Are WalMart Phone Cards Really that Cheap?

April 25, 2013 | Rebtel

If you need a cheap way to stay in touch with friends and family, a WalMart phone card may seem like the easy, cost efficient choice at first glance. However, WalMart calling cards may not be the best option if you use them frequently, and here’s why:

1. Most WalMart calling cards are designated only for prepaying for service for certain phones or networks. These include Verizon, T-Mobile, StraightTalk, Virgin Mobile, and TracPhone, among others. If you buy one of these cards thinking it is like a long distance calling card, and aren’t on the specific network, you can be disappointed.

2. Some WalMart phone cards are also designed for prepayment of web and phone services. These generally have a much higher cost per minute than voice only or voice and text minutes. Make sure you aren’t buying a card that covers web access.

3. Other WalMart calling cards (such as ones that say “AT&T”, but NOT ones that say “Go-Phone“ as these are for AT&T phones only) can be used for calling from any phone - but the price you pay per minute can be steep. While it’s only around 6 cents per minute to make long distance calls in the US, you are also using up the minutes in your calling plan AND there are lots of ways the minutes on your calling card can be deducted quickly thanks to hidden administration fees. For example, “PINless dialing” is a “feature” included “free” with the card - but if you actually USE the feature you will be charged extra each time.

Rates from 1¢/m, one-min rounding
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4. WalMart phone cards are also liable to “minute rounding” which varies from state to state. In DC, IL, IN, MA, NM, RI, TX, and the USVI, charges are billed in one minute increments. In AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, GA, HI, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MS, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PR, SC, TN, UT, WI, and WV, minutes are rounded up in three minute increments. In AK, AZ, CO, FL, IA, ID, MN, MT, NC, NH, OK, PA, VA, VT, WA, and WY, increments expand to five minutes, and in ND, SD, and MO minutes are rounded up to staggering eight minute increments! This means a one minute call that ends in voicemail would deduce eight minutes from your card balance!

Instead of using calling cards that can end up being extremely expensive (and which are a hassle to use, besides), try an app like Rebtel. With Rebtel, you can ditch your WalMart phone cards and enjoy easy, cheap calling from your smart-phone, tablet or even your PC with extremely low costs per minute, no rounding, and no pin numbers to enter. If your friends and family have Rebtel, you can even call them for free!

Stop paying for WalMart calling cards that really aren’t that cheap after all, and opt for the convenience and cost efficiency of Rebtel instead. It’s the cheaper, smarter choice and you’ll enjoy better call quality along with transparent pricing.

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