Calling cards have long been a popular way to make affordable calls, especially international ones, from any phone. While calling cards used to require finding a payphone, with today’s cell phones, you can use calling cards right from your mobile device. This makes calling cards extremely convenient for staying connected when travelling abroad or for budget international calling from home.
A calling card allows you to make calls using a centralized account, separate from your regular cell phone service. You first purchase a physical or virtual calling card on a cell phone, then add money to it that can be used to cover the cost of phone calls. When you use the calling card on a cell phone to make a call, the cost is deducted from the balance on the card rather than being billed to your cell phone plan. The key advantage of using a calling card on a cell phone is the low international calling rates compared to what your cell provider charges. Calling cards leverage bulk wholesale rates that are much cheaper than typical cell phone company international rates. This allows you to call abroad for just pennies per minute in some cases, while cell providers might charge $1–2 per minute.
Calling cards also let you make calls from any phone, so you can use them easily while travelling without roaming charges from your cell provider. Any calls made via the calling card don’t use your cell plan minutes either. And if you have contacts who also have the same calling card, you can call each other for free.
A brief explanation of what calling cards are and how they can be used on cell phones
A calling card on a cell phone like Callmama provides an affordable way to make international calls directly from your cell phone. A calling card on a cell phone works by assigning you a unique phone number and PIN code, which lets you access discounted calling rates through a centralized account. The cost of calls is deducted from a balance you preload onto the calling card.
To use Callmama or any calling card on a cell phone, you’ll first purchase the physical or virtual card online. Virtual cards can be downloaded as a mobile app. You’ll need to activate the card and register your cell phone number. When it’s time to make a call, dial the Callmama access number, enter your PIN code, and then dial the international number. The call connects and is billed to your Callmama balance rather than your cell phone plan. The major benefit of using Callmama on your cell phone is the hugely discounted international calling rates. Calls to many countries are just 1 cent per minute using Callmama cards. Cell phone companies can charge up to $2 per minute for international calls. A calling card on a cell phone also lets you call from any phone without using cell plan minutes. Callmama offers free calls between users, allowing you to connect with friends and family who also have the card.
In summary, Callmama and other international calling cards enable cheap overseas calls directly from your cell phone. With rock-bottom calling rates, flexibility to call from anywhere, and no cell plan minutes used, calling cards are essential for affordable international calling.
Benefits of Using a Calling Card on a Cell Phone
More affordable international calling rates than cell provider
One of the biggest benefits of using an international calling card on your cell phone is the much lower calling rates compared to what your regular cell phone provider charges. Calling card companies can offer discounted rates by leveraging bulk wholesale pricing that is significantly cheaper than typical cell company rates.
For example, calling cards can provide calls to many countries for as little as 1 cent per minute. This beats out cell phone company international rates that can be as high as $2 per minute, especially when calling landlines overseas. With a calling card on a cell phone, you get access to super cheap international rates without having to sign up for an expensive international cell plan. These low international rates apply when calling from both your cell phone and any other phone that supports the calling card on a cell phone. So you can take advantage of cheap calls on a calling card on a cell phone even when traveling and using local cell phones abroad. All it takes is the calling card number and PIN to access the same excellent rates. Calling cards also allow you to pre-purchase bulk minutes upfront, which can further lower the per-minute rates for international calls. Buying larger amounts of calling card credit on a cell phone is an easy way to maximize savings versus paying higher pay-as-you-go rates. Plus, any unused calling credit remains on the card to use later.
In summary, calling cards on a cell phone beat out regular cell phone providers when it comes to cheap international calling rates. You can make calls abroad for mere pennies per minute instead of several dollars. Buying bulk minutes lowers rates even more. For frequent international callers, using a calling card on a cell phone is the obvious and affordable choice.
Ability to call from any phone, not just your cell phone
Another major advantage of a calling card on a cell phone is the ability to make calls from any phone that supports the card, not just your cell device. This gives you tremendous flexibility, whether at home, travelling, or on any phone.
