Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canadian Phone Cards

Using Phone Cards to make low cost international calls from Canada is a little more tricky than using them to make calls from the USA. In the USA there are many phone cards with a wide network of local access numbers and there are several phone cards with cheap or even free toll free access. The same is not true in Canada. Several of the Canadian phone cards we reviewed have a relatively small number of local access numbers and the cost of using toll free access is much higher than in the USA. A 3 or 4 cents per minute extra charge for using toll free access in Canada seemed typical with most of the phone cards we reviewed. This is a rather steep added charge if one assumes that a typical charge for making a call to the USA was 1 or 2 cents per minute. On a recent trip to Canada we used the Continental Phone Card to make calls since it features a fairly wide selection of local access numbers, has very high quality and charges only 2.5 cents per minute for calls to the USA from Canada. However, this charge is for local access, it also charges a hefty 2.7 cents per minute extra for toll free access. When purchasing a phone card for use from Canada be sure it has a local access number in the area where you plan to use the card.

Another option is to purchase a card that charges only a small amount for toll free access. These are difficult to find but Tel3Advantage offers such a product. It features local access numbers in the major population centers but charges only 1 cent per minute for toll free access. It also has a relatively low rate of 1.9 cents per minute on calls from Canada to the USA. So the cost of making a call using Tel3Advantage from Canada using toll free access is only 2.9 cents per minute. They also started offering a low denomination ($10) phone card recently which is ideal for people who want to make low cost calls to the USA from Canada.

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