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How Phonecards Work and How to Choose

Phonecards are a popular way to pay for telephone calls around the world. When you purchase a phonecard, you pre-pay for calling time. The amount of time you have for talking is determined by the rare-per-minute charged for the call you are making. Once you purchase a phonecard, you can use it to make calls from any telephone. Phonecards are available for local, long-distance and international calling.

To use a pre-paid phone card, you dial a toll-free access telephone number that’s listed on the card. You then enter a personal identification number, or PIN. You can then dial the number you wish to call. Usually you are informed of how much talk time you have available in minutes before the call connects. If you run out of talk time during a call, the call is disconnected. If you do not use all of your talk time, it is saved for the next time you use the card.

Phonecard companies use your PIN to track how many minutes or units of talking time you have on your card. Without your PIN number, you cannot make calls with a phonecard.

Some phonecards are rechargeable, meaning you can add additional minutes or units of talk time on to the card. Usually, a credit card is used to add call time to a rechargeable card. If your phone card company has a website, you may be able to add call time with another payment method, such as through PayPal.

It’s important to choose the right phonecard for the type of calls you plan to make. If you plan to make domestic calls only, you may want to look for a card that offers low rates on calls made within the country. International phonecards on the other hand can be purchased for making overseas calls. Some phonecards allow you to make any type of call.

The rates available for calls vary a lot among phonecards. Some phonecards offer special, low rates on calls to certain countries. Others offer the same rate for all international calls. The cost per minute to various countries is usually displayed on the phone card, and any other fees or charges should also be disclosed.

It’s important to pay attention to charges and fees beyond the cost per minute for phonecard calls. Connection fees and other hidden charges can quickly add up. Read phonecards’ packaging carefully and thoroughly before making a purchase to be sure you are choosing a card that offers the best value.