Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On-line Phone Cards offer Features as well as Value

Phone cards have come a long way since there introduction in Italy in 1975. Many consumers know that prepaid phone cards can be used to make cheap domestic and international long distance phone calls but many do not know that they also offer a full range of features which make them an attractive option for long term savings. Consumers who purchase phone cards at supermarkets or convenience stores may be paying a higher cost than necessary for making calls and may also be missing many features that are commonly provided free-of-charge with on-line calling cards.

Some of the common features found with high quality virtual prepaid phone cards are listed below.

· PIN Free dialing is becoming a common feature with many on-line prepaid phone cards. It allows a caller to register phone numbers so they do not need to enter a PIN code when making calls from a registered phone. These cards can still be used to make calls from an unregistered phone by entering the PIN code associated with the card when making a call.
· Many virtual phone cards feature a permanent PIN so the code does not change each time the phone card is refilled or re-charged with money. These permanent PIN phone cards are typically stored in an on-line account that can be accessed by a user via their on-line account.
· Most permanent PIN phone cards also allow an optional automatic recharge function. Many users find this is an attractive feature since it assures that they will not run out of funds during a call and the card is always available for use.
· There are several on-line phone cards or other prepaid calling products that feature an on-line call history. Many long term users rely on this feature to track the details, including cost, of each phone call made with the phone card. This is a very handy feature that is typically included with high quality phone cards.
· Many on-line phone cards include a Speed Dial feature. This allows the user to add phone numbers to their personal account so they can call these numbers by pressing 2 or 3 numbers on their phone. This saves a lot of time when making international phone calls and also minimizes dialing errors.
· Some on-line merchants allow customers to transfer funds between phone cards. This is also a handy feature for users who call to or from multiple locations.
· Most on-line merchants have a handy search tool built into their website that allows shoppers to search for the best phone card for their needs. These search tools will list phone cards with the lowest rates for making calls to and from specific locations. In many cases they also provide phone card quality ratings and a summary of features, taxes and fees.

There are virtual phone cards or prepaid calling plans like Tel3Advantage that offer the features listed above as well as some other not so common features. Tel3 offers a mobile plan where users can make direct-dial international phone calls from their Smart Cell Phones. When using Tel3 Mobile, users do not need to dial an access number or PIN code. They simply dial the international call and their call is automatically routed over the low cost Tel3 network. Tel3 also offers a business calling plan with many on-line tools tailored made for business users. These can be used by business managers to budget and monitor expenses in real time.

Phone cards have come a long way since their introduction in the 1970’s but companies like Tel3 continue to introduce new features and services so the phone card of tomorrow will be even better than today.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New International Call Plan for Business: Manage Budgets and Reduce Costs

Tel3 has launched their new international calling plan for businesses. It combines high quality phone service, online administration and account management tools and extreme cost savings. The service is tailor made for small to medium size businesses. Tel3 researched the market and tested the plan extensively before launching the new service. It is loaded with management tools and features that are very useful for controlling costs and budgeting expenses.

The following is a summary of the features included with Tel3 for Business.

  • Users get a web-based administrative dashboard to create new accounts and assign users. A manager can set monthly limits for each department or user and monitor the weekly and/or monthly budgets. Once the accounts and limits are set-up the system will work automatically so there is no need to have an Internet connection or any other equipment to start using the service.
  • The service can be used to make low cost international calls from any kind of phone (land-line, voip, cell, etc.).
  • Tel3 provides users with a free software application to download on existing cell phones. With it users can make direct dial international calls via their TEL3Business account. There is no need to hassle with dialing Pin numbers, and no need to worry about paying for expensive international long distance bills.
  • Managers will have access to all usage and call history details for each user or department, and will be able to export the call history records to spreadsheets.
  • Tel3 for Business uses high quality service providers so users will have business grade service.
  • Users will save up to 80% on international calls compared to AT&T, T-Mobile or other primary service providers.
  • Tel3 Business can be used with any existing service provider without changing anything.
  • Tel3 does not require a contract or other long-term obligation. There are no maintenance fees or other hidden charges.
  • Tel3 offers a 30-day money back guarantee for new customers. There is no fee for opening an account and new users will get a 20% discount for the first month. Visit Tel3 Business for details or call 800 441 0321.
  • Tel3 provides customer service 24/7

Tel3 has been providing prepaid phone services since 1994 so they are not new to the business. They are an established industry leader with more than 100,000 active customers using their Tel3Advantage flex plan in North America.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Phone Card Holiday Sale

Smart Global Call International Phone Cards are featuring a phone card sale that will last through January 5th. During this time customers will save 10% on the purchase of a phone card with a face value of $20 or more. In order to get the 10% discount it is necessary to use the following link: Phone Card Sale

Why purchase phone cards from Smart Global Call? They offer a full line of high quality phone cards with low fees. Most of their phone cards come with features like PIN free dialing, call history and speed dial at no extra charge. Their cards can also be used from more than 200 countries. They offer brands like AT&T, Simply, Continental, Jupiter, Saturn, Golden Lotus, Bizon, Cardinal and more. Each customers receives a free virtual account where they can manage and monitor their phone cards. Smart Global Call also allows customers to transfer balances between phone cards. This is a great feature which allows customers to experiment with different cards and get the best rates to all of the locations they call.

Smart Global Call also fully discloses all fees and taxes associated with every phone card they sell in an easy to read format. The website has an easy to use phone card search tool so shoppers can easily find the best phone card for each location. Also, all phone cards sold by Smart Global Call are rated by users so it is easy to shop for the highest quality phone cards.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Review of International Calling Products

There are a variety of low cost international long distance calling products on the market today but each has been designed to fit the needs of a specific group of consumers. Marketers and product developers have tried to broaden the appeal of their products but all have certain limitations. The purpose of this article is to review the types of international calling products on the market today and provide a brief overview of their strengths and limitations so consumers can make better choices.

