer you the best value.

For occasional calling and for calls to other countries not included in the bundle, the cheapest network will depend on which country you’re calling. For phone calls to China and India, Vodafone offers the lowest per-minute rates (1.5p per minute compared to 2p per minute on most other networks).

The following table compares the cost of international phone calls from the UK to Asia:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Afghanistan (+93)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
19p
(18p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
18p
(21p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Armenia (+374)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
20p
(18p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
20p
(19p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Azerbaijan (+994)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
26p
(35p to landline)
25p
(9p to landline)
27p
(19p to landline)
31p
(29p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Bahrain (+973)15p
(10p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
12p
(11p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Bangladesh (+880)5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(4p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
7p
(2p to landline)
4p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Cambodia (+855)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
7p
(7p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
7p
(7p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
China (+86)3p
(3p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
2p
(1p to landline)
3p
(1p to landline)
2p
(1.5p to landline)
1.5p
(1.5p to landline)
Georgia (+995)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
35p
(11p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
29p
(12p to landline)
26p
(18p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Hong Kong (+852)3p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
3p
(2.5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
India (+91)5p2p2p2p2p1.5p
Indonesia (+62)20p
(10p to landline)
6p
(6p to landline)
7p
(5p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
7p
(7p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Iran (+98)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
16p
(20p to landline)
12p
(9p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
17p
(17p to landline)
30p
(30p to landline)
Iraq (+964)10p
(10p to landline)
20p
(11p to landline)
17p
(9p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
19p
(14p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Israel (+972)20p
(5p to landline)
6p
(2p to landline)
3p
(2p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
5p
(2p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Japan (+81)15p
(5p to landline)
12p
(4p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
14p
(4p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Jordan (+962)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
17p
(14p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Kazakhstan (+7)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
18p
(3p to landline)
14p
(9p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
18p
(5p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Kuwait (+965)8p
(8p to landline)
9p
(8p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
17p
(5p to landline)
9p
(8p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Malaysia (+60)5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Mongolia (+976)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
3p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
4p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Nepal (+977)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
13p
(12p to landline)
10p
(10p to landline)
10p
(10p to landline)
15p
(13p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Pakistan (+92)10p
(10p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
8p
(4p to landline)
8p
(8p to landline)
6p
(6p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Philippines (+63)20p
(15p to landline)
11p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
13p
(10p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Qatar (+974)15p
(15p to landline)
15p
(15p to landline)
19p
(15p to landline)
19p
(16p to landline)
18p
(15p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Saudi Arabia (+966)14p
(10p to landline)
13p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
12p
(8p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Singapore (+65)3p
(1p to landline)
2p
(2p to landline)
2p
(1p to landline)
3p
(1p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
South Korea (+82)10p
(7p to landline)
5p
(4p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
9p
(7p to landline)
5p
(7p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Sri Lanka (+94)20p
(15p to landline)
22p
(14p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
15p
(12p to landline)
18p
(15p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Syria (+963)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
13p
(11p to landline)
35p
(19p to landline)
29p
(24p to landline)
15p
(15p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Taiwan (+886)20p
(10p to landline)
10p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
10p
(5p to landline)
10p
(5p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Thailand (+66)6p
(6p to landline)
6p
(6p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
6p
(3p to landline)
7p
(12p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
United Arab Emirates (+971)15p
(15p to landline)
13p
(14p to landline)
16p
(9p to landline)
16p
(12p to landline)
15p
(14p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)

Cost of calling selected Asian countries from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

America

If you’re calling the US or Canada, these countries are included in Lebara’s All-in-One bundle. Alternatively, you can Pay As You Go from 1.5p/minute with Vodafone tending to offer the best value rates. For Central and Southern American countries, Lebara Mobile tends to offer lower per-minute rates.

