Useful tips to save on international calls to the Philippines
Most Filipinos would love to hear from their relatives or friends from the US. Who won't? There's just so much to tell and burning the lines would be one helluvah understatement if you are to make an international call to the Philippines. This is because the Philippines is one of the most eventful places in the world right now. See the news to prove this.
Placing an international call could be a very wallet-pinching endeavor. But this should not always be the case. There are numerous ways to make a long distance call, especially if the destination of your call is the Pearl of the Orient, the Philippines.
Here is a rundown of suggestions on how to make that international call to the Philippines without shelling out much of your hard-earned dollars.
1. Be careful when buying call cards.
Several prepaid phone cards have hidden charges. There could be a connection fee that could be almost tantamount to getting ripped off especially when the card buyer makes a call and either the call is routed to a voice mailbox or to an answering machine. Connection fee deduction is automatically done even when the caller did not say anything yet.
Other phone card hidden charges include service fee, maintenance fee, access number and long talking fee. The expiration date should also be checked.
2. Know what type of phone will receive your call.
It won't be advisable to make a long distance call to any mobile device. This is because most of overseas carriers implement the "calling party pays" system. The tariff rate of an international wireless phone could be a lot higher compared to a call made to a land-line in the same country.
3. Say no to a telephone operator.
When you choose to be assisted by a telephone operator when placing an international call, you choose to pay considerably more. Whenever possible opt to use a dial-around service or dial direct.
4. Sign up to a prepaid long distance plan.
Various carriers offer this kind of service to those who frequently place long distance calls. Opt for those with flexible programs. These plans work like phone cards but do not have fees and charges associated with prepaid phone cards. They usually have very low domestic and international rates 24/7 and call quality is usually excellent. One more thing about these prepaid plans is the convenience of being able to use them when placing calls from any telephones be it cell phones or public phones.
5. Calling during non-business days or off-peak time will help you save.
Make the most out of these privileges by checking on what your carrier offers. Just make sure that it won't be too much of an inconvenience to the recipient of your call.
6. Bad connections should be noted.
Bad connections happen and the Philippines is not an exception to this nuisance. When this happens, take note of the time and the number you called. Prepaid calling cards rarely gives you credit for bad connections. But if you made an international call using a standard long distance carrier, or prepaid long distance plans, better check if you could be given credit for that call. They always do.
It would help if you print this info to be always reminded of the Do's and Don't's when it comes to making an international call.
With these simple tips, you don't have to worry when your phone bill arrives.
Finally, here's the step-by-step process in calling the Philippines.
a. Dial 011, which is the international code
b. Then, key in the Philippines' country code, which is 63.
c. Now, dial the city area code where your your wife and kids are.
Here are the major cities in the Philippines with their respective city area codes:
Angeles Luzon - 455
Bacolod - 34
Baguio - 74
Cebu - 32
Clarkfield, Pampanga - 45
Dagupan, Pangasinan - 75
Davao - 82
Iloilo - 33
Laguna Province - 49562
Lucena, Luzon - 42
Makati, Luzon - 2
Manila - 2
Ozamiz City - 88
San Fernando, Pampanga - 45
San Fernando, La Union - 72
San Pablo - 49
Subic, Zambales - 47
Tarlac - 452
Tarlac Province - 45
Zamboanga - 62
d. Finally, dial the remaining digits.
Also, don't forget to greet your Filipino friend using her native lingo. "Kumusta", pronounced as "cooh-moose-TAH" surely will never fail to make her smile.