One product does not fit the needs of all. People who are PC savvy and have high speed INTERNET connections may choose to use PC to PC or PC to Phone service or VoIP technology while others may want the convenience and flexibility of a phone card. Most people only make occasional international calls while others make multiple international phone calls each day. Therefore, some people are willing to sacrifice quality and convenience in order to save money while others are willing to pay a bit more for higher quality, convenience and flexibility. Consumers need to understand the limitations of each product type so they can make informed choices.

  • Traditional Long Distance – Forget using traditional long distance from your home phone, cell phone or office phone unless you only make one or two short international calls each year and you don’t care about wasting money. There are products on the market today which offer the same quality at a fraction of the cost.
  • VoIP Phone Service – This may be a good option for saving money on home phone service but it is not the best option for saving money on international calls. There is a monthly charge for VoIP service and in most cases international long distance calls cost extra. The cost for making international long distance calls with VoIP is typically cheaper than the rates charged by traditional long distance providers but there cheaper options that are more convenient. A high speed internet connection is required for VoIP and most service providers require a long term contract. VoIP service providers typically charge extra fees for set-up, activation, early termination and some even charge for equipment.
  • PC-to-PC or PC-to-Phone Service - This service is used to make calls over the internet from a personal computer. A PC-to-PC service like Skype is required along with equipment like a head-set and micro phone. PC-to-PC calls are typically free so this is a very cheap option but it is not very convenient since both parties need access to a PC and an internet connection. Calls can be made from PC-to-Phone but they are not free. This is more convenient but the caller still needs access to a PC and an internet connection. There are other methods for making international calls that cost about the same as PC-to-Phone but are more convenient and typically offer better quality.
  • Phone Cards – Prepaid phone cards have ultimate convenience since they can be used to make cheap international calls from almost any phone (cell, home, business, pay phone or even VoIP). The cost for making international calls vary from being dirt cheap to expensive depending on the card used and the location or type of phone called. Calls to cell phones are generally more expensive than calls to land lines. Shopping and comparing phone cards can be complex because fee structures vary along with quality and usability. Most phone cards provide good rates to a few locations but poor rates to others. Shop for phone cards that offer good rates to the locations you call the most. Also, check for access number availability in the locations where you plan to use the phone card. Purchase phone cards from a reputable phone card supplier that fully discloses all fees and charges in an easy to understand format.
  • Prepaid Long Distance – These are sometimes call dial-around plans. Prepaid long distance plans like Tel3Advantage are popular with frequent international callers since they offer a variety of useful features, low rates, high call quality and the convenience of a phone card. Tel3 Advantage also does not charge hidden fees or taxes so users actually pay the advertised rate for each call. Features include on-line account management, on-line call history with a complete record of each call, speed dial and PIN free dialing. Tel3 allows users to register up to 10 telephone numbers in each account. Calls made from these phone numbers can be made without dialing an account number or PIN code. Tel3Advantage has a wide network of local access numbers but can only be used to make calls from the USA and Canada.
  • International Call Back Phone Service – This is a good method for making low cost international calls from almost any country. Many countries outside of North America, Europe and the developed countries in Asia have very high tariffs on international long distance calls. International callback long distance uses a clever method to avoid these tariffs by placing calls through long distance providers located in low cost third countries. There are at least three common methods used to trigger or place calls so potential users should conduct further research to determine the best method for their location and situation.

    As summarized above, there are a variety of technologies available on the market today for making low cost international phone calls. Multiple companies’ market products using these technologies and some of these products are high quality and others are not. Consumers should shop and be smart about purchases. It is usually best to try a product by making a small purchase before making a large purchase or enter a long term contract. Most reputable VoIP providers will offer a 30 day (or longer) money back guarantee and most phone card providers will offer cards in small denominations so consumers can try the product before making a large purchase or commitment. It is best to stay away from those who don’t.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tel3Advantage Christmas Promotion

Tel3Advantage will start their Holiday Promotion on December 15, 2008. The promotion is for new customers and will last through December 31, 2008. Tel3 typically offers these promotions 3 or 4 times per year but this one is lasting for a longer time than normal. This is a great time to sign up for the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan. It is a premium prepaid long distance service that can be used to make cheap domestic or international calls from the USA or Canada. It is a unique service that comes with a variety of features free of charge, high quality and very competitive rates to most destinations in the world. It is also convenient since it can be used from any phone including home, cell, business, hotel or even pay phones.

New customers will get up to 946 Free Minutes if they sign up for the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan during the promotion period. It is free to sign up, all a new customer needs to do is open an account and deposit as little as $10. The deposit is used to pay for calls as the customer uses the account. Tel3Advantage works something like a phone card but it does not have all of the hidden fees and taxes associated with most prepaid phone cards. In fact there are no hidden fees or taxes and Tel3 uses a one minute rounding interval. Tel3Advantage is actually cheaper to most locations than phone cards with equivalent quality when all fees and taxes are considered.

Tel3Advantage will add the following bonus amounts to new accounts opened during the promotion period.

Deposit $10 and get a $2 bonus credit.
Deposit $25 and get a $10 bonus credit.
Deposit $50 and get a $14 bonus credit.
Deposit $100 and get a $18 bonus credit.

Use the additional bonus credit to make calls to any location you choose. For details, visit Tel3Advantage website or call 800 441 0321.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

5 Tips for Using a Calling Card Overseas

For anyone who's traveled abroad for a significant period of time, the challenge of maintaining cost-effective communications back home is well-known. Despite the growth of global communications over the last decade, cellular networks are still nationally-based, resulting in high roaming surcharges when using cell phones abroad. While Voice-over-IP options are available, it can be difficult to get a wireless connection on demand. As a result, a growing number of global travelers are turning to international calling cards in order to lower their costs of inter-continental communications.

