Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back to School with Calling Cards

It's time for school again already! It can be hard to adjust during the first few weeks of college, even if you're a senior, and especially if you'll be in a different country. Prepaid calling cards make it cheap and convenient to keep in touch with friends and family as you settle in to the new school year.

Here are a few more reasons why prepaid calling cards are wonderful for college students:

1. You can't go over your minutes.
You can only talk for as many minutes as you (or your kind parents) have already purchased until you recharge your card, so you don't have to worry about going over your allotted talk time.

2. There are no roaming fees or special day/night rates.
Calling card rates don't vary throughout the day, so you don't have to wait until after 9 to make your calls. You can use your card from almost any phone.

3. There are cards that are designed with international students, exchange students, and students studying abroad in mind.
Calling cards really shine when it comes to international calls. Calling home from your semester abroad can cost more than $1 a minute if you don't plan ahead; with a calling card, that same call can cost less than 5 cents per minute. Whether you're studying in the United States and calling abroad or vice versa, we have clean, reliable calling cards that can save you a lot of money (something no student can have too much of).

4. Even regular long distance is expensive from your dorm phone.
Campus phone systems can charge all sorts of fees for long distance calls. Avoid them with a prepaid calling card that comes with a local access number - now you're calling a local number to make your long distance call.

5. With online cards, there's no card to lose.
Protect your card information by storing it in your cell phone (or, better yet, your head). Your calling card information is always available to you on the web or in your email, so you won't have to worry about leaving a calling card laying around in your room.

If you have any questions about calling cards for students or need help choosing a card, feel free to leave a note in the comments and I'll do my best to assist you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Survey Time! Attention Customers

We have a new survey for all customers. Please offer us your feedback on our website, your calling card, and a few other things (it's only 10 questions long).

To participate, just log into your account and click the "Feedback Survey" link. You'll find the link on the right side of the screen, just above the "Did You Know?" section.

Your input is greatly appreciated - we're always working to make the site even easier to use, but we can't make things better if we don't know they need improvement.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mobile Caller Explained

One of the services that we offer is Mobile Caller, a prepaid calling plan that can be used from any phone. It's handy if you make a lot of international calls, whether they're for business or just for personal reasons.

Mobile Caller has a lot of great features, like:

  • Pinless Dialing (explained here in more detail - the gist is that you don't have to enter a PIN number when you make calls)
  • Speed Dial (another convenient feature - store up to 20 numbers for quick access)
  • 24/7 Live Customer Service
  • Custom Billing (you choose your plan and your billing increment - increments go as low as 1 second, so you can pay for exactly the amount of time that you use)
  • 75¢ 411 calls to Live Operators
  • International Access - call from 20+ countries

It's also rechargeable (do it yourself online) and secure, and it works with any phone. The best part is, of course, the rates - USA to India, for example, starts at just 5.9¢ per minute. All rates are guaranteed 24/7, so you don't have to wait until a certain time to make your call.

There aren't any connection fees, expiration dates, or other mumbo jumbo; it's just a simple calling plan that drastically lowers your long distance rates to any country in the world. Give it a try with our free 10-minute trial and let me know what you think.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Why use calling cards in the age of Skype?

Many of my friends ignore calling cards, preferring to use Skype or other online voice chat to make long distance calls, often for free. With products that allow you to talk for free, why would you still need a calling card? Well...

1. Not everyone has access to the right computer equipment and a good enough internet connection.
That shouldn't be too hard to believe. Think of your parents - do they know that they can plug a microphone into the computer, let alone where? And think of the last time you were on a wireless internet connection. It was probably unreliable enough to make you question using regular instant messenger, let alone some demanding voice software. Some applications have addressed this by letting you use your computer to call out to a regular phone, but guess what - that's not free! And calling cards offer significantly lower rates than what those outbound computer-to-phone calls will run you.

2. Online chat isn't always appropriate.
"Hey, prospective international employer. I'll be on Skype from 3-6 GMT. Meet me there." As if! Voice chat is appropriate for some industries, but not for all. I might be able to revise that last sentence in a few years, but until then, some thing just require a plain old phone. What about calling a hotel in Italy to make honeymoon reservations. Think you can Skype them?

There's also a question of quality here - the "jitter" that can come with network delays (that weird-sounding thing that happens when syllables get blurred together or whole words get lost) might be acceptable when calling friends, but what about for business?

