When I was working overseas for several years I had fun in the beginning exploring and meeting different people and faces. But I started missing the familiar things back home, such as my favorite food pizza, walking around the neighborhood where I grew up and most importantly seeing the familiar faces of long time friends and family. I stayed in touch by email and it was OK but absolutely no comparison in hearing an actual live voice full of affection. Then there are web-cams and instant messaging, but I’m not at a desk full time.
So the next best thing for a guy who’s not inside all the time is to use a cell phone to keep in touch. Making international calls with a cell phone costs and arm and a leg though. I usually talk for more than a few minutes and even then those few minutes will cost me $5.00 US dollars. But there is an alternative to using your cell phone to make traditional international calls. You can use prepaid calling cards. I found the ones that you can buy in convenience stores and gas stations but I found those cumbersome. Because I had to buy so many at one time and I had to remember PIN numbers.
On the Internet I found a better solution. To my amazement there were so many prepaid calling card providers with many types of calling cards. But as I looked more closely at some of the companies I found that they charge maintenance fees and they have something called minute rounding.
So I did more research on this and found that all the prepaid calling card companies charge these fees. And some of them were hidden and I’m staying away from those. The fees weren’t bad though compared to traditional international calling so I really looked at it as a convenience factor. Another price point I realized which was an important factor for me was PIN less dialing, meaning I did not have to remember PINs anymore. However, keep in mind that PIN less prepaid calling cards cost slightly higher.
But I did some quick figures and came up with some numbers that proved using prepaid calling cards to make international calls was far cheaper than using the service provided by my cell phone carrier. My calls with prepaid calling cards cost .08 cents per minute compared to $1.50. And that’s including the fees. So there really is no comparison and the decision was easy. One of the best features of using online prepaid calling cards is that you can set your calling card to recharge when your minutes run out. Your credit card which the prepaid calling card company has on file will automatically be billed.
So in choosing a prepaid calling card keep in mind a few factors. Figure out how much you are willing to spend per minute as well as your calling habit. Some cards offer reduced rates during certain call time. Some cards charge lower maintenance fees but higher per minute call rate.
Look for prepaid calling card companies that have professional looking website and most importantly 24×7 customer support. And don’t be afraid to call them and ask questions.