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Calling Cards Online - How to Choose

by: Albert Popov

History of a calling card (phone card) has begun from the vandalism of payphones, which was caused by a shortage of coins in Italy in 1975. The first magnetic strip phone card was made so people wouldn't need to use coins to make a call. This kind of service is getting more and more popular because the rates are decreasing faster in this area than in a post billed phone call service. In just over the last half-year, for some destinations the rates on calls with phone cards reduced more than on 30 %.

Phone cards benefits:

  • Calling from any phone, including cellular, home, office, dorm and payphone.
  • Calling you need wherever you are.
  • Recharging in seconds. You can recharge your account in seconds or enable automatic recharging, and always you have minutes available.
  • Skip entering your PIN when making calls (only in USA and Canada).
  • Control over expenses. You can gain the control to customize your billing increments using automatic recharge option.
  • How does it work:

    1. Choose a calling card online.

    2. Sign up using secure registration form and pay with your credit/debit cards securely online.

    3. Receive PIN and instructions to the screen and a copy to e-mail address and start talking instantly.

    Thus when you purchase a prepaid phone card, you get no thing sensible by hands, but possibility to make calls. You are paying for long distance connection time in advance, and what's more -- with options associated with this phone card. Since the process completes very quickly, you can start making your calls instantly.

    There are a lot of calling cards that differ in name, design, some options, including different fees, validity period, rounding, etc. In this article we will briefly define some terms:

  • Permanent PIN is a refillable/rechargeable PIN. Each time when you add money to a card you recharge the same PIN number.

  • Monthly charge is a periodic charge imposed by phone cards and might happen if there is a residual value left on your card at the end of the period. It can be monthly, semi-monthly or weekly, starting from the day you first use your phone card.
  • Maintenance fee is charged to maintain services for some phone cards.
  • Connection fee is charged anytime there is a connection. It ranges from $0.50 to $2.25.
  • Validity period is some months. Phone card should be used within this period of first use.
  • Rounding is from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. This is the basic unit for measuring the duration of a phone call. For example, your call time is 10 minutes and 45 seconds: if rounding is 1 min, your call time will be rounded up to 11 minutes; if rounding is 3 min, your call time will be rounded up to 12.
  • Most frequently asked typical question: which is the best calling card for calling from USA to Antigua, for example? Answer is simple. International calling cards are universal. The best calling card is the best one for phone call to any country. Choose a card, keeping in mind not destination, but three things: extra fees, rounding period, simplicity of dialing.

    Some tips to choose the best calling card:

  • A card with the lowest rate is not always the best one.
  • For a short-term use the cards with the lowest rates are recommended (usually they have weekly maintenance fee). For a long-term use the cards with no or low maintenance fee.
  • The best choice is a calling card, which has no connection/maintenance fees.
  • Pay attention if a card has local and toll free access numbers. Rates are usually higher when you use a toll free access number.
  • The higher the rounding period, the more you lose.
  • And finally, the array of phone cards is dazzling. Don't be daunted, though. You can always go back later and review order to keep or remove it as needed. In the last case your money will be back you, if your call time is left.