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Phonecards - Things You Need To Know

Aug 17, 2007
Perhaps you have wondered about buying a phone card but have been uncertain about whether it is a good idea. Why would you need one? Doesnt everyone have cell phones now days?

A lot of people have phone cards even if they do have a cell phone because of the additional convenience they provide. Plus using a card is often cheaper than using a cell phone, especially when you are calling from country to country or interstate. This is because the cards are prepaid, so the card producer can purchase in bulk from the main providers and pass the savings on. And of course you can have problems with your cell phone at a crucial moment, for example, no signal or no battery.

It is not difficult to use a card to make a call. You are provided with an access number to dial. This can be either a local or a toll-free number. Local access numbers are the phone numbers in your area in which you can utilise your card. They are cheaper but can get overloaded during busy periods. Toll free numbers can get the call routed using the least busy line but it might mean you get slightly fewer minutes. After dialing the access number you are prompted to key in your PIN number and then to dial your destination number.

So what about the cost? Rates per minute vary from card to card. Some calls within the USA can be as little as 0.5 cents per minute. It is worth noting that some low rate cards have a connection fee charged every time you make a call. If you normally make very long calls this can be an advantage, but is not a good idea if you make lots of shorter calls. This fee can get charged even if you do not get through. For example, if the number is busy. And it can be hard to get a refund on phone cards.

You need to think, too, about how you want to use your card. Some cards can only be used within whatever country you are in. These are cheaper so this is fine if that is all you need. But most companies also provide international phone cards and in most cases, these will allow you to virtually call any country in the world using a touch tone phone.

A question often asked is this, can I top up my phone card? Several companies do provide rechargeable cards. These have the advantage of a permanent PIN and are very useful for people who move around a lot. But other companies will not sell them and do not recommend them as they are often open to fraudulent use.

Think about what you want from your card and look at what the different ones have to offer. Make sure you get the right card for you!
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Get the latest news and information plus reviews and tips in the world of phonecards at http://www.phonecardsinter.com
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