How to Call the U.S. From Mexico

By A.J. Andrews

Keeping in touch while you travel: call the U.S. from Mexico

Using an American cell phone in Mexico

American cell phones with 4G LTE, Dual Band GSM, Quad Band GSM or UMTS capabilities work in Mexico. You can also bring an unlocked American cell with one of the aforementioned technologies to Mexico and install a prepaid SIM card from a Mexican carrier, such as AT&T Unidos, Movistar and Telcel, to make calls to the United States.

Country calling codes and exit codes

Country calling codes, such as the United States' "1," enable international direct dialing after you enter the country's exit code. A country's exit code, also referred to as an International Direct Dialing (IDD) code, such as Mexico's "00," allows you to dial out of the country. To call a U.S. number from Mexico from a landline or mobile phone:

  1. Enter "00" on the keypad.
  2. Enter "1" on the keypad.
  3. Enter the area code and phone number. If using a mobile phone, press the phone's call button to complete the call.

Tips for lowering call rates

  • Add international roaming to your cellphone calling plan. Major carriers, such as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, offer plans that include free or heavily discounted calls to the U.S. when roaming in Mexico. You must set your phone to roaming when using a U.S. carrier in Mexico.
  • Use a VoIP provider and make calls from your mobile device or laptop. VoIP providers, such as Skype, might give you the lowest call rates when calling the States. Skype, for example, charges 2.3 cents per minute to call U.S. mobile phones and landlines from Mexico using a pay-as-you-go plan, and offers unlimited calling to the U.S. from abroad for as low as $2.99 per month. Other VoIP providers with competitive rates include Vonage, Phone.com and Jive. When calling from a smartphone, your carrier's internet rates apply.
  • Use a calling card when calling from a landline. Calling-card per-minute rates vary widely, from as little as 0.02 to 0.47 cents per minute and higher. Connection fees may apply.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.