We know that making an international call can seem confusing, which is why we put together this handy International Calling Tip Sheet to make the process Ultra-easy. Here are some tips for smooth calling abroad, including how to check your country rates, the dialing process, and more on country codes and calling credit. Lastly, we’ll show you exactly how to dial so that you are prepared to call your friends and family abroad.

5 tips for international calling with a man with an orange sweater looking at his phone smiling

1. Check your country rates

Before you make a call, it’s best to check the country rates. Why is it important to check the country rates before you call? Because how much credit you need to call will depend on your destination country, with some countries being more expensive to call. Luckily, we’ve made it easy to check how much it’ll cost to call a specific location — check your rates here.

2. Check the dialing process from mobile vs. landline

There’s usually a different process for calling a mobile phone number versus a landline. For example, you may have todial “+” for mobile or “011” for landline. It may also cost more to call a mobile number than a landline telephone number in some countries, which is another reason you should check the country rates using the link above. 

3. Know the country code for the destination you’re calling

Countries all have a country code you’ll need to know before dialing that comes after the international calling code. A country code is basically an identification number for that country. Some may even be shared among different countries, such as the U.S., Canada and Guam.

4. Make sure to have calling credit

International Call Credits are included in most Ultra Mobile plans and allow you to call destinations that aren’t included in our list of Free 90+ International Destinations. Whether you buy online or via the app, you’ll also get a 25% bonus credit after purchase for buying in advance. As we mentioned earlier, how much credit you need will depend on your destination country, which is why it’s so important to check country rates.

5. Get ready to dial!

You’ll need the International Direct Dialing (IDD number). Countries have different IDD numbers and some may even have more than one. The IDD is the number needed to dial a call from the country listed to another country. Next you’ll need your country code, which we explained earlier. Then you’ll need the city or area code (if any) and lastly you’ll plug in the number you’re trying to reach.

Here’s an example:

visual explanation of how to dial internationally: IDD prefix, country code, city or area code and subscriber number

011 is the number needed to call a phone in a different country (in this case, a landline number), 55 is the country code (in this example, Brazil), 11 is the city of Sao Paolo, and XXXX… would be the person’s number.

Popular International Calling Destinations & Rates

Now that you know everything that goes into dialing an international number, here are a few popular international calling destinations and their rates so you can see how much it would cost to dial a loved one living there. Happy calling!

chart with the top 6 popular international calling destinations: Bangladesh, Canada, China, India, Mexico, United Kingdom