If you’ve recently moved to a new country and you’re looking to save money on overseas calling, Skype lets you call internationally using your PC and mobile phone. You can also use it to chat, which is a just as popular task.
However, the most alluring aspect of Skype by far is its low cost of international calls. From being completely free to costing just a few cents, you won’t get a cheaper option than Skype when it comes to international calls. There are other awesome money-saving uses for Skype as well.
Our guide will outline how to save loads of money using Skype. Well, if not loads, at least
Everybody knows you can use Skype on your PC, but it can also be accessed via other gadgets. You can download Skype on your mobile phone, which is currently one of the most popular ways to use Skype other than on the PC. You can also use Skype on your tablet and on TVs that have the Internet. As for calling people using Skype, you can call home phones that use a landline and mobile phones in addition to PC to PC calls.
Tips to Save Money Using Skype
Calls to International Mobile Numbers
After downloading Skype, one of the best ways to save money using Skype is to setup “Skype to Go.” What this does is that it creates a temporary landline where the incoming calls get partly routed to and then sent to your mobile number, which saves both parties a significant amount of money. This service can lower the per-minute fees significantly, say up to 87% in some cases, thus dropping rates from $2.60 a minute to 33 cents a minute. Think how much money will be saved on an hour-long call.
You can also set up Skype to make your Skype account and mobile number to be one. It creates a pseudo “Caller ID” if you will so that people can see that you called them which makes it easier for them to call you back. For many Skype users who use this feature, it’s a good option to sign up for a lower cell phone bill plan and let Skype pick up the rest. It’s like leaving a missed call on someone else’s cell phone so that they can call you instead. It works best for students whose parents can call them, instead of the other way round.
Calls to International Landlines
Calling landlines using Skype is another way to save money. Skype offers several low rates for 60+ countries and they are cheaper than most phone companies. For example to call the U.S. and Canada unlimited only costs $2.99 a month, and this is pertinent to both landlines and mobile numbers. They also offer the “Unlimited World Plan” where you can call over 60 countries unlimited for $13.99 a month. That is pretty reasonable pricing.
As you can imagine, a lot of money can be saved on your monthly phone bill by signing up for the $2.99/month plan. If your mobile phone bill let’s say is $60.00 a month, you may be able to lower your bill to just the Internet plan, which for many phones is less than $30. This can save you upwards of $360 a year. Voicemail is also included with the $2.99 monthly plan, which can erase the $5.00 a month fee most companies charge for voicemail, saving you another $60 a year right there.
By committing to longer subscriptions, you can reduce the price even further: A full year’s Skype subscription costs $30.48, and the discounted rate for a year of online number service costs $30.
For other countries such as China and the UK, the rate is only $1.19 each month. If you’re looking to call landlines in Latin America in an unlimited amount, that too is offered at only $9.99 a month (with the first month free). As for standard per-minute rates, they’re quite cheap too. To call India, for example, costs just 9¢ a minute.
You can check our Skype’s calling rates here.
If you’re the type of person who leaves their computer on all the time, you can even get your own landline from Skype for only $54 a year. While this service isn’t available in Canada quite yet, it is available in the US.
Receiving calls on your PC isn’t completely free, but it’s most likely cheaper than what you’re currently paying each month for your landline. Most landline owners pay roughly $180 a year to keep their landline alive. Skype’s yearly landline price is a significant discount by at least half.
If your phone has an expensive text plan, you can use Skype to send texts to mobile phones. Skype offers rock-bottom international rates that are most likely cheaper than what you’re currently paying. For example, sending a text to the US costs 11.2¢. To send a text to China costs 5.5¢, to India it costs 7.7¢ and to send a text to Mexico costs 31¢ a message.
Group Conference Calls
Another fabulous use of Skype that can help you save money is their free video conference call service – Skype lets you make a free video call with up to 25 Skype users. This can definitely save you a chunk of change if you frequently conduct conference calls.
If not all of your conference participants use Skype and you’d like to allow a landline and mobile phones to call into your conference call too, this is possible by signing up for Skype Premium which starts at $4.99 a month. A premium account also includes unlimited calls to your country or region of choice.
Access WiFi Hotspots with Skype Credit
When you’re out and about and need to access a WiFi hot spot, you can use even your Skype credits to access hot spots instead of paying for them with your credit card number. There are supposedly around 1 million Skype Wi-Fi hotspots in the world.
Free Skype to Skype
Also, since Skype works on 3G connections, you can use it without any hiccups on any kind of mobile phone. It’s completely free to make Skype to Skype calls this way, just like it is on the PC. If you’re looking to save a whole lot of money, i.e., not spend anything at all, this is the ultimate way to save money when calling friends and family overseas using Skype. This is a great option to use if you have subscribed to an unlimited data plan.
While clearly, Skype is the big dog in the world of online calling, there are a few alternatives to check out. ooVoo is an option. It offers video chat, even if it’s a bit heavy on the ads. Google Hangouts is another free service, letting you set up a video call for up to nine people for free.
For those with Windows 8, there are some important things to know when using Skype. Check out our article – How to Use Skype in Windows 8.