The Complete Guide to Calling Cards

Looking for a great deal on an international calling card? You've come to the right place!

We provide everything you need to know about calling cards - what they are, how they work, and what companies provide them.

Most importantly, we do the legwork to figure out which companies sell the best calling cards. The world is filled with shoddy calling card companies and our job is to wade thru them all and figure out which ones are the best. Then we point you to right at these top companies to save you time, money, and aggravation.

Cruise through our site and you'll find more in-depth analysis about calling cards than you ever wanted to see. Or save some time and skip straight to our list of best calling cards.

Editor's Choice

2023 Editor's Choice:

Pingo calling cards
☆ Pingo $10 bonus ☆ is our 2023 Editor's Choice for best international calling card.

Pingo remains our top pick again this year because they offer outstanding pricing and features. The highlights: low rates, clean pricing, world-class network, mobile and PC dialing apps, excellent promotions, and strong customer support.

Low prices are obviously a key factor in choosing a calling card and Pingo delivers the goods. The company offers comprehensively low rates to a huge range of destinations worldwide.

In addition, Pingo cards have 'clean' pricing - the cleanest in the industry. Clean pricing means there aren't lots of extra fees tacked onto the advertised per minute rate.

Another big factor is Pingo's excellent communications network. Few, if any, phonecard companies have a network with comparable global reach. That's because Pingo is a subsidiary of iBasis, a huge company that carries more than 20% of the world's international VoIP traffic.

Finally, Pingo delivers more advanced features - like mobile and PC dialing apps - than other calling card companies.

If you haven't tried Pingo yet, we suggest you do it now! more on Editor's Choice >>>

* Read disclosure statement

Top Picks

Our Picks of the Best International Calling Cards

Pingo calling cards
Enjoy Prepaid calling cards
Comfi calling cards
Nobelcom calling cards calling cards

Looking for the best international calling card?

Check out our recommended calling cards. We recommend only calling cards that get our 'Editor's Choice' or 'Best Buy' rating. Our recommendations are based on in-depth analysis of each card company and detailed comparisons between companies.

Our current 'Editor's Choice' pick is: Pingo

Our current 'Best Buy' picks are:

We are constantly checking and re-checking these and many other companies to see who offers the best value right now.

For more in-depth information on these companies, check out our calling card ratings, calling card reviews and other analysis.

more on Top Picks >>>


Calling Card Reviews

Calling card reviews

Looking for in-depth calling card reviews? You've found them! compiles the most in-depth calling card reviews on the web. Our calling card reviews cover many of the leading calling card companies, including (in alpha order):

Our reviews rate each company on over a dozen factors, including per minute rates, pricing plans, card selection, fee disclosure, customer support, privacy and security, and other important factors.

Just want the summary version? Check out our side-by-side calling card comparisons where we compare these companies on a few key factors.

Click here to see how we do calling card reviews.

more on Reviews >>>


Calling Card Ratings

Who's the best calling card company?

Check our calling card ratings to find out.

Our calling card comparison rates 10 top companies side-by-side on these factors:

  • Type of company
  • International reach
  • Low rates
  • 'Clean' cards
  • No hidden fees
  • Live customer support
  • Extras
  • Special offers

In two minutes, you'll know which are the best calling card companies - and which are the worst.

In the future, we'll be adding more companies to the comparison. Any requests?

If you want even more information, check out our in-depth calling card reviews.

more on Ratings >>>

Calling card ratings

'Clean' Cards

Clean Calling Card Ratings - NEW!

Calling Card "Clean Scores"

Clean calling card ratings

"Clean" calling cards are calling cards with simple pricing and few extra fees.

Every calling card has at least a few extra fees, but some cards really pile on the fees. When that happens, you end up paying a lot more per minute than you think.

The actual rate using a 'dirty' calling card can be 4x the advertised per minute rate or more!

With a clean card, the actual rate you'll pay in real life is going to be pretty close to the advertised rate.

To see who sells the cleanest calling cards, we've done some geeky analysis. First, we figured out how to measure how clean a calling card is - and then we calculated the 'clean score' for 30 popular cards from 9 top calling card companies.

In our analysis, we found clean scores that ranged from a low of 1.3 to a high of 4.1. What does this mean? Well, 'clean score' is a multiple of the advertised rate. So a clean score of 2.0 means your actual per minute rate will be 200% of the advertised rate.

Who sells the cleanest calling card? In our tests, it was Pingo followed by Cloncom.

Note that 'cleanest' isn't the same as 'cheapest'. Some companies, e.g, Pingo, Cloncom, are both 'clean' and 'cheap'. But others (PennyTalk) are 'clean', but not 'cheap'. And still others (Comfi) are 'cheap', but not 'clean'.

more on Clean Cards >>>

Avoid Scams

Calling Card Scams

Avoid calling card scams

Calling card fraud is a rampant problem costing consumers tens of millions of dollars a year.

The main problems come from firms that use complex pricing and deceptive marketing to make consumers to think they will get a lot more minutes than they actually do.

The problems are severe enough that local and federal governments all over the world are suing calling card companies. In the US in recent years, there has been a big push to rein in these scams and protect consumers.

As a result, many of the worst practices have now been eliminated and companies are doing a better job with disclosure.

But still, caution is advised and we recommend shopping carefully and buying cards only from reputable vendors. Follow these links for more information:

More on calling card scams >>>

In addition to our top picks, reviews, and ratings, you'll find a ton of other useful information on Here are some popular topics:

Calling Card Rates

Confused about calling card rates? You are not alone.

Calling Card Rates

Calling card rates

Calling card pricing is extremely confusing - often purposefully so. Complex pricing helps companies obscure how much you are really paying.

Very often, complex pricing is married to deceptive marketing. This results in hidden fees and overstated minutes.

To help you avoid pricing scams, we've done comparisons of per minute calling card rates for some top calling card companies. The result: rate tables that show you the fully 'loaded' per minute rates for several companies. 'Loaded' rates are the per minute rates after applying all fees and surcharges.

One simple way to avoid scams is to buy 'clean calling cards' - these are cards with straightforward, fully disclosed prices.

more on Calling Card Rates >>>

Back to top

Prepaid calling comes in many forms. Prepaid mobile phones such as T-mobile new cell phones are another option to consider.

How to Buy a Calling Card

Need to buy a calling card? Here are our a few of our top buying tips:

    Buy calling cards
  1. Buy 'clean' calling cards - these are cards with simple pricing and few extra fees.
  2. Use caution with cards that have very low per minute rates because these cards often have very high fees and surcharges.
  3. Buy from a reputable calling card vendor to avoid calling card scams.
  4. Buy calling cards online so you can read reviews and check company credentials.
  5. Estimate your loaded per minute rate by factoring in any extra fees and surcharges.

more Buying Tips >>>

Back to top

Back to top has affiliate relationships with some vendors mentioned on this site. With such vendors, may be paid a small commission on purchases made by visitors from this site. Details