Thousands of Dollars Saving Tips on Buying International Calling Cards! How to Choose the Best Phone Cards for Your Needs. Written by Karo Yegyan
By spending just a few minutes on reading Tips below, Research Results and Suggestions, you can start saving Thousands of Dollars in your International Phone Calls, tons of your Valuable Time and avoid a lot of Hassles.
In order to choose Best Prepaid Card to suit your Long Distance calling needs, you should be aware of certain facts, details and understand how Phone Cards operate. First of all I want to tell you One Truth: in general there is NO such a think as “the Best Phone Card”. It all depends on your specific calling needs, habits and purposes: Who Calls, Whom You Call, From Where You Call, (To) Where You Call and How You Call. Most likely not all of these will apply to you (usually one or two factors apply). By taking a moment on reading and comparing several cards’ Terms/Conditions and Charging Fees, based on your calling needs, you will be able to choose Right Card and use it over and over and SAVE BIG.
First, let me introduce main Terms and Charges that usually apply to most of Prepaid Cards (Actual physical Cards and Instant PIN Delivery Online Cards). Prepaid Phone Card: It is a card which you purchase (for a set price) and use to make long distance domestic or international phone calls. They allow holders to make calls up to value of card, by dialing a local access # or Toll Free # and entering a PIN. Value of a card: Phone Cards come in different denominations: $2, $3, $5, $20 and $50. The most popular ones are $5s and $10s. You want to choose a card which suits your needs. Sometimes it is best to use a $5 or $10 card and complete your phone calls and not worry about connection fees, maintenance fees and rounding fees. So, a $50 card, which provides a better rate than a $10 card, may become pricier than 5 (five) $10 cards. For this reason you should also consider that cards could expire without using all available minutes. Per Minute Rate: This is rate that is billed for each minute of conversation that caller engages in and is usually expressed in cents per minute. Many prepaid phone cards will have a cheap per minute rate, but may have very high connection or other types of fees.
Connection Fee: It is charged when a telephone call gets connected. The call is considered to be connected as soon as someone answers, including connecting to an answering machine, fax, voice mail or pager. Connection fees vary widely between cards. Lots of cards have No Connection Fees (usually those have higher per minute rates than cards with Connections Fees). Maintenance Fee: Some cards charge a maintenance fee either when first phone call is connected or after first phone call is finished. This is a scheduled fee that might be applied weekly, semi-weekly or monthly. This is applied to almost all prepaid phone cards. Minutes Rounding: It is used to calculate length of a phone call by rounding them. If it rounded to 2 minutes, a 30 seconds phone call will be considered as a 2 min. call and a 3 min. call will be considered as a 4 min. Expiration Date: Many prepaid phone cards will expire after certain period. This time span is usually 3-6 months and it is usually counted from card’s first use. Communication Fee: Certain phone cards charge a communication fee. The advertised total minutes look more attractive because this fee is usually applied after call is finished. Look out to see if your card charges this fee. Pay-Phone Surcharge: There is usually a surcharge when you use a public pay-phone. Calls to cell phones: A different rate may apply when you make calls to cell phones using a calling card. Tax: Some prepaid phone cards charge a monthly tax or one time tax (not common). Try to avoid it by checking information for your phone card carefully. Once you get familiar with International Phone Cards’ terms and fees, check what factors you should consider on choosing right cards for your calling needs, which will help you to get maximum benefits, comfort, lowest rates, best services and Huge Savings. In long run using these particular calling cards will minimize hassles and problems related to international callings. To make this process easier and more productive lets go through above mentioned questions (Who, Whom, Where, How…) one by one and lets start from most important one: (To) Where You Call?-this means what country or what specific city in that country you wand to call. To make it easier understand, let me illustrate whatever I am going to say on real company’s (Phone Cards Gallery) website (this is website, from where I do almost all my online phone card purchases. I, personally, like that company’s site, because they have great services and products with huge variety, have very useful Searching Tools, good Useful Links and Tips, and most important I like their Specials and Discounts on most of their cards). Once you go to that company’s Home Page ( http://www.PhoneCardsGallery.com ), in left side you will see “Discount Calling Card Finder” section. In “country” box choose your calling country. If city (in that country) which you want to call is listed also, then choose that city. If you are calling to a cell phone, choose country (-) dash “cell”. IN general, major cities have better rates (more calling time) than country. After choosing your destination, click “Get Phone Cards!” button. The site’s searching tool will find all cards which provide calling services to your country and will organize cards with highest calling minutes to lowest minutes (Top Ranking). Now we know which cards give best calling minutes to your country, but this is just beginning. First, look at list with Top Ranking Cards (usually top 10 or 20 cards). Second thing you need to consider is cards “Quality” (Blue Stars next to Cards’ names”). Always give preferences to those cards which have better Qualities (more stars). The most preferred cards are once with 4 or 5 (5 is maximum) stars. Having Local Access numbers (for State or City that you are located or you calling from) is also very important. It is recommended to choose a card that has Local Access numbers. Usually, by using Toll Free 1-800 number, instead of Local Access numbers, additional Per Minute Charges may apply. Next to cards’ names (“Calling Card Name” column), inside prentices, they usually show if that particular card has Local Access numbers for your state or a city. Some cards that have Local Access #s, in card’s detail page, will provide a link (“Local Numbers”) to new page with list of all available Local Access #. Others will provide (by Automated Answering Service) Local Access # when you call by using their Toll Free # and choosing “yes” to their question: “Do you need Local Access #?” In this case, after you get Local Access #, you need to hang up and call using given Local #.
Fatty Food Companies Go On Tough Public Relations DietWritten by Scott Baradell
Since 1975, obesity rates among U.S. children have more than doubled -- and more than tripled among kids aged 6 to 11. Lawmakers, consumer groups and class-action attorneys are increasingly laying blame for this trend on "deceptive" marketing campaigns of major food companies.
Gradually -- too gradually for their own good -- food companies such as McDonald's and Kraft have recognized obesity trend as a PR crisis that needs to be addressed head-on.
Marketing food (or anything else) to children is a touchy subject. As parents know, many advertisers aggressively use "nag factor" to push product. They want children to bug their parents until parents break down ("OK, OK, I'll take you to McDonald's if you promise to be quiet!") I've seen marketing presentations where efficacy of "nag factor" is quantified in detail.
But we can't lay blame for our fat kids on food companies and their advertising. It's actually a relatively minor factor in obesity epidemic. Other, more important trends are involved. For example: