Sunday, October 28, 2007

JoiPhone VoIP International Calling Plans

JoiPhone VoIP has just announced some new International Unlimited Calling Plans that offer good value for people who make frequent international calls. Consumers who spend more than $50 per month on international calls should consider one of these plans. They include local phone service, unlimited calling in the USA and unlimited calling to specific international destinations for one low monthly rate. JoiPhone is currently offering 3 unlimited calling plans.

The lowest price plan is only $8.95 per month if you pay for one year. It offers unlimited calling to the USA and 9 countries. These include Argentina, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. The plan is $17.95 per month if you pay monthly which is still a good deal.

The second plan features unlimited calling to the USA and 40 other countries for $14.95 per month on a yearly plan. This plan costs $19.95 per month and a month-to-month basis.

Their worldwide premium plan features unlimited calling to the USA and 70 other countries for $39.95 per month on the yearly plan. For month-to-month this plan costs $49.95 per month.

JoiPhone includes 40 features and Free equipment with their calling plans. There is also a 30 day money back guarantee, no cancellation fee or no contract requirements.

These plans are worth a try for callers who have high speed INTERNET and make frequent calls to one or more of the destinations included in one of these plans. Since the SunRocket VoIP experience we suggest people to pay the few extra dollars for one of the month-to-month plans rather than risk paying for one year in advance. SunRocket VoIP had a yearly plan and customers who prepaid for their services lost money when they went bankrupt and shutdown a few months ago.

Those who may be interested should visit JoiPhone for details.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Calling to Jamaica - Jamaica Calling Cards

Jamaica is a popular calling destination from the United Sates and one of the most popular products for making low cost calls to Jamaica is Tel3Advantage. Why is Tel3Advantage so popular? We looked into this and it seems it is due to quality, price and features. No big surprise here. Consumers are pretty good at spotting good deals and it seems they have done so with Tel3. Tel3Advantage has some of the lowest rates to Jamaica when all hidden fees and taxes are included. It also offers top quality and many features like on line call history, PIN free dialing, a huge network of local access numbers and even direct dial international long distance from cell phones with their new SmartPlug technology. It seems that Tel3 offers good value and a superior product for this market.

We concluded this by comparing Tel3Advantage rates to calling cards of similar quality. Tel3Advantage charges 8.2 cents/minute on calls to Jamaica made through local access numbers. This rate includes all fees and taxes. They also use a one minute rounding interval. A popular phone card with similar call quality, low fees, a wide network of local access numbers that also uses a one minute rounding interval is the Jupiter Phone Card. Calls made from the USA to Jamaica using the Jupiter Phone Card (via a local access number) cost 7.9 cents/min plus a 10% service tax or a total rate of around 8.8 cents/min. The rate is similar but Tel3 Advantage offers many more features at a slightly lower cost. There are, of course, phone cards with lower advertised per-minute rates but these tend to have lower quality and more hidden fees and taxes. One of these options is Cheap Street which advertises a rate of 5.6 cents/minute but uses a 3 minute rounding interval and charges a maintenance fee of $0.99 per week and a service tax of up to 35% on each call. The rate on calls to Jamaica using the Cheap Street Phone Card via a local access number is about 7.6 cents/minute. What would you rather use?

We often marvel at how quickly consumers can find the best values in the market. Look for the most popular product and you will usually find the best value. This seems to be the case here. Tel3Advantage is a very popular prepaid calling plan for making low cost calls to Jamaica because it offers the best value. No big surprise....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Phone Card Review - New Lucky Minutes Phone Card

The new Lucky Minutes Phone Card from NTC appears to have some of the lowest rates on calls from the USA to Asia, especially to China and India, however, first appearances can be deceiving. Potential users should take a closer look before making a purchase and trying the card. The advertised per-minute rates are low (0.7 cents per minute to China and 4.4 cents/min to India) but there are a lot of added fees so callers will pay more than the advertised rates, in some cases, a lot more. The following is a summary of the fee structure for Lucky Minutes.
  • Lucky Minutes charges an 18 cent connection fee for calls that are longer than 1 minute.
  • There is a 88 cent per week maintenance fee.
  • Lucky Minutes uses a 3 minute rounding interval.
  • There is a 28% service fee or tax on each call.

These fees are high and could easily add 1 or 2 cents per-minute to each call.

On the positive side, Lucky Minutes does feature PIN free dialing and it appears to have a wide network of local access numbers. It can also be used to make calls from Canada, China or India.

Like most phone cards, it is likely a good deal for some users but it depends on how a caller wants to use the card. In the case of Lucky Minutes, it is likely best if it is purchased in a small denomination and used to make a small number of long duration calls. If used in this manner a caller can avoid the maintenance fee (if the card is used up within one week) and minimize the impact of the 18 cent connection fee that is charged for each call. The connection fee alone will increase the rate by 1 cent per-minute for an 18 minute call. This will more than double the advertised rate on calls to a location like China. One reason why we shy away from phone cards with connection fees.

Callers who want to make several short duration calls to India or China should use a phone card like Golden Lotus or Jupiter. These cards do not charge a connection fee and, in general, have a lower fee structure. They also include more features like call history and Auto Recharge.

However, if a user wants to make an occasional long duration call than Lucky Minutes may be a good choice.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Phone Card Review - Jupiter Phone Card

The Jupiter phone card from ECC is a dream come true for international callers who want low rates and high call quality. Many calling cards that offer cheap per-minute rates are loaded with hidden fees but Jupiter does not have hidden charges. The only added fee is a relatively low 10% usage fee or tax. We have tested many prepaid calling products but have not found any other low cost product with the call quality and features offered by Jupiter. The following are some of the highlights of this phone card.

  • Jupiter offers PIN free dialing.

  • It has both toll free and local access numbers. It has many local access numbers so most people will not need the toll free number. Using the toll free access number costs 1 cent/min more than local access.

  • Callers receive a 10% discount if they call between 9 PM and 7 AM.

  • It has an optional Auto Recharge capability.

  • There is no expiration date.

  • Jupiter features 1 minute rounding. Unusual for a low cost card.

  • There is no maintenance fee.

  • The only hidden charge is a low 10% usage tax.

In addition, Jupiter can be used from Canada, Israel, Mexico, Russia, the UK and the United States. We just can't say enough good things about this card, if you make international calls from one of these countries than you should try the Jupiter Phone Card for yourself.

Calls are cheap with Jupiter. We found many countries with rates below 2 cents per minute. These include Russia (Moscow), Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Israel, Ireland and the UK.

Free Calls to India and Beyond with Send Global

Send Global has a marketing concept that has been working well for them. They simply offer a free trial of their prepaid international calling plan. Many people try the service, find it offers quality and value, and continue to use the service after the free trial period ends. This marketing concept has worked well for Send Global. They now have over 400,000 customers in the USA and their service is offered in more than 5,000 retail establishments. Their international phone service is high quality since it uses the AT&T network. It is also cheap - Calls to India are around 6.9 cents per minute, compare that to the AT&T rate. It is also easy to use. All callers need to do is dial an access number, then dial the number they wish to call. They do not need to enter a PIN code or account number or anything else.

Send Global offers two types of accounts. Their Basic Plan has no up-front fee while their Elite Plan has a one time fee of $5.95. Callers who plan to use the service a lot should consider the Elite Plan since the rates are 20% lower. The Send Global prepaid plan is an especially nice international calling plan for cell phone users since it is very easy to use. Users can speed dial the access number than speed dial the number they wish to call. Simply press a couple of numbers and make a low cost international call. It doesn't get much easier or cheaper.

Why not visit Send Global now and take a Free Trial.