With a calling card, your account is tied to the card number and PIN rather than a specific cell phone device. So you can use your calling card on a cell phone to make cheap international calls on friends’ or relatives’ cell phones, payphones, hotel room phones, calling centre phones, office landlines, and more. This essentially turns every phone you come across into your phone when you need to make an international call through your calling card. You don’t have to worry about SIM card swapping, renting local phones, or roaming charges. Just use your calling card on any handy phone to connect.
Plus, when you use your calling card on other phones, you don’t use up any of your own cell phone plan’s minutes. The call is billed separately through the card. This helps you save your cell minutes for when you need them. The flexibility to make calling card calls from any phone also ensures you can always call internationally while travelling abroad. Just find a local payphone or borrow a phone to call through your card and avoid massive roaming fees from your cell provider.
In summary, calling cards mean you can make affordable international calls from any phone, offering great flexibility and convenience compared to relying on just your cell device.
Calling card rates: don’t use cell phone plan minutes
When you make international calls through a calling card on your cell phone, the call minutes come out of your calling card balance, not your cell plan minutes. This helps you save cell plan minutes for national calls and times when you don’t have calling card access.
Cell phone plans, especially those with limited minutes, can charge very high overage fees if you exceed the plan minutes. Overage rates are usually much higher than the normal minute rates. By using a calling card for international calls instead, you avoid eating into valuable cell plan minutes that you may need for other calls. Calling cards on a cell phone have balances that are replenished separately from cell plan minutes. You can add calling credit specifically for international calling without affecting your domestic cell minutes. And if you ever run out of calling card credit on a cell phone, you simply top up the card rather than paying cell minute overages. This also comes in handy when travelling internationally. Any calls made through your calling card on a cell phone on foreign cell phones or pay phones don’t use up the minutes on your personal cell plan back home. You get to save those minutes and avoid roaming overages.
In summary, taking international calls off your cell phone plan minutes and onto a separate calling card on a cell phone account helps minimize minute overuse and expensive overage fees. You get to dictate cell plan minutes for national calls and calling card balances for international talks.
Can be used while traveling internationally
Calling cards are extremely useful for making affordable calls while travelling internationally. They prevent you from having to pay massive roaming fees from your regular cell provider.
As mentioned earlier, a calling card on a cell phone allows you to call from any phone that supports the card. So when travelling abroad, you can use local payphones, your hotel room landline, rented cell phones, and borrowed phones to make calls through your calling card account and get cheap international rates. Calling cards let you keep your regular cell phone powered off to avoid roaming charges while still making calls through alternate phones and your calling card. Most cell providers charge very high roaming fees for international usage, even if you just want to make short local calls. Calling cards are a roaming-free international calling solution. You can also use calling cards to call back to your home country for low rates while travelling. Calling card companies offer excellent rates for calls between many country pairs, keeping you affordably connected with friends and family back home. Additionally, since calling card calls don’t use your cell plan minutes, you can save those minutes strictly for emergencies. Keep your cell powered on, but only use it sparingly via your calling card.
In summary, international travellers will appreciate the huge cost savings of using a calling card abroad instead of paying expensive cell roaming charges. Calling cards offer an essential budget-friendly solution while travelling.
How to Set Up a Calling Card on Your Cell Phone
Obtain a physical or virtual calling card
The first step in using a calling card on your cell phone is to obtain either a physical calling card purchased in person or a virtual card bought online. Physical cards are available at many convenience stores, gas stations, and call centres in various prepaid amounts. Virtual calling cards are purchased on the provider’s website and delivered electronically.
When purchasing a physical calling card, inspect the packaging to check the rates for the countries you plan to call. Make sure the access number supports calling from a mobile phone. It’s also good to register the card number and PIN online in case the card is lost or damaged. For a virtual calling card on a cell phone, you’ll need to create an account on the provider’s website before purchasing. Make sure to compare international rates between virtual card providers to find one with rates for your destinations. Some virtual cards require downloading a mobile app for calling, while others operate by dialling a number. Both physical and virtual calling cards on a cell phone should indicate the denominations available for purchase along with any fees. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, too. Avoid cards with lots of hidden fees or expiration dates. Choosing a reputable calling card company is advised.
Once you’ve selected the right calling card on a cell phone for your usage, purchase the amount that aligns with your budget and international calling needs. Buying in bulk typically provides the lowest rates per minute. Keep in mind that virtual cards are easier to recharge online, while physical cards require purchasing a new card.