  • Understand the Cost Implications of International Calls from Your Hotel Room
    While it may seem like placing a calling card call from one's hotel room is a good option, there may be surcharges and connection fees which make it an excessive expensive way to make an international call. Check with the concierge at your hotel in regards to outbound international call rates before dialing up with your calling card.
  • Look for a Card with a Toll-Free Access Number
    In order to connect with a pre-paid card service, you, generally, have to call an intermediary number. Seek out a card that allows a toll-free access number to limit your initial, access costs on the call.
  • Check the Reach of the Card Before Buying Once Domestically
    All too often, global travelers will buy an international calling card at home, only to later realize that out-bound calls can only be made from their country of origin. Check into the restrictions and limits on any card before you make a final purchase decision.
  • Find a Solution for In-Bound Calls
    Calling cards generally only provide a means to make out-bound calls, while not allowing for incoming calls at a discounted rate. As a result, make sure that anyone who needs to contact you from abroad has an e-mail address or hotel phone number through which they can contact you directly.
  • Compare Fees on International Calling Cards
    Resist the temptation to make your purchasing decisions on the basis of the stated “per minute” fee alone, as most cards have different gradients of fees and expenses outside of the standard call rate. In particular, compare the bottom line price of calling after factoring in base cost, access fees and “maintenance” fees that may issuers levy on callers.

    Maya Richard is a content writer, primarily blogging about Comcast deals.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cheap International Calls - Germany

Many people living in the USA make frequent phone calls to friends and family living in Germany and, the converse is also true, many people living in Germany make frequent calls to friends and family in the USA. We find that Germany is one of the most popular international calling destinations in the world. There is a significant amount of communication traffic between the two countries.

As a result of this activity, there are several good quality prepaid international calling products on the market for making low cost calls between Germany and North America. These range from phone cards to virtual prepaid calling plans like Tel3Advantage. There are a full range of phone cards available, ranging from those with very cheap advertised rates (less than 1 cent per minute) to those that are rather expensive (more than 5 or 10 cents per minute). We prefer those with more moderate rates (around 2 or 3 cents per minute) because these tend to have lower hidden fees and feature much better call quality. It is also a good idea to check for access number availability before purchasing a phone card. Many of the very cheap phone cards have a limited number of local access numbers and charge a high rate for toll free access.

One of the best options for making international calls to Germany from the USA or Canada is Tel3Advantage. They only charge 2 cents per minute to most German cities and they have a large number of local access numbers. Tel3 Advantage is also a good option because it features high call quality and no hidden fees or taxes. It also has a full range of features not found with most phone cards. It is a good option for those who make frequent international phone calls to any location but it has especially good rates for Germany.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shop and Compare International Calling Plans

The holidays are fast approaching and many people will want to call family and friends in far away places. Many people who make international calls infrequently will be shocked when they find out how much their home phone or mobile phone service provider charges for making international calls. The total cost will include a high per minute rate charged by the service provider and additional taxes and fees levied by the government. Large phone companies like AT&T and Verizon offer lower cost international calling plans but even the rates they charge under these plans are outrageous when compared to other low cost options for making international calls.

Many consumers have turned to VoIP providers such as Vonage in order to save money on international calls. This may be a good choice if it is purchased as a replacement for home phone service but it is not the best option for international calling. Vonage includes long distance service to Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK with their basic service but calls to these locations are typically very cheap. Vonage also uses VoIP technology so international call quality tends to vary from good to poor. Vonage may seem like a good deal but it costs $24.95 per month and a long-term contract is required. International rates are also relatively expensive when compared to other low cost options.

Other consumers, especially techies, save money by making international calls with PC to Phone providers like Skype. This can be a great option since Skype features free PC-to-PC calls. However, in order to make free calls, each party needs to have a PC, an INTERNET connection, and have a Skype account. Many people live with these inconveniences and make free calls with Skype. However, many others want an international calling plan where they can call landlines and cell phones. Skype can be used to make calls to phones but it is inconvenient since a PC and INTERNET connection is required and it is not as cheap as other, more convenient options.

One option for making international calls that is convenient, flexible and low cost is prepaid long distance. These virtual calling plans evolved from phone cards but they have become more sophisticated. Most come with free user accounts where callers can monitor activity (even the details of each call) and make account changes. They also typically have other features like PIN free dialing and speed dial so they are more convenient to use than standard phone cards. A few of these prepaid international calling plans offer high quality and low rates on calls to almost any location in the world. We are very familiar with two of these plans, Tel3Advantage and Continental. We have used both of these to make low cost international phone calls for several years. Tel3Advatage is an especially good calling plan that features high quality connections and rates that beat Skype’s PC-to-Phone rates to many locations. Both Tel3Advantage and Continental are virtual prepaid calling plans that do not require a contract or other long-term obligation. They also do not charge an activation fee or any fees for maintaining or terminating an account. They are both ideal calling plans for short-term use over the holidays or long-term use all year long. Either one of these prepaid calling plans are a good option for consumers who want to save money on long distance calling and still want convenience, flexibility and high quality.

For illustrative purposes, the Table below compares the rates charged by these calling plans to some popular international locations. These rates are in cents per minute for calls made from the USA. They are the rates advertised on the service provider’s website and may not include all fees and taxes. They include rates from two traditional international calling plans (AT&T and Verizon), one VoIP provider (Vonage), one PC-to-Phone provider (Skype) and two prepaid long distance provider (Tel3Advantage and Continental).