The following table compares the cost of international phone calls from the UK to the Americas (including both North and South America):

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Argentina (+54)20p
(10p to landline)
20p
(3p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
10p
(5p to landline)
21p
(2p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Bahamas (+1 242)-18p9p12p20p45p
Barbados (+1 246)19p
(19p to landline)
19p
(19p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
19p
(19p to landline)
21p
(19p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Bolivia (+591)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
15p
(9p to landline)
17p
(13p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Brazil (+55)15p
(1p to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
7p
(3p to landline)
7p
(3p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Canada (+1)3p2p5p5p2p1.5p
Chile (+56)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
9p
(4p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Colombia (+57)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
4p
(4p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
3p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Costa Rica (+506)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
6p
(12p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
6p
(3p to landline)
6p
(10p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Cuba (+53)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
85p
(80p to landline)
79p
(49p to landline)
79p
(79p to landline)
80p
(80p to landline)
-
Dominican Republic (+1 809)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
8p
(6p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
8p
(3p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Ecuador (+593)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
25p
(9p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
19p
(10p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Jamaica (+1 876)17p
(12p to landline)
21p
(21p to landline)
19p
(9p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
20p
(25p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Mexico (+52)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
7p
(4p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(1p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Nicaragua (+505)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
20p
(12p to landline)
25p
(19p to landline)
26p
(19p to landline)
28p
(16p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Panama (+507)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
12p
(3p to landline)
9p
(4p to landline)
9p
(4p to landline)
12p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Paraguay (+595)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
8p
(4p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
9p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Peru (+51)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
6p
(2p to landline)
5p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
United States (+1)3p2p5p6p2p1.5p
Uruguay (+598)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
14p
(4p to landline)
19p
(5p to landline)
19p
(8p to landline)
15p
(4p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Venezuela (+58)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
10p
(7p to landline)
5p
(5p to landline)
7p
(3p to landline)
9p
(5p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)

Cost of calling selected countries in North & South America from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

Africa

The following table compares the cost of international phone calls from the UK to Africa:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Algeria (+213)40p
(12p to landline)
48p
(11p to landline)
33p
(9p to landline)
42p
(9p to landline)
48p
(7p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Cameroon (+237)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
30p
(85p to landline)
25p
(9p to landline)
29p
(10p to landline)
33p
(70p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Egypt (+20)20p
(10p to landline)
10p
(8p to landline)
12p
(9p to landline)
12p
(9p to landline)
11p
(8p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Gambia (+220)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
60p
(75p to landline)
55p
(25p to landline)
69p
(39p to landline)
68p
(68p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Ghana (+233)25p
(25p to landline)
26p
(26p to landline)
23p
(9p to landline)
23p
(12p to landline)
25p
(25p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Kenya (+254)18p
(12p to landline)
18p
(22p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
12p
(5p to landline)
15p
(18p to landline)
30p
(12p to landline)
Morocco (+212)30p
(15p to landline)
31p
(3p to landline)
39p
(3p to landline)
35p
(3p to landline)
37p
(2p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Nigeria (+234)10p
(10p to landline)
9p
(10p to landline)
12p
(1p to landline)
12p
(1p to landline)
9p
(9p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
South Africa (+27)8p
(3p to landline)
10p
(3p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
19p
(12p to landline)
10p
(3p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
Tunisia (+216)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
70p
(65p to landline)
39p
(29p to landline)
49p
(29p to landline)
62p
(59p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Uganda (+256)30p
(30p to landline)
28p
(28p to landline)
29p
(19p to landline)
29p
(19p to landline)
30p
(28p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)
Zimbabwe (+263)£1.50
(£1.50 to landline)
37p
(10p to landline)
37p
(9p to landline)
39p
(9p to landline)
41p
(9p to landline)
45p
(45p to landline)

Cost of calling selected African countries from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

Oceania

The following table compares the cost of international phone calls from the UK to Australia and New Zealand. Both countries are included in Lebara’s All-in-One bundle, or you can Pay As You Go at the following per-minute rates:

