While traveling around the world one of my go-to tools was the phone card while I would use the typical calling apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc. about 80% of the time I would always default back to the humble phone card.
the reason for this is not every person has a strong reliable internet connection but virtually everyone has access to a landline or mobile this made the phone card an exceptionally powerful tool when looking to communicate with friends and family overseas.
In this article, I want to share with you my 6 top tips for finding the best phone card.
1. Calling rates
When it comes to purchasing a new phone card one of the top things that customers tend to look for is the per minute calling rates unfortunately for those customers if this is your number one by criteria the chance of you being ripped off a quite high simply because there are a few other metrics you need to look at our side of the per-minute calling rate.
Obviously, the per minute cooling rate is important, you always want to find the best rate but there are other metrics you need to consider as well – A. Barrett, phonecardpoint.com.au
Before I get into each of these different metrics it is important to understand that and the phone card industry the phone card service providers operate on very slim margins so they are often forced to use sneaky tactics in order to get customers to purchase their cards and one of the primary techniques they’ll use is using a cheap per minute calling rate.
2. Calling block times
Ok just because you purchased a card that has a per minute calling rate of 10 cents per minute it doesn’t mean that you’re actually being charged $0.10 per minute for example let’s say the calling card has a block time of 10 minutes this means that you’ll be charged $1 every 10 minutes which means if you’re on the phone for 5 minutes you will get charged the entire $1.
I have even seen phone card companies charging block times of 15 minutes.
The best thing to do here is before you purchase a phone card is to look at the block times you want to make sure that you’re getting as smaller block time as possible the best companies will charge have blocked times anywhere from 1 minute to 4 minutes which I think is quite reasonable anything else I did that I would avoid that phone card altogether.
3. Connection fees
A connection fee is a small charge that is deducted from your phone card every time you make a successful call which means you either connect to a person or connect to a voicemail in either case you’ll be charged a small fee.
There are also disconnection fees that operate exactly the same way you are charged a small fee on the disconnection of the successful call.
Typically I recommend avoiding phone cards that come with connection or disconnection fees but there is one situation where I would recommend considering taking these types of phone cards generally a connection or a disconnection fee based card will typically come with cheaper per minute call rates than their non-connection fee counterparts, which means if you are making calls that are quite long and duration for example 40 minutes to 60+ Minutes then I would recommend having a look at these particular types of Cards because over the long haul they actually begin to work out cheaper.
4. Service charges
In the phone card industry, it is quite common to charge customers a service charge fee this is basically a fee that the company does ducks from your phone card at set interval periods typically it a monthly weekly, or even daily and discharge comes off of your phone card whether you are using your phone card or not.
My advice is pretty simple and in this situation avoid any cards that come with service charges are junk fees, period.
5. Reactivation fees
Another common way phone cards will make money is to monetize the expiration date on your phone card.
This is done in one of two ways typically both and that is once your phone card expires the phone card company absorbs any remaining credit that was left on your phone card if you decide to reactivate that particular pin number then there will typically be an additional reactivation fee that will be charged to your card.
You can see how many different and creative ways the phone card industry has come up with to recover the cost of having such cheap international calls available.
My recommendation here is to find out from the retailer exactly what happens after your phone card expires, you’re really wanting to find out whether your credit is removed and if there are any reactivation fees.
That’s a not all phone companies operate in this way there are a lot of companies who do not remove your credit expires and not only that they’ll let you reactivate it just by simply recharging your card again the best companies will take whatever balance you had and carry that forward onto your recharge amount.
6. Customer service
My number one piece of advice is to always make sure that before you purchase a phone card that that company has a customer service team in place. if you’re buying from a newsagent or a supermarket chances are if there are any problems with the card at the very least you’ll be able to get your money refunded back to you but it is always best to avoid those types of situations beforehand.
one of the ways to prevent any issues from having beforehand is to call up the customer service team that is located on the phone card itself or my favorite method is to just look online to find online phone card retailers in every situation I’ve been able to find a customer service number that I could just ring up and ask questions around how the phone card operates which is the cheapest what happens when there’s a technical issue how long it takes to fix that technical issue what happens with the expiration date do I lose my credit or am I able to just recharged to reactivate then have you carry that credit forward etc.
My recommendation here is to just do a simple search online using the words online phone cards or international phone cards online or something similar.