Cheap & Easy Ways to Call India from USA

Ways to call India from USA

Are you in the USA while your family stay in India? Then you probably need to make calls to India more frequently, maybe almost daily. As many Indians are living here in the US like this, the demand for making calls to India at low rates are increasing day by day. The problem with this is that finding a reliable, quality service is just plain confusing. I agree that there are several options today, like India calling cards, VOIP services and even apps, but finding one that fits one need is tough. Having said that, let’s take a look at some good options.

Cheap & Easy Ways to call India from the USA

Update: USA to India Calling Cards – If you are looking for prepaid calling cards to India (which is a great way to call India for really cheap prices) check out this list of calling cards.

Best Unlimited VOIP To Call India

Here is a list of best ways to call India from the USA.

1. Google Voice (Mobile App, 1¢/minute to mobile, 2¢ to landline)

Google makes everything simple and Google Voice is no different. It is an online calling service by which you can call any phone in any country at very cheap rates. Google voice offers low rates for making international calls from the USA to India. The rate per minute is 2 cents for landline and 1 cent for mobile phones. You need to have a Google voice account for making calls and you can do that in either of the ways below.

1. Go to the Google Voice website and dial the desired phone number after logging in to your account.

2. You need a mobile phone, standard or cordless phone and a VOIP adapter. Bind the VOIP adapter, cordless phone and broadband connection together and start making calls.

MK India Reading

Google voice also offers voicemail services also.

2. Vonage (VOIP Phone, Unlimited for $27/month)

Vonage is another popular way of making international calls using VOIP technology. This involves using the Vonage adapter, standard or cordless phone and a broadband connection. You can buy the Vonage adapter from their official website here. It offers unlimited calls to landline numbers in more than 50 countries and to mobile numbers for 10 minutes. For India,it has the unlimited talk time for both mobile and landline phones. The monthly charge for Vonage comes around $29. If you want to make calls to India daily or more than 3 times per week and talk for a longer period of time, then this will be the best option for you. Vonage also offers voicemail service and it also sends the voicemail as mp3 files to your registered email address so that you know who has called even if you are out of the home. Many Indian Americans in the US use Vonage and it’s very popular with the Indian diaspora.


– The package comes with wireless handset
– They have an initial offer of $9.99 for first 6 months on 1-year contract.
– You can also make and receive calls from their mobile app from anywhere.

3. Keku (Mobile App, 2.3¢/ minute to landline & mobile)

Keku is a mobile app with which you can call India from any other country at cheap rates. It’s kind of weird how it works. It will assign a local number for your selected India number (one that they can keep forever). So when you call the local number, the call is automatically transferred to the international number (you will be charged for any local calls according to your carrier contract). It offers 1000 minutes talk time for $10. For a 30 day monthly plan to India, it’ll cost you $17.99. Check Keku’s official website for more details about this service.

4. Skype (Mobile App, 1.5¢/ minute)

Skype is an application that will help you make audio and video calls to anyone via a computer or a mobile phone. They also have a paid option with which you can make calls to landlines and mobile phones to any country. Skype to Skype calls is completely free. For this, the other person you are calling needs to have Skype installed on their smartphone or computer. But for calling people on their landlines or mobile phones in India, you need to have a paid subscription with Skype. They have two options – one is paying as you go where you just pay for whatever time you talk and the other is a monthly subscription.

Pay as you go plan – 1.5¢/ minute to any mobile or landlines in India.
Monthly subscription – $1.42/ month (120 minutes), $8.9/ month (800 minutes), $19.99/ month (2500 minutes). Details here.

5. International Calling cards (Cheaper)

Calling cards are similar to the prepaid SIM cards used in India in the sense you can talk for a limited number of minutes. It does not involve putting a SIM card in your phone for making calls. But is has a local access number and a PIN number. You can dial the local number from any phone and enter the PIN. Then dial the international number you want to call. That’s it. The calling cards are more cheaper than the local phone companies in the USA. Also, it does not involve any billing and statements.

6. Viber (Mobile App)


Viber is a mobile application that allows you to call, SMS and send text messages to another mobile with Viber. It only needs an internet connection or  3G network in your mobile phone. You can call any mobile irrespective of the country. Mobile phones with platforms like Android, Windows supports Viber. Viber can also be used in iPhone and blackberry.

