all you need to know about
Phone Card Pitfalls
Q) What pitfalls are there when I choose a calling card?
A) There are a whole series of things to watch out for:-
Phone cards Expire
Many phone cards have an expiry date. Normally this begins the first time the card is used. You can call up to the value available on the phone card until you reach the cutoff date. Typically ranges are 14 days, 30 day, six months, or one year. Generally all unused minutes are lost when the card expires. (This is not always the case and on some cards lost minutes can be recouped by upgrading)
This is the minimum call duration and the increment used to calculate the call cost. Typically calling cards have a one minute minimum. Beware the cards that have minimum times of two to three minutes. You should consider cards that have a 60 second minimum and have a low billing increment. Low billing increments start at 6 seconds.
Incomplete time increments are always rounded up to the next highest time unit. So if your time increment is 3 minutes and you make a 4 minute call - you will be charged for 6 minutes.
Don't get caught by the Surcharge
This is discussed above. For the sake of completeness cards that have a very cheap per minute rate often have a very high connection fee or surcharge. Making short duration calls with this type of card can be very expensive. You should use this type of card to make long duration calls particularly to International destinations.
Check if there is a delivery charge
Calling cards come in three forms:
There CAN be a delivery charge if you are going to get the plastic variety. Normally this is the USPS cost but it could be courrier charge. Do not buy low value cards if there is a delivery charge.
Check if there are finance charges in the financial transaction
You can pay for calling cards by all the traditional methods. Sometimes there is a financial charge:
- for example if you are buying a $20 card there is no point in paying a $15 charge for the privilege of paying for it by wire transfer. Do not buy low value cards if there is a finance charge. You will not be getting bang for your buck.