International Calling Plan Rate Comparison

Calls Originating in the USA (cents/min)

Location Called/Service Provider

Vonage

Skype

Verizon Choice Plan

AT&T Int’l Plan

Tel3Advantage

Continental

Egypt

21

18.5

35

35

14

19.6

Germany

5

2.1

10

9

2

6.5

Ghana

13

15.3

45

45

7

11.9

Jamaica

20

12.6

38

36

9.5

12.1

Mexico

8

2.1

8

9

2

6.4

Nigeria

11

11.7

52

52

11

10.7

Philippines

18

19.8

16

16

12.5

16.9

Moscow (RU)

7

2.1

15

16

1.5

6

Conclusions

The above table illustrates a few things:

  1. International rates vary significantly between companies and countries. It pays to shop for the best deal to the locations you call the most.
  2. It is not hard to beat the rates on international calls offered by the traditional long distance providers. They are not even trying to compete on price.
  3. Skype provides free PC-to-PC calls. Their rates to landlines or cell phones are low but not the lowest.
  4. Vonage may save consumers money on home phone service but their international rates are not cheap relative to the competition.
  5. Consumers who plan to make frequent international calls should consider using a prepaid long distance provider like Tel3Advantage.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Calling Card Tips: How to Find the Best Phone Card for You?

The calling card market can be confusing because calling card carriers have been creative in devising hidden fees and other tricks so they can advertise extremely low per minute rates and still make money. We have tried to list, define and explain the technical terms here so a calling card shopper can at least make an informed purchase and have a basic understanding of the market.

First, we would suggest purchasing calling cards from websites where all of the fees are fully disclosed in an easy to read format and where calling cards are rated by users. These sites do exist because there are still honest calling card vendors, carriers and marketers (web sites like Smart Global Call Phone Cards International display customer ratings for all of the cards they sell).

  • Check the rate (usually cents/min) to the destination you want to call. Remember that the rates listed or advertised are normally to house phones (land lines). Calls made to cell phones often have higher rates. Also, the advertised rates do not include calling card fees or taxes that can significantly increase the cost of a call.
  • Look for added fees, taxes and hidden costs. These should be listed in an easy to read format but can also be buried in the fine print. Remember you will likely pay more than the advertised rate when using a calling card so the trick is to minimize the added fees. Added fees will be called things like connection fee, disconnection fee, taxes, maintenance fee, pay phone fee and long call fee. These fees will vary between calling cards. Some calling cards will have all or most of these added fees and others will not have any of them.
  • Calling cards will also have different rounding or billing increments. These are often in 1, 3 or 6 minute increments. The billing increment can have a significant impact on the calling cost depending on how the calling card is used. A calling card with a one minute billing increment will charge a customer 4 minutes for a 3.5 minute call while a calling card with a 3 minute billing increment will charge a customer 6 minutes for the same call. The cost of a call is rounded up to the next billing increment so; in general, a lower billing increment is better.
  • Calling card fees are typically minimized if calling cards are purchased in smaller denominations and used for one call or over a short period of time. In general, calling card fees do not start until the calling card is used the first time. Many companies offer calling cards in denominations of $5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. We recommend trying a small denomination card ($5 to $10) before making a large purchase. Also, it is generally better to buy several small denomination cards than to purchase one with a big denomination.
  • Calling card call quality depends on the international carrier used and is not always equal between vendors to a given location. There are many international telecom carriers and call quality will vary between carriers. There are generally three levels of call quality (referred to as Tier 1, 2 and 3) with regard to telecom carriers. Tier 1 carriers offer the best quality but they also charge the highest rates. Therefore, in general, calling cards with the lowest advertised rates also tend to have the lowest call quality because they use lower Tier carriers.
  • Check for local access number availability. Many cheap calling cards have low per minute rates but have few local access numbers and charge 1 or 2 cents per minute for using a toll free access number.
  • All calling cards carry an FCC imposed fee for using a pay phone. However, the rate will vary between calling cards (it ranges from around $0.49 to $1) so check this rate if you plan to use a pay phone.
  • Calling cards typically have an expiration date so be sure and use the card before it expires.
  • Purchase calling cards from vendors that have 24/7 customer service. If nothing else you may have a question.

So, how to use this information? There are a few things to consider. First, try to compare calling cards on the same basis. When calling card rates are adjusted for the above mentioned fees, taxes and billing tricks, many calling cards with very cheap advertised rates actually cost as much or more to use than a moderately priced card with higher call quality. Remember, a calling card that cannot be used or has extremely poor quality is really worthless to the user. Any money spent on a purchase is lost.

Consumers have become wise to many of the hidden fees and tricks discussed above and, as a result, there are several newer calling cards on the market that have high call quality at reasonable rates. They also tend to have minimal added fees so the advertised rate per minute is closer to the actual rate charged when the card is used. Many of these are hybrid calling cards that are really a virtual calling plan with features like PIN-less dialing, online call history, speed dial and a large network of local access numbers. They are also re-chargeable for customer convenience but also because calling card vendors are trying to build brand loyalty. By offering low cost, quality and convenience they hope to retain customers. It seems that some calling card carriers have rightly concluded that it is better to make a little money off a large number of satisfied users over the long haul than to make some quick money ripping off a few customers one time. Alas, the free market even works with respect to calling cards.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tel3 Advantage Thanksgiving Promotion

Tel3 announced this week that they will have a Thanksgiving promotion for New Customers. People who sign up using a special link (below) from November 21 - November 28, 2008 will get twice the normal sign-up bonus. Therefore, New Customers will get the following bonus if they use the special link and sign-up during the promotion period:

Open an account for $10 and get $2 in free calls.
Open an account for $25 and get a $10 bonus.
Open an account for $50 and get a $14 bonus.
Open an account for $100 and get an $18 bonus.

Tel3Advantage has great international rates and this offer makes them even better. If you ever wanted to try Tel3 Advantage now is the time. Just use the special link below and get this special bonus.

Tel3 Advantage Special Bonus

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tel3 Affiliate Program - A Ready-Made Home Business Opportunity

Tel3 offers the following prepaid calling products that are sold exclusively by Tel3 affiliates. These are easy to sell and offer a potential for significant current income and a continuous stream of residual (long-term) income.

