Questions To Ask Before Buying Online Calling Cards

With the hundreds of retailers and brands of international online calling cards, choosing the best one can be a challenging task. Asking the right questions and getting the right answers should resolve the matter regarding which of these international phone cards will best suit your purposes.

#1 What’s the rate per minute to the destination?

Each international calling destination has its own rate per minute, thus, emphasizing the need to read the terms and conditions first. The rate per minute may also fluctuate depending on the time when the call was made (i.e., peak hours) and what type of device accepted the call (i.e., international calls to mobile phones generally have higher rates). The rate per minute, which is usually expressed in cents, will also differ between countries, such as 9.5 cents/minute to the Philippines and 0.6 cents/minute to the United Kingdom from the United States.

Tip: Look for cheap phone cards with rates that remain consistent throughout the entire day and night.

#2 What is the minute rounding schedule?

Minute billing or minute rounding refers to the increments, usually in minutes, in which the calls are billed. This is an important aspect of choosing from among dozens of cheap calling cards since rounding off can result in faster usage of the available balance.

For example, if you make a 4-minute call, the cost billing in minutes will be different between a 3-minute rounding and a 1-minute rounding schedule. In the former, your 4-minute call will be billed as a 6-minute call. In the latter, you will only be billed for 4 minutes.

When you consider the rate per minute and the minute rounding schedule together, you will have a better idea about the overall cost of each call. For example, the rate per minute may be one of the lowest but when you consider the minute rounding schedule, you may still be paying for a higher rate.

#3 What is the policy on dropped or disconnected calls?

Obviously, you want to avoid international phone cards with a reputation for charging the applicable rate per minute even for dropped or disconnected calls. When the call cards are also known for their poor call quality, then you should just drop them and find another set of call cards to consider

#4 What are the applicable maintenance fees, taxes, and other charges aside from the rate/minute?

Be sure to read the fine print since the apparently ultra-low rate/minute is just a ruse – you may actually be paying for so much more because of the taxes, maintenance fees, and other hidden charges. These will effectively reduce the number of available minutes on your prepaid call cards.

Other questions that you have to ask to include customer service availability, expiration date, and merchant guarantees. Ask these questions and you will likely get the right international call cards for your needs.

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