Saturday, January 24, 2009

Calling Germany? Save Money with Tel3Advantage

Germany is one of the most popular calling destinations from North America so we thought we would review the cost of making international calls to Germany from the USA using various prepaid calling products. We compared the cost of using popular products like Pingo, Penny Talk and Tel3Advantage with Phone Cards. The following is a summary of the results.

There are cheap phone cards that advertise rates of around 1 cent per-minute on calls to Germany from the USA but most of these are loaded with hidden fees and have relatively poor call quality. The best rates we could find on calls to Germany using premium phone cards were in the range of 2 to 3 cents per-minute on calls to land-lines when all fees and taxes were considered. The rates on calls to cell phones in Germany varied significantly, from about 13 cents to more than 30 cents per-minute. The following is a summary of the rates for calls to Germany from the USA for two premium phone cards.

Card Name, Rates to Land-Lines, Rate to Cell Phones

Bizon Phone Card, 2.1 cents/min, 26.2 cents/min

Continental Phone Card, 2.5 cents/min, 12.4 cents/min

Both of these cards charge a 15% tax on top of the per-minute rates listed above. Bizon also charges 1 cent per-minute for using toll free access while Continental charges a relatively low 0.2 cents/min.

As mentioned earlier, we also reviewed the cost of making calls to Germany using Pingo, Penny Talk and Tel3Advantage. The following is what we found using recent information posted on their web-sites.

Pingo charges 2.2 cents-minute on calls to land-lines and 21.8 cents per-minute on calls to mobile phones. They also charge 1 cent per-minute extra for using toll free access and a maintenance fee of $0.98 per-month for maintaining an account. Pingo rates are okay but they use VoIP technology and we have found their call quality varies from poor to acceptable.

Penny Talk charges 2 cents per-minute on calls to German land-lines and a hefty 31 cents per-minute on calls to mobile phones. They include toll free access in this cost but they also charge a $0.49 connection fee for each call. Add the connection fee and Penny Talk is a relatively high cost option, especially on calls to mobile phones.

Tel3Advantage charges 2 cents per-minute on calls to major German cities and 17 cents per-minute on calls to mobile phones. Tel3 Advantage charges an extra 1 cent/min for toll free access but they do not have any other charges. There is no extra charge for using a local access number and they have a wide network of local access numbers in the USA.

For those planning to make calls to German mobile phones the Continental Phone Card is a good choice. It has the lowest rates and features high call quality, convenience and low fees. However, for general use Tel3Advantage is likely the best option. It has no hidden fees and features the highest call quality.

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