International calling cards for occassional use?

jessyfAugust 27, 2009

I call Canada once in a blue moon - and my cell and landline charges rates are too much. I'm thinking of buying a calling card, maybe sharing it with family who likewise make few international calls.

I can't find a link on Costco's site, are they no longer offered?

I also googled 'international calling card' and found callingcards.com. They seem to be a 'bundler', offering many company's cards, you choose the rate that works the best. Any other sites out there?

The cheapest per minute rate does not always equal the best deal - you would have to compare the following categories - this is an example from their Canada list, 'Express Call':

Rechargeable: [?] YES (they all seem to be rechargeable)

Connection Fee: No Connection Fee (this can be pricey!)

Billing Increment: 1 minutes (some are three minutes, some one second even)

Maintenance Fee: None (another one to watch for monthly bills, meh)

Communication Fees: 12% (varies!!!)

Payphone Surcharge: 99 ¢ (standard, but who uses pay phones anymore?!)

Expiration: NONE (seems to be standard, but watch)

Some of them have pin-less dialing - yay - you register up to six phone lines and that skips the PIN, but you still have to dial the access # (from my cell, still free whether 800 or local).

Comments?

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western_pa_luann

I use Skype.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 8:11AM
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jessyf

Hi Luann - I use Skype but was trying to get away from the keyboard/headset without resorting to buying a Skype phone. Also, I have found call quality and connectivity to be sub-par.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 8:17AM
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jessyf

Also, IIRC, Skype minutes expire after 180 days if you don't make a call. Some of these calling cards do not expire, and my need is for rare usage. I don't think I want to have to remember to place a Skype call to keep the balance active for the very few international calls I make!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 8:31AM
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western_pa_luann

Shame it won't work for you.

I use a generic UBS handset phone I bought at RadioShack, and I found the quality to be excellent - even on US to AUS calls.

Regarding expiring...
I dial my home phone and hang up. Just costs 2 cents, and I am good for another 6 months.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 11:39AM
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ryansmith3

Phone cards can be a great way to save money on long distance phone calling, especially international calls. They can also very helpful in maintaining your budget for long distance calls. This is a guide to saving money on phone cards.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 6:55AM
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