Add international calling credit to the card
After obtaining a physical or virtual calling card, the next step is to add money to the card for making calls. This calling credit acts like a balance against which the cost of calls will be deducted.
For physical cards, credit is added at the time of purchase when you select a prepaid denomination like $10, $20, or $100. Virtual cards allow you to add credit online through your account dashboard or the mobile app after a purchase. When adding credit, know that higher denominations typically offer lower per-minute calling rates. So for frequent international callers, buying $100 of credit may only be slightly more than $10 but provides significantly lower rates per minute. Pay attention to any promotions or first-time calling credit amounts too. It’s also important to add enough initial credit to support your expected international calling usage. You don’t want to run out of credit in the middle of an important call. However, it’s easy to recharge both physical and virtual cards as needed.
Monitor your credit balance periodically when first using your calling card to get a sense of how quickly you use calling credit based on your calling destinations and frequency. This will help determine ideal denominations for future refills.
For physical cards, register your cell number online
- To use a physical calling card on your cell phone, you’ll need to register your cell number online with the calling card provider. This links your cell number to the card itself, enabling access when calling from that device.
- To register online, locate the calling card provider’s website and search for an account registration page. You’ll need to create a login with your basic contact information. Make sure to use a secure password.
- Next, enter your calling card number and PIN, which can be found printed on the physical card. The website may ask you to set a verbal password that you’ll use when making calls from your cell phone.
- Finally, provide your cell number and choose any optional security settings, like requiring a PIN for each call. Make sure to write down your online login and verbal password for reference.
- Registering your cell number with a physical calling card company is crucial. It allows the system to recognize your cell as an authorized device when you call in to make outgoing calls through the card service.
For virtual cards, download the app and register
- To use a virtual calling card on your cell, you’ll need to download the calling provider’s mobile app and complete registration. The app allows access to your calling card balance and dialling from your smartphone.
- Go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to find and install your virtual calling card’s mobile app. Launch the app and follow the prompts to register your account by entering your login email and password that were created when purchasing.
- The app will detect your cell number and link it to your virtual card. Grant permissions so the app can utilize your mic, contacts, dialer, and wifi. Add contacts you wish to call internationally so their numbers are stored.
- Check your calling credit balance, which should reflect your initial purchase amount. Explore the app and customize any settings like PIN codes, call logging, notifications, etc.
- With your virtual calling card mobile app registered on your cell phone, you’ll be able to place international calls directly within the app interface using your calling credit balance.
Making Calls with Your Cell Phone Calling Card
For physical cards, dial the access number, enter your PIN code and then the number you want to call
Once your physical calling card is registered to your cell number, you can start using it to make international calls right from your mobile device.
To make a call, first locate the access number printed on your calling card. The access number connects you to the calling service. Dial this number from your cell phone as you normally would dial any number.
After dialling the access number, you’ll hear an automated prompt asking for your PIN code. Your unique PIN will be printed on the calling card. Enter the PIN using your phone’s dial pad.
You’ll then hear a message prompting you to enter the number you wish to call. Carefully dial the full international number, including the country code and city code, if applicable.
After entering the international number, the call will be connected and billed per minute to your calling card balance rather than your cell phone minutes.
When first using a physical calling card on your cell, try practising dialling with a friend’s number before calling internationally. Get familiar with the calling steps and access number to ensure you dial correctly later.
Remember that physical calling cards allow you to make affordable international calls on your cell phone from anywhere at any time. Keep your card handy in your wallet in case you need to call abroad.
For virtual cards, open the app, enter the number and follow the prompts
Using a virtual calling card on your mobile device requires accessing the calling app you downloaded and registered for. Open up the app on your smartphone when you need to place a call.
Within the app, you’ll see options for accessing your contacts, entering a new number, viewing your calling history, recharging credit, and more. To make a new call, simply tap the option to enter a number manually.
In the number entry field, type the full international number with the country code and city code if needed. The app may even suggest contacts as you type numbers.
Once you enter the international number, tap the call button within the app interface. The call will then be connected and billed to your virtual calling card balance.
