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U.S. Pre-Paid Calling Card or International Pre-paid Calling Card??

U.S. Pre-Paid Calling Card or International Pre-paid Calling Card??

May 3rd, 2006, 12:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
U.S. Pre-Paid Calling Card or International Pre-paid Calling Card??

I've been reading many posts on the different ways to keep in touch (to U.S.) while over in Europe. I will be traveling in Germany, Switzerland and France this summer. I currently have a Cingular phone(through work). I haven't called yet to figure out whether the GSM capabilitie is turned on or not. I will do so tonight.

I don't plan on making many calls but I would like to make the occassional "check-in" call to the family as well as be able to receive "emergency" calls from my family back in the U.S. I am thinking of taking my Cingular (if and when it's hooked up for International calls with GSM) for incoming "emergency" calls from family in the U.s. as well as purchasing a pre-paid calling card for the few 'check-in' calls we will make from the above countries to the U.S. What is the difference between buying a pre-paid card at Walmart or Costco vs. buying one in Europe? Where should I purchase mine?

Thank you!
katzen is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 15
We're leaving for Europe next week and have an MCI calling card purchased at Costco. Have used it extensively in U.S. Called MCI yesterday and they gave me the phone numbers to use in each of the countries we'll visit. The rep was very helpful in explaining the procedure to use. Sounds simple. We'll see!
judyhm is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 12:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
Thank you judyhm. Have a wonderful trip and please do post on your experience there when you get back!
katzen is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,507
In Switzerland, at least, it is very inexpensive to just use your own VISA card (or other credit card). The phone has a display that shows what you are paying, in Swiss francs. Most of my calls to the US (lasting several minutes or more) were in the CHF 1.80 to 2.40 range. My VISA bill confirmed that this was what I was actually charged. You can also buy a 5-franc Swiss phone card if you aren't comfortable using your credit card, but that may