Before starting to learn how to find Best Prepaid Phone Cards for your Domestic and International Long Distance calling needs, lets see what factors are important to choose the right Phone Cards. First of all I want to tell you One Truth: in general there is NO such a think as "the Best Phone Card". It all depends on your specific calling needs, habits and purposes: (To) Where You Call? , Who Calls?, Whom You Call?, From Where You Call? and How You Call?. Most likely not all of these will apply to you (usually one or two factors apply). By taking a moment on reading and comparing several cards' Terms/Conditions and Charging Fees, based on your calling needs, you will be able to choose the Right Card and use it over and over and SAVE BIG.
1) (To) Where You Call?-this means what country or what specific city in that country you wand to call. Once you go to most of the Online Phone Cards Companies' Home Pages (For Ex. http://phonecardselector.net -by the way this is the website, from where I do almost all my online phone card purchases.), somewhere you can find "Discount Calling Card Finder" or similar section. In the "country" box choose your calling country & submit your search. The site's searching tool will find all the cards which provide calling services to your country and will organize the cards with the highest calling minutes to the lowest minutes (Top Ranking). Now we know which cards give the best calling minutes to your country, but very important to consider the cards "Qualities" also ( in http://phonecardselector.net the Quality shows by Blue Stars next to the Cards' names"). Always give preferences to those cards which have better Qualities. Having Local Access Numbers (for the State or City that you are located or you calling from) is also very important. It is recommended to choose a card that has Local Access numbers. Usually, by using Toll Free 1-800 number, instead of Local Access numbers, additional Per Minute Charges may apply. Some cards that have Local Access #s, in the card's detail page, will provide a link ("Local Numbers") to the new page with the list of all available Local Access #. Others the will provide (by Automated Answering Service) the Local Access # when you call by using their Toll Free # and choosing "yes" to their question: "Do you need Local Access # ?" In this case, after you get Local Access #, you need to hang up and call using given Local #.
2) Who Calls?- this means if you are using regular phone or payphone to make your calls. If you are using a payphone, in the cards' terms check if they charge additional fees for using a payphone, how much it is and compare with other cards to make your decision.
3) Whom You Call?- this means if you are calling to a regular phone or to a cell phone. If you are calling to a cell phone, in the Terms check if they charge different rates for cell phones and make your decision accordingly.
4) From Where You Call?- this means from which country (USA or Canada), State or City you are calling from. Some cards you can use only from certain states or cities and that usually very easy to notice: either card's name include that state's or city's name (Ex. Crazy-Crazy Los Angeles) or nest to the card's name it says the name of the state or the city for which that card is designed for. Usually those cards have Local Access #s for that state, county or city. If you see that the card, beside 800 #, has Local Access # also, then it means that the card is specialize or designed for that specific area only. Some cards could work only from specified location (state) and in the detail page of those cards, on the "Toll Free" line will say "(Works From X State Only!)". So, be careful and do not buy these types of cards if you are not in that state. So, make your decision accordingly, and choose the cards that specialize on your state or city. Many cards have No Local Access numbers (they have only Toll Free #) and you can use them from any states.
5) How You Call? - This means that what are your calling durations and frequencies: are you going to make a few long calls with your card or many short calls? If you are planning to make one or two long phone calls, then the most important factor that you will need to consider is Calling Rate (or Calling Time). You will need to choose the cards that give higher calling minutes (same as lower calling rates). The Connection Fees, Maintenance Fees, Communication Fees, Minute Rounding Rates, Expiration Date and other similar fees and factors are not so important and relevant for long calls. However, those mentioned fees and factors are very important to consider if you going to make many (frequently) short calls. You may consider getting cards with comparably lesser calling minutes (higher rates) but minimum charges for above mentioned fees. In this case you also will need to prefer cards with longer Expiration Date and smaller rates for Minute Rounding. Therefore, the card with higher calling time is not necessary is the best card for you if you are planning to make short calls. To make frequent short calls, you will need a card with No Connection Fee, Minimum or No charges for Maintenance, Communication and also smaller number for Rounding Minutes. Generally short calls are those which are lasting less than 15 min.
By considering all the above mentioned factors and options, now you are able to choose the right cards that will SAVE you the most money. There are numerous prepaid phone cards out there and yes, there are some major differences between the fees they charge. If you are serious about getting the most out of your hard earned dollars, take the time and just one time compare different cards and choose the best one for your needs. Once you found the best one for your needs, you can use the same card over and over and SAVE MONEY and TIME.
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