How to Use a Calling Card on a Cell Phone

Using calling cards for international phone calls is one way to cut down on high calling rates. The market remains something of a minefield for many new users though, so it's important to know a few things about calling cards before choosing them as your option for making calls.

Check the Fine Print

It’s worthwhile checking with your operator whether calling cards can be used on your tariff. Some carriers don't recognize calling cards so it’s best to do your research in advance rather than finding out the hard way when your phone doesn’t accept the activation code.

Furthermore, there are numerous calling card providers out there, with endless scenarios with regards to your country of origin, type of phone, type of tariff and required destination.  As a result there can be hidden fees and extra charges which suddenly mean that you aren’t making much of a saving after all.

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 an extra surcharge per call, 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.

Once more, if you choose to go down the Calling Card route, it’s best to do some research in advance.

Avoid Dialing From Your Contact List

If you do use a calling card on a mobile/cell phone then you should be aware of the right way to make the call:

-       Input the code and access number from the card

-       Input the card’s PIN number

-       Manually dial the full number of the party you are trying to call, including international dialing code.

The important thing to remember here is that you cannot call by accessing a contact from your phone’s address book.  If you do so then it will disconnect from the calling card and make the call in the normal way, which obviously implies huge fees when attempting to call abroad.

Consider Rebtel Instead

A good alternative to the hassle and expense of a calling card is a service like Rebtel. With Rebtel, you pay significantly less per minute for international calls and the process is much simpler. The service provides you with an assigned local phone number for each of your contacts. So by saving these new local numbers in your phone’s address book, friends and loved ones are only the click of a button away.  You pay local rates and experience great call quality without the pain of hidden fees that are often associated with calling cards.

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If you have a smartphone, you can also download our iPhone and Android apps to call cheap to your loved ones.