How to Assess Your Calling Card Needs

To be a smart calling card buyer, you should know your own personal calling patterns.

If you have a good idea of what you need, you'll be able to make much better choices.

Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • where am I calling?
  • how many calls am I going to make?
  • can I make calls in batches all at once or will they be one at a time?
  • how long will my calls be?
  • how long will I need the card?
  • will I be using a payphone for any calls?
  • am I calling landline or mobile phones?
  • does the calling card company have a local access number I can use or will I have to use their toll-free lines?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to sort out the kinds of cards that will work best for you.

Some rules of thumb are:

  • If you generally make long calls (>12 minutes), then you want a card with a long billing increment - at least 3-minutes
  • If you make fairly short calls, then you want a card with a 1-minute billing increment
  • If you plan to keep and use your card for a long time, then you want a card with low maintenance fees
  • If you will be calling mobile phones, look for cards with low mobile rates
  • If you will be using a payphone often, choose a card with a low payphone surcharge
  • If you make calls one at a time, then you want a card with a low connection fee
  • If you can make calls in batches several at a time, then connection fees are less important and a low per minute rate is key

Hopefully, you get the idea from these examples - pay attention to calling card fees that are going to matter to you and ignore any extraneous fees that won't impact you.

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