How to Dial Internationally from Your Cell Phone in the USA and Canada: All Methods Described for 2024

How to Dial Internationally from Your Cell Phone in the USA and Canada: All Methods Described for 2024

Table of Contents
  1. Overview of International Calling 
  2. International Mobile Calling with VoIP Applications 
  3. Traditional International Calling Methods 
  4. Additional International Calling Methods 
  5. How to Make an International Call for Free
  6. Method Comparison Table 
  7. Learn More Useful Calling Tricks

Staying connected with loved ones, managing international business, and exploring diverse cultures have never been so accessible, thanks to modern technology. 

This guide explores all the methods available for making international phone calls from the USA and Canada. 

From traditional approaches to the latest in VoIP technology, we’ll cover the possibilities for efficient and cost-effective communication most suited to your needs. 

Whether you’re a frequent caller, a global traveler, or someone who loves reaching out to family and friends globally, this guide will help with comprehensive insights for effective international calling. 

Overview of International Calling 

Why Make International Calls? 

International calls are an important part of maintaining relationships, conducting global business, and facilitating cultural exchanges. Here’s how calls might be used to make a difference: 

Personal Connections: Make international calls from an iPhone, Android, or any other device to keep up with family and friends, wherever they are. 

Global Business: Dial internationally from the US or Canada to work with teams and partners overseas. International calls might also be used to offer customer support, engage in decision making, or generally enable market expansion. 

Are you a business user? Find out how to make business calls with Yolla by reading our article. 

Cultural Exchanges: International calling is a great way of connecting with cultures different from your own, which can positively improve your outlook, perspective, and knowledge of the world and its people. 

Crisis Management and Support: Quick and reliable international calls via the internet or WiFi are crucial during emergencies, ensuring immediate communication and coordination. 

Global Expertise: International calls, whether to a mobile or landline, offer immediate access to worldwide expertise and resources. For example, calling a foreign museum to request information on an item. 

Technological Advancements 

Technological advancements have revolutionized international calling, making it more accessible, affordable, and versatile. Here are a few key points: 

  • VoIP technologies allow calls over the internet at often reduced costs. 
  • The increasingly common use of smartphones enables easy international calls via apps, utilizing WiFi or mobile data instead of traditional cellular networks. 
  • Upgraded global telecommunications infrastructure has improved call clarity, reliability, and ease in which calls can be made to remote locations. 
  • Voice calls can now be translated in real time, with new, often AI-powered software. 

These advancements have significantly lowered costs and improved call quality, increasing access to global communication and making it a readily available tool. 

International Mobile Calling with VoIP Applications 

Understanding VoIP Technology 

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) transforms spoken words into digital signals transmitted over the Internet, allowing calls to be made from any device with Internet connectivity. This technology often bypasses traditional telephone networks, which is beneficial if you and the person you’re calling have a stable internet connection. 

Top Tip: Thankfully, other VoIP technologies, such as Yolla, only require the caller to have a stable internet connection. 

The Best VoIP App for International Calls

VoIP apps have become popular for their reliability and feature sets, which make international calls easier and more affordable. 

We previously published an article overviewing the 10 best apps for international calls and texts. It might be useful for you if you’re looking for extra information on the differences between each app, and why some might be more useful to you than others. 

Yolla is a great choice for making international calls for anyone who has internet connection.

Here are some of Yolla’s best features: 

  • The person you’re calling doesn’t need an internet connection. 
  • You can keep your cellular phone number. 
  • It’s more affordable than many traditional calling methods. 
  • You can see rates before you make a call. 
  • The person you’re calling doesn’t need to install Yolla. 
  • You can make calls for free! (More on that later).

Still not convinced? For a comprehensive overview of Yolla, and why it might just be the solution to your international calling problems, read this article

VoIP Calling Advantages 

Generally, VoIP calling provides several benefits over traditional methods, particularly for international communication: 

Cost Efficiency: VoIP calls can significantly reduce phone bills, especially for frequent international callers. 

