How to Call India from the US?

  • Last Updated: 19 Feb 24
  • 16 min read
How to call India from the US featured image

Are you a business owner in the USA trying to reach out to clients in India? Or have you recently moved to the US and want to contact your friends and family in India? 📞

Well, then, you might be looking for information that can help you with the calling process, right? 

If so, don’t worry; this blog is here to assist you in this daunting task.

We’ve covered everything here, from how to call India from the US step-by-step, things to check before dialing, calling rates, and business call etiquette, and many more. 

🔑 Key Highlights

  • US-India call rates range from $0.02 to $5 per minute. (depends upon carrier)
  • India follows the India Standard Time (IST) zone, which is UTC +5:30.
  • You can make affordable calls to India from the USA using options like VoIP apps, virtual phone numbers, and calling cards.

Dive in now to learn more. 👇

What is an International Call to India?

An international call to India is a phone call that you make from other countries to someone in India. It involves dialing specific codes like the exit code of the country from where the call is being made and then India’s country code before the phone number, all that in the correct order, in accordance with the International dialing format.

What is an international call to India

International calls to India can be made through traditional phone lines, mobile networks, or internet-based calling apps. Furthermore, if you wish to make a call to India, you must ensure that your phone system supports international calls to the country.

How to call India from the US?

How to call India from the US

📞 To make a call to India from the US, Dial:

  • 011-91- Area Code- Subscriber number (For India landline numbers).
  • +91- 10 digits Mobile Number (For India mobile phone).
  • 011-91-1800- Subscriber number (For India toll-free number).

where, 

  • 011 is the exit code of the US.
  • 91 is the country code for India.
  • Area code has 2 to 4 digits (depending on location).
  • 1800 is the toll-free prefix.
👉Also read: How to call the UK from the US easily

1. How to call India landline from the USA?

To call a landline in India from the USA, dial Exit code of the USA, the country code of India, Area code, local phone number of the phone owner.

The format for Indian landline number is 011- 91- Area Code – Phone Number

Here are the steps that will help you make a landline call from the US to India:

  1. Dial the US exit code i.e. 011
  2. Next, dial India country code i.e. 91
  3. Enter the Area Code, which is a 2-4 digit code specific to the region in India you’re calling.
  4. Finally dial the phone number (8 digits) and make the call.

💡For example, if you’re trying to call a landline number in New Delhi, you would dial 011-91-11-2658 8500, where the initial “11” is the US exit code, “91” is the country code of India, the next “11” is the area code for Mumbai and “2658 8500” is the landline number (AIIMS Hospital, New Delhi).

2. How to call an Indian mobile number from the USA?

When calling an Indian mobile phone number from the USA, enter (+) sign, dial India country code, and finally 10 digit mobile number.

The Indian mobile number format is + 91- Indian Mobile Number

Here are the steps in detail:

  1. Enter the plus sign (+) on your phone keypad.
  2. Next, dial India country code i.e 91.
  3. Finally, dial the 10-digit mobile number of the user you want to get in touch with.
  4. Press the call button.

💡For example, if you’re trying to call a mobile number in Mumbai, you would dial +91-84484 40991, where (+) sign indicates you are dialling a mobile number, “91” is the Indian Country code, and “84484 40991” is the mobile number of the subscriber (Apollo Spectra Hospitals). 

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3. How do I call an India Toll-free number from the US?

To call an India toll-free number from the US, you need to dial US exit code, india country code, toll-free code, and subscriber number

The India Toll-free number format is 011-91-1800-Subsriber Number.

Here’s how to call an India toll-free number from the US:

  1. Start with the US exit code, which is 011.
  2. Next, dial the country code for India, which is 91.
  3. Then, dial the toll-free code, which is usually 1800.
  4. Finally, dial the remaining digits of the toll-free number.

💡For example, to make a toll-free call from the USA to India, you would dial 011-91-1800-111139, where “11” is the US exit code, “1800” is the toll-free code, and “111139” is the number of the user (IRCTC helpline).

👀 Take a look at: How to call Australia from the US

What are the things to consider before dialing India from the US?

Things to consider before dialing India from the US

If you are situated in the US and want to make a phone call to India, there’s a long list of things you need to consider and learn before even beginning.

Worry not; we’ve sorted everything for you, and here are those:

Types of numbers in India

The first topic you should consider and learn about is the types of phone numbers in India. In general, you can expect to find three types of user-based phone numbers in India which are :

  • Landline numbers that start with a 2-4 digit area code followed by a 6-8 digit local phone number.
  • Mobile numbers that start with a 9, 8, or 7 followed by nine other digits.
  • Toll-free numbers typically start with 1800 followed by remaining numbers.

In addition to those, Emergency numbers also operate in India, and some of them are 100 for police, 101 for fire, and 102 for medical emergencies.

Dialing Code

Next, you need to be able to deal with all the dialing codes that are to be input. Making a phone call to India from the USA requires correctly dialing the US exit code first, followed by the Indian country code, then the area code (if required), and finally the phone number.

