Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Prepaid Phone Cards - Everything You Need to Know

What Is a Prepaid Phone Card?

Prepaid phone cards are cards you buy for a predetermined price for making long distance calls. These cards are usually available in even dollar amounts and even number of minutes.

Why Use a Prepaid Phone Card?

Prepaid phone cards are convenient because they can be used anywhere and because you pay in advance, there isn't a bill. The type of people who use prepaid phone cards the most are travelers, people who regularly call overseas, students and people who haven't chosen a long distance provider. Calling cards are also very convenient to buy. They are sold at newsstands, post offices, stores and online.

International Calling Card Rates?

International calling card rates vary quite a bit depending on which country you call or how you make the call. Usually prepaid phone cards offer lower rates than a phone company's basic international rates.

How Do I Make Calls with a Prepaid Phone Card?

To make a phone call, dial the access number and the PIN number printed on the back of the card. An automated voice will ask you to enter the number you want to call, and inform you of the number of minutes you have left on your card. You might also be prompted for other options.
You can increase the number of minutes on most calling cards by charging your credit card. Cards that don't let you add minutes means you have to buy a new card after all the time has been used. Keep track of the date your card expires so you don't lose unused minutes.

Who Makes Your Phone Card?
  • Carriers are responsible for the telephone lines that carry calls.
  • Resellers buy telephone minutes from the carriers.
  • Issuers determine the card rates and provide toll-free customer service and access numbers.
  • Distributors sell the cards to the retailers.
  • Retailers sell the cards to consumers.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Prepaid Phone Cards?
  • Access numbers and/or PINs that don't work or are always busy;
  • Calling card providers that go out of business, leaving people with useless cards;
  • Rates that are higher than advertised, or have hidden charges;
  • Cards that charge you even when your call doesn't connect;
  • Poor quality connections; and
  • Hidden expiration dates.
How Can I Avoid Prepaid Phone Card Problems?

Be sure to read the conditions for your calling card. Read the fine print! Verify the rates, check the expiration date, look for a toll-free customer service number, and understand the dialing instructions.

For more information about getting the lowest price on Prepaid Phone Cards, please visit

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