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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of International Phone Cards

Aug 17, 2007
Ask immigrants worldwide how they stay in touch with family and friends overseas and in many instances the answer will be phone cards. International phone cards have given not only migrants, but short term travellers the opportunity to stay in contact with the people closest to them at a fraction of the cost of traditional calling methods.

When my parents immigrated to Australia in the 1950's from Italy, the only way they could keep in touch with their family was by mail. And it wasn't cheap! It was a difficult time for migrants back then, arriving in a foreign country, not knowing the language and having very little in the way of family contact. Last time I visited my parents my dad couldn't stop telling me how wonderful phone cards were..."I've spoken to friends I haven't seen or spoken to for 50 years," he would bellow. "And it hardly cost me anything!"

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Phone Cards

Now not all phone cards are created equally. There are some basic dos and donts you need to observe but the bottomline is that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Advantages

- International phone cards are cheaper than traditional calling methods. For instance, I get 600 minutes talk time for less than ten dollars with my card. There are much cheaper cards around.
- Fast and easy to use.
- Easy to top up with most services.
- You control your spending, in other words you know how much you've spent and how much you can spend.

Disadvantages

- Hidden fees are a real nuisance but these can be avoided with some due diligence. Make sure you read the fine print to find out if there are any extra costs involved. It may cost more to call cell phones.
- Disclaimers are often hidden away and hard to read.
- The need to top up cards when your talk time runs out could be considered an inconvenience for some but many companies now offer top up services over the phone.
- Poor customer service. With many card companies, actually being able to talk with anyone from the company can become a little like a "treasure hunt."

When You Find A Reliable Phone Card Stick With It!

There was a time when purchasing international phone cards was risky; sellers would come and go and scammers were rife however, there has been a big clean up in the industry and in most cases, purchasing international phone cards is safe. My advice is to stay with a card company when you've established that they are reliable, contactable and easy to deal with. There is always the temptation to be lured away by a cheaper deal but there is an old saying that goes something like this..."better the devil you know than the one you don't know."

Sure there are some disadvantages with international phone cards but they are far outweighed by the advantages. The fact they offer much cheaper rates than traditional calling methods makes gives them the greatest advantage of all.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Find out why many people are enjoying the cost benefits of international phone cards plus phone card news and reviews at:http://www.phonecardsinter.com
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