Thus, the format becomes [US Exit Code (011)] + [India Country Code (91)] + [Area Code/Tollfree code (if applicable)] + [Phone Numbers].

India area codes

After that, you need to consider the area code of the city you are aiming to make the call. India consists of about 4000 cities, which all together have 2643 Area codes in total. In order to guide your call to the correct region in India, you must have a thorough understanding of this factor.

The following are some Indian cities and their respective area codes that you should know when you call from the USA:

CityArea Code
Mumbai22
Delhi11
Bengaluru (Bangalore)80
Chennai (Madras)44
Kolkata (Calcutta)33
Hyderabad40
Ahmedabad79
Pune20
Surat261
Jaipur141
Lucknow522
Ludhiana161
Mangalore824
Mysore821
Nashik253
Noida120
Patna612
Raipur771
Thane22
Udaipur294

🧠Keep in mind: This list still only covers a fraction of major Indian cities.

Time Zone differences

Being positioned on opposite sides of the globe, India and the US have huge differences in their local time as India follows only one time zone, the Indian Standard Time (IST): UTC+05:30, which applies to all of India and on the other hand, the US has 6 different time zones. 

Thus making the calling process, to and from, a difficult task that needs a bit of pre-planning to be accomplished. To give you an idea, here is a table that explains it all:

US Time ZoneUTC OffsetTime Difference from India (IST)
Eastern Time (ET)UTC -49 hours and 30 minutes
Central Time (CT)UTC -510 hours and 30 minutes
Mountain Time (MT)UTC -611 hours and 30 minutes
Pacific Time (PT)UTC -712 hours and 30 minutes
Alaska Time (AKDT)UTC -813 hours and 30 minutes
Hawaii-Aleutian Time (HST)UTC -1015 hours and 30 minutes

With all that in mind, we are left with one difficult question:

What is the best time to call India from the US?

As a matter of fact, there is no ‘perfect’ time to make a phone call from the US to India, as it depends on the specific time zone, you’re in and the exact location and daily routine of the person you want to contact in India. 

🕛 This can be a hefty thing to deal with; nonetheless, we have a set of tips for that, too. And here it is:

  • If you are calling from the East Coast of the US (ET), the best time to call India is between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM (IST), which corresponds to 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (ET).
  • For Central Time Zones, you should call India between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM IST, which is equivalent to your evening hours (between 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM CT).
  • Next, if you are from the Mountain Time Zone (MT), the best time to call India is between 7:00 AM and 11:00 AM IST, which is between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM (MT) for you.
  • You should call India between 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM if you are in the Pacific Time Zone (PT), as it corresponds to 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM IST.

Note: Keep in mind that these are just suggestions. For other time zones, you can use the tips provided above as a reference to adjust your call timings.

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International Calling Rates

There is also a critical factor to consider beforehand, known as varying international call rates, since calling India from the US may cost significantly more or less depending on your phone plan and the service provider.

The cost of making phone calls from the US to India generally ranges from $0.02 to $0.50 per minute if you have an international calling plan. 🪙

Here is a table providing an overview of the cost of international calls from the United States to India.

Service ProviderRate per Minute
KrispCall$0.057
AT&T$0.28
Verizon$0.28
T-Mobile$0.10
Sprint$0.25
Google Fi$0.20
Skype$0.02
Viber$0.02
WhatsAppFree
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How much does it cost to call India from the USA?

For calls to India from the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a $5.00 basic rate per minute. 💰

However, prices can vary from $0.02 per minute to $5 per minute, depending on several factors, like your service plan, the provider, and your geographical location. And on average, calling India from the US costs around $0.50 per minute.

How do you reduce the call cost to India?

Slashing down call costs to India requires a bit of strategic planning and thoughtful analysis. Here are some tips that can help you in doing so:

  • Use VoIP Services: Take advantage of VoIP phone systems like KrispCall, which offer competitive rates for international calls.
  • Choose a Cheaper Carrier: Find a provider that offers cheaper international calling rates than the typical ones.
  • Utilize Free Apps: You can also use free communication apps to cut down costs, like WhatsApp, that offer free voice and video calls.
  • Unlimited Calling Plans: If you make frequent calls to India, opt for unlimited calling plans that are offered by some providers.
You might be intrested in reading: How to Call Germany from the US

3 Alternative Ways to Make International Calls to India

Alternative ways to make international calls to India

Well, now you are fully informed of all itsy-bitsy things related to making a regular phone call to India. It’s time to find out how you can make international calls using some alternative methods. They are as follows:

1.  Using Virtual India Numbers 

A prominent way to make a phone call to India from the United States is to use a virtual phone number from India. You can use Indian virtual phone numbers to make and receive phone calls as well as messages or voicemails from any part of the world as long as you have an internet connection to do so.

To make a phone call using Indian virtual numbers, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a provider that offers Indian virtual numbers.
  2. Get a virtual number by creating an account.
  3. Verify your account and make a payment.
  4. Once that’s done, make your international call to India.

