all you need to know about
Calling Card Types
A calling card or phone card is defined as telecommunication credit card with an Identification Code for using a pre-selected long distance carrier when the customer is away from their home or office. Phone cards are now being used extensively for residential calls. Phone cards are often considerably cheaper than collect calling, coin operated payphones or having the phone call charged to your hotel or motel room.
Phone cards or calling cards are available in prepaid and credit (monthly billed) forms. Typically a calling card user will pick up a phone anywhere and dial a predetermined number (often Toll Free). The phone card user is then prompted for a user ID and/or a Password or both, before dialing the number they require.
"Cards" is a misnomer as some calling cards are available without the issue of an actual plastic "credit card" and are delivered in PIN only from.
Q) What is a prepaid card?
A) A prepaid card is exactly what the name implies. You pay a fixed amount up front which may be for units, minutes or Dollars. Typically the time based phone cards come in increments of 100, 300, 600, or 1000 minutes. Dollar based phone cards start at $5 and go up to around $300.
Q) What is a credit based phone card?
A) This is a phone card which is monthly billed. (Normally to your credit card.)
Q) What is a re-chargeable or re-usable phone card?
A) This is exactly what the name implies. It is also user friendly as you only buy the original card. You can instantly add more calling time using a credit card. Service providers have toll-free numbers or you can access their web sites. Certain cards allow you to prepay using wire transfers or cheques - this obviously has a time implication and users are advised that your recharge can take up to 15 days to clear and be activated. Many providers now also have an e-mail payment system like PayPal. You can e-mail your payment for your airtime.
Q) What is an instant PIN?
A) Certain providers will provide you with an instant phone card (often by e-mail) provided you pay for it up front either with cash or with a credit card. You don't get a piece of plastic. You just get your PIN number. These cards are normally low value and expire.
Q) What is an International Phone Card?
A) An international phone card is one which can be used from a whole variety of countries in the world. Each international calling card is different and will be restricted to use in the countries with which the phone card company has reciprocity. Be sure to check that your International PhoneCard works from the country you will be visiting before you go. International calling cards are also used to bypass a country's existing carriers and use the carrier of another country. (often with immense savings).