Online calling apps
Online calling apps, such as Skype and Whatsapp, let people make international calls through wifi or data. They are easy to use and the calls are free for both the sender and receiver, but unfortunately they are not always an option in Saudi Arabia. Although the ban on these VoIP calls was officially lifted in 2017, they are still frequently blocked.
You can always try to use these apps to make an international call (they might work!) but don’t be surprised if you are unable to do so. An international calling card is a much more reliable means of making an international call in Saudi Arabia.
International calling card
International calling cards are prepaid cards that let you make an international call without paying excessively high calling rates. They also don’t charge whoever you are calling for taking the call. They are practical and easy to use; you can use them from any phone (mobile, landline, public phone) simply by dialling the card’s access PIN code (written on the card) before the phone number.
You can buy a card in most supermarkets and phone stores across the country. Remember that the card with the lowest rate per minute might not necessarily be the best card for you. When choosing a card, you should consider:
- The tariffs for the country(ies) you plan to call
- The length of your calls - some cards have a connection fee which is cost effective if you often make long calls but a disadvantage if you only make lots of short calls
- Expiry dates - every card has an expiry date, after which you will need to recharge it to use it. Make sure you are aware of how long your card lasts (e.g. 90 days)