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 U.S. clients (or if you’re traveling and need to know how to call the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. for free.

How to call the U.S. from Canada

Calling the U.S. 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:

  1. Your exit code: The exit code 011 allows you to make a call outside of Canada.
  2. The U.S. country code: The U.S. shares the country code 1 with Canada. However, you’ll still need to dial 1 to make your international call.
  3. 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 U.S. Cities by PopulationArea Codes
New York City212, 332, 347, 646, 718, 917, 929
Los Angeles213, 310, 323, 424, 747, 818
Chicago312, 773, 872
Houston281, 346, 713, 832
Phoenix602, 623
Philadelphia215, 267, 445
San Antonio210, 726
San Diego619, 858
Dallas214, 469, 972
San Jose408, 669
  1. 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 U.S. 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 U.S., 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). The more you know! 🌈⭐

How to factor in time zone differences when calling

GIF of woman saying, "I don't know what time zone the afterlife is in but it is not Pacific Standard."

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 U.S. time zones. Luckily, it’s pretty simple — four out of six time zones in the U.S. overlap with Canadian time zones. Here are the U.S. time zones in order:

  • Eastern Time: Major U.S. cities include New York, Miami, and Philadelphia. Shared with New Brunswick, Quebec (including Montreal), and most of Ontario (including Ottawa and Toronto).
  • Central Time: Major U.S. cities include Austin, New Orleans, and Chicago. Shared with most of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as parts of Ontario.
  • Mountain Time: Major U.S. cities include Albuquerque, Denver, and Phoenix. Shared with Alberta and Yukon.
  • Pacific Time: Major U.S. 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 U.S. time zones, in this order, are 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 a.m. for you in Quebec (ET), it’s 11 a.m. in New York (ET) and 10 a.m. in Austin (CT) — but the sun’s barely rising at 6 a.m. in Hawaii. 🌅

This map can help you visualize how U.S. 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 U.S. and Canada observe daylight savings during the same time frame. However, keep in mind that two U.S. 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 calling the U.S. from Canada cost?

The cost of calling the U.S. from Canada can vary depending on what carrier and phone plan you have. While Canada and the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. from Canada for free

GIF of Selena from the TV show Veep saying, "All the ladies in the house say '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 U.S. can be the best solution. With OpenPhone, you can make free unlimited calls and text messages (SMS and MMS) to the U.S. and Canada with every single plan. You don’t need to worry about paying more than your monthly subscription fee — which starts at $10 per user per month — to reach your U.S. clients and team members.

In addition to offering phone numbers with Canadian area codes, OpenPhone allows you to choose from local U.S. 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

Calling U.S. from Canada: Screenshot of OpenPhone desktop and mobile apps

Learning how to call the U.S. 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 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 U.S. from Canada (and vice versa). Choose from local and toll-free phone numbers that can help you build your U.S. presence. Start improving your business communication with a free trial of OpenPhone.

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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.

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