How calling cards work

by : PhilippeChavanne

How do calling cards work?
And, why should I care?
Well the simple answer to the second question - is; knowledge is power, and an educated consumer is the best consumer. Do calling card rates sometimes sound too good to be true? Well most of their rates are true, of course with some exceptions, and understanding how they work will help explain why.

Now for the answer to the first question; all calling cards are basically used in the same way, you dial a toll free or local access number, enter your PIN when prompted, then the number you want to call - then your call is connected. A very simple process but this is only the beginning.

Calling card companies purchase the minutes you use in bulk, sometimes even by the millions. Anyone who has ever shopped at a "Sam's Club" can understand the value of buying in bulk. The big Phone companies, who actually own the lines, offer huge discounts for bulk purchases because most of their calling capacity often goes unused. This is a very similar concept to those discount travel companies who allow you to name your own price for a flight. When your bid is accepted it is because those seats would have gone unfilled, and there in very little additional cost to the airlines to let you fill them at a lot lower fair then other passengers. So you're on the same plane, going to the same place as the person next to you, only it cost you a fraction of what they paid. Once again, the same concept applies to Phone Cards, Your call is being placed on the same lines as anyone else that purchased service directly from the carrier, only your call is costing a lot less than theirs.

Some calling card companies have even begun to construct their own calling networks over the internet. This also helps to reduce the cost to customers because the connection is routed in such a way as that makes the call appear as if it is only a local call, not long distance, and therefore billed at a local call rate.

Remember, there are several important things you should consider Before purchasing any calling card. Take into account where you will be calling to and where you are calling from; this is the most important part of selecting the right calling card. Always read all the fine print, some companies' compromise the great value calling cards can offer by adding all types of hidden fees. For more information on this subject you can visit