CountryCost of calling abroad from the UK (per minute)
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Australia (+61)10p
(3p to landline)
12p
(2p to landline)
9p
(3p to landline)
9p
(1p to landline)
12p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)
New Zealand (+64)7p
(3p to landline)
6p
(2p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
9p
(2p to landline)
10p
(2p to landline)
25p
(5p to landline)

Cost of calling Australia and New Zealand from a UK mobile network (per minute). As the headline figure, we've shown the per-minute cost of calling a mobile phone number. Where a lower price applies for calling landline numbers, this is shown separately in brackets. Last updated on 8th January 2018. Source: ee.co.uk, giffgaff.com, mobile.lebara.com, lycamobile.co.uk, o2.co.uk, vodafone.co.uk.

International Text Messages

The cheapest mobile network for international texting is giffgaff. On giffgaff, there is a flat rate of 8p for all international text messages (this is for a SMS text message of up to 160 characters).

Country Cost of texting abroad from the UK (per minute)
EE giffgaff Lebara Mobile Lycamobile O2 Vodafone
All Other Countries 10p-25p 8p 19p 19p 14p 24p

For even bigger savings, we’d normally recommend using an instant messaging app instead of SMS (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, WeChat, LINE, etc). Providing both you and the recipient are using the application, it’ll be free to send messages to each other wherever you are in the world (you just need to pay the normal data charges for using the app).

Calls & Texts Within The UK

When choosing a low-cost SIM card for international calling, it’s also important to consider the costs of calling and texting within the UK.

With something like an All-in-One bundle from Lebara Mobile, you’ll get an allowance of UK minutes & data included on your bundle. On other networks, you’ll normally need to buy a separate bundle for your usage in the UK. Alternatively, you can Pay As You Go at the following rates:

Costs of calling & texting within the UK
EEgiffgaffLebara MobileLycamobileO2Vodafone
Calls to UK landline:35p15p19p12p3p20p
Calls to UK mobile:35p15p19p19p3p20p
Texts to UK:15p5p19p19p2p20p
Picture message to UK:40p16p45p-45p20p

For more information on prices inside the UK, please see our Pay As You Go price comparison table. If you regularly call or text within the UK, it may be cheaper to buy a 30-day Pay As You Go bundle. Alternatively, selected international calling bundles may also include a UK allowance.

Coverage

Before ordering a SIM card from your new mobile network, we strongly recommend using an online coverage checker. This will allow you to make sure coverage is available where you live. Please choose a mobile network to see their online coverage map:

If you’re comparing coverage across multiple mobile networks, it may be useful to know that the specialist mobile networks piggyback on coverage from the main providers:

  • giffgaff and Lycamobile use coverage from O2
  • Lebara Mobile uses coverage from Vodafone

More Information

For more information about international calling rates on each network, please see the EE, giffgaff, Lebara Mobile, Lycamobile, O2 and Vodafone websites. You can also read our in-depth guide to international bundles.

Your Comments 57 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 57 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken,

    EE’s Calling Abroad add-on is free for both pay-as-you-go and pay-monthly customers. However there’s a significant difference in the actual rates charged. For example, sending a text (SMS) to most countries on PAYG costs 10p, whereas on Pay Monthly it costs 18p. (That’s with the free Calling Abroad add-on.) Similarly, a landline/mobile call to e.g. Sweden costs 1p/5p on PAYG, but 5p/15p on Pay Monthly. In general most rates are 2x-3x higher on Pay Monthly.

    I haven’t looked at O2 or Vodafone, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they played the same tricks as EE.

    I’ve been using Giffgaff for several years now, and I’m always pleased that they have no hidden rip-offs like this.

  • My son is travelling to Thailand, Bali , then predominantly spending time in Australia and New Zealand ( 10 months )we will be texting and relying on WiFi where possible
    What are the best options for sim only deals?

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Many thanks for your comment. For a trip of 10 months, you’re probably best off getting a SIM card in the country you’re travelling to. Unfortunately, I’m not an expert on local SIM card deals so I wouldn’t be able to advise – I suggest consulting a website from that region for answers if you can.
      Ken

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