We all know that calling people can cost a lot of money, but what can you do to save a bit of credit on your phone? Here are a few quick tips that I used to use to save credit on my prepaid phone.
To set the scene, I used to have Virgin Mobile prepaid which used to get me a $50 recharge that would last me an entire year. It would last an entire year, because of these tips. How else can you spend only $50 per year on your mobile phone?
Get the caller to call you back
I didn’t really need to call anyone, but when I did, I arranged with the caller to have them call me back when I called them. When I called them I would quickly hang up because there call rates where cheaper then mine, or because they had a capped plan and they never really went over their limit. So I would save my credit, and they will use their credit they wouldn’t use anyway. So it would basically become a free phone call.
Use online SMS services
But what about SMS’s? Well, if you have mobile internet, or if you’re near a computer, instead of sending an SMS on your phone, why not use the computer to send one? I used to use a service called Yakedi, which offered unlimited SMS messages to mobiles in Australia. Unfortunately, now, it’s only 3 per day. So when I was near a computer, I would send an SMS through that and the recipient wouldn’t know the difference.
After Yakedi limited the number of free SMS’s per day, I went searching and found Clickatell. They offer SMS messages around 7 cents each, which is much cheaper then the 25 cent text messages we pay now. I get cheaper SMS’s and save my phone credit.
Use online call services (Google Voice)
Again, if you are near a computer, you can use Google Voice to make cheaper phone calls – and it works in Australia too. You can call Australian landline numbers for 2 cents per minute and mobiles for 14 cents per minute. This is a lot cheaper than the 78 cents per minute + flagfall that Virgin Mobile Prepaid now charges.
If your mobile plan has a large monthly internet limit, or you are often near a Wifi connection, you may want to consider going VOIP. Although it’s not quite for mobiles, but I have iiNet Naked DSL with free VOIP phone calls to landlines. In 1 year and 5 months, our household have spent a total of 184 on the phone and only cost us $15.24 in calls. So that is a massive saving compared to the traditional landline, and you don’t even notice a difference (unless the internet goes out).
As for mobile, you can get VOIP quite cheaper over at PennyTel. They offer you $5 per month which includes your own number, and calls are only 8 cents each untimed. Just make sure you have access to wifi, or have a large quota because it could end up costing you more in the end.
Save by not calling 13 numbers
At home, I have iiNet Naked DSL with free phone calls to landline numbers, which is great until we have to call a company such as the ISP its self with a 13 number that costs 30 cents a call. However, most companies have a landline number that the 13 number essential masks. So before you make the phone call, do a quick search, and see if you can find their international number, or go to the Contact Us page of the company and they may have it listed.
I needed to call Virgin Mobile today, so that would have cost me 30 cents. But I saved it, by visiting their Contact page, finding their international number which is +61 2 8860 9848, and converting that to a local landline number which is 02 8860 9848. So, I got to call them for free.
Get one the same plan as your most called contacts
Most of us only have a select few people that we regularly call. Most phone companies offer plans which allows you to make free calls to other people on the same mobile network. If possible, it will be a good idea if you can get most called contacts on one of these plans so you can make free phone calls and sms’s to each other. I’m with Virgin Mobile, because you get free call and text’s to other Virgin Mobile members. This is a great way to save heaps on call costs.
Although, they may be a little inconvenience and a waste of time to save a few cents, but if you add it up over the years, it can save you quite a bit.
Do you have other suggestions on how you can save money on call costs? I would like to know what you do.