PHONE CARD NIGHTMARE

Old Jun 20th, 2005, 09:47 AM
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PHONE CARD NIGHTMARE

hello all

my girlfriend is studying abroad in spain right now and we are having a ridiculous time with phone cards. international phone cards bought in the US are lousy--they give about 20 seconds/minute and the cards she can buy over there dont seem much better. other than the internet, we cant communicate at all, and with the time difference, sometimes email doesnt cut it.

is there anything (calling card/credit card/ etc.) that you have used in the past that works well and doesnt cost an arm and a leg?

thanks a lot for any replies!!!
rusty_griswold is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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I never traveled to Spain, but in France I buy a phone card at the tabac shops. They work really well and are reasonable. I heard that US phone cards give problems.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Rusty, Not a solution for her calling you but if you use 10 10 987 you can call her for 3 cents a minute after a 50 something cent connection fee. That should take the sting out of those long conversations. Maybe she can text message you when she wants you to call.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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By the way, some calls to cell phones are more expensive. Check the website for 10 10 987 to make sure your call is in the cheap category.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 10:51 AM
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I recently used this company for a phone card that worked great for calls from Spain to the US and within Spain, from pay phones and hotel rooms:

http://www.europhonecards.org/

For less than $8 US, I had more calling time than I could use in two weeks, and gave the remainder to a friend when I left Spain.
I found out about it through this very website. Good luck.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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For years i've gone to the local Chinese food store and bought phone cards to call my son in France and pay about 3.5 cents/min with no connect fee. I'm using Lucky & cards now - call 800-826-6689 for details and rates to the countries you want to call. Should pay about 4 cents (US)/min with no connect fee - connect fee is the kicker as min 50 cents connect fee to talk five mins is an extra 10 cents/min. I've never had any problems using the cards - always work in my experience.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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The international phone card (MCI) that I've purchased in the USA has worked efficiently and very economically in the countries I've been recently (UK, France, Czech) but she can always buy a card locally.
I would think that email is less time problematic than phone calls, unless you want IM.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Does she have her own phone account or access to a private phone which she can pay for her calls on? In Germany, there are a ton of 010 numbers (dial-around, like US 10-10 numbers) that can make calling the US very cheap. (We paid EUR 0.02-0.025/minute.) I would guess there is something similar in Spain.

Also, in Germany there are different types of phone cards. One is simply a card from Telekom that allows you to call from a 'pay'-phone and have lousy rates to the US. (IIRC, a EUR 5 card would give me around 20 mins.) This may be what she is getting. There are also discounted international phone cards available that can be quite cheap. In Germany, these are commonly sold at places which cater to immigrants.

Good luck,
Paul
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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I always wait until I get to my destination before buying a calling card. They're pretty cheap in my opinion, seems I can get about 20 minutes of time for a ten dollar card.
You can buy them everywhere, at newstands and tabacs.
Upon arrival in a foreign city, in fact, its the second thing I buy. The first being a train or bus ticket into town. I make it a top priority in the event the credit card system collapses from hackers and I have to make an emergency call home to have money wired to me!
Oh, by the way Rusty, please say hello to papa Clark for me!
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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if you are calling her cell phone.. it will never be cheap.
but she can go to the "locutorios"all over spain, where they let you CALL from their phones.. or buy a phone card to use from a landline. they will tell her the best one to buy for the USA.

i get about 4 hours of time for 6 euros, although it seems the minutes fly off the card at times.

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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 09:53 PM
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Have you tried one of the VOIP services? Skype works great for us, and is totally free if users on both ends are using it from their computers. They have reasonable charges if you use your computer and call someone's phone.

There are other similar services, too.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:15 AM
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I have also used eurocards when calling from France and England. I bought them over the internet from a site comparing phone card rates. They can be reloaded over the net as well and have worked out well. If you do a google the site will compare rates from the particular country you wants as they do vary.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:50 AM
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We live in Spain and only use EuropeDirect cards. They are blue and she can get them at any tabac. If you want more info check madridmans website. He also says they are the best. I get about 260 minutes back to the states for 6 euros or something like 600 min for 12 euros. I don't buy those 12 euro ones anymore because I can never use all those minutes before they expire (45 days from first use).
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:58 AM
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I found this link I posted on another thread. This should help. http://www.multimadrid.com/practical_info/phoning.htm

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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:59 AM
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This too - http://www.europhonecards.org/eurodirect
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