The great thing about apps for virtual calling cards is that they handle the call dialling for you. There’s no need to manually enter access numbers or PINs before calling. It’s all done seamlessly through the app.
Make sure to allow the app permissions to utilize your mic, speaker, contacts, and calling functions when first installing so you can make calls properly. Keep the app handy on your home screen for quick access whenever needed.
Tips for Saving Money When Using a Cell Phone Calling Card
Look for cards with good international calling rates
One of the best ways to maximize savings with a calling card is to look for cards that offer strong rates for your specific calling destinations. International rates can vary widely between calling card providers. Before purchasing a calling card, research and compare rates to countries you call frequently. Some cards advertise generally cheap international rates, but a closer look may reveal higher prices in certain places. Opt for a calling card with excellent rates for your top international call recipients. This will rack up savings over time compared to using a card with mediocre rates in those countries. Don’t assume all calling card rates are created equal. Also, look for calling cards that offer reduced per-minute rates for purchasing larger amounts of calling credit. Buying in bulk, like $100 of credit versus $10, can lower rates. Calculate the total estimated calling costs for each card based on your usage to identify the most savings. Pay attention to fees like connection fees, hang-up fees, or recharging fees that can eat into savings. Avoid cards overloaded with lots of fees and perfectly pick one that offers strong value for your usage.
Purchase larger amounts of calling credit for the best rates
As mentioned above, buying larger amounts of calling credit at once can reduce per-minute calling rates. This is because calling cards provide discounts for customers purchasing bulk minutes upfront. For instance, a calling card might charge 7 cents per minute when you buy $10 of credit but only 5 cents per minute when you buy $100 of credit. Even though the $100 balance costs more upfront, you’ll get more calling minutes for your money in the long run. See if your calling card provider offers different denominations of calling credit for purchase. Look at the rates associated with each to calculate potential savings for your calling frequency. Just be careful not to purchase more calling credit than you’ll likely use within the card’s expiration period. Optimal savings come from buying the largest denomination within your budget that aligns with expected usage.
Use WiFi whenever possible to avoid cell phone minutes
When using a calling card on your smartphone, always make calls over WiFi if available. This will route the call through your WiFi internet connection rather than through your cell plan minutes.
Cell providers charge per-minute rates whenever you use their cellular network. But calling card calls over WiFi is essentially free from a minute perspective. You’ll only pay your calling card rate instead of your cell and calling card rates.
Connect your phone to trusted WiFi networks, like at home, work, hotels, cafes, or airports, when making international calls. Turn off cellular data briefly if needed to force calls over WiFi. This will maximize cell plan minutes.
Just remember that calling card call quality can suffer sometimes over WiFi compared to the cell network. However, the cost savings usually outweigh minor quality issues.
Take advantage of any promotional deals or first-time user offers
Finally, be sure to take advantage of any new customer promotions or discounts a calling card may offer as a first-time user. These limited-time deals can provide free calling credit or discounted rates.
Promotions like double-calling credit on your first purchase or 5% off rates for 3 months are common. Some virtual cards offer a sign-up bonus of complementary calling minutes.
Also, look out for any referral bonuses if you get friends to sign up for the same calling card. These referral perks can earn you and your friends extra credit.
Check your account dashboard periodically to see if any new promotions have been added that existing customers can redeem. Consider consolidating your calling with cards that frequently offer deals.
In summary, calling cards provide an excellent option for making affordable international calls directly from your cell phone. Calling cards offer international per-minute rates that are significantly lower than typical cell phone company rates. This enables cheap calls abroad, whether at home or when travelling overseas. By obtaining a physical or virtual calling card, adding sufficient calling credit, and properly registering your cell number, you can set up calling card access right on your smartphone. Making calls then simply involves dialling the card’s access number and PIN codes for physical cards or opening up the calling app for virtual cards. Following best practices like buying in bulk, utilizing WiFi connections, and redeeming promotions allows you to maximize savings with a cell phone calling card. Rates of just 1 to 5 cents per minute to many destinations are possible.
The convenience of calling cards means you can call internationally from anywhere using your device. Avoid expensive roaming charges when travelling or overage fees when at home. Calling cards have evolved along with cell phones to enable cheap international connectivity.