Dialing Codes

  • US phone numbers consist of a three-digit area code followed by a seven-digit local number.
  • When dialing a number within the same area code, you generally have to dial the entire 10-digit number, but not always.
  • If you are calling long distance, dial 1 plus the area code plus the phone number.
  • Toll-free numbers begin with 800, 866, 877 or 888 and must be preceded by 1.
  • For direct international calls, dial 011 plus the country code plus the area code (usually without the initial '0') plus the local phone number.
  • For international call assistance, dial 00.
  • If you're calling from abroad, the country code for the US is 1 (the same as Canada, but international rates apply between the two countries).

Mobile Phones

GSM multiband models will work in the USA. If you have an unlocked phone, you can find prepaid SIM cards fairly easily.

More Information

  • Expect little to no coverage in remote or mountainous areas.
  • SIM cards are sold at telecommunications and electronics stores. These stores also sell inexpensive prepaid phones, including some airtime. Verizon and AT&T have the two largest networks in the US. Verizon tends to have better coverage in rural areas.

Payphones & Phonecards

  • Where payphones still exist, they are usually coin-operated, although some may only accept credit cards (eg in national parks).
  • Local calls usually cost 35¢ to 50¢ minimum.
  • For long-distance calls, you're usually better off buying a prepaid phonecard, sold at convenience stores, supermarkets, newsstands and electronics stores.