Tel3 Advantage Flex Plan – a high quality prepaid long distance plan that can be used to make low cost long distance calls from any phone in the USA or Canada.

Tel3 Mobile – An international calling plan for cell phone users. Users get free access to Tel3’s SmartPlug technology that allows Smart Phone users to make “direct dial” international calls. They can complete international calls without dialing an access number or PIN code and use the new Tel3 Mobile international plan with any cell phone service provider.

Tel3 Business Plan – A new calling plan that has been designed to meet the needs of businesses. It includes great rates, high quality and special on-line reporting and account management tools that business needs for managing expenses.


Tel3 provides a Free, Customized website that can be used as an on-line sales platform. They also provide access to professionally designed banners and videos for on-line advertising campaigns along with a variety of off-line marketing materials.

Earn a Continuous Stream of Income from Tel3

Earn a bounty on each new account opened (up to $50 per account) and continue to earn commissions when customers recharge their accounts. Commissions on usage (recharges) go up to 16%. Unlike many phone card programs, Tel3 pays their agents each week so if you work hard this week you can get a good paycheck next week.


Tel3 also features numerous special offers for consumers and marketing incentives for agents during the year. These all translate to higher commissions and earnings for agents. The affiliates are the marketing arm of Tel3 so they are treated as true partners in the business.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tel3 Mobile: Cell Phone Quality International Calls at Calling Card Rates

Tel3 has just introduced a new low cost prepaid international calling plan specifically designed for Smart Phone users. This plan combines the convenience, flexibility and low cost of the traditional Tel3Advantage Flex Plan with high-grade mobile service. The result, Smart Phone users can make cheap international calls with no loss in call quality or convenience. Use Tel3 Mobile service with any existing mobile service provider without changing anything. There is also no contract or other long-term obligation.

Tel3 has been in the prepaid calling business since 1994 and is a leader in marketing low cost prepaid calling products. They are an innovative leader in the industry who introduced the revolutionary Tel3Advantage Flex plan nearly 5 years ago. Now they have targeted the fast growing Smart phone market with an innovative new product that allows users to make low cost, direct dial international calls from their phones without changing service providers. Tel3 Mobile users get free access to Tel3 SmartPlug, a small piece of software that is loaded onto a Smart Phone that will automatically direct international calls over the low cost Tel3 network. With SmartPlug, users can make direct dial international calls from their address book and not even know they are using Tel3 and saving 80% on their calls when compared to the rates charge by AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. If fact, users will pay rates similar to Skype but have the convenience of using a cell phone and extremely high call quality. Tel3 uses special carriers for this service so users will not experience a loss in call quality. They guarantee call quality.

Sign up now for Tel3 Mobile service and get $10 in Free Calls or take a free trial.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Phone Card Fraud: Are there any Honest Phone Cards?

A recent article published by MSNBC indicted that the phone card industry is plagued by fraud and other abuses. They cite a recent investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other consumer groups that found the “bad actors in this industry use false or misleading advertising and ding customers with all sorts of junk fees….” They went on to say that, some phone card companies charge hidden fees that are often only vaguely disclosed. These fees add to the advertised cost of making calls so many phone cards do not deliver the advertised minutes. In fact, in a testimony before Congress in September, the FTC Chairman, William E. Kovacic, reported that they had filed law suites against two major phone card distributors in the spring who had deceptively marketed their calling cards. The FTC alleged that the defendants did not adequately disclose fees and charges associated with their cards. In the first case, the phone cards on average only delivered 43% of the advertised minutes while in the second case the cards only delivered 50.4% of the minutes advertised.

MSNBC reports that Congress is also getting into the act. A new law called the Calling Card Protection Act passed the House last month and the Senate is now considering a similar bill.

We applaud these actions and feel it is about time the government has done something to regulate this industry. We have been trying to educate consumers on Phone Card hidden fees for the last 4 years. We have done this through numerous articles, blog entries and through tips on our websites like those found on the Phone Card Shop. Phone Card shopping is simply too complex for consumers right now due to all of the hidden fees associated with most calling cards. We feel there should be an industry standard that requires that all phone card distributors to include all applicable fees in their advertised per minute rates. In this way, potential customers can compare the cost of making calls with various phone cards on the same basis. The market is so confusing now that even experienced individuals in the industry have a trouble comparing rates between phone cards with different cost structures.


Are there Honest Phone Card Companies?

Yes, some phone cards and other prepaid calling products are honestly marketed today. We have been pointing these out to consumers for over 4 years. There are calling cards on the market that feature high quality and low or even no fees. Our phone card website, Smart Global Call Prepaid Phone Cards, contains a full range of international phone cards with honest rates, good quality and low fees. We know this because we have tested the cards we sell. We also have 100’s of customers that come back month after month to re-charge their phone cards. If they were being ripped-off they would not come back and make another purchase. We also tend to favor products like Tel3Advantage which we feel which we know is an honest product. Tel3Advantage is the only low cost product we know of that has no hidden fees. Consumers pay the advertised rates with Tel3Advatage. We have tested this over-and-over again over the past 4 years. Phone Cards like the AT&T Card or MCI are also honest but their per-minute rates are also high. We hope the phone card industry will soon have new regulations so those who use false or fraudulent advertising no longer punish the honest companies.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tel3 Mobile - Cheap International Calls from Mobile Phones

The new Tel3 Mobile international calling plan being offered by Tel3 Advantage combines unsurpassed quality with very low cost. Tel3 is using high quality carriers for this new service and actually guarantees that the call quality will be as good as or better than the the cell phone service provider. The best part is that Tel3 Mobile can be used with any existing service provider without making any changes. Therefore, cell phone users can try Tel3 Mobile risk free because there is nothing to change and no start-up fee. Tel3 also does not require a contract or other obligation so the service can be discontinued at any time by doing nothing. Cell phone users who want to make international calls from their cell phone should consider trying the new Tel3 Mobile calling plan. It is a great add-on to any existing service.

