Using calling cards for cell phones is one way to cut down on high international calling rates. However, it's important to know a few things about calling cards before choosing them as your option for making calls.
Check the Fine Print
First, not all calling cards can be used with cell phones. Some mobile carriers don't recognize calling cards and the code won't be accepted for making calls. Second, calling cards may not really save you money thanks to hidden fees and extra charges.
Watch Out For Rounding
Many calling cards will round up in increments of three minutes, meaning a one minute call is charged for three minutes, a four minute call is charged for six minutes, and so on. Additional fees may also apply, like a per call surcharge, a weekly or monthly fee, or even a non-usage fee if you go a certain number of days without using the card.
With some cards, the call is considered to have begun as soon as you finish entering the PIN code, meaning a minimum charge for minutes or money will be deducted even if your call doesn't ultimately go through.
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Avoid Dialing From Your Contact List
If you do use a calling card on a cell phone, you'll have to first get a dial tone, then dial the code and access number off of the card, then input a PIN number, then dial the full number of the party you are trying to call. You cannot use your contact list for the number you are trying to call or it will disconnect from the calling card and put the number through on your carrier's stated rate.
Consider Rebtel Instead
A good alternative to the hassle and expense of a calling card with cell phones is a service like Rebtel. With Rebtel, you can pay significantly less per minute for international calls than with traditional carriers or if you use calling cards, and the process is much simpler. The first option with Rebtel is to double dial like you would use a calling card on a cell phone. You can do this by finding the correct access number for your area on the Rebtel website, dialing that number, then dialing the number you are trying to connect with.
Local Numbers With Rebtel
Another option is to enter your contacts with Rebtel and get an assigned local number for each one. You can save these new local numbers for each of your overseas friends and family members in your contacts list, and dial them with one click of a button. When the call connects, it will do so using your Rebtel account.
The Rebtel App
Finally, you can simply install the Rebtel app on your phone, and dial international numbers directly. The app will recognize international numbers and put them through using Rebtel and automatically saving you money on every call.
Unlike calling cards that pile on hidden fees and don't give you full value for your money, Rebtel is transparent and honest and you always know exactly how much you are paying and saving on each call.