Phone Cards & Phonecards
Physical, offline phone cards are credit card-sized cards used to pay for telephone services. There are essentially two types of phone card - prepaid (also referred to as a stored value card) or those that operate using a credit card style system (remote memory). The most common type of phone cards are the pre-paid version where the card is pre-charged with a fixed amount from which the cost of calls made is deducted until the card runs out or, with certain types, topped up. Pre-paid phonecards are disposable. When the balance is exhausted you simply throw away the old card and buy a new one. Credit card style phone cards come with a special PIN that allows callers to charge calls to a landline telephone account.
Since their introduction in Italy in the 1970s prepaid phone cards have become hugely popular and now used all over the world. Their success is hardly surprising given that phone cards offer a low cost and convenient method of communicating.
Increasingly popular these days are online virtual phone cards such as Platinum, Global Talk, Story Asia or Africall. Upon selecting the most suitable type of card the provider, Planet PhoneCards will email or text you an access code and PIN number. As you make calls so the balance of your virtual card decreases until it expires and you need to purchase a replacement.
There are many potential benefits of using a pre-paid phone cards. As well as the convenience of knowing exactly what you're spending each time you use a pre- paid card perhaps the most obvious benefit is reduced cost. You can make huge call savings. Calls are often heavily discounted as Providers pass on the savings made when purchasing 'bulk minutes' from Line Carriers. They deal in higher volumes of calls which simply speaking translates to lower costs for their customers. Pre-paid phone cards can save up to 95% on long distance calls.
In addition to cost saving and budgeting advantages phone cards also offer convenience - purchase 24/7 online from the comfort of your own home, mobility - you can save on long distance calls made at airports, hotels, and from your mobile phone and privacy - no credit history is necessary to have a phone card, individual calls don't need to be recorded in a phone bill.
There are a huge variety of virtual and physical phonecard deals out there - some offer preferential national rates, others discounted international rates depending on the territory others have a range of lengths expiry options. It would be wise to do a little research and source the most suitable phone card for your particular call requirements.Calling Cards
Telephone calling cards (also known as phone cards) can provide cheaper long distance rates when used appropriately. Calling cards are widely available, from local shops, supermarkets, convenience stores and newsagents, travel agencies and extensively now on the Internet. People who regularly call overseas often use them, as do travellers, students, and those who may not have long-distance telephone service. Most prepaid calling cards are used until the value of the card is reached or the card expires (whichever occurs first). They are then discarded and a new one is purchased. Some pre-paid calling cards can be recharged.
The process of using a calling card is straightforward. To make a call you dial Free Access Number, enter your PIN number and dial the phone number you wish to call. Some companies provide time saving services such as PIN free access whereby you register your mobile, business or home phone upon signing up. After entering Access Number the providers system automatically recognises your number and you don't have to enter a hard-to-remember PIN.
The benefits of using calling cards are widely acknowledged.
1. Savings - Calling cards can significantly reduce long distance costs especially for international calls.
2. Availability - Calling cards are available for immediate purchase online - planetphonecards.com for example - 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. PIN delivery is instant via email or text - you could start using your phone cards minutes after your payments.
3. Convenience - If you don't want to there is no need to go to a shop. You can conveniently purchase a calling card from the comfort and convenience of your own home from Planetphonecards.com.
4. Control - Because these calling cards are prepaid, you do NOT have to worry about costly long distance phone bills or over spending on long distance charges. Accurately pay as you go: no more unexpectedly large phone bills at the end of the month.
Be sure though to do your research before buying a calling card. The cheapest International Phone Card is not always the best card to suit your needs. Take a look at the various brands on Planetphonecards.com such as American1st, AsiaFirst, BubbleUK and FirstNational10 for example to compare the features. When choosing your calling card you should take the following points into consideration:
International Phone Cards
- Quality of your International Phone Call
- Call duration
- Card expiry
- Brand preference of International Phone Card (American1st, AsiaFirst, BubbleUK and FirstNational10, for example)
- Connection/Access surcharges
- The type of phone you're using and the type of phone you're calling
International phone cards are nothing new - they've been around for many years, offering users a great option to call abroad at low rates. They have however evolved over the last few years, and now many cards offer a variety of "extra benefits" such as online account facilities, online or telephone recharge options, SMS features, speed dial and PIN-free access. Combine these new features with the fact that International phone cards can save you over 80% on international calls and it's little wonder that prepaid phone cards (also named prepaid calling cards or prepaid international phone cards) are now so popular.
Available from a range of sources including newsagents, supermarkets and online from Planet Phonecards, there are also a number of advantages to using an international phone card in addition to cost savings and new features already referred to. For example:
1. Prepaid control over costs: no horror bills arriving at the end of the month or quarter. Call expenses are much more visible and manageable.
2. Mobility and flexibility: Call from any phone using your access number and PIN code. Phones don't have to be enabled with international long distance calling provision.
3. Monitor usage history. Use your online account to monitor and track you call history. Who did you call, when did you call them and for how long you called.
There's no question that prepaid international phone cards offer value and convenience. In researching which international phone card is best suited to your requirements be it from as American1st, AsiaFirst, BubbleUK, FirstNational10 (or any of the vast range available) you should however be aware of some of the potential pitfalls.
