Calling the USA from overseas? The US dialing code and how to make phone calls to the States

Trying to put a call through to someone in the United States while you’re abroad? Before doing so, get to know about your communication options, international dialing, and the USA dialing code.

Xe Consumer

December 7, 2020 4 min read

Calling the United States from overseas

Trying to put a call through to someone in the United States while you’re abroad? Before doing so, it’s essential to know about your communication options, international dialing, and US area codes, so you can make the best, most cost-effective option.

But what if you’re not sure about these?

Well, it’s time to pay attention to what a USA dialing code looks like, some common area codes in the US, and why your call to the US may not be working. You can refer to this article whenever you want to make calls to someone in the US.

How do I call someone in the USA?

Just like every country has its own international country code, so does the United States. While making an international call to a person in the US, make sure to add your country’s international dialing prefix (+) and dial the number “1” before the call. We’ve explained everything in detail further below.

What does an American mobile number look like?

When you put a call through to someone in the US while you’re in the US yourself, a standard American mobile number has 10 digits, following the format of (XXX)-XXX-XXXX. It looks like (123) 456-7890, where “123” is the area code, and “456-7890” is the rest of the phone number.

But if you’re calling the US from abroad, you need to make a slight change in the USA dialing code.

For example, if you call the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, USA, from India, the number is (202) 939 9889, so you’ll be dialing:

  • 00 - the exit code for dialing outside the US

  • 1 - the country code for USA

  • 202 - the area code for Washington DC

  • 939 9889 - the 7-digit phone number of the embassy

In short, you’ll need to dial 001-202-939-9889 for calling up the Indian Embassy in the USA from abroad.

What are the most common USA dialing codes?

You’ll find one or more area codes for each city in the US, and you can use these area codes for all the phone numbers in that region. Here are some common area codes in the country:

  • New York, NY - 212, 347, 718, 917, 929

  • Washington, DC - 202

  • San Francisco, CA - 628, 415

  • Los Angeles, CA - 213, 310, 323, 424, 661

  • Philadelphia, PA - 267, 215

  • Detroit, MI - 313

  • Chicago, IL - 312, 773, 872

  • Miami, FL - 786, 305

  • Boston, MA - 508, 617

  • Seattle, WA - 206

  • Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX - 972, 214, 469

Why isn’t my call to the US going through?

Your call to the US won’t work if you:

  • Have the wrong area code

  • Don’t use the exit code for dialing out of your country

  • Don’t dial +1 before dialing the US phone number

  • Call someone in the US whose mobile phone doesn’t accept international calls

Alternatively, you can use online platforms like Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, or Ringo to connect with a person in the USA. Skype is a great option if you’re concerned about high phone bills—overseas calls are completely free as long as both users are connecting through Skype.

Are all numbers in the USA attached to a voicemail?

Almost every phone number in the US is attached to a voicemail, no matter if it’s a mobile phone or a landline number.

When you call anyone in the US, you might hear a notification saying that the person you’ve called up can’t take your call at the time, and asking you to leave a message for that person.

What are the most common ringtones when you call the USA?

Once you call someone in the US, you might hear some common phone tones, like:

  • A standard dial tone that’s a lot like dial tones in other countries.

  • A constant beep-beep sound that tells you that the number you’re calling is busy.

  • A message that sounds something like “We’re sorry, you’ve reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service”, letting you know that the phone you’re calling can’t be reached.

When you’re calling the US or heading over to the country, you might want to have some options handy for making international money transfers - there’s no saying when you might need them!

For example, you can use the Xe website and app for fast, safe, and hassle-free money transfers to and from the US. All you need to do is download the Xe app or sign up today!

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