Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to Make Cheap International Calls from Mobile Phones

We find that many people are interested in finding ways to save money on international mobile phone calls. It is now possible to make cheap international mobile phone calls from nearly any country. We have listed three of these options below. One nice thing about these options is that they can be used with any existing service provider without changing anything. They are also convenient to use and there are no extra fees for activating or maintaining the service. Therefore, they are good options for both short and long-term use. Two of these plans offer free international call trials so interested parties can try them out before making a purchase.

The following three options for making cheap international calls from mobile phones offer high call quality at low prices. They also do not charge hidden fees or use other tricks to rip-off consumers. The best option depends on the location of the caller and other factors so it is best to review all of the options before making a purchasing decision.

Tel3 Mobile – This is a relatively new mobile phone international calling plan that can be used to make cheap international calls from mobile phones in the USA and Canada. It is a sister plan to the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan which is one of the most popular prepaid long distance calling plans in North America. The company has been in the prepaid long distance business since around 1990 and they are known for high quality, innovative technology and fair prices. It is a very good international calling plan with competitive rates on calls to almost any country.

Rebtel – This is a relatively new international prepaid calling plan that has a different twist. For one, it can be used to make cheap international calls from over 50 countries and calls can be made without dialing an account number or PIN code. They assign customers a local phone number when they open an account. The user can then dial this local number and is automatically connected with a phone in another country. One potential problem with this option is that it can only be used to call one phone number so it is not very versatile. However, it is simple to use and is ideal for those who just want to call one number in one location without dialing a lot of numbers and codes.

Prepaid Phone Cards – These can be used to make cheap international calls from mobile phones in more than 90 countries. Many high quality international phone cards can be used without dialing an account number or PIN code so they are very easy to use. They also feature ultimate flexibility and very low rates. Callers can choose from a wide variety of phone cards so they can easily find the best one for their specific needs. They are also ideal for travelers or those who only have a short-term need.

Any one of these options can save users 80 or 90% on the cost of making international calls from their mobile phones without sacrificing quality or flexibility.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to Choose a Phone Card

People new to Phone Cards often find it difficult and confusing to shop for them. Even veteran phone card users often get confused because calling card carriers have been very creative in devising hidden fees and other tricks so they can advertise extremely low per-minute rates and still make a profit. 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 phone cards they sell). The following are some other items to consider when choosing a phone card.

  • 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 even $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.
  • It is a good idea to 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 worthless to the user. Any money spent on a purchase is lost.

There are a few hybrid phone cards or prepaid long distance carriers like Tel3Advantage. These are popular with frequent international callers since they offer low rates, high call quality and convenience. The Tel3Advantage Flex Plan also comes with all the bells and whistles at no additional cost. The Tel3 plan is also one of the most honest plans we reviewed. They feature a one-minute rounding interval and have no hidden fees or taxes. They also have a wide network of local access numbers in North America. They also have a toll free access number but charge an extra 1-cent per-minute for using toll free access.

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, May 15, 2009

Tel3 Mobile Announces New Lower Rates

Tel3 announced this week that they have reduced the international calling rates on their popular Tel3 Mobile international calling plan. The new rates will match those charged for calls using their Tel3Advantage Flex plan. This means that cell phone users in the USA and Canada can make international calls from their cell phones at rates that are about 80% lower than those charged by cell phone service providers. Also, with Tel3 Mobile there is no loss in quality or convenience. Tel3 uses high quality service providers and, smart phone users, can make direct dial international calls from their phones over the Tel3 network without dial an account number or PIN code. The Tel3 Mobile plan will work with any existing service provider so there is nothing to change. Tel3 Mobile has a Free no Obligation trial offer where users can make up to 60 minutes of free international calls. Visit Tel3 Mobile Trial in order to sign-up for the Free Trial.

Prepaid Phone Cards have made International Calling Easier

The cost of calling overseas remains high, which is frustrating for both parties involved. In our day and age more of us are travelling, going on holiday and even permanently moving abroad so it goes without saying that we will want to keep in touch with our loved ones back home. This however is hard to do, especially with the constant rise in the cost of living and the growing recession that we are facing. Thankfully however you can keep in touch with your loved ones without the worry of expense bills by making international calls with the help of a pre-paid phone card.

If you are travelling or if you need to keep in touch with your family abroad then the use of an international pre-paid phone card will provide you with substantial savings on your phone bill. It is a cheap and comfortable way in which to communicate and they are constantly available in convenient places such as newsstands, post offices and general stores. This means that you are able to talk to your loved ones at any time of the day or night.

Pre-paid phone cards, or as they are otherwise known, calling cards provide you with cheap international calls. They are the ideal choice of people who wish to make a long distance international call at an affordable rate without having to change their telephone provider. Some of the main users of the card are travelers, students and anyone who makes international calls on a regular basis. So how exactly do these pre-paid international calling cards work?

The market that offers pre-paid phone cards is a large one; it can offer products that fit everyone’s needs. There are a lot of calling cards available and each one differs when it comes to prices and services. Each of the cards will offer you different features so you will have to choose one depending on your calling needs. For example the phone card Champion can save you 10% and has very low fees. It has lowest rates on calls to Asian locations and can be used to make low cost calls from the USA and Canada. Another example is the calling card known as Royal. This international card saves you 7% but has the lowest rates on calls from Canada and most countries.

Once you have decided on the card that you will be using for your international calling you will receive a PIN number and access codes. In order to use the card you will need to dial your local access number and follow the instructions, you will then have to enter your PIN. Once you have, done this you will be informed of your balance and the amount of minutes that you have left, after which you will be able to enter your chosen phone number. Now several premium phone cards do not require a PIN code when placing calls. These PIN Free phone cards are much easier to use when making international phone calls because the caller does not need to dial as many numbers.

Using a phone card can reduce your monthly phone bill by as much as 90%. Especially for those who make frequent international calls. These cards have grown in popularity because of the explosive growth in mobile phone use, because lets face it, mobile communication is a massive part of everyone’s lives.

So if you are planning a trip abroad make sure a pre-paid international phone card is the first thing you buy, you’ll be amazed at the amount of money you save!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tel3Advantage Mother's Day Promotion

Visit Tel3Advantage and sign-up for prepaid long-distance phone service during the Mother's Day promotion period and get twice the normal sign-up bonus. The promotion lasts through May 10, 2009. During this time new customers can get up to 946 free minutes just for signing up for the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan. There is no cost to sign-up, all a new customer needs to do is open an account and make an initial deposit ($10 - $100). Then they will receive bonus funds that can be used to make free calls. The funds deposited the more bonus funds a new customer receives as shown below.

Deposit $10 and get $2 in Bonus Funds

Deposit $25 and get $10 in Bonus Funds

Deposit $50 and get $14 in Bonus Funds

Deposit $100 and get $18 in Bonus Funds

Not a bad deal considering Tel3Advantage offers the most popular prepaid calling plan in North America. The flex plan has over 100,000 active customers who routinely use the service to make low cost domestic and international long distance phone calls. They can use the service from any kind of phone (cell, home, business, etc.) without changing companies. The Tel3Advantage plan will work with any existing service. It is convenient to use and very easy to make calls. The service can be used from the USA and Canada. Tel3Advantage is an honest calling plan with no hidden fees or taxes. This can be verified through an on line call history in every customers personal on-line account that records the length and cost for each call. Now is a great time to try Tel3Advantage and see why they have more than 100,000 active customers.