7. Reliance Global Calling Cards (2.19 ¢/min)

From the popular brand Reliance, this service (Reliance Global Call) lets you call India at local rates (slightly higher than some of the other providers). This is not an app, but a calling card that you can buy and call anyone in India (landlines or mobile phone) after dialling in with the numbers on your calling card. The advantage is that you can call from any phone as it’s not restricted to any particular phone.

8. Whatsapp (Mobile App – Free but needs smartphone)

I’m pretty sure everyone knows about this already. Whatsapp is a mobile app that if two parties have installed on their smartphones, can make calls to each other for free. Carrier charges may apply but if you are connected to your internet on WiFi, then there are no charges other than your internet service charges (nothing special for the calls). The disadvantage is that the other person you are calling should also have Whatsapp installed on their smartphone and you cannot call landlines. You can install Whatsapp here.

9. Ringo (Mobile App – 1.1 ¢/ min)

Ringo is another mobile app that promises to make international calling cheap, especially from the USA to India. They boast of superior call quality over WiFi but I’m not entirely sure how much of that claim is true (this has become a cliche for most apps these days). Their rates are cheap, and you can call any landline or mobile phone via your app. Get more details here.

10. RebTel (Mobile App – Unlimited $10/ month)

RebTel is yet another international calling app for mobile phones but with a different solution. Their app can call any landline or mobile phone in India even without an internet connection. They too, claim superior call quality as they don’t need internet. Their India rates are $10/month with unlimited minutes. There is a restriction though – you can only call up to 30 numbers, so I think this is a good option for people using international calling for friends and family and not business.

11. T-Mobile India Calling – ($10/month Unlimited Calling)

T-Mobile users have an option to call any landline in India at $10/month and any mobile in India at $15/month as an additional package to their subscription. Get details about the service here.

12. Free Callee (VOIP App 1.1 ¢/ min)

Free Callee is a VOIP mobile/desktop app that can call any mobile and landline number in India for cheap rates. You need to download the app and have an internet connection to make the call. Details on their official website here.


Add an adapter to modem and start making calls.
Rate – $14.99/month promotion for first 6 months. $25.99/month afterwards.

Also read: Best Travel Insurance for Parents Visiting USA

What is the cheapest way to call mobile phones in India from USA?

Looking at all the different options above, if you’re looking for the cheapest option to call mobile phones in India, it will undoubtedly be Whatsapp. It is free and the call quality is amazing. However, the other person (whom you are trying to call) has to have a smartphone and will need to have Whatsapp installed. You cannot call landlines with Whatsapp yet.

What is the cheapest way to call landlines in India from USA?

On the other hand, if you are looking for the cheapest way to call landlines in India from the US, there are not too many options. In my opinion, Axvoice and Vonage are the best options, for several reasons. If you are the type who makes a lot of calls to India to a lot of different numbers, then this is the best option. You might get this done via a calling card but you don’t get your own number with them. With Axvoice and Vonage, you get your own number that stays with you wherever you go and you can call from their own wireless handset.

Why I don’t recommend VOIP Apps to call India

I’m not a big fan of calling via VOIP apps on mobile phones for multiple reasons. One, the call quality isn’t that great. Two, try calling someone for more than 10 minutes and your phone will heat up (depends on your handset). Google Voice and Skype may be exceptions but again, the experience of long calls via VOIP apps are terrible.

Which is the best way to call India?

So, which is the best way to call India then? In my opinion, don’t go for the cheapest option if you have lot of calls to make. If it is an emergency and you are just calling in for a short duration, then yes, calling cards or even VOIP apps are a good option. But if you will be talking for a long duration and needs a good experience, you might want to consider Axvoice.

Which are the best unlimited India calling VOIP services?

First of all, you have to understand that “unlimited” really doesn’t mean unlimited. Companies always have clauses in fine print that defines what unlimited means and it is usually X amount of hours. Also, if they notice that you’re abusing the system, then they can shut you down (like calling 24/7 perhaps).

Having said that, there are several unlimited VOIP services that allow you to call India. Check out the table for a detailed review on them.

What other services do you know that can be used to call India for cheap?

About the author

Mani Karthik

In my pursuit of happiness, I share everything I've learned, on this blog. From productivity to spirituality and everything in between. I quit my cozy job in the USA to pursue my passion - blogging. Today, I make five times what my US job paid. More than the money, I love the freedom it gives me to make my own choices. Come join me. Start blogging! :) WhatsApp : +0014084894785


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  • Rebtel has a 180 day plan, which gives you the monthly rate of $7.50 for unlimited calls to India. You pay $45 up front, which will give you six months of unlimited calls to India (landlines and mobile).