Accessibility: Users can make and receive calls from anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection. With Yolla, only the caller needs an internet connection. 

Feature-Rich: Many VoIP applications offer features beyond traditional calling, including video and file sharing. 

Yolla and other VoIP technologies have not only made international calling more accessible but also more integrated into our digital lives. It allows individuals and businesses to maintain global connections without worrying about excessive costs, making it an indispensable tool in our increasingly connected world. 

Traditional International Calling Methods 

Traditional phone calling methods have long served as the foundation of international communication, providing a reliable method that doesn’t depend on internet connection.

While the digital age has thankfully given us new and exciting methods like Yolla, traditional calling remains important for people who call from areas with no internet connection. 

Using Traditional Operators 

Whether you make an international call from an iPhone in the US or an Android in Canada, traditional calling involves several steps and, when compared to other methods such as Yolla, can be expensive. 

The method is generally accessible and does not require any particular technology. A simple phone will do.

Basic steps for calling a landline phone internationally: 

  1. Dial the International Access Code: Enter the international access code (exit code) for the country you are calling from. For the USA and Canada, it’s +1. 
  2. Dial the Country Code: Enter the country code for the country you are calling. 
  3. Dial the Area Code: Enter the area code. This is regionally specific. Ensure that you are aware of which area of the country the person you are calling lives. 
  4. Dial the local Number: Simply enter the local number, usually between 8-11 digits long. 

Top Tip

Are you looking to call landlines internationally? Here’s how you can make your calls for free

Basic steps for calling a mobile phone internationally: 

  1. Dial the International Access Code: Enter the international access code (exit code) for the country you are calling from. For the USA and Canada, it’s +1. 
  2. Dial the Country Code: Enter the country code for the country you are calling. 
  3. Dial the local Number: Simply enter the local number, usually between 8-11 digits long. 

Calling Cards Explained 

Calling cards are a popular option for those who need to dial internationally without internet access. They work by providing prepaid credit for international calling, usually bought for a set amount, such as $10, $20, or $30. 

Unfortunately, this can mean that you will not be refunded if you do not use all of your credit, making calling wasteful and expensive. 

Calling cards are most commonly a physical item, requiring you to buy them somewhere. However, calling cards work effectively with no internet connection. 

If you do feel like using the calling card method, here's how it works: 

  1. Dial the Access Number: Start by dialing the access number provided with your calling card. This number connects you to the card company's network.
  2. Enter the PIN: Next, enter the PIN associated with your card. This step grants you access to the credit preloaded on your calling card.
  3. Make Your Call: Proceed with the call by following the traditional method of dialing the international number you wish to reach.

Operator-Assisted International Calling 

Operator-assisted calls are another traditional method where an operator helps you set up your international call. This service is helpful when you need to make an international call from a location with restricted dialing capabilities or don’t like using technology. 

While operator-assisted calls, by nature, can offer help in making international calls, they are typically the most expensive option. 

To use the operator-assisted calling method, you must have the landline or mobile phone number of the person you call, plus payment information, which the operator may request from you. 

Simply follow the traditional calling method instructions to use the operator-assisted international calling method. 

To illustrate how costly operator-assisted calling may be, here is a quote from a leading UK network provider:

“Operator Assisted calls can be made by dialing 100. If the operator connects to an international number,

calls will incur a connection fee of £3.96 plus 2.5 times your plan’s rate for the destination country.”

Top Tip 

Did you know there’s a free way of making international calls? Whether you’re connecting for personal reasons or coordinating international work projects, this guide provides valuable insights on calling abroad for less! 

Read the Article 

Additional International Calling Methods 

Satellite Phones 

Although uncommon and mainly used for specialist purposes, satellite phones provide a reliable means of communication where traditional network coverage is unavailable or unreliable. 

Satellite phones connect directly to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell towers, making them much-needed for those in remote locations, maritime environments, or areas affected by natural disasters. 

These phones allow people to dial virtually anywhere on Earth, ensuring connectivity when all else fails. All that’s needed is power. 

