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.

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