PREPAID PHONE CALLING CARD
SUCH AS WAL-MART CALLING CARD, ATT PREPAID, MCI PREPAID, AT&T INTERNATIONAL PHONE CARD
Consumer guide to frugal living to long distance phone services
Including telephone, cell phone, telecommunications, telecom, definitions, glossary and how-to information
Original research and information © Copyright Savvy-Discounts.com 2005 except where noted
TERM: PREPAID PHONE CALLING CARD AND VIRTUAL PREPAID PHONE CARD|
EXAMPLES OF SERVICES: Wal-Mart Calling Card, ATT Prepaid, MCI Prepaid, AT&T International Phone Card
DEFINITION: Pre-paid phone cards are now sold just about everywhere. For $5 - $20 a caller can use the card from any phone for a number of minutes. These cards promise a low cost way of making calls from payphones or from any phone. The person does not even have to be signed up with a local phone or long distance company. They can be bought at Wal-Mart, Kmart, supermarkets, convenience stores, etc. These cards can be worthwhile in case of an emergency and are usually much cheaper than a collect call of any kind. They can make good presents to students and young people so that they can call home as needed or in an emergency.
Virtual phone card: When you buy a standard prepaid calling card, all you are generally buying is a a card with an 800 number, an account number and a pin good for a certain number of minutes. When you buy a virtual card, you are buying the same thing, only the purchase is made online and the toll free 800 number, account number and pin are sent to you via email or displayed on a page after your signup is approved.
HOW TO CALL: Call an 800 number listed on the back of the card, then dial in the access code or account number, and then the number you wish to call. You should be informed of the number of minutes remaining on the card. Most cards will tell you a minute or so before the card is used up.
COST: The face value of the card is often $5 - $20. Cards often promise rates as low as 1 cent a minute but cards often have a number of conditions such as a connection fee, a twice monthly maintenance fee, an activation fee plus taxes and other fees. These charges mean that the per minute rate is much higher than the one quoted on the face of the card. Cards often expire.
BILLING/PAYMENT: The card is prepaid, so it has been paid for when a customer starts to use it. They work very much like a T-Mobile prepaid phone, except you carry around a card instead of a phone, and in general you have to use public phones instead of your own.
EXAMPLE: At Savvy-Discounts.com we think that a calling card from a reputable company such as ATT is well worth the piece of mind that you will get quality service and that the company will still be in business! A 60 minute ATT prepaid phone cards sells for $9 online (15 cents a minute), a 100 minute card for $13 (13 cents/minute), a 300 minute card for $30 (10 cents/minute). With the ATT prepaid phone card minutes never expire, there are no hidden surcharges, no monthly fees.
NOTES: Occasional use of prepaid phone cards is not a good deal since maintenance fees can often eat up many of the minutes while it sits unused. Maintenance fees often start when the card is first activated. Cards can expire after different lengths of time.
COMMENTS: Buyer beware! Cards come with so many conditions that most will find they are paying much more than they intended. There have been numerous complaints about prepaid phone cards such as poor line quality, busy signals, and cards expiring without any notice. Companies who sell these often go out of business.
A prepaid long distance service gives a user all the advantages of a prepaid card at a much lower price without all the disadvantages. There are no fees, for example and the minutes do not expire and the account can be recharged. In addition the user may to able to use online management to set speed dial numbers and review all of his or her calls that have been made in the account.
FOR MORE ABOUT PROBLEMS AND CONSUMER COMPLAINTS ABOUT PHONE CARDS GO TO THIS PAGE:
Prepaid phone card complaints and consumer information
OTHER LINKS AT THIS SITE:
== Tel3Advantage Virtual Phone Card
== Cost comparison of prepaid phone cards with a portable prepaid long distance service
== Cost comparison of making a call at a payphone or public pay phone with a billed phone card, a prepaid card and a prepaid long distance service
== International telephone rates of a prepaid long distance, available from any phone.
== Product page - discount prepaid phone calling cards; complete selection; international and global telephone cards available; many rechargeable