Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5 Common Phone Card Rip-Offs

Many phone cards impose hidden fees that cause minutes to disappear so, in many cases, users will get less minutes than they expect when the card is used. In most cases these fees are disclosed in the fine print but many consumers do not pay attention to the fine print when making a purchase. We have listed five common hidden fees below.

1. Connection fees – These are imposed each time a call is connected whether the call is long or short and even if the caller dials the wrong number. Many phone cards do not charge a connection fee so we think consumers should avoid phone cards that charge these fees because they can represent a significant added cost.

2. Maintenance Fees – These fees are imposed at certain time intervals after the first use of the phone card. The time interval varies but it is usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The best way to avoid this fee is to purchase a small denomination phone card and use it quickly.

3. Rounding Interval – This is a tricky hidden fee that most consumers do not recognize. The rounding interval is used to measure the length of the call for billing purposes. These range from less than 1 minute to 6 or more minutes. In general, a card with a higher rounding interval has more hidden cost. This can best be seen by the following simple example.

Assume a person makes a 6.5 minute international call from the USA to Germany. The following would be the charge depending on the rounding interval. In each case the length of the call is rounded to the next interval.

A phone card with a 1-minute rounding interval would charge 7 minutes.
A phone card with a 3-minute rounding interval would charge 9 minutes.
A phone card with a 6-minute rounding interval would charge 12 minutes.

4. Toll Free Access Fee – This is a fee charged by phone cards for using a toll free access number rather than a local access number when placing a call. In some cases there is no added fee or it is an insignificant amount but it other cases it can significantly increase the cost of a call. It is a per-minute charge that can range from 0 to 3 or more cents per-minute. Callers should be aware that there may be an added cost before they blindly use a toll free access number.

5. Long Call fee – Some phone cards add a charge for calls that last over a certain length of time. The time varies but it is commonly 20 or 30 minutes.

Consumers should realize that hidden fees imposed by phone cards are not reflected in the advertised rates so it is best to estimate the added cost when comparing different phone cards. However, most of these fees can be avoided or minimized if a consumer shops around and reads the fine print before making a purchase. There are some companies, like Tel3Advantage, that offer online prepaid calling products with no added fees. Therefore, products like these tend to be popular with prepaid who make frequent international calls. Those interested in further information should visit Smart Global Call for more tips and information on prepaid calling products.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tel3Advantage has the Lowest International Rates to Many Popular Destinations

Tel3Advantage offers one of the most popular preapid calling plans in North America and, as shown below, has the lowest rates to many popular destinations. The rates are even lower for the first 30 days if people sign-up using the Triple Promotion. Visit Tel3 Triple Promo for details. The following are rates per minute on international calls from Canada and the USA.

China 1.3 cents
Madrid Spain 1.4 cents
Bangkok Thailand 1.5 cents
Geneva Switzerland 1.8 cents
South Korea 1.9 cents
Tokyo Japan 2.1 cents
Porto Alegra Brazil 2.6 cents
Bulgaria 3 cents
Philippines 10.5 cents
Kenya Mobile Phone 10.9 cents
Kuwait Mobile Phone 10 cents
Iran Mobile Phone 11.5 cents
Iraq Mobile Phone 11.7 cents
UAE 15.1 cents
Armenia Mobile Phone 15.8 cents
Syria Mobile 17.4 cents
Ethiopia 21.9 cents

It is easy to make cheap international phone calls with Tel3Advantage from the USA and Canada. There are no contract requirements and it is not necessary to change companies in order to use the service. Opening an account is free and there are no maintenance fees or hidden charges. Simply pay for the calls you make and use the service as little or as much as you like. That is why Tel3Advantage prepaid long distance phone service is so popular.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Phone Card Features: Speed Dial

A little known phone card feature that is popular with many international callers is speed dial. Using the speed dial feature a caller can pre-program phone numbers and dial them by pressing two keys. This is a very nice time saving feature for people who make frequent international calls to friends, family or business associates overseas. It is also a great way to minimize dialing errors and placing calls to the wrong phone number. Rather than dialing a sequence of 8 or 10 numbers to place an international call, the same call can be completed by pushing only two numbers.

