Any couple that survives long-distance dating can tell you that communication is key to building relationships from miles apart. Similarly, keeping in touch with your clients — even when you’re one country away — can keep them loyal to your business. If you have a Canadian phone number and US clients (or if you’re traveling and need to know how to call the US from Canada), this is your chance to open up a new line of communication and stay connected for years to come.
We’ll explain how calling the US from Canada works and how you can factor in time zone differences before you reach out. Plus, we’ll explain how much this long-distance call usually costs and how you can reach someone in the US for free.
How to call the US from Canada
Calling the US from Canada is a lot like making any other phone call — just with a few extra digits. To reach anyone in the United States from a Canadian phone, you need to know all four of the following numbers:
- Your exit code: The exit code 011 allows you to make a call outside of Canada.
- The US country code: The US shares the country code 1 with Canada. However, you’ll still need to dial 1 to make your international call.
- Your call recipient’s area code: A valid three-digit area code (for instance, 503 for Portland, Oregon) directs your phone call to a more specific region. Here are the area codes for some of the largest cities in the United States:
Largest US Cities by Population Area Codes New York City 212, 332, 347, 646, 718, 917, 929 Los Angeles 213, 310, 323, 424, 747, 818 Chicago 312, 773, 872 Houston 281, 346, 713, 832 Phoenix 602, 623 Philadelphia 215, 267, 445 San Antonio 210, 726 San Diego 619, 858 Dallas 214, 469, 972 San Jose 408, 669
- Your call recipient’s seven-digit phone number: The final seven digits of a local number include a three-digit prefix, which sends the call to the right city or neighborhood, and a four-digit line number, which sends the call to a specific landline or cell phone.
Once you know these numbers, learning how to call the US from Canada is as simple as combining them in the order above. For example, if your caller’s telephone number is (718) 555-5555, you’d call them by dialing 011-1-718-555-5555 on your phone.
Pro tip: If you want to call Canada from the US, you can follow the exact same formula. Since the United States and Canada are both part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), they share the same exit code and country code (011 and 1).
How to factor in time zone differences when calling
Great call experiences rarely happen when you interrupt a client’s sleep or before your coworker gets their morning cup of joe. ☕ If you want to avoid calling at a bad time, you need to understand US time zones. Luckily, it’s pretty simple — four out of six time zones in the US overlap with Canadian time zones. Here are the US time zones in order:
- Eastern Time: Major US cities include New York, Miami, and Philadelphia. In Canada, Eastern time covers New Brunswick, Quebec (including Montreal), and most of Ontario (including Ottawa and Toronto).
- Central Time: Major US cities include Austin, New Orleans, and Chicago. Shared with most of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as parts of Ontario.
- Mountain Time: Major US cities include Albuquerque, Denver, and Phoenix. Shared with Alberta and Yukon.
- Pacific Time: Major US cities include San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Shared with most of British Columbia (including Vancouver).
- Alaska Time: Includes most of Alaska, including Juneau and Anchorage.
- Hawaii-Aleutian Time: Includes all of Hawaii.
Each of the US time zones, in this order, is an hour difference from the next. Eastern Time is an hour ahead of Central Time, Central Time is an hour ahead of Mountain Time, and so forth. That said, if it’s 11 AM for you in Quebec (ET), it’s 11 AM in New York (ET) and 10 AM in Austin (CT) — but the sun’s barely rising at 6 AM in Hawaii.
This map can help you visualize how US and Canadian time zones compare.
If you’re in Atlantic Time in Canada, which includes Halifax, you’re one hour ahead of Eastern Time. If you’re in Newfoundland Time, you’re 1.5 hours ahead of Eastern Time.
Most of the US and Canada observe daylight savings during the same time frame. However, keep in mind that two US states (Arizona and Hawaii) don’t observe daylight savings, much like Yukon and parts of Quebec and Saskatchewan. When the clocks move forward, clients in these locations remain in standard time.
How much does it cost to call the US from Canada?
The cost of calling the US from Canada can vary depending on what carrier and phone plan you have. While Canada and the US share the same country code, many carriers charge long-distance calling rates for calls between the countries. These international rates can range from a few cents to over $1 per minute, which can add up if you’re making calls throughout your work day.
Some carriers offer international plans that allow you to make unlimited calls to the US from Canada. However, these usually come with an add-on cost, so you’ll either still have to pay the cost of your standard business phone plan or pay a premium price each month. Some of these calling plans are geared toward travelers — for instance, Virgin Mobile only offers daily rates and 30-day packages for mobile phone users in Canada — and tend to be more expensive than plans geared toward ongoing subscribers.
How to call the US from Canada for free
If you want to avoid the headache of high international rates and confusing phone plans, a VoIP phone service that offers free calls to the US can be the best solution.
With OpenPhone, you can make free unlimited calls and text messages (SMS and MMS) to the US and Canada with every single plan. You don’t need to worry about paying more than your monthly subscription fee — which starts at $15 per user per month — to reach your US clients or any team members.
In addition to offering phone numbers with Canadian area codes, OpenPhone allows you to choose from local US numbers, so your clients and leads are more likely to pick up your calls. You can even have a toll-free number, which allows clients throughout North America to call you for free. 🌎
The best part is, since VoIP systems use the internet to connect you to callers around the world, you can use your number with any compatible device from anywhere with an internet connection — even if you’re no longer in Canada. OpenPhone offers mobile (Android and iOS), desktop, and web apps for greater flexibility.
Make international calls easier with OpenPhone
Learning how to call the US from Canada can help you stay connected with clients, even when they’re one country away. All you need to know are the proper calling codes and your call recipient’s number to reach out — and if you have a Canadian VoIP solution like OpenPhone, it’s free to do so.
With OpenPhone, you can make unlimited free calls and send unlimited free texts to the US from Canada (and vice versa). Choose from local and toll-free phone numbers that can help you build your US presence.
Start improving your business communication with a free trial of OpenPhone.
Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.