One super feature include with Tel3 Mobile is the SmartPlug technology offered free of charge to all Tel3 customers. Using SmartPlug technology, Smart Phone users can simply dial an international number and their international call will automatically be routed over the low cost Tel3 network. They do not need to dial any extra numbers or codes. They can save up to 80% on their international calls and still have the same level of call quuality and convenience. Tel3 Mobile is currently having a promotion where new customers get up to $10 in Free Calls when they sign-up for the prepaid service. Tel3 Mobile is also offering a no obligation Free Trial of their service where cell phone users can get up to 60 Free International minutes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Web Call: Cheap International Callback Phone Service

International calls are significantly more expense in many international locations than they are in the USA, Canada or many European locations. Some companies have capitalized on this by offer a long distance phone service often referred to as “international call back”. Using international callback phone service, a caller can make a low cost international call from a “high cost” location by routing the call through a “low cost” country. All the caller needs to do is open an international callback account and deposit some funds since callback phone service is typically prepaid. International callback is simple to use and can save international callers in high cost countries a significant amount of money on international phone calls.

International callback saves callers money by initiating calls from countries where international calling is relatively cheap, like the USA. International callback calls can be triggered using different means depending on the product but the results are basically the same, the caller receives an international phone call from a low cost third country. After answering the call the caller can either place a low cost call through the callback service provider’s network by dialing a phone number or, using some products, can be automatically connected to the destination phone number. In either case, they save money since the call is initiated and routed through a low cost third country.


Web Call is an international callback product that is included with the Continental Phone Card. The Continental Card can be used to make cheap international calls from over 60 countries by calling an access number and placing a call like any other phone card. However, the Continental Card is not just a typical phone card, it can also be used as an international callback phone card to make low cost international phone calls from any country in the world. Using Web Call, cheap international calls are initiated by sending a pre-formatted e-mail. The Continental Card is a very versatile phone card that can also be used to make low cost conference calls, set up a personal toll free phone number or for just about any telecom related product imaginable. The Continental Phone Card is a handy product that just about any international traveler would find useful. Since all of its features are listed and accessible in a virtual account, it can be accessed via the INTERNET from any location in the world so a physical card does not need to be carried.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tel3Advantage Mobile – Make Cheap International Calls from Cell Phones


If you want to make international calls from your cell phone and want both high call quality and low cost than you should investigate the new Tel3Advantage Mobile Plan. It can save users about 80% when compared to typical international cell phone rates. It will also work seamlessly with SMART Phones so users can make direct dial international calls over the low cost Tel3 network without dialing an access number or entering an account number or PIN. Tel3Advantage Mobile is an add-on that will work with any cell phone service provider so a user does not need to change service providers, all they do is add a small piece of software called SmartPlug provided free of charge by Tel3Advantage and their phone will automatically divert calls over the Tel3 network when an international number is dialed. The Tel3 SmartPlug technology converts a SmartPhone into a truly Smart Phone that can save users at least 80% on international calls with no loss in call quality or convenience.

Try the new Tel3Advatage Mobile Service for Free. Free Tel3 Trial

The Tel3Advantage Mobile Plan also comes with all of the benefits and features of the Tel3Advantage Flex plan that has been offered by Tel3 in North America for over 4 years. These are summarized below:

Free SmartPlug Software – A piece of software that is installed on a cell phone so a user can make direct dial international calls over the low cost Tel3 network without dialing an access number. Smart Phone users can place calls directly from their address book or memory.

Premier Value – Tel3Advantage features low cost with the highest level of call quality.

Auto Credits – Consistent with the TEL3 commitment to providing the highest level of quality to its mobile customers! When circumstances beyond Tel3’s control results in an occasional disruption in service, the Tel3 intelligent Platform (or iPlatform) will automatically detect the call and the destination being called and it will open a trouble ticket with the underlying service provider to make sure Tel3 escalates and resolves the issue in the shortest time possible. But that is not all Tel3 will do! To show their commitment to quality and customer service, Tel3 will also issue 3 minutes worth of free talk time credit automatically while sending an email or SMS (depending on your communication settings) notifying the customer within an hour of the issue. This process is completely automatic and no action or input from the customer is required.

Free Minutes – New customers receive free bonus minutes when they open a new Tel3Advantage prepaid account.

PIN Free Dialing – Customers can place calls from any phone through the Tel3 network by simply dialing a toll free or local access number. There is no need to enter a PIN or Account number.

Speed Dial – Tel3Advantage studies have shown that the majority of calls made by users are made to a relatively small number of destinations. Therefore, to make calling more convenient, Tel3Adcvantage allows users to set-up 99 speed dial numbers. By using Speed Dial, a user can place a call by dialing 2 digits rather than the 10+ digits required to place an international phone call.

Customer Service – Tel3Advantage customer service is available 24 hour per day, 7 days per week.

Smart Card Recharge – A customer can choose to have their account automatically recharged with funds whenever the account reaches a balance of $3.

No Hidden Fees or Taxes – Tel3Advantage does not advertise misleading rates. The rates per minute advertised by Tel3Advantage are the rates charged with no added fees or taxes. Tel3Advantage does not charge a monthly fee or any kind of maintenance fee on an account.

On-Line Account Management – Customer can manage their accounts on-line in real time. They also have access to a call history through their on-line account manager that will show the details of each call made on their account.

Deposits – Customers can add funds to their account with a major credit card or Pay Pal.

No Cancellation or Maintenance Fee – An account can be cancelled at anytime by calling customer service and there is no cancellation fee. Any money deposited in a Tel3Advantage account will expire after 1 year of inactivity so a customer can use an account at their convenience without worrying about their money vanishing or being used to pay monthly fees.


