Best SIMs for international calls

Summer is just around the corner and with any luck, you'll be hotfooting it somewhere, well, hot. Or at least your mates will. Stay in touch with one of our top three SIMs for calling overseas, for cheap.

0044 Global Mobile

If you travel frequently, you may want to pick up a separate SIM specifically for roaming. 0044's Global Mobile doesn't offer particularly cheap roaming rates - starting at 30p a minute - but the value comes with the free received calls, wherever you are in the world. You'll get even more if you're travelling to the USA - the Global Mobile SIM comprises a UK and US number, so when you're in the States, you'll effectively be making local calls.

Sending texts within the country you're in starts at 10p, while as always, receiving texts is free.

The SIM also offers cheap international calls made from within the UK. Many Asian cities clock in at 1p a minute for mobile and landline; the US and Canada at 4p a minute; and Europe and South America at 4p a minute for landlines and 20p a minute for mobiles.

Call me?

If you're the one stuck in the English summer - or if you simply have a lot of overseas friends - you can still call faraway loved ones without breaking the bank. These low-cost operators actually make it cheaper for you to call overseas than within the UK, so you may want to invest in them for a second SIM that is specifically for international calls.

Lebara Mobile

Pick up a Pay Monthly plan and you can designate an EU country to call at just 10p a minute for mobiles - and 2.4p for mobiles in the USA and Canada. These cheaper rates are available on pay-monthly basis, with packages going for £10, £20, £30 or £40 monthly. You can choose a UK-only plan or a combination of inclusive UK and international minutes.

Just need to make a few calls? Go for pay-as-you-go, which offers calls to EU mobiles for 19p a minute. There's also a 10MB a day internet allowance - but be warned, that's limited to surfing at GPRS speeds.

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You can currently call mobiles in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe for a staggering 1p a minute - and you don't need buy a plan, either. Lycamobile also offers 30 free minutes of calls to other Lycamobiles in any country, after which you are charged at standard rates. The operator is always offering some low-cost promotion or other, so check to see when picking up a SIM here gives you the best value.

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