Africa Phone Cards

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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If you plan on making any calls to Africa, you'll probably need an international phone card. An Africa phone card is an international calling card that allows you to place calls from anywhere in the world to specific locations in the African continent. The cards work as prepaid debit cards, allowing access to a predetermined amount of international long distance minutes. Each card contains a unique user ID number that you can provide after dialing a toll-free access number. When you place a call to Africa, the total cost of the call, which is likely to include several related service fees, is subtracted from the total value of the card.

Africa phone cards are usually used when the rates offered by the phone card provider are lower than those of the local service provider. Because of high international operator rates and connection fees, Africa phone cards will almost always be the more economical choice. These cards are especially useful among African students studying abroad, as they provide a cost-efficient means of keeping in touch with friends and family. African business travelers will also find the international rates of prepaid calling cards to be vastly preferable to the sky-high costs of making calls from a hotel or cell phone.

Comparing Africa Phone Cards

If you plan on purchasing a phone card to call Africa, it is important to verify that service is available for the specific area you will be calling. Due to the costs of establishing new telecommunications services, many of the international phone service providers associated with Africa phone cards cover only a limited area. Major territories have been divided between various phone card companies, each issuing a card compatible with that area only. A card may be advertised as a practical way to call Africa, but the limitations and details (usually printed on the back of the card or packaging) will denote the specific areas you can access in Africa.

Independent international long distance carriers vary in reliability. Before buying a card to call Africa, it's a good idea to quickly research the company. Internet message boards can be a good place to find complaints or accolades for any particular type of card. Unreliable service providers may constantly shut down and reopen under new names, so knowing how long the provider has been around for might be a good initial indication of their integrity.


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