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Guide to Phone Cards



International Prepaid Calling Cards


Find out more about International Prepaid Calling Cards

For the majority of people, the whole purpose of owning a calling card is to be able to call abroad at a cheaper rate per minute than your local phone provider can offer. Therefore, the majority of phone card producers have a vast selection of phone cards for calling foreign countries.

Usually, each country has a specific card, which means that you need to know exactly which country you’ll be calling before you buy a card. Also, most manufacturers produce their cards as prepaid calling cards and usually have options of $10, $20 or $50. Some companies also supply $5 cards, but these are not as common and will probably not offer the same value for money as the more expensive cards.

Sometimes, companies will provide more minutes per dollar through the more expensive cards, so if you know that you will be able to use up the credit, then it is worth buying the more expensive options.

The cards which you have to pay for upfront are known as international prepaid calling cards. This means that there are a set amount of minutes per card, and unless the card is rechargeable, when the minutes have expired, the card is useless.

These dispensable cards are ideal for tourists visiting the United States and wanting to call home. However, for callers who will want to use the card on a more permanent basis, rechargeable cards are also available. Essentially, rechargeable cards are just the same as buying a new card, except you don’t have to actually buy one. You can usually top up your card by credit card over the phone, or on the internet. However, if you opt for a rechargeable card, you should make sure that you buy your card from a reputable dealer. Rechargeable cards increase the risk of credit card fraud (this is the reason that some of the larger companies don’t even offer them) so make sure you trust the company who you buy from.

There are two main types of international prepaid calling cards on the market. Those that charge you a connection fee, and those that don’t. Individual circumstances will determine which the best option for you is, but the difference is marginal. As a rule, those without a connection charge seem to offer better value for money, although there will be certain cards with which this rule does not apply.

Today, many some companies can route long distance calls through the internet. Whilst this invariably results in a loss of quality, (unless the call is routed through a company that specializes in internet call routing) it does allow companies to keep prices down. As the consumer, it is your choice, quality of call or the price. If you’d rather have a greater talk time on your phone card, you may well settle for an internet based connection, which is absolutely fine so long as you are aware of this from the outset. This service will only be a disappointment when it is a surprise.