Long Distance Phone Cards

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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If you make long distance calls only occasionally, long distance phone cards might be a good option. There's no point, after all, in paying for services you don't use, right? Maybe when you first signed on with your telephone service or this plan you were making calls regularly. But things have changed. Your friends and family for the most part live nearby. It's worth doing a bit of comparison shopping on the Internet. Weigh the options against one another.

Maybe the scenario is different. Your kids are going off to camp. You need to touch base, make sure they're enjoying themselves, make sure they're okay. It'll be next to impossible for you to reach them, makes better sense for them to telephone you. In the old days they'd call collect. That's always an option but it's expensive. Long distance phone cards might be just the thing.

The Basics of Long Distance Phone Cards

Rates for service with long distance phone cards are, almost without exception, calculated on a per-minute basis. There is, however, usually no monthly fee involved--at least, not from the major carriers. Read the fine print carefully. If you see a fee, or a per connection surcharge, move on. You also want to look out for minimum charges. When these apply, be sure they are one minute or less. Beyond that, move on.

Also, don't forget that certain fees will apply to all service carriers. The universal service fund fee for all telecommunications is one. Effective January 1, 2004, this surcharge is 7.6 percent of the gross amount. Federal taxes are another ubiquitous addition.

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