Speed dial is not a very common phone card feature. We only know of three prepaid calling products that feature speed dial. One is Tel3Advantage, which is a popular prepaid long distance product that can be used to make calls from North America. The others are two premium phone cards, Cardinal and Continental, offered by phone cards international. These phone cards can be used to make cheap calls from over 60 countries. Speed dial is one of those features that most people do not even know about but once they use it going back to dialing numbers is almost impossible.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Phone Card Deal

Smart Global Call Phone Cards International started their annual Mother's Day special offer today. These are international phone cards that can be used to make cheap calls from more than 130 countries. The sale features a 10% discount on all prepaid phone cards. It lasts through May 12th. Customers need to use the following link in order to get this special offer, Mother's Day Phone Card Discount.

Tel3Advantage is also having a promotion which lasts through May 10th. Their offer can be found by using the following link, Tel3Advantage Mother's Day Promo. International callers should check out both offers to see which one is the best deal for thier situation. With Tel3Advantage, callers can make cheap international phone calls from the USA or Canada. Using prepaid phone cards a caller can make cheap international calls from more than 130 countries. Tel3Advantage has better rates to certain locations but, in many cases, Tel3Advantage rates are similar to those charged by high quality phone cards.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tel3Advantage Mother's Day Promotion

Tel3Advantage started their Mother's Day promotion today and it lasts through May 10, 2010. During the promotion new customers will get double the normal sign-up bonus so it is a great time to give Tel3Advantage a try. Those who want to sign-up or are interested in further details should visit Tel3Advantage or call 800 441 0321.

During the Mother's Day promotion, new customers will receive double the normal sign-up bonus. The amount depends on how much money they deposit when they open their account. The bonus amounts are summarized below.
  • Deposit $10 and get a $2 bonus.
  • Deposit $25 and get a $10 bonus.
  • Deposit $50 and get a $14 bonus.
  • Deposit $100 and get a $19 bonus.

The bonus is added to the amount deposited and can be used to make phone calls to any location.

Tel3Advantage has an on-going promotion that can be accessed through the following special link Tel3Advantage Triple Promo. The triple promo includes a lower up-front bonus but it provides new customers with discounted rates for the first 30 days. For those who plan to make frequent calls to high cost locations the triple promo may be a better deal. However, for most people the Mother's Day promo is the best option since the bonus is paid up-front and it will stay in the account until it is used so there is no time limit.

Tel3Advantage is a popular prepaid calling plan that can be used to make cheap domestic and international long distance phone calls from any location in North America, including Canada, the USA and Puerto Rico. It can be used to make cheap calls to any location in the world. Tel3Advantage does not require a contract and does not charge any fees for opening or maintaining an account. It works something like a virtual phone card but has high call quality and no hidden fees. Tel3Advantage also provides customers with free on-line access to their account where they can view all charges and make changes to their account settings. Tel3Advantage is a popular product for making cheap international phone calls since it has high quality, maintains a large network of access numbers, has a wide range of features and can be used to make phone calls without dialing PIN codes or account numbers. We have used it for 5 years and still love the product.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

International Cell Phones are a Convenient but Costly Option

International mobile phones have become very popular with international travelers especially business travelers who can now take their office with them wherever they travel. However, it is a very costly way to make international phone calls while on a trip. International cell phone carriers typical charge for incoming as well as outgoing calls and rates can be anywhere from $1 to several US dollars per minute. Therefore, international cell phones are a convenient option for making international calls but it is not an affordable option for most travelers.

With summer travel season near many people are planning trips. Some are planning international trips and are likely thinking about how they might stay in touch while on vacation. International cell phones are a very good option for emergency use while on an overseas trip. Friends, family and business associates can easily make contact in the event of an emergency at home and it is very convenient means of keeping in touch. There are companies that offer international cell phone rentals and it is possible to rent mobile phones at many international destinations. Most rental companies charge a nominal daily fee for renting a phone even if no calls are made. However, they charge a pretty hefty rate for incoming as well as outgoing calls. Most people do not want to spend several hundred dollars on communication services while on vacation so, for these people, an international cell phone is great for emergency use but their cheaper options for making calls home to chat.

The cheapest option for making international calls while traveling are international phone cards. These offer convenience and low cost. Prepaid phone cards can be purchased before leaving home and they can be used to budget communication expenses while on a trip. They can typically be used from almost any telephone and rates on calls are only a few cents per minute versus up to a few dollars per minute for international cell phones. Phone cards are not as convenient as an international cell phone but who wants to waste time talking on the phone while on vacation.