Calling Cards Can Save You Money!
back in the day when calling cards were about long
calls; that was before nationwide calling plans (in the U.S.).
the world becoming more and more global though, there's a lot of
interest in international calling. So much so that wireless
carriers began competing on international calling being included in
their plans, or special add-ons. In fact, wireless carriers,
and services like Google Voice are slowly eroding the value of these
cards, and also offer a better user experience without the need for
special numbers and PINs.
That said, depending on your country, long distance cards can still be
very valuable, and certainly international calling is still
relevant. The great thing about calling
cards is that you can use them with any phone, including your prepaid
wireless phone. Just remember though, that you'll still be
using your prepaid wireless minutes according to your plan rules.
So if your prepaid carrier offers international calling
plans, you'll need to factor in the total cost when comparing to these
types of cards.
There are literally hundreds of different types of
calling cards out there.
Common things to look out for when choosing a phone card are:
minute to the country or countries you call most often.
charges - Some cards charge a one time fee just to connect
You'll usually find that you get a lower price per minute
when there's a connection fee, which is still a good deal when you make
long calls, but for short calls, your effective price per minute will
obviously be much higher.
fees and tariffs - Sometimes there are taxes and other
tacked onto the price per minute, or even monthly charges (whether or
not you use the card), so be sure to read the fine print!
the PIN (Personal Identification Number) be recharged (i.e. reused)?
If yes, many consider this to be a great benefit because you can
continue to reuse the same PIN and likely come to memorize it, or
program it into your phone, which
makes calling much easier.
they offer local calling numbers? - Often times
they'll charge you more per minute if you use an 800 number to
help cover their cost to maintain the toll free numbers (so
not toll free!).
When I used to use these cards a lot in the past, I never know
whether I'm going to have a short or long conversation (they may not be
home or running out to do something when I call), I preferred an
international calling card with a fixed/flat rate, with no connection
fee or extra charges. That way I knew exactly what I'm paying
per minute. For this peace of mind, I was willing to pay a
higher per minute fee. Of course, depending on your
needs and calling patterns, your preferences may be different.
That's why there's so many options out there for you to
Until I discovered Google Voice, and now exclusively use that, I was
as my preferred international calling card product.
things that I really like about their service include:
- You can login online and setup the phone number that you
usually call from,
so when calling from that phone, it will automatically know your PIN so
you don't have
to enter it at all! Then you just have to enter the phone
want to call. For me this was an amazing feature.
offer a convenient 800 access number.
- You can recharge the same PIN, which means that you don't
have to worry about
keeping track of new PIN numbers. You'll need to
know the PIN if you
call from your normal phone, or if someone else in your family
is sharing the card, and using it with their own phone.
- You can securely store your credit card in your online
profile so you can easily recharge
anytime. That said, as a general rule, I try to avoid storing
my credit card info with too many online websites to help minimize the
chance of fraud. Of course, for services you use often (ex.
Amazon, eBay, or prepaidonline.com), it's often too convenient to not
take the risk. Just use your best judgment!
- You can accumulate points
for each purchase.
- They keep
it real by providing a brief summary of the best usage of the card.
For example, they say that such and such a card is best for
long calls only, which takes some of the effort out of analyzing
marketing mumbo jumbo.
- They have a
tool that helps you zone in on the best options depending on what
country you're calling from, and what country you're calling to.
if you call internationally even a little, and your wireless provider
doesn't provide a good option for direct calling, you may want to
consider a separate calling calling