Hybrid Methods (Yolla Included) 

In many ways, hybrid calling methods are the best of both worlds, they combine the advantages of both traditional and internet-based technologies to offer flexible and cost-effective communication solutions. 

Yolla is a prime example. Unlike most standard VoIP services, which require both the caller and the person being called to have the app installed and an internet connection, Yolla allows users to any mobile or landline with them requiring an internet connection or the Yolla app. 

Here’s how Yolla improves international calling

It’s Easy to Use: Yolla users simply enter the international number they wish to call, but through the Yolla app. 

It’s Affordable: Yolla offers high-quality calls at affordable rates, which are displayed clearly before your call starts, ensuring transparency. 

Zero Recipient Requirements: All the person you’re calling needs is a phone. They do not need the Yolla app or an internet connection. 

Keep Your Number: Make calls using your existing number, crucial for business calls or to ensure your people know it’s you calling. 

Hybrid methods like Yolla provide a bridge between traditional phone systems and modern VoIP technology, offering the best of both worlds. They are particularly useful for those who need the reliability of traditional calls with the affordability and advanced easy-to-use features of internet calling.

Usman’s Advice 

Here’s Usman explaining why he uses Yolla for international calling. Thanks Usman! 

How to Make an International Call for Free

Making an international call from an iPhone or Android device to a mobile or landline always feels much better when it costs less! 

Imagine making a free call to any phone via a high-quality call and using your own number, even when the person you're calling doesn't have internet access. 

Using Yolla for Free

Yolla offers a unique opportunity to make international calls for free, blending the convenience of modern VoIP services with the reliability and accessibility of traditional calling methods. Whether you’re dialing from the USA, Canada, or anywhere else, using your internet connection or WiFi to place calls for free with Yolla is possible! 

Here’s how: 

  1. Download and Install the Yolla App: Either from the App Store or Google Play Store. Install it on your device. 
  2. Sign Up and Set Up Your Account: Open the app, sign up with your details. Make sure to verify your account to ensure it is fully activated. 
  3. Share Yolla with Friends: Share your personal Invite link with friends. When they download the app and make a purchase using your link, you’ll both receive $3. 
  4. Sharing is Unlimited: Feel free to share Yolla as many times as you like. The more you share, the more you earn! 
  5. Make a Call: Simply select the contact you wish to call or enter the international number manually. Your saved contacts will appear in Yolla. 

Our Top Tips

  • If the person you’re calling has your number and name saved on their phone, when you call them with Yolla, they will see it’s you calling. Ensure your family and friends have your number saved. 
  • Don’t worry, iPhone users, We’ve got you covered! For an overview of the top 10 calling apps for IOS devices, check this article

Yolla Promotions and Credits 

Another way to earn credits with Yolla is by taking advantage of the promotions offered throughout the year, often during significant public holidays and celebrations like Father’s Day, Eid al-Fitr, Christmas, and Easter.

We try to cover as many annual celebrations as possible, so no matter what your background, you can guarantee there will be something for everyone. 

Stay updated on these promotions by following Yolla's social media accounts, a great way to receive extra credits:


X (Formerly Twitter)


Method Comparison Table 

Looking to make an international call from your iPhone or Android? Whether you’re dialing from the US or Canada, check out our useful comparison table. 

It outlines the best ways to connect, via the internet, WiFi, or traditional methods. From making calls to mobiles or landlines, find out how to connect worldwide with ease. 

Access the method most suited to your needs and begin connecting! 

From / To

From Landline (Home Phone)

From Cell Phone with Internet 

From Cellular Phone without Internet

To Landline

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 


Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling

To Cell Phone with Internet 

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 


Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 

VoIP (If app installed both ways)

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 

To Cell Phone without Internet

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 


Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 

Calling Cards

Traditional Calling 

Learn More Useful Calling Tricks

Congratulations on mastering international dialing from your mobile in the USA and Canada! There’s still plenty to discover. 

Visit our blog for more articles aimed at ensuring you and your loved ones’ calls remain as economical as possible, while offering excellent call quality. 

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