Sunday, February 1, 2009

Making International Calls to Mobile Phones

Many people use phone cards and other prepaid calling products in order to save money on international calls. In general, this is a good idea since phone cards are convenient and offer substantially lower rates than those offered by conventional long distance service providers. However, purchasing phone cards can be tricky and buyers should pay attention to a variety of details when making a purchase or they can end up paying a substantially higher rate per call than expected. These details include the following.

1. Charges for using different types of access numbers used to make calls (local or toll free) can vary significantly between phone cards.

2. Extra phone card fees like connection fees, maintenance fees, service charges and taxes vary significantly between phone cards.

3. Most phone cards offer better rates on calls to specific countries or regions of the world.

4. The rates on calls to specific kinds of phones (land-lines or cell phones) can vary significantly.

The last item (above) is often overlooked by shoppers. It is generally more expensive to make calls to mobile phones so many phone card marketers list the per-minute cost of making calls to low cost house phones and list the cost to cell phones separately or in the fine print. Many shoppers incorrectly assume that a service provider that offers a low rate on calls to land-lines in a specific country also has a low rate to cell phones. This is not correct as is illustrated below for an international call to Mexico from the USA.

A typical phone card rate on a call to a house phone in Mexico from the USA is around 2 to 3 cents per minute. The same call to a cell phone in Mexico varies from about 12 to 35 cents per minute. Companies like Penny Talk, advertise a low 2 cent per-minute rate on calls to land-lines in Mexico but charge 31 cents per-minute on calls to cell phones. They also charge a $0.49 connection fee for each call and a $0.99 per-month service fee per account. Tel3 Advantage does not charge a connection fee or service fee but a call to a land-line in Mexico City is 2 cents per-minute while the same call to a cell phone is 20 cents per-minute.

As the illustration shows, the rate charged on calls to cell phones varies more between companies than the rate charged on calls to house phones. This is generally true so shoppers who plan to make international calls to cell phones should pay particular attention when making a purchase.

1 comment:

Muhammad Atif said...

It is generally more expensive to make calls to mobile phones so many phone card marketers list the per-minute cost of making calls to low cost house phones and list the cost to cell phones separately or in the fine print.
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