The number of advertisements on the internet and the magazines regarding calling cards today have made the decision making process a trifle confusing and complicated.
Prepaid calling card are designed to be used while you are out of your home city or town on a vacation or a business trip. They are made to facilitate calling from most phones easier and affordable by cutting down on stupendous charges or surcharges levied by hoteliers and other gamut of tourist attractions. Most times, the prepaid phone card calling rates are comparable to those imposed by Sprint, AT&T or MCI WorldCom. These companies charge anywhere between 69 to 89 cents a minute for long distance along with a surcharge, if not renewed monthly.
However, paying a monthly subscription cuts costs. A monthly fee of $1 to AT&T will cut the calling-card rate down to 25 cents a minute; a monthly fee of $2 to MCI will bring it down to 15 cents a minute. Sprint is offering dime-a-minute calling-card-calls for a monthly subscription of an extravagant $10.95. This is the main reason why prepaid phone-calling-cards with rates like a penny a minute are getting more and more popular by the day.
There are too many calling card companies that offer cheap rates owing to the deregulated environment. Moreover, since the industry is extremely competitive, many companies use marketing tricks for attracting customers. One need to be careful while choosing a phone card. The major challenge that is faced by people today is to choose the right card. Calculating the final cost of a call is the challenge and making a choice based on it is further across the ridge. A lowest call cost can get obliterated by surcharges most of the time.
The “con” of using a prepaid phone calling card is that, before you dial your destination, you need to dial a special 1-800 number and a long “PIN”. Despite this minor inconvenience, phone calling cards are very popular among international callers, owing to their low cost. So, in the next five minutes, let’s learn the three basic things you must know about phone cards before you start using them: Many card come with a standard fee for per call connection, in addition to the penny or nickel per minute charges. Making long calls from such cards is more advisable, since the longer the call, the lesser per minute cost, due to fixed connection cost which normally is 49c. Whenever you make a call from these cards, a computer advises you about the status of your card – how much money or how many minutes are still available.
Always make sure that you pick up cards of value needed, and not the big bang cards. You can never be sure, if the provider is still in business after a few months.