Microsoft-owned VoIP giant Skype has opened sales of its prepaid cards in the UK, allowing consumers to top up before they go on their travels and enjoy low-cost calls, text messages and connection to over 1 million WiFi hotspots around the world.

To boost the availability of the cards, Skype has partnered with five of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Asda, Currys, PC World, Sainsburys’ and WHSmith, ensuring that they will be on sale in more than 1,400 stores across the UK.

Skype credit will be available in two denominations — £10 and £20 — which can be purchased in-store and then redeemed online. Although European mobile roaming prices are starting to come down, the gift of a Skype prepaid card opens up the company’s paid features, which includes calls from 1.6 pence a minute, as well as free WiFi access in airports (when you’re probably going to need it the most).

Credit can also be redeemed against Skype’s calling packages, opening up unlimited calls to Europe and the rest of the world from £4.99 a month.

For Skype, it’s the second market in which the cards have been launched, having already reached users in Mexico. Skype’s PR line indicated that the company was targeting the large number of Mexicans who want to keep in touch with relatives abroad, mostly in the US.

 Roam no more: Skype brings its prepaid cards to 1,400 UK stores