Prepaid phone cards have been around for quite some time, and have always been used as a way to make long-distance or international calls at very low rates. Their main use comes from when a customer has no desire to pay every month for calls that they make only every so often. These prepaid phone cards will often let one call globally at rates that are much more affordable than standard monthly plans that include international calling.
Essentially, they were very important in filling that niche where you might have relatives, friends, and/or pen pals that live far across the U.S., or even overseas in a completely different country.
As mentioned, prepaid phone cards will very often offer rates that are significantly lower than what you would pay extra for a monthly calling plan. These rates can go as low as 0.8 cents a minute. That’s a fraction of one cent. More typically, these rates will hover around 1 or 2 cents per minute.
With a regular monthly plan, you would be paying as much as $10 extra on top of the rest of your phone bill. For some people this extra cost isn’t that big of a deal, but for those who like to be efficient with their money and don’t like to pay for what they don’t use, prepaid phone cards are the way to go.
A really nice thing about prepaid phone cards is that they are incredibly convenient to find and use. You can most likely find them in nearly any retail store, especially ones that carry electronics. You can also usually purchase the equivalent service online, where it goes straight to your phone account.
Usually, prepaid phone cards will be listed for a specific carrier, such as AT&T, Skype, Verizon, T-Mobile, and so on. Just be sure to buy the one that matches your carrier.
Since prepaid phone cards only offer a specific amount of minutes to a certain country (or to a number of different countries), you have the ability to only pay for what you use. This adds an element of versatility that isn’t offered in regular monthly plans.
This is also another reason that prepaid phone cards are important; they give the consumer a choice. Many people don’t even know that they have the option of using prepaid phone cards, and end up paying extra every month.
If a little extra every month isn’t much of a concern for you, then prepaid phone cards may not be of much use. But if you care a great deal about saving money, they’re absolutely fantastic for that purpose.
You only need to look out for cards that have misleading advertising on them. Make sure that you don’t run into any hidden fees by reading and understanding the fine print; sometimes it isn’t enough just to read the low rate in big, bold lettering. In any case, phone cards from reputable and major carriers tend to be the most trustworthy, so as long as you stay with those, you should be fine.