Calling Card Benefits And Drawbacks: Pros Vs Cons

A telephone calling card can provide cheaper long distance rates when used appropriately. Here are some options to consider using.

With many more types of telephone billing options to choose from, many people no longer use the consumer calling card that provides long distance telephone calls at a fraction of the usual cost. Cell phones, too, have reduced dependence on the telephone companies' calling cards.

But there are situations in which a calling card might come in handy. Here are a few of them:

1. When you travel on a business or professional trip. Since you'll be away from home, you can't use the household land line. Your cell phone may not be in use for that area. Using the hotel telephone is costly. If you borrow a friend's phone, it can be hard to remember to repay the person, which can cause ill will. A calling card allows you to dial from anywhere and bill the charges to your home phone or a credit card. It fits easily into a wallet or purse for convenient access.

2. When your cell phone dies or has an incomplete connection to the service area you're trying to call. For example, if you need to get in touch with a nephew in Boston who's flying in for the holidays this weekend, your cell phone may not be able to access his line from your place of employment. Instead of using the company phone, you take out your calling card and the charges will go automatically to your account.

3. When there is no private telephone to use. If all that is available is public telephone service, use your calling card to dial your desired number. You need not have cash in your pocket or a credit card in hand. The card will take care of it promptly and easily to spare you inconvenience or embarrassment. The card can be used to dial anywhere (except, perhaps, long distance) for the cost-per-minute that you purchased.

4. Check out your options. Calling cards can be purchased for varying numbers of minutes at differing costs. Get the best deal for your money. For example, some major grocery chains offer a card with 500 minutes at 2.9 cents per minute. There may be deals that are even better than that. Shop around until you find one that fits your budget and telephone needs.

5. Check out other calling options. If you don't want to buy a phone card, you can use your cell phone as long as you don't over the available number of minutes. Or you can dial one of the national long-distance savings plan numbers to get five cents a minute. Ask about catches, though. In some cases you will be billed at ninety-nine cents a minute for the first minute, whether the other person answers or not, with five cents per minute thereafter.

Whatever your long distance needs, a calling card or other service plan may be the answer for you. Read the fine print and ask questions before using it to maximize the benefits that will become available when you use the card or the program the way it is designed to save on long distance telephone costs.

© High Speed Ventures 2011