Rebtel Reviews



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Rebtel Review by WhichVoIP

Rebtel is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The Rebtel name reflects the company's mission to rebel against the telecom industry by introducing a simpler and more honest business plan to international callers. Rebtel accrued $95 million in revenue during 2013 and boasts a user base of 23 million subscribers.

The Good

Calls between Rebtel users on PC and iPhone are free via use of the Rebtel app.

It supports international calling to nearly 200 countries with call quality generally on par or better than what is expected from landlines.

Calls can be made without contract signup, allowing users to utilize a "pay-as-you-go" subscription.

The service can be used with many devices, including iPhones and iPads, Android enabled phones and tablets, and Windows enabled phones and tablets. In addition to the available app for smartphones and PCs, local access numbers can be assigned to subscribers and used to call internationally via any phone. The app is well supported and regularly updated across the various operating systems.

No additional hardware is required to use the service, so users can save on not having to spend additional money on adapters or shipping and handling fees. There are also no activation or cancellation fees.

Mobile Top Up is a unique feature that allows a user to buy credit for another user. This is particularly useful for those who plan to regularly call relatives and friends overseas.

The Bad

Overall, Rebtel is a limited service compared to competitors. Don't expect much outside of a virtual phone card. Subscribers are restricted to basic features such as SMS messaging and contact lists. Usage is strictly limited to residential use and the features available reflect this basic level of service.

The subscription plans offer limited minutes when compared to other services where usage caps for unlimited plans can range up to 5,000 minutes per month.

Common complaints of the service include expiring minutes, unstable calls within some countries, and sudden increases in international rates without being notified. Rebtel Credit expires after 12 months of no use.

Support is only available via email communication and a limited user guide on the website.

The Bottom Line

Calling through Rebtel is available via three types of plans. Minutes can be purchased for individual countries at a reduced price per minute. These plans range in price, number of minutes available, and the time available to use the minutes. Nearly every supported country has one of each deal to choose from. All supported countries are eligible for the Rebtel Credit plan.

  • Rebtel Credit: This pay-as-you-go option can be purchased at an initial cost of $10 (minimum) of credit to be used to call any supported country. More expensive deposits (up to $150) can also be made. Rates per minute for this plan are unique for calls to mobile and landline phones, with mobile rates typically several cents higher than those for landline. Credit can also be purchased for other Rebtel users. Users of this plan should be aware of auto recharge settings that can repurchase minutes monthly.
  • Big Saver Deal: A low level of minutes (typically 40-100 minutes) that must be used within 30 days. Rates are unified at this level for both mobile and landline connections, with a rate that is often at the higher mobile level or at a median between the two rates (as available via Rebtel Credit). Entry-level prices for this plan can be higher or lower (depending on country) than the standard $10 entry level for Rebtel Credit.
  • Max Saver Deal: These plans offer cheaper rates and more minutes at a slightly higher entry-level price. Depending on the country, these minutes must be used within either 7 or 30 days after purchase. Both landline and mobile connections are offered at a unified rate that is usually cheaper per minute than the unified rate found in the Big Saver plan. This is typically the best deal if you are a frequent caller to a specific country.

Overall Thoughts

Rebtel's main focus is on international calling and it provides a strong alternative to the traditional international phone card system. The service is easy to use and is a simple and cost effective way to reach friends and family across the world. If looking for a service to supplement an already owned VoIP service with long distance calling, it is an attractive option.

For international callers it is a viable option and allows users to create a plan specific to their long distance needs, with rates and pricing determined by individual country rather than a universal international rate. However, for those who plan to make primarily domestic calls, or are looking for additional features and higher levels of customer support, it may be best to explore other options.

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