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.

1 comment:

Soso said...

Till i don't have any problem calling from phone but i think it is a good offer by NTC for international calls.

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