3. You're travelling.
Ever tried to track down a reliable internet connection while you're on the road? Or in a foreign country? Internet cafes are pretty common, but not many have equipment for voice chat (and many are so loud that it wouldn't matter). Also, the last time I was in Europe I paid about 15 eurocents/minute to use a computer - a phone card would have given me a rate of about 7 cents USD. Cruise ship internet connections average about 70-90 cents per minute. Enough said.

4. Scheduling online meetings is a pain.
But then add in time differences and computer glitches (network outages, equipment failures) and you've left everyone with their headsets on, staring expectantly at their buddy lists while they wait for your arrival to the chat. Most times, someone has to call the delayed party to figure out what's going on - why not save the hassle and just do the whole meeting over the phone?

I'm all for new technology, but sometimes there's a reason to hang onto the old stuff, too. Calling cards can save you time, money, and a lot of trouble in many situations.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Three Ways to Save More with Prepaid Calling Cards

1. Buy a Card with a Local Access Number
This is a great way to get more minutes for your money if you'll generally be calling from the same area. View a previous entry for more info on local access numbers.

2. Buy a Card that's designed for your specific Calling Destination
If you know you'll be calling from the US to Buenos Aires, use our search box to enter that specific information - you'll get better rates than you would for a generic US to South America or a US to Buenos Aires card. This is especially important for international calling cards!

3. Buy a Card with a low Billing Increment
I've mentioned this before, but check the billing increment before you purchase - or watch a short phone call cost double what it needs to. A one minute billing increment is usually best (and most people are already accustomed to this increment from cell phone plans); every minute or partial minute is billed as one full minute. Much better than if one minute is billed as three....

Bonus tip: Avoid Payphones!
Payphones are great in an emergency, but call from a landline or cell if you can - you'll avoid wasting calling card minutes on hefty payphone surcharges.

One more thought...
Consider a prepaid calling plan like Mobile Caller, which comes with speed dial and pinless dialing. The rates are great, the plan is customizable and can be set to automatically recharge, and it can be used from any phone.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Have you saved money with calling cards?

If you enjoy calling cards, chances are that you know someone else who might, too. After all, who wouldn't want to save money on long distance costs? Did you know that you could earn money by connecting that friend with a calling card? With the affiliate program, friend + calling card = $$ for you.

(Of course, your customers don't have to be your friends. With the Internet, almost anything's possible.)

If you're not familiar with affiliate programs, here's the general idea.
  1. You sign up with the affiliate program
  2. You put a banner or text link on your website, blog, newsletter, etc. to Your link contains your afiiliate id, an identifier that ensures that you get credit for any sales that are generated by your link.
  3. Visitors to your site click on your link and purchase calling cards.
  4. You earn 10% commission on every sale - and on any cards that your customers buy in the future, even if they don't use your link next time (we call that "Customer For Life").
We have some more advanced affiliate options as well, so stop by the Affiliate Program site and take a look. Sign up is absolutely free, and new affiliates get a $25 bonus just for signing up.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Truth About Access Numbers

That calling card you just picked up has a toll-free number printed on it. Should you use it?

How on earth will you choose a card to call back to the US while traveling or living abroad?

Why did your 100 minute calling card only last for 20 minutes?

Ah, the mysterious access number. Why are there so many, and why are they so complicated? The short answer is: lots of phone company business and technological things. What you should know: your access number (that is, the number you dial first when beginning your call - as opposed to your destination number, which is the phone number of the person/business you are trying to read) can have a big impact on your calling rates.

Suppose you get a card that has a local access number (a number that you can call without incurring long distance charges) and a 1-800 number. Chances are, you'll get a better rate by using the local access number - your calling card company has to pay less to route the call, and they will pass that savings on to you.

If you are buying a calling card online or buying a card in a different location than the one from which you will be using it (buying a card in New York to use in Paris, for instance), make sure the card has a local access number for the city/country in which you'll be using it. You'll save yourself a lot of headaches if you have to use the card from a pay phone (or as a guest in someone's home - you don't want your host to be billed for your calls), or from a location like a hotel that might block toll-free calls.

Many cards come with multiple access numbers, so see what options are available to you before you purchase. (I strongly advocate buying your calling cards online anyhow- no card to lose, and you save money on printing/marketing/shipping costs since there's no physical card.)

Some great ones for travelers or anyone who makes frequent calls from outside the US to anywhere around the world are the World Cards from World Calls, World Europe, and World Access have incredibly low rates for calls from 40+ countries to anywhere in the world. For more information on these cards, visit to view a list of the supported origination countries (the country you'd be calling from) and search for the best rate.

For help selecting the best calling card, you can always leave a note in the comments! I'm more than happy to help you find a card to meet your needs.