Visit the International Calling Guide for more information on Tel3Advantage or other options for making low cost international phone calls.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Special Tel3Advantage Promotion - Free International Calls


Tel3Advantage started a special promotion today for new customers who sign-up for their prepaid long distance phone service. The promotion will last through October 24, 2008. New customers who sign-up during this period will receive twice the normal sign-up bonus. In other words, the following amount of money will be added to a new customer account depending on the amount of money initially deposited.

  • Deposit $10 and receive an additional $2 in Free Calls.

  • Deposit $25 and receive an additional $10 in Free Calls.

  • Deposit $50 and receive an additional $14 in Free Calls.

  • Deposit $100 and receive an additional $18 in Free Calls.

If you make international phone calls and have not tried Tel3Advantage than now would be a great time to give them a call at 800 441 0321 or visit the official Tel3Advantage website for details. Tel3Advantage provides a high quality service at great rates and they don't offer this promotion very often. You should sign up now even if you do not plan to make any calls for a while. Tel3Advantage does not charge any maintenance fees so the money will stay in the account until it is used to make phone calls.


The following information is provided for those who are not familar with Tel3Advantage. Tel3 is based in Miami and has been in the long distance phone business since 1994. The Tel3Advantage program was introduced over 4 years ago and is basically a high quality virtual phone card or prepaid calling plan that people use to make low cost domestic or international long distance phone calls. It features high qualilty, a full range of features and low cost. Tel3Advantage has more than 100,000 active customers and is widely used to make international calls from North America (Canada and the USA). Please visit the International Calling Guide to learn more about Tel3Advantage and other products for making low cost international phone calls.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Free International Calls from Cell Phones - No Obligation Trial Offer

Tel3 announced today that they are offering a Free No Obligation Trial of their Tel3Advantage prepaid long distance phone service for cell phone users. There is no cost or obligation. Those who sign up for the free trial will receive up to 60 minutes of Free International Calls. Visit Tel3 Advantage Free Offer for details and/or to sign up for this Free, No obligation Offer.

Tel3Advantage is a premier prepaid long distance service that can be used to make low cost international phone calls from any phone in the USA or Canada without changing phone companies. Calls are placed by dialing a local or toll free access number. Visit International Calling Guide for more details on Tel3Advantage and other options for making cheap international phone calls.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SMS CallBack - Cheap International Cell Phone Calls from any Location


Anyone can make cheap international calls from a mobile phone using SMS CallBack. SMS call can be successfully used from any country in the world, even those that block traditional callback phone service. Using SMS Call, an international long distance phone call is initiated by sending a SMS message from a cell phone from any location in the world. The message contains the phone number you wish to call. In a few moments both parties will receive a call and will be connected at rates that are unbelievably low compared to other means. This is one of the many unusual telecom services offered by the Continental Phone Card. It is one of the most versatile phone cards on the market offering prepaid telecom services like conference calling, PC to Phone, VoIP, Web Call, and SMS Call. It can also be used as a traditional international phone card to make cheap calls from over 60 countries. SMS call is a popular feature with international travelers since it is a simple and low cost way to make international calls from any location where cell phone SMS service is available. Simply send an SMS message with the phone number you wish to call and you will be connected for pennies per minute. Visit Phone Cards International for more information.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Virtual Phone Cards offer Features as well as Value

People who make frequent international calls know that virtual phone cards can be used to make cheap domestic and international long distance phone calls but many do not know that they also offer a full range of features which make them an attractive option for long term savings. Callers who purchase ‘hard’ phone cards at supermarkets or convenience stores may be paying a higher cost than necessary for making calls and may also be missing many features that are commonly provided with virtual phone cards.

Many of the typical virtual phone card features are listed below.

  • PIN Free dialing: This is a very common feature that allows a caller to register phone numbers so it is not necessary to enter a PIN code when making calls from these registered phones. These cards can still be used to make calls from any public phone by entering the PIN code when making a call.
  • Permanent PIN: Many virtual phone cards feature a permanent PIN so the code does not change each time the phone card is purchased or re-charged. These permanent PIN phone cards are typically stored in an on-line account that can be accessed by a user via the INTERNET from any location.
  • Automatic Recharge: Many permanent PIN phone cards also allow an optional automatic recharge function. Many users find this is an attractive feature since it assures that they will not run out of funds during a call.
  • Call History: Several virtual phone cards feature an on-line call history. Many long term users rely on this feature to track the details, including cost, of each phone call made with the phone card.
  • Speed Dial: Many virtual phone cards come with a Speed Dial feature. This allows the user to add phone numbers to their personal account so they can call these numbers by pressing 2 or 3 numbers on their phone. This saves a lot of time when making calls to long, multi digit international phone numbers.
  • Transfer of Funds: Many on-line merchants, including Smart Global Call Phone Cards International, allow users to transfer funds between phone cards. This is a handy feature for users who call multiple locations and have a long term need for low cost long distance phone service.
  • Phone Card Search Tool: Most on-line merchants, including Smart Global Call Phone Cards, have a handy search tool built into their website that allows a customer to search for the best phone card for their needs. These search tools will list phone cards with the lowest rates for making calls to particular locations and summarize features and any taxes or fees.

Tel3Advantage is a very popular virtual phone card that offers the features listed above as well as some other not so common features like their Smart Plug technology that allows customers to make direct dial international calls from Smart Phones. Other Cheap International Calling options are available but virtual phone cards are one of the most popular.

Monday, September 1, 2008

International Phone Card - Solaris


NTC recently introduced the Solaris phone card that is truely a premium international phone card that can be used to make low cost calls from 97 countries. The Solaris phone card has some of the lowest rates for making calls from Germany, France, Spain or Russia. It has local access numbers in 40 countries (including the USA) and toll free access numbers in 97 countries. There is no added charge for using Toll Free access from the USA which is not offered by many phone cards these days.

