Sunday, November 29, 2009

Affiliate Programs Offer a Ready Made INTERNET Business Opportunity

Those who want to cash in on the INTERNET business boom should consider an online Affiliate Program. Affiliate opportunities are an attractive option since they are often offered by established businesses with proven products and marketing strategies and affiliates can get started with little or no capital. Many companies offer affiliates free websites and promotional materials along with tips and information on how to get started and how to promote products online. Affiliate programs are typically free to join but, like everything else, it takes hard work and a long term prospective to make money online. Those who make the commitment can make a significant income.

The first thing a prospective affiliate needs is a good, proven program with a quality product that sells at a fair or reasonable price. A key to success is to find a quality product that people purchase over and over again. Items like vitamins and supplements, tea, beauty products and phone cards are all good candidates. It is also nice to find a product and program that pays affiliates for re-occurring sales. It is best to stay away from affiliate programs that only pay for the first sale or only pays on sales through affiliate links. These programs make money and build the customer base for the company but do little for the affiliate. A successful affiliate program is one where the affiliate and the company are true partners. Where affiliates can build a customer base for both themselves and the company and both can prosper. We have been affiliates with several companies in the prepaid calling (Telecom) business for the last 5 years and have found the following companies to be the best. They are the best because they treat affiliates as true partners and offer high quality products that are fairly priced so customers tend to use them over-and-over again.

The first is the Tel3Advantage prepaid long distance affiliate (agent) program. Tel3 has been in the prepaid calling business for over 15 years and has one of the best agent programs in the business. Affiliates earn an upfront bonus for each new customer (ranging from $5 to $25) and from 10 - 16% on reoccurring sales. They also offer bonuses and special promotions for agents so affiliates have the opportunity to earn significantly more money. We have been involved with several Telecom affiliate programs and this has been the best one for us.

The second one is the phone card partner program. This program offers affiliates the opportunity to build there own, free, customizable website that is filled with a variety of phone cards that can be purchased from over 100 countries. This is a true global business opportunity where it is common to get a significant number of repeat customers. This has been a good business for us because the phone cards are high quality and they are fairly priced so people use them over and over again. Comfi also helps the affiliates with promotion because they consider then to be true partners. This is a very import factor for success.

These are both good programs for people who are serious about making money online.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to Call the USA from France

Making international phone calls from France or other European countries to the USA has never been easier or cheaper. As consumer prices continue to climb the cost of making international phone calls continue to drop. This is the result of increased competition and advances in technology. It is now possible to make free international calls using PC-to-Phone service or other INTERNET based technologies like VoIP phone service from nearly any location in the world.

The advent of the INTERNET has no doubt had an impact on international calling rates but, even without competition from the INTERNET, the cost of making international phone calls has been dropping. This has been partially due to improvements in technology but a major factor has been industry deregulation which has dramatically increased competition by allowing new companies to enter the market. There is now a wide variety of international phone cards that can be used to make cheap calls from home, business or cell phones in more than 230 countries. The quality and convenience of these prepaid products have continued to improve as the cost continues to decline.

Another interesting product that can be used to make cheap international calls from nearly any location in the world is international callback. By using international callback phone service, cheap international calls can be made from any country by routing the phone call through a low cost third country. This can save international callers in some countries a lot of money. Especially those countries that keep artificially high international rates by not allowing competition. There are still many countries that route international calls through local, monopoly phone companies and international rates from these countries can be extremely high. International callback is a great way to save money when making calls from these countries.

Making cheap calls from France and the rest of Europe is easy because the market is mostly deregulated and there are many products to choose from. We especially like prepaid phone cards because they offer good value and ultimate convenience. They can be used while traveling to make calls from land-lines or cell phones and can be used to make cheap calls from hotels. Another option is PC-to-Phone service if a high speed INTERNET connection is available. There are many options for making cheap international calls these days, the best and cheapest option typically depends on the technology available to the user and the location where the caller expects to use the products.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tel3Advantage Thanksgiving Promotion - Double the Normal Free Minutes

Tel3 announced a special Thanksgiving new customer promotion today that will last through November 30, 2009. During this promo new customers who sign-up for the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan will get double the normal sign-up bonus. So people who sign-up and deposit as little as $10 will have from $2 to $18 added to their accounts. They can use this money to make free calls to any location in the world. Those who are interested in this promotion need to visit the following sign-up page, Tel3Advantage Promo, or call 800 441 0321 and provide the customer service rep with the event code "DOUBLE4YOU".

