International long distance (ILD) rates have plummeted in the last few years. There are several factors to look into with Prepaid International calling cards.
- How often will you call.
- How long will you talk.
- What phone will you be calling. If the people you are calling are going to be on a cell phone often this will be a different rate, much higher or much lower depending on the country you are calling.
- What phone will you be calling from.
- If the phone you are using has free long distance. You can call the local access number which is usually 1 cent a minute cheaper if you have free long distance than calling the Card toll free number.
- Your Cell phone will be charging you for minutes along with the calling card charges if you call on your cell phone. If you are over your monthly minute plan you will pay a lot per call. ??
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The different ILD cards have different charges. The Initial per minute charge is only one of the factors. The other fees that some cards have are Connection Fee, Maintenance Fee, Expiration time, and Minute Rounding.
The Connection Fee on some cards is a fee that gets charged to your card as soon as you finish dialing the number. If most of your calls are fairly long this becomes a smaller factor. If you make a lot of short call this can burn a lot of your time.
The Maintenance Fee is either a weekly or monthly charge on your card. With the really inexpensive per minute cards this can be expensive. If you use up your cards every couple of weeks this fee becomes less important.
Minute Rounding means if you talk for 3.1 minutes and you have 3 minute rounding you will pay for 6 minutes, if you have 1 minute rounding you will pay for 4 minutes. If you make a lot of short calls this can be important but if you make a few long calls then minute rounding isn't important.
Toll Free vs Local Access. If you make the ILD call through the companies Toll free number you will normally pay an extra 1 cents per minute. The phone card company will have a local access number you can call that will make your call a little cheaper. If you are using a phone with Free Long Distance to anywhere in the United States be sure to call the non toll free number.
Text messaging might be a cheaper option sometimes. You can text to many countries with a Tracfone or NET10 prepaid phone very cheaply.
Tracfone offers international calling at their standard phone rate. You can get Tracfone minutes for between 10 and 40 cents a minute. Buy a 200 minute airtime card for $39.99 and get a Motorola phone FREE!
Net10 offers international calling for 15 cents a minute all the time. Buy 600 minutes at Net10 and get a FREE Prepaid Cell Phone.
International Long Distance Calling Cards from