Are incoming calls free? Everything explained

Looking at the topic of the day are incoming calls free? One will say yes incoming calls are free but on the other hand, some will say no incoming calls are not free.

You can’t really say incoming calls are free or not cause everything goes down to the location and the network service provider. In this article I will explain all you need to know about incoming calls and whether it is free or not.

Are incoming calls free?

In many countries of the world, incoming calls are free without any charges but in countries like the United States and Canada, incoming calls are not free as the recipient will be charged from its phone bill.

Are incoming calls free

If you ask someone living in the UK does incoming calls count minutes? He or she will practically say no, incoming calls doesn’t count minutes or use minutes. But if you ask same question to someone living in the United States or Canada, he or she will say yes. Incoming calls do count minutes from the phone bill.

Trying to understand if at all are incoming calls free, it all goes down to where you are living in but I’m very sure that if your location is the United States or Canada, incoming calls are not free because the will be deducted from your phone bill.

If you are living in a country where you buy airtime through mobile topup and moves to a country where such doesn’t happen, you will find it quite difficult to adjust to the fact that you will be paying a monthly phone bill that covers data, minutes and texts, and you will be charged when receiving incoming calls.

It happened to me and it really pained me cause I don’t understand why I should pay for incoming calls like as if I’m the one calling.

This makes me reject unnecessary calls like crazy.

Let me break it down accordingly.

Do incoming calls use minutes in uk?

In the UK, incoming calls are free and don’t use minutes except when it involves outgoing calls calls. You will only be charged for outgoing calls unless you happen to receive free calls which are doesn’t happen very often.

You can receive 100 minutes incoming calls in a single day and wouldn’t be charged a dime, but when yoi make an outgoing call you will be charged.

Are incoming calls free in Canada?

Incoming calls are not free in Canada as you will be charged from your phone bill for any incoming call received on your cell phone. In some cases where your phone bill has expired, you will be disconnected and this will prevent you from making or receiving calls.

Not only that, you won’t even be able to send and receive text messages.

How to avoid being charged for incoming calls?

Does incoming calls count minutes

If you are not comfortable being charged from your minutes for all incoming calls and even outgoing calls, I have a one-time solution for you and that is you will have to use google voice for your calls.

With Google voice you don’t need to be too extremely cautious of your phone bill or airtime as it uses internet for it’s messages and calls. I’m not going lie to you cause most times I found myself using google voice for calls and messages.

The best part is that Google voice is free except if you want to go for a business plan.

Now let me show you how to make and receive calls without being charged by your network service provider.

To get started i recommend you to first download and install the google voice app on your android phone or on your Iphone or iPad.

After you have downloaded and installed the google voice app on your mobile phone, kindly open the app to get started with creating your account.

1. Open the google voice app on your iPhone or android phone.

2. Kindly select your Google account which you will use to attach a Voice number to and tap “Continue.”

For iPhone users you have to create a Google account in order to use the voice app. Android users you have to select any of your google account if you have multiple accounts with Google for this Google voice app.

3.  On the next window, tap “Search” in the lower-right corner to select a Google Voice number. This is followed by entering your zip code or city to load a list of regionally relevant numbers for you to choose from.

You will see list of phone numbers based on the zip code you entered.

4. You have to select your preferred phone number by tapping on the blue button next to the phone number you prefer to use for your google voice account.

Make free calls


5. Google will display the phone number once more on your screen and you have to accept the phone number you selected or you can press the back button to select another phone number.

6. On the next screen is to link the phone number and your google voice account to your android phone or iPhone.

7. What follows next will be to enter your mobile number and mind you Google voice will send a verification code to the phone number.

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So you better enter a valid phone number or phone number that is active and Google will send a six digit code to the phone number.

8. On the next screen, enter the code sent to your phone before selecting “Verify.”

That’s it.

You have now verified and created a Google voice account, and using the number assigned to you, you can easily text someone or call any phone number using your google voice account. You can also receive calls and text messages without being charged by your cellular network service.


Now you have created your google voice account and everything is properly set up and ready to use, open the google voice app on your cell phone.

At first you will see that it looks similar to the normal phone app so you will not have any difficulty using the app to make calls and send text messages.

To make a call using the Google voice app, on the voice app tap on contact and locate the person you want to call. You will see three options which are messages, calls and info. So you tap on the call button and immediately the call will start ringing.

To enter a phone number to call, tap on the green keyboard, enter the person’s phone number and tap on the call button. Immediately the person’s phone will start ringing.

Going back to the question on how to avoid charges for incoming calls or to prevent incoming calls from using your minutes, you have to request your callers to call you through your google voice number.

Once incoming calls are going to your google voice number, you won’t be charged especially if you are using a Wi-Fi instead of a cellular data. If you are using a cellular data, a little amount of data will be deducted depending on the number of minutes but it won’t exceed 10mb unless you made a 100 minute call.

So Google voice is what I usually use in order to avoid being charged by my network service provider.

The only disadvantage of the google voice is that it is not available worldwide but restricted to few countries. I’m sure Google voice work in the US and Canada, not really sure about UK, Australia and others.

Other alternatives to use

Other alternatives to use in order to avoid being charged includes the followings;

BY USING WHATSAPP: If you are using android phone and tablet, one of the ways to avoid network charges is by using whatsapp and it is very popular which is being used by almost everyone except for countries it is being restricted.

Once you receive incoming calls from from whatsapp you won’t be charged especially when you are using a Wi-Fi, but if you are using a cellular data then you will be charged through your data plan but the data consumption is usually very low compared to video call.

BY USING FACETIME: This is for apple users, through facetime you can make and receive calls on your iPhone or iPad but only from Apple users just like the iMessage.

FaceTime doesn’t consume data especially when it is a voice call, so you can request from your apple users to call you through facetime instead of the normal cellular calls. This will prevent you exhausting your minutes very fast and I won’t lie to you I do this very often.

I use FaceTime, iMessage and whatsapp for calls and text messages.

Does incoming calls count minutes?

Incoming calls use minutes in countries like USA and Canada, but in UK and other parts of the world, incoming calls don’t use minutes but rather what uses minutes is outgoing calls.

Related Questions

Can you receive calls on prepaid phone without minutes?

You can’t receive calls on prepaid phone without minutes though it depends on the network service provider. There are some networks that will allow their subscribers to receive calls even though they don’t have minutes or have exhausted their plan.

However, this isn’t applicable to the likes of AT&T and T-Mobile. You must have an active network plan in order to receive incoming calls and text messages.

Do you pay for incoming calls on your cell phone?

Depending on your network provider and location, you will pay for incoming calls through your cell phone plan while in some places and networks, you won’t pay for receiving incoming calls.

And these are all I have to explain in today’s question are incoming calls free or does incoming calls count minutes. Once again, it depends on your location but in many countries of the world today, incoming calls are free except for the United States and Canada.

About Kennedy

I'm Amaechi Uchenna by name, a mobile tech enthusiast who love writing articles about tips and tutorials especially relating to gadgets.

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