Tel3Advantage has another on-going promotion that is referred to as the Triple Bonus. new customers who sign-up under the triple bonus get a lower cash bonus but they save 30% or more on all of their calls for the first 30 days. Visit Tel3 Triple Bonus for more information or call 800 441 0321 and ask for the Triple Bonus.

Which Tel3Advantage bonus is best for you?? The best option depends on where you plan to call and how much you plan to talk during the first 30 days. For most people the Double Bonus is the best option because they get up to $18 added to their account that can be used to make calls at any time in the future. However, the Tel3 Advantage Triple Bonus is a better option for some people. These people will get a smaller bonus (up to $9) but they save 30% or more on calls for the first 30 days. This is the best option for people who want to make long duration calls to a relatively expensive location. Study both options and choose the one that works best for you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to Make an International Call – Dialing Codes

A caller must use the proper international phone codes in order to place an international call. In general, the sequence of numbers used to make international calls follow a similar pattern but the exit code can vary depending on the country where the call originates. The following is an example of the dialing codes used to place an international call from the USA, Canada or other North America Dialing Plan (NANP) country.

(011) + (country code) + (city code) + (phone number)

The first number in the sequence (in this case 011) is commonly referred to as an exit code or international access code. It can also be called an International Direct Dialing (IDD) code. This code can vary between countries but it is necessary because it identifies the call as international.

The following is an example of dialing an international call to Amman, Jordan from the USA.

011 962 6 + (local phone number)

In the above example the 011 is the IDD code. This code identifies the call as an international phone call. The proper IDD code to use depends on the country where the call originates. Visit dialing codes international for further information.

The second three-digit number (962) in the above example is the country code for Jordan. The country code will vary depending on the country called; visit Country and City Dialing Codes for a complete list of country codes.

The third number (6) is the city code for Amman, Jordan. The international city code is also a specific number. In the USA, this is commonly called an area code. AT&T provides one of the most comprehensive lists of city codes available. Visit Country and City Codes for more details.

These dialing codes are followed by the local phone number.

A similar sequence of numbers is used when a call is placed to a mobile phone located in another country. However, it should be noted that the cost for calling a mobile phone is typically much higher than making an international call to a house phone or any land line phone. Visit cheap international calling for information on saving money on international phone calls made from any location in the world.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cheap International Calls to Cell Phones

Many people want to make cheap international calls to cell phones and there are several options available today. The best or cheapest option depends on several factors so one option is not the best for every caller. Things like the location of the caller, the destination called and the type of phone the caller intends to use (land line, INTERNET or cell phone) are all important factors to consider when shopping for the international service. Most people are looking for an option that is high quality, cheap and convenient to use so we reviewed the pros and cons of a few popular options. These included two International VoIP calling plans, a PC-to-Phone service, a popular prepaid long distance phone service and a high quality phone card. The results of our review are presented below.

Several VoIP service providers now advertise that they include free international calls to several countries with their phone service. Vonage and Lingo offer two of the most popular VoIP services. In most cases, the free calls included with these plans are to landlines not cell phones, as shown later; in most cases, international calls to cell phones are not cheap with these plans. Vonage indicates that they include free calls to 60 countries with their new Vonage World plan and Lingo advertises that free calls to 75 countries are included with their Lingo World Max service. Vonage charges around $32.60 per month (including taxes and fees) for their service and Lingo charges about $31 per month (including fees and taxes). In addition to the monthly service fees, users also need to pay for a high-speed INTERNET connection so neither service is actually free. Both calling plans also require a service contract (Lingo requires 2 years and Vonage requires 1 year) and charge an early termination fee if a customer chooses to stop using the service, so they are not a convenient option for short-term users. However, both phone services are good quality and one of them may be a good deal for those who want low cost home phone service and the ability to make frequent international calls to one or more of the countries covered by their plans.

Skype offers a very popular personal computer based phone service. It can be used to make free PC-to-PC calls worldwide so it is very popular with students, international business travelers and expats living around the world. Skype can also be used as a PC-to-Phone service where users can make calls to landlines or cell phones from their PC but there is a fee for this service. As shown later, Skype PC-to-Phone rates are not that cheap and Skype is not a very convenient option since calls are made from a PC so we believe there are better and cheaper options for making international calls to cell phones.

