How to make cheap calls to Russia from abroad - to an insurance company, a bank

Some questions have become more frequent, but how is it cheaper to call from abroad to Russia, for example, to an insurance company. And some even spend thousands of rubles on calls, wondering that the balance of the phone flies into a very big minus. So I decided to write a separate post. Hope it helps someone to save some money. Moreover, you can call not only the insurance company, but also somewhere else on business.

Separately about the insurance. Yes, many insurances provide a refund for calls upon arrival in Russia, and it is even possible to get this refund, but wouldn't it be better to spend a maximum of a couple of hundred rubles on calls and score on this refund.

The content of the article

The main mistake

Do not call from a Russian SIM card from abroad to Russia or anywhere else. Without special roaming options, a call will cost like a wing from a Boeing! And this is the main mistake of beginners, they apparently do not know these prices for 100 rubles per minute, and then they are surprised how the balance instantly flies into minus.

Actually, this is the main mistake of novice travelers. They did not take care of this issue in advance and, if the need arises, they begin to call from their usual Russian SIM card or receive incoming calls. And given that in roaming money is debited with a delay, then you can go into a strong minus with the subsequent blocking of the number. By the way, it is also useful to disable the ability to use the Internet from the Russian SIM card in the phone, the price there is also wow.

I highly recommend taking care of this issue in advance, since almost everyone will sooner or later have to make calls. For example, in case of an insured event, when you will need to call the insurance company and resolve the issue with treatment (often this is not one call). Or, when withdrawing money from an ATM, your bank's security service may call you to find out if you were or not. And if you do not answer the call, your bank card will be blocked. In principle, it's okay, just then you will need to call Russia to the technical support of the bank.

Just in case, I remind you that the phone number almost always needs to be dialed in the international format, for Russia it starts with +7, for example, +7 (495) 123-45-67.

How to call from abroad to Russia

How to call from abroad to Russia

How to call Russia

There are 4 ways

  • Viber, Skype and other messengers with the ability to call landline and mobile numbers (you cannot use WhatsApp). To make a call, you need to have mobile Internet or Wifi, as well as top up the balance of the messenger.
  • Back call. The way in which you need, or just a little Internet, or it is not needed at all. You send an SMS to a special service number or dial the number through a mobile application, and then the service calls you back, calling your interlocutor, and then connecting you. It's inexpensive if you have free incoming calls. But for me it's a confusing way.
  • Travel SIM card with normal tariffs for calls or the Internet, for example, Drimsim (my experience with DrimSim), Orange, Globalsim, Simtravel. Or a special roaming option for a Russian SIM card.
  • Local sim card. Internet and call rates will depend on a specific country and operator. In Thailand, in addition to the usual expensive calls, each Thai operator has the opportunity to call through a special code (for DTAC you need to dial 004 instead of +), then a call to Russia goes out quite inexpensively - about 4-5 baht (9 rubles). In this post all the details. If you know similar codes in other countries, please write.

Call and Internet charges

In order of increasing price.

Sipnet (All tariffs)

Standard - 0.5 rub / min, city Moscow, 1.5 rub / min mobile in Russia
Premium (better connection quality) - 0.7 rubles / min, urban Moscow / St. Petersburg, 2 rubles / min mobile in Russia

Viber (All tariffs)

2.7 cents $ / min, city (Moscow, St. Petersburg) (~ 1.6 rubles)
11.2 cents $ / min, mobile within Russia

Skype (All rates)

2.3 cents $ / min + 4.9 cents for connection, city within Russia (~ 1.4 + 2.8 rubles)
10 cents $ / min + 8.9 cents for connection, mobile within Russia

DrimSim (All tariffs)

- Internet in Thailand: 15.36 euros / GB (1050 rubles)
- Incoming in Thailand: 0 / min
- Outgoing to landline to Russia: 0.35 EUR / min (~ 24 rubles)
- Outgoing to mobile to Russia: 0.5 EUR / min

- Internet in the Czech Republic: 10.24 euros / GB (700 rubles)
- Incoming within the Czech Republic: 0 / min
- Outgoing to landline to Russia: 0.15 EUR / min (~ 11 rubles)
- Outgoing to mobile to Russia: 0.3 EUR / min

Megafon Moscow (All tariffs)

- Incoming in Thailand and outgoing to Russia (without options): 129 rubles / min. Option «Around the world»: 19 rubles / min with a subscriber 9 rubles / day.
- Internet in roaming (without options): 7000-9900 rubles / GB. Option «World Online»: 600 rubles / day for unlimited (territory of 69 countries, there is Thai and Czech Republic)

- Incoming to the Czech Republic and outgoing to Russia (without options): 89 rubles / min. Option «Around the world»: 13 rubles / min with a subscriber 9 rubles / day for incoming and outgoing. Plus for Europe and the CIS there are good packages of minutes (25, 50) for incoming and outgoing.
- Internet in roaming (without options): 7000-9900 rubles / GB. Option «World Online»: 600 rubles / day for unlimited (territory of 69 countries, there is Thai and Czech Republic).

For SIM cards, I specifically indicated tariffs for Thailand and the Czech Republic, in comparison. Calls from Europe are always cheaper than from Asia. Other operators (MTS, Beeline, Tele-2) may also have good tariffs or options for roaming in Europe.

What do I use

There are other services, sim cards, applications for the phone, etc. But there is little point in diving further into this topic if such calls are not needed often. Most should have enough travel SIM, local SIM with Internet and Skype / Vayer, especially since the prices are quite low. However, if you have any good schemes for calling from abroad, then write, it will be useful to everyone.

So what I use myself:

  • The main way is to make calls via Viber and Skype. The first kind of eats less traffic, so it is less demanding on the speed of the Internet. But maybe someone will have a different experience. I don't use Sipnet, but I know it's relatively popular. I call via 3G / 4G mobile internet or hotel Wifi. In Thailand, I always have a local SIM card with an Internet package connected. From the very Thai SIM card to Russia, if I call, then only through a special code.
  • I always have a universal travel SIM card DrimSim with me (there is a 7 euro bonus on the link), I recommend it, it's a great thing. I went with her to the Czech Republic, to Sicily to sail on a yacht, to test it in Israel and Russia. Its main advantage is that there is no subscriber and traffic packages, you pay only for how much you spend, per kilobyte. It works in most countries in the world. I rarely call her, she is for the Internet (for Viber and Skype).
  • Order DrimSim and get a 7 € bonus>

  • At the airport, before departure from Russia, I activate the option or tariff «Around the world» from Megafon for your Russian SIM card. It's always good to have another way to connect and be able to reply to incoming messages from friends. 13-19 rub / min is quite normal price for a short conversation.
  • As I said, there are other schemes, but the listed ones suit me, especially since I constantly need mobile Internet, and initially the task is to get it. And since it is always there, it is stupid not to use it for calls either..

    P.S. All these methods are valid for almost any country, including for calls from Russia abroad. Tariffs will vary, but in general the essence will remain the same.