  • Great blog, Mani. You might want to correct the Google Voice rate for landlines. It is 1 cent/minute.

  • I am Midway Tel user since 2016, It’s very nice to call any country at low cost, No monthly payment and No validity. Quality is also good. I have been many calling cards before but this one is best..

  • I am not using cell phones being in a restricted area, but do have fixed lines that have 800 access. Any unlimited calling card to Indian for a fixed pricing/mo?

  • Hi Mani,

    You have given link to this page from your page under “Keep your number” section.

    BUT this page entirely deals with the needs of a person staying in US and wanting to call his family in India.
    What gives???

    Like you recommended I’m a person back in India wanting to retain my US number and get the calls made to my US number routed to my cell phone in India as a VOIP call. Is that possible and what are my options???

  • I am using Midwaytel since 2015, Service is good, it can be used by internet and without internet(Both by application and non Application). Quality of services is too good even no monthly payment, no tax and no validity, Can be used while roaming as well without any extra cost. You can try it once..

  • While travelling from India to USA, one don’t have to worry about Calling & Data services. Best carrier to call India from United States is Ultra Mobile. Ultra Mobile works with T-Mobile network that provides Unlimited Calling to India.

  • Heard about Lyca mobile or ultramobile.. they give unlimited calls around the globe

  • Hi I am travelling for 2 weeks for next three months to US- not sure I want to use VOIP since the internet may be an issue at the receiving front in India- any suggestions for calling cards or pre-paid card ? I am looking for unlimited incoming calls, cheap outgoing calls and data usage to a limited extent

  • Dipa,

    Sorry for the late reply but I think for those requirements, Vonage is a good choice. I personally is satisfied with their call quality et al, but the only thing I wish they fixed was their customer service and “promotions”. They have an introductory promotion for $9.99 for 3 months (i think) and then it switches back to ~$49/month. I don’t think it’s worth that much. But I remember calling them once to cancel the plan and they were the most non-co operative customer service reps I’ve encountered. One even promised verbally that the line will be disconnected but they didn’t. I also like that they have a mobile app from which you can call with the same number (kinda like an extension to your phone). But that’s about it.

  • Hi, Mani, I’ve been using VOIP call -vonage $30/p.m and others like Xfinity $15/p.m and now looking for best service like them and found Axvoice in your recommendation,but don’t want to tie up paying more than that. Please let me know if this one in comparison to other VOIP call service, is good enough to call in India.I need separate number, unlimited India calling exactly like landline service without effecting my private-mobile life. Thanks in advance.

  • I have used Vonage as well as Allvoi and both are good in voice quality
    ALLVOI is most of the time cheaper or same price as Vonage

  • Hi Mani,
    I had this question too. WhatsApp calling requires a SIM card (apart from a WiFi or 3G connection) too right?
    For e.g. I have whatsapp installed on my phone (which has an Indian SIM card/number). Now when i travel to the US, can my same Indian SIM be used to call another Indian number (on whatsApp) if i have WiFi connection?

  • Richard, most of the apps need internet. T-Mobile requires a working connection and SIM card. Were you asking specifically about a product?

  • Dear Mani
    For these apps don’t you still need the SIM cards to call from U.S Apart from this. Does it work using internet?

  • Nope! I used to have a T-Mobile prepaid account and this was an add-on. And this add-on was actually available only on prepaid account I guess. Not sure at the moment as from the past 18 months I’m on AT&T.

  • Hi Ruben,

    As for apps, there are even internet free calling apps which are as cheap as $10 per month with unlimited calling to India.

  • “Only” $26? And that is comparable to Vonage?
    Hahaha. Forget VoIPs, T-Mobile offers unlimited international calling a $15.00. Beats everything you’ve said here.

  • Thanks for useful article.I recommend to try YunGO mobile app. The rate for India is only $0.01 per minute. I am using it already several months and satisfied with its quality. Download it from their official website or find it in Play Market and App store. And as it is a mobile app you can make cheap calls not only from USA and Canada but from all over the world.

  • Thanks for the info-but how about unovon or AllVOi?
    Also can you suggest a VOIP adapter?


  • We are probably the Only Postpaid VoIP service provider in USA who have Unlimited India Calling plan @ just $12.99/mo ( Taxes and Fees extra ). So, instead of paying 10-14$ for 1000 minutes, please visit our website and subscribe.

Mani Karthik

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