More on Telephones in Spain
- Area Codes in Spain
- Special Rate Phone Numbers in Spain
- Spain Country Code
- Make International Calls from Spain if you have a compatible telephone
- Make International Calls in Spain if you don't have a compatible telephone.
If your phone is compatible, you have three choices.
- Buy an STA International SIM Card STA's Global Premium SIM costs $9 but comes with $10 of calling credit. The biggest appeal of this card is the fact your friends and family can call you for free (for 30 minutes).
Advantages of STA International SIM Card
- Free to receive calls in Spain
- Free for your friends and family to call you For the first 30 minutes there is no charge for anyone, after that you pay 49c per minute but the person calling you still pays nothing)
- Just $9
- Delivered to your home address
- For an extra $29 you can get a Siemens cell phone
Buy an STA International SIM Card
Disadvantages of STA International SIM Card
- Calls are not as cheap as they could be.
- Buy a Happy Móvil SIM card Happy Móvil charge 5.8c per minute for calls to landlines in Western Europe, the US & Canada and Australia. Cell phone calls cost 20c per minute (5.8c to the US and Canada). Taxes are not included. Receiving calls is free, no matter where the call comes from.
Calls within Spain are also cheap: calls cost 15c/minute any time of day (10c/minute to other Happy Móvil users), plus tax.
Advantages of Happy Móvil
- Very easy to use Buy the card, put it in your phone and voila you have a Spanish SIM card. Just dial the numbers as normal.
- Low initial cost For 10€ you have a card with 5€ of credit that you can start using straight away. According to the Happy Movil website, this 5€ will get you 71.5 minutes of call time to calls charged at 5.8c/min. Note this is for one continuous call - because of the 30c connection charge, if you make more calls you will not get the full 71.5 minutes.
Disdvantages of Happy Móvil
- Poor coverage Happy Móvil uses the Orange network, which has notoriously poor reception in Spain.
- Not the cheapest calls When you add the 30c connection charge and the taxes, the price becomes less competitive.
- Buy a Vodafone SIM & a Calling Card Vodafone is just one of four telephone companies in Spain (the others being Orange, MoviStar and the new Yoigo), but Vodafone's '60 for 1' plan means they are the best for calling home.
There are dozens of calling cards on sale (just go to any internet cafe in Spain and you'll see). The best one I have come across, with the best prices and a good reputation, is Eurodirect.
Vodafone Rates With the phone set up to the '60 for 1' offer, you pay 28c for your an hour's worth of calls. Add to that...
Eurodirect Calling Card Rates Eurodirect has three prices:
- Toll-Free Number: 2.3c/min. Ideal for calling from hotels (though check they don't charge you for these calls).
- Standard Number: 0.75c/min + the price of the call. Ideal for calling from your mobile (when using the above Vodafone tariff) as you are only adding a one off 28c for your hour's worth of call time.
- From a Payphone: 14.3/min. There is a 12c surcharge on all calling card calls from payphones.
Advantages of Vodafone/Calling Card Combo
- The Cheapest Way to Call Home On the Standard number from a Vodafone, you are paying just 1.2c per minute.
- Good network coverage Vodafone is known to have reliable network coverage, much better than Orange/Happy Móvil.
Disdvantages of Vodafone/Calling Card Combo
- Bigger initial cost The cheapest Vodafone card costs 24€, though it comes with 24€ of credit. Add to that the 6€ for the calling card and you are paying 30€.
- More complicated to operate You have two cards to buy for a start. Secondly, is your Vodafone card set up to the '60 for 1' offer? Vodafone do offer English instruction booklets, though they don't always have them in stock.
- Eurodirect card has a 45-day expiry period Infrequent users who intend to spend an extended period in Spain may find the 45-day limit a nuisance, though this won't affect those on a brief stay in Spain.
See also: Make International Calls in Spain if you don't have a compatible telephone.