Telecom Cook Islands charges a flat rate for three-minute operator-assisted international telephone calls with no off-hour discounts. Person-to-person calls attract an additional two-minute charge.
Collect calls can be placed to Australia, Canada, Fiji, French Polynesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Tonga, United Kingdom, and the United States, but be aware that the person accepting the call will pay a stiff fee in addition to the usual international tariff.
Before making an international call, check the current rates as they can be much higher than you'd expect. Also beware of extremely high incoming roaming charges which can be reduced slightly if you sign up for a prepaid cellular plan. The country code of the Cook Islands is 682.
It's cheaper to use a local Kia Orana telephone card for international calls as there's no three-minute minimum with a card (dial the international access code 00, the country code, the area code, and the number). More important, with a card you can't lose track of the time and end up being presented a tremendous bill. The Kia Orana cards come in several denominations and are good for all domestic and international calls. You'll need a card to make local calls as there aren't any coin telephones here.
Most local businesses have email. Visitors can check their email at any of the numerous Internet outlets around Rarotonga which charge by the minute. You may also find such a place on Aitutaki, and on the other islands your guesthouse may provide access for the usual fee.
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