Solaris also features PIN free dialing and does not charge a maintenance or any connection fees. The Solaris phone card use a one minute billing increment which means that the length of a call is rounded to the next minute for billing purposes. This is about as good as it gets. Most phone cards use a 3 or even 6 minte billing increment these days. Solaris is truely a premium phone card with a very low fee structure and no hidden fees.

Solaris phone cards are new so they are currently being offered at a 10% discount. Visit the Phone Card Shop for details.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where to Buy a Phone Card?

Many people still purchase phone cards the old fashioned way through retail outlets like convenience stores, super markets or discount stores. Many seem to think it is safer to purchase phone cards in this way but it may actually be riskier. A “hard” phone card contains the instructions for using the calling card and the PIN code needed for initiating a call. If the phone card is lost or stolen it is just like losing cash or any other item of value. It can no longer be used by the owner.

Other than safety, there are many other reasons for purchasing phone cards from on-line merchants. A summary of these are listed below.

  • A on-line merchant such as Smart Global Call International Phone Cards offer a wide selection of phone cards with a full range of features and cost structures. They also offer discounts and phone cards with special rates to certain locations. Customers can use an on-line search tool to find the best phone card for making calls to their favorite destinations.
  • Phone cards purchase on-line are safely stored in a users account and can be accessed via the INTERNET from any location. Purchases can also be made from any location where the INTERNET is available.
  • On-line phone cards typically include a full range of handy features like PIN Free dialing, speed dial and call history.
  • Merchants like Smart Global Call allow users to transfer funds between phone cards. If a users preference should change they can simply transfer their funds toi a card that better suites their individual needs.
  • Some on-line phone cards like the Continental Card can be used for a variety of services. The Continental Card can be used from over 60 countries as a phone card, it can be used as a callback card from almost every country in the world, it can also be used to make conference calls, pc to phone calls, for VoIP service or to set up a personal USA toll free number. Try this with a store bought phone card.
  • Most reputable on-line merchants guarantee their phone cards and provide 24/7 customer service.
  • On-line phone card merchants typically disclose the fee structure for the phone cards they sell in an easy to understand format. This is an important feature since phone card fees are not always easy to understand and can be complex.


Phone Cards, like many products, can be safely and conveniently purchased on-line from any location in the world. Virtually all on-line merchants provide instant delivery into the users account and via e-mail. In addition, websites like International Call Guide provide useful information on low cost international calling options like phone cards, prepaid long distance, VoIP and international callback at no charge. The web offers consumers the ability to learn about these and other products so they can make informed choices.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tel3Advantage Summer Promotion



Tel3Advantage announced this week that they would have an end of summer sign-up promotion that would run from August 15 through August 25, 2008. New customers who open a prepaid account during this time period will receive twice the normal sign-up bonus. Bonus amounts vary depending on the amount deposited in the prepaid account according to the following schedule.

Initial Deposit /Bonus Amount

$10 /$2

$25 /$10

$50/ $14

$100 /$18

There is no fee for opening an account and Tel3Advantage does not require a contract or charge any type of maintenance fees. Therefore, for example, if a new customer deposits $25 they will get to make $35 worth of calls. An individual can try Tel3Advantage and save a lot of money at the same time so it is a win-win opportunity. It is simple to open an account and there is nothing to change since Tel3Advantage can be used with any existing phone service to make calls from the USA or Canada. In order to open an account, just call 800 441 0321 or visit this website Tel3Advantage.com . This is a great opportunity to make some free international calls before the end of the summer. Other international calling options can be found by visiting the international calling guide.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Tel3 International Calling Service for Business – TEL3Business

Tel3 recently introduced a new international calling plan for small to medium size businesses. Now businesses can save up to 80% on international calls and get top quality service through the Tel3 network like private customers have been doing since 1994. Tel3 currently has more than 100,000 customers in the USA and Canada who primarily use their service to make low cost international calls from home, business or cell phones. This is the first time that Tel3 has offered a calling plan that is specifically designed for business. The Tel3 plan has many features especially designed for business use that differentiates it from other low cost options, including Phone Cards and VoIP. The following is a summary of the significant features included in the TEL3Business Plan.

  • Create up to 99 user accounts. These can be employees or departments and can be set-up on- line through an account management system.
  • Each user can be set-up with different monthly spending limits.
  • Each user has a separate on-line call history with a separate log-in name. Employees or managers can monitor usage in real time.
  • Tel3 features 24/7 customer support.
  • The Tel3 Business Plan comes with comprehensive usage reports. Usage reports can be run by department or individual for any period of time.
  • The Tel3 Business Plan is a prepaid plan but it has a smart charge feature which will automatically recharge the account.
  • The Tel3 Business Plan can be used from any phone without switching carriers. It can also be used from cell phones. Cell phone users can use the Tel3 Smart Plug technology which allows them to make direct dial international calls from their cell phone (no access number or PIN).
  • The Tel3 Business Plan can be used from the USA or Canada.
  • Tel3 offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
  • New customers will receive a 20% discount for the first month if they use Promo code 777465 when signing up or by calling 800 441 0321. This promotion is valid for the next 3 months.
  • The Tel3 Business Plan does not require a contract or other long term obligation. There is no charge for setting up the service. Simply prepay an amount and use the service for as long as needed.
  • Unlike VoIP, an INTERNET connection is not required.
  • There are no monthly invoices or other service fees.

    If you operate a business that makes a significant number of international phone calls than the Tel3 Business Plan is solution to consider. It offers significant cost savings over other options and also features high call quality along with on-line account management and reporting tools. It does not require any change in existing service or long term obligation so it is definitely worth a try. Please visit Tel3Business for more information including a free white paper on the new Tel3 Business Service.