LocalPhone vs Rebtel vs Callcentric vs KeKu: International Phone Services Compared
The situation has certainly changed when it comes to making International calls, due to the rise of the Internet and the possibility of using both that and other technologies to bring International calling rates down. Here are some examples of phone services that let you make international calls, including a comparison of their features.
The idea behind LocalPhone is to pay only local type prices, but still have global capabilities.
- Earn Free Credits-You can send out a referral link to your friends, or send something through Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo contacts, Hotmail, Gmail or just a direct email link.
- Free Call-You can try it out with a completely free single call to see if you like it. You just have to click on the link on the main page and fill out the forms there including your name and email. There’s also a Facebook connect option. Credits will be added to your account automatically where applicable.
- Diverse Payment Options-Besides Visa and Mastercard, you can pay with PayPal, Skrill, Maestro, Ucash, and others.
Callcentric has many deals concerning getting phone numbers.
- Low-cost Phone Numbers-This is primarily for USA and Canada. These phone numbers are being sold off because they are overstocked on the site. There are also Toll and International numbers available.
- Free Number Deals-These come and go, but you will often see free phone numbers in areas like New York State. That’s why it pays to keep an eye open.
- Free Porting to Keep Your Number-If you have a phone number you want to keep, but you want to make it one that can handle cheap international calls, then you can do this for free here.
Rebtel focuses more on allowing you to do International calling without using a computer or the Internet. People spend a billion minutes using the service every year.
- Package Deals for International Minutes-These actually only apply to new users, and they are limited in scope, but they are often highly less expensive than the other services when taken as a package deal. For example, you might see 20 minutes of calling time to Cuba for $5.
- Limited Free Trials-You will also see free trials for a week to places like India. These deals are listed under “Popular deals” on the main site.
- Internet-free-Many calling plans with Rebtel are done without the need for an Internet connection at all.
Keku is a popular service that has 21 million users worldwide. It’s been outlined in places like Tech Crunch and CBS.
- Live Chat-There’s an easy live chat option in the purple box in the bottom right corner of the main site if you want specific help with a particular question.
- HD Sound-One issue with many International sites is that sound quality can be bad. Keku offers HD sound quality on its calls, so those who have trouble with static may want to try them out.
- Call from Any Computer-You have the option to make a call from any computer simply by signing in to your account. This way, you have more flexibility.
Head to Head
International calls at LocalPhone have a rate of 0.5 cents per minute in the U.S., going all the way up to 45.9 cents per minute for Zambia, with variations in between. Most countries are only as high as 2.3 cents for Bangladesh, for example. The basic text rate from your computer is 1 cent per message.
Rebtel has deals like unlimited calls to India for $10 a month with their subscriptions. They are often specific in nature. They do sometimes have Internet deals such as 20 countries for $1 per month, but this isn’t the focus. Taking Bangladesh as an example, they offer 400 minutes to mobile for $10, coming out to 2.5 cents per minute, so even some of the deals are a bit higher than with LocalPhone. They do also have a $10 for 500 minutes plan which is a cheaper 2 cents per minute for that country, but you have to use this within a week.
CallCentric has the $6.95 for 500 minutes in North America plan. This also gives you emergency calling through 911, which is always important to have in some capacity. Rates for Bangladesh run around 2.75 cents per minute. This means CallCentric is a bit more expensive than Rebtel or LocalPhone when you don’t go with a plan, at least in this instance.
Keku gives you unlimited call to a country like the U.S. for under $20. Their rates for mobile to Bangladesh is 3 cents per minute. This means that Keku is the most expensive of the lot when it comes to per minute in this case. You actually get free calls to other Keku users on mobile. Landline is also 1.6 cents from Bangladesh as well. They do have different minute call packages for Bangladesh, for example $14.99 for 470 minutes. This price varies based on each individual country generally.
LocalPhone has many options for free International calling, but it’s important to note that they don’t have an emergency calling function automatically. You can call from your Android, Apple, or other mobile device, or even from your computer. There are more than 250 countries available.
Rebtel is definitely in contrast to services like LocalPhone since Rebtel doesn’t focus on calling through the computer or the Internet as much. It’s a site focused on deals, especially for new people. Their “Rebel calling” option gives you Internet-free app to app calling for some countries internationally, though not all. This works until 2017.CallCentric has many options for customization such as bringing your own device, getting a free phone number, or porting your own. These aren’t explicitly offered in the other services.
Callcentric has many options for customization such as bringing your own device, getting a free phone number, or porting your own. These aren’t explicitly offered in the other services.
Keku gives you HD sound quality specifically, which is something that the other services don’t mention having. It also has call from any computer options for maximum flexibility.
Overall, Rebtel had some customer service issues, according to some reviews online. It got 3 stars from TrustPilot, whereas CallCentric got above 4 from places like VoIPReview. When it comes to 911 ready services, CallCentric has it and LocalPhone definitely doesn’t. You’ll need the $7 plan from CallCentric.