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Articles / How to Choose the Best Prepaid Calling Card

Prepaid phone cards came as a great advancement for communications, particularly for long distance calling. Calling cards give you an affordable way to keep in touch with your loved one's and friends or business associates. The prepaid International long distance card has brought people in different parts of the world closer together.

Phone cards have been around since 1975. A vending machine manufacturing company named SIDA was the first company to produce a phone card. In 1976, an Italian company put the first prepaid calling cards on the market. This calling card used a magnetic strip that could only be read by special payphones. It wasn't until 1987 that calling cards were widely available in the United States. These calling cards were distributed by World Telecom Group using their own magnetic strip technology, which is still the most commonly used magstripe today.

Calling cards are similar in appearance to credit cards and are used to pay for domestic, long distance or International telephone service.

Approximately 500 million calling cards have been sold annually over the past decade. Calling cards may be purchased anywhere from convenience stores to gas stations. Calling cards may also be purchased online. With the Internet you have a much easier way to shop around and compare so you'll be able to get the best deals.

Prepaid phone cards came as a great advancement for communications, particularly for long distance calling. Calling cards give you an affordable way to keep in touch with your loved one's and friends or business associates. The prepaid International long distance card has brought people in different parts of the world closer together. Low priced calling cards have made it affordable to stay in touch. Prepaid phone cards can also be very handy during emergencies.

When you are considering which calling card to buy, you need to be aware that they are not all the same. The rates and fees charged to the card can vary widely. You will want to read the terms and compare the services for any phone card before deciding to make a purchase. Than may sound easier than it is to be done.

Calling card marketers tend to stress the cost per minute rate on the packaging, advertising copy, and on the card itself. Unfortunately, the cost per minute doesn't give you an accurate picture of what you will actually pay. Several surcharge fees, such as for pay phone usage, can be added to the price of using a phone card. As a general rule the lower the cost per minute rate is, the higher other surcharges may be.

Many calling cards will have a per call charge, or connection fee. Often this charge can be high enough to significantly increase your actual per minute cost. A lot of cards will also have a higher surcharge for International long distance calls. This fee can tack on several dollars to a single phone call. Other surcharges can include tax and account maintenance fees.

Before you make that final decision on which prepaid calling card to get you will want to think about your calling habits. If you make frequent, short calls the best card for you would be one that has the lowest per-connection and "minimum rounding" fees.

If you make less calls and talk longer you need a card with the lowest per minute rates, but with some surcharges, which will give you a bargain for your money. The average person makes different types of calls and may want to carry a calling card of each situation. A prepaid calling card can give you many advantages. Just be certain to compare services before choosing which card to use so you will get the maximum benefit from your calling card.

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