Local Phone Cards versus Credit Cards

Old Oct 12th, 1999, 08:34 AM
Bob Brown
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Local Phone Cards versus Credit Cards

The question of the cheapest way to call home from Europe often comes up on this forum. Ever since being fleeced at the rate of $2.00 a minute by AT&T, I have purchased a local prepaid telephone card.

This trip, I noticed in Paris a few public phones that would accept the local telecard or a major credit card (e.g. Visa and Master Charge). Does anybody know if the Visa/MC rate is the same as the prepaid Telecard rate?? My educated guess is that the credit card rate is higher, or that there is some surcharge, but I have not tried one to find out. Just curious.
Similarly, I see prepaid cards for sale in the US. Would these be cheaper than using a calling card??
Old Oct 12th, 1999, 08:55 AM
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I used a prepaid card that I bought in the US, worked great. Bought a 200 minute (US time) card at Costco for 20 dollars.
The hours available depends on the country you are in, in Italy it was 40 minutes, France I think it was 50. It was very easy to use, you have to call a toll free local number they give you, and follow instructions. You can call from any phone. I highly recommend it.
Old Oct 12th, 1999, 09:06 AM
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From the UK the answer is easy. There are many International Calling Cards (available from every corner shop). These are cheaper than ringing direct on a BT phone, and work as stated above. They can be used free from any phone box in the UK on a charge free "0800" number I am not sure what they charge to the US, but I know its about 13 pence per minute to NZ on the one I use (they all have different rates).
Old Oct 14th, 1999, 05:27 AM
Mary Ann
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I would think the local phone cards are easier to use in Europe than the US purchased prepaid cards. On our trip last month, one couple had the US kind and in Eastern Europe they would not work. Also, in some of the western Europe regular phone booths you had to make sure you had coin. There seem to be alot more phone booths which only accepted the European card. Ironically, we felt keeping in touch was easier by setting up a yahoo email address and using cyber cafes. Actually this was the easiest in Praha and Budapest. The hilton, for a small fee would even let you use their computer for guests.
Old Oct 14th, 1999, 05:40 AM
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Ooooooooooo... can you tell me the name and address or general location of a cybercafe in Budapest? I'm going in two weeks and the last time I was there there was nothing convenient to the center. Thanks!

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