2. Using VoIP Apps Like WhatsApp/Messenger

Another useful alternative method is utilizing voice-over IP apps such as WhatsApp or Messenger to make free international calls to India. It is easy to chat and make calls to anyone in India using these easy-to-use tools. To make use of these apps, follow these steps:

  1. Install and create an account on the VoIP app you want to use on your computer or smartphone.
  2. Get your Indian contacts to install and use the same app as well.
  3. Connect to the internet or your Wi-Fi and start making your calls.

3. Using Calling Cards

The final alternative method is to use Calling cards, which are a great way to save money when calling India, especially for longer calls, as they offer a familiar and prepaid way to connect with India. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Visit a convenience store, gas station, or online store to find a calling card that is specific to India.
  2. Enter the access number on the card, followed by your PIN and the India phone number in the correct dialing format.
  3. As soon as your call is connected, your minutes are deducted from your card balance.
👉Learn: How to call Malaysia from the USA

What are the Challenges of calling India from the US?

When making phone calls to India from the USA, you can expect to face a few unique and hard-to-overcome 💪 challenges that you need to be aware of. Here is a breakdown of the most common ones that you might encounter:

  • Time Zone Difference: India is 12.5 to 15.5 hours ahead of US Eastern Time, so picking an appropriate time for your call may be challenging.
  • Calling Costs: The cost of making international calls to India can vary from service to service and provider to provider, so be mindful of that, too.
  • Language Barriers: While a good number of Indians are fluent in English, the majority of the population speaks their native language. To overcome this, make the call in the presence of a translator.
  • Connectivity: Although all of India now uses a 5g network, the connections are still unreliable and patchy. This might result in an abrupt end of calls, so be mindful of that, too.

Business Phone Call Etiquette in India: Dos and Don’ts

Now that you know the challenges you might face while making a phone call to India. It’s time for you to learn some customs to follow when doing so.

✅ Do’s

  • Greet warmly: Start with a respectful salutation like “Namaste” and introduce yourself clearly.
  • Speak clearly and concisely: Keep your tone professional and avoid using slang or excessive technical terms.
  • Actively listen: Be attentive and ask thoughtful questions to show genuine interest in the conversation.

❎ Don’ts

  • Interrupt or talk over others: Allow the other person to finish speaking before responding.
  • Use casual language: Avoid informal greetings like “Hey” or “Hi”; instead, use “Mr./Ms./Dr. [Last name]”.
  • Personal calls during work hours: Try to avoid personal calls during business hours unless an emergency arises.
👉Also read: How to call International from USA

The Wrap-up!

Calling India from the US involves only a few steps. You can follow those steps along with this article, keeping in mind the important things to consider, such as time zone difference, area code, international calling rates, and the must, India country code 91.

Additionally, ensure that you choose a reliable and affordable network provider if you are making international calls to India. You can also use alternative methods to make cheap calls using virtual Indian numbers, cloud phones, VOIP apps, and calling cards.

FAQs

What country does the 91 code belong to?

The 91 country code belongs to India.

How do I dial a +91 number?

To dial a +91 phone number

  1. Dial the exit code of your country. ( replace with “+” sign for mobile)
  2. Dial +91, Indian country code.
  3. Then, dial Area code (for landline) and toll-free code (for toll-free number)
  4. Finally, enter the rest of the phone number. 

How many digits is an Indian phone number?

Indian phone numbers are 8 to 10 digits depending on types of numbers (landline, mobile, and toll-free) 

  • Indian Mobile Numbers: Always have ten digits.
  • Indian Landline Numbers: They can have up to 8 digits, but when combined with the area code, they reach a maximum of 10 digits.
  • Indian Toll-free Numbers: Have varying characters/digits.

Can I make free calls to India from the US?

Absolutely yes! You can make free calls to India from the US. In reality, this statement can only be true if you are using methods that include free VoIP calling apps like WhatsApp, Skype, & Viber or a website that offers free calling services.

However, it is recommended to explore the options mentioned above and choose the best one depends on your needs.

How to call India from a US cell phone?

Making a phone call to India using a cell phone in the US is just the same as doing so on a fixed-line phone. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Go to your phone’s dialer app and open it.
  2. Firstly, enter the US exit code 011 on that app.
  3. Followed by that, dial 91; this is the Indian country code.
  4. Next, dial the area code if you’re calling a fixed-line phone(If you’re calling a mobile phone number, you can skip this step).
  5. Now, dial the phone number you want to contact.
  6. Press the call button and start the call.

You should note that most US mobile carriers charge per minute for international calls. So, check your plan or contact your carrier for specific call rates to India.

What are the cheap ways to call India from the USA?

There are several ways to make cheap calls to India from the USA, with each having its own benefits and downsides. And here are those:

  1. Using affordable and reliable Indian virtual number provider.
  2. Using VoIP apps like Viber, WhatsApp, and Line.
  3. Make the use of still-existing calling cards.
  4. Having specific international calling plans.
Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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