This is a question not from the point of view of the traveler, but from the point of view of someone in the US receiving calls from a traveler abroad.

In general, for the major US wireless carriers, is there any charge (other than normal minutes) to receive international calls? In other words, are they charged just like any domestic incoming call, or are there higher prices because the call is international?

2 Answers 2


In the U.S., traditionally all calls are charged only to the initiator of the call. This applies to local, domestic long-distance, and international long-distance calls. The exceptions are:

  • Collect calls, naturally, the receiver pays these calls (if they accept the collect call)

  • Traditional mobile phone plans charge a flat per-minute rate for "air time." This same rate applies whether the call is being received or initiated by the mobile phone, and whether the call is local, domestic long-distance, or international-long distance. Any charges for initiating a call are added to this.

    Now, having said that, in the competitive race to win customers, many mobile phone carriers and plans offer unlimited air-time (effectively making mobile phones act like land lines in this regard), or other special rates or promotional offers to make mobile phone air time minutes cheaper or free in some cases.

But the short answer to your question is: No, there is no fee beyond standard air-time fee (when applicable) to receive an International call on a mobile phone in the U.S.


All incoming calls are charged the same, domestic or international.

For T-Mobile in particular, you can verify this here. As far as I know, other carriers are the same.

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