What is a calling card?
A calling card is essentially a long distance calling service that allows you to make cheap international calls.
They do not require a SIM card or any special setup and you can use them with any mobile or landline device.
Where can I buy a calling card?
Calling cards can be purchased at retail stores (newsagents), airports or grocery stores.
However, I recommend purchasing them from an online retailer since it gives you an opportunity to call their customer service team to ask questions and get a feel for their professionalism as a company.
How do calling cards work?
Calling cards are very simple to use and like I said there are no special requirements, you just use your keypad to access the service.
- Step 1: Call the local access number
- Step 2: Enter in your PIN
- Step 3: dial the international number
Some calling card services will include additional features like Pinless dialling which means you don’t need to enter in the PIN every time you wish to make a call.
Things to look out for when purchasing a calling card
One of the issues when it comes to buying calling cards is the sheer number of them available. Any one company can have up to 100 different cards and there are many companies to choose from.
When purchasing a phone card, keep these things in mind:
Look for any special or hidden fees
These should be available next to the phone card but if not I’d recommend scanning the terms and conditions searching for words like “refund”, “fees”, etc.
Look at the block time
Phone card will display their per minute cost or rate, but you also want to see what the block times are for example: a card may have a 3c per minute rate but is charged every 5 minutes, this means you are charged 15c every 5 minutes so if your calls are only 3 minutes in duration then you’re paying an additional 6 cents.
Even if your calls last for an hour unless your ending your call exactly on the 59 second of that 5 minute block period then you’re overpaying – this does add up.
Check the expiration date
Ideally you want to have a phone card that begins the “countdown” to the expiration date from it’s first use and this is the case in most scenarios but it’s always worth checking especially if you’re purchasing your calling card from a newsagent.
Tech issues are likely to happen at some point so you want to be sure that you can get that issue resolved as quickly as possible.
Ideally, you want to buy from a company that is able to fix any tech issues within a couple of hours or even faster but most of time you’ll have a company that may take weeks to fix issues.
When you consider how frequently technical problems can arise it’s definitely worth taking the time to call up the customer service team to find out how long it takes to fix issues like poor quality line, random disconnections or fail connections.