Prepaid long distance is another option so we examined the Tel3Advantage Flex Plan, which is one of the most popular prepaid plans in North America. It can be used to make cheap long distance calls from any phone (cell, home, business or pay phone) in Canada and the USA. It is a popular service for making cheap international calls because it is convenient to use, offers some of the lowest rates and does not require a monthly fee or contract.

We wanted to compare the above options with the rates offered by a high quality phone card so we chose the Continental Phone Card. It can be used to make cheap calls from over 60 countries and is one of the most versatile phone cards on the market. It has low fees relative to other phone cards but it does charge a 15% tax (surcharge) on calls so we include this in the per-minute rates listed in the Table below. The continental card is a virtual phone card that can be used from any kind of phone. Customers get a free on-line account where they can monitor activity and make changes to their account so it is a viable long or short-term option.

We have summarized the rates charged each minute for calls originating from the USA using the options listed above in the following table. We randomly selected a variety of popular destinations in order to compare rates to different regions of the world. Note that Tel3Advantage offers rates that are similar to phone cards on calls to cell phones in most locations while both VoIP service providers and Skype charge significantly higher rates.

Sample Rates on Calls from the USA to Mobile Phones (US $ per Minute)

Country Vonage1 Lingo2 Skype3 Tel34 Phone Card5

Afghanistan $1.25 $0.72 $0.355 $0.262 $0.243
Australia 0.22 0.33 0.20 0.089 0.117
Brazil 0.17 0.30 0.213 0.19 0.205
China Free Free 0.021 0.018 0.025
Egypt 0.15 0.159 0.15 0.17 0.167
France 0.19 0.22 0.203 0.164 0.150
Germany 0.25 0.30 0.246 0.17 0.143
Ghana 0.20 0.24 0.166 0.185 0.171
Iran 0.36 0.139 0.158 0.115 0.164
Israel 0.17 0.089 0.136 0.089 0.093
Italy 0.25 0.37 0.308 0.21 0.193
Mexico 0.23 0.34 0.336 0.20 0.160
Nigeria 0.28 0.30 0.254 0.199 0.135
Russia 0.08 0.109 0.071 0.06 0.064
South Africa 0.23 0.27 0.233 0.165 0.148
Trinidad 0.23 0.16 0.341 0.155 0.258
Ukraine 0.16 0.21 0.186 0.138 0.125

1 Vonage World , posted rates on 11/8/09

2 Lingo World Max, rates on 11/8/09

3 Skype Pay As You Go, posted rates on 11/8/09
4 Tel3Advantage Flex Plan, posted rates on 11/9/09
5 Continental Phone Card, including 15% tax.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Include a Phone Card when Preparing for International Travel

The last thing most people think about when preparing for an international journey is a calling card but it may be one of the most useful things to bring. There are many important items to remember when packing for an international trip, like travel documents and plane tickets, but an international phone card should be high on the list. A good international phone card is useful because it can be used to make cheap international calls from nearly any kind of phone (including airport pay phones or hotel phones). A phone card can also save money. One of the first things most people want to do when they reach a foreign destination is to call friends or loved ones at home. International hotels know this and typically charge exorbitant rates for international calls. A few short international calls from a hotel room can cost as much as the room charge. That is why experienced travelers save time, hassles and money by packing a couple international phone cards before leaving home.

Other than saving money, there are other good reasons for purchasing international phone cards before traveling. Some of these are listed below.

  • It is a great way to budget money for phone calls since phone cards are prepaid and can be purchased in small denominations.
  • There is a wide variety of virtual phone cards available on-line that can be used to make calls from nearly any country in the world. They can be used to make low cost long distance calls from pay phones in airports, hotels or nearly any major city in the world.
  • Virtual phone cards are convenient because users can access their on-line account via the INTERNET from any location. Many virtual phone cards have an on-line call history so users can view a record of the calls and charges made on their phone card or even transfer funds between cards. They can also conveniently refill their phone card from any location.
  • Virtual phone cards are safely stored in a customer’s online account so they cannot be lost or stolen.

Remember that phone cards do not have universal coverage so check the rates and accessibility for the countries you plan to use them from before making a purchase. Some merchants, like phone cards international, allow users to transfer funds between phone cards. This can be done conveniently through a customer’s on-line account and is a nice feature for those who plan travel to multiple countries or regions of the world. In any case, purchase high quality phone cards and check to be sure they will work from the countries being visited. This is easy to do if the phone cards are purchased from a reputable on line merchant.