Connection Charges - to be avoided. Connection fees are deducted from the number of available calling minutes, even if the call reaches a voice mail or a wrong number. Fortunately most prepaid calling cards today come without a connection charge. Check the small print.
Maintenance Fee - Depending on the agreement, a fee charged on the card weekly, fortnightly or monthly with no fee applicable if the card credit is spent quickly.
Local Access Number - this is the number you dial to access the service offered by the prepaid calling card. Pay attention if a card has Local and Toll Free Access Numbers. Rates are usually higher when you use a Toll Free Access Number. Check the card details to find Local Access Number in specific area.
Billing Increments - the lower the better. Most companies operate on a 1-minute billing increment whereby your call length is rounded up to the next minute. Avoid high increments such as 5 minutes for example that would round up a 6-minute call to 10. You could potentially end up paying for a great deal of talk time that you in fact aren't using.
Validity and Expiry - different prepaid phone card companies have different policies regarding validity and expiry. Validity can vary from 30 days of purchase of the card to never days after the first use of the card. You'll ideally want an open-ended expiry.
The choice is vast these days with dozens of companies selling prepaid international calling cards but by knowing what you need, asking the right questions and doing your research thoroughly you should be able to enjoy plenty of great value international calls. International Calling Cards
Many people worldwide pay too much for making international calls. You can make cheaper calls when you use international calling cards. With a prepaid international calling card it's easy to stay in touch with friends, family and business associates around the world at very competitive prices.
Virtually all calling cards these days are prepaid, meaning you pay for the full value of long distance rates or for a certain number of minutes, in advance of using the card. The best place to buy international calling cards in on the Internet. Rates are the most competitive due to low overheads and competition with features plentiful: online account facilities, online or telephone recharge options, SMS features, speed dial and PIN free access are commonplace.
As it happens most calls are in fact now routed over the Internet, which means that an international call becomes only a local call at each end, with the Internet acting as a �bridge' between the two phone networks. International calling card providers purchase call credits in bulk from the major telecommunication companies - often with huge discounts. In turn, these providers pass a significant amount of these discounts to their end consumers Profitable for international calling card companies and a much cheaper service for the customer. A telecom win, win situation.
On a practical level the key benefits of international calling cards include:
- Cost savings - The lowest possible international and domestic telephone rate. Savings of more than 80% are possible. For example use an international phone card to by pass excessive roaming charges when using a mobile abroad.
- Budgeting - Knowing exactly what you're spending each time you use the card. No more unpleasantly large phone bills at the end of the month or quarter.
- Convenience - You can use phone cards with virtually all cellular networks and all payphones.
- Flexibility - Search on line to find an international calling card that will meet your exact requirements. Customer support at most companies will be only too happy to advise on the best solution to individual requirements. Considerations to be reviewed include - international coverage, projected life span of the card and required additional features.
When researching international calling cards such as American1st, Calypsotalk, IDTEurope and IDTEasternEurope look closely at the card specifications including coverage, expiry, card value, maintenance fees, billing increments to make sure you're purchasing the right card for you. You can also use Planetphonecards.com to gather more information, check card details and assess customer service standards.Planet Phone Cards
If it's great value high quality international phone calls looks no further than Planet Phonecards. Planet PhoneCards have a complete range of international phone cards to meet your exact requirements. A pre-paid international calling card will give you mobility (call from any phone including mobile), independence from local providers and great cost savings. Hardly surprising then that prepaid calling cards are increasingly popular with college students, business people, tourists, international visitors and those in the Armed Forces.
Planet Phonecards offer great value calls from over 55 countries to over 500 worldwide destinations. There are Student Phonecards with savings of up to 97% and UK calls from 1.5p a minute. Prepaid Business and Armed Forces international phonecards offer budget calls from mobiles, hotels and from abroad to the UK or a range of other countries. Planetphonecards.com have even selected a range of four superb cards to offer at wholesale prices.
By simply inputting where you are calling from, where you are calling to and the length of calls you expect to be making our Planetphonecards.com Call Calculator will identify the most suitable national or international phone card be it Platinum, Global Talk, Story Asia, Africall or any of the other in our enormous selection.
Each Call Calculator return shows local rates, national rates, free phone rates, mobile rates, and connection charge. Click through your preferred options for:
- Card Supplier information,
- Types of phone the card can be used from home, office, mobile, hotel or payphone
- Billing increments,
- Maintenance charges
- Card expiry options
Bear in mind that two of the most important points to be considered closest when purchasing and using a Phone Card are
* The cost to use the Access Number of your chosen Phone Cards
* The cost per minute from country to country (charged to the Phone card).
Setting up an account couldn't be easier and Planet Phonecards will email Usage Instructions along with ALL access numbers and customer service along with your PIN number and serial number for your chosen card. We will also SMS you the appropriate information and add it to your account. Use your Planet Phone Cards account to order additional cards. The more cards you buy from Planet Phonecards the more points you accrue toward your free card. Every 100 points gained earns you a new card which will be sent by email and also you will be able to view the PIN & Access information within "my orders". Contact us for more information on our vast range of top quality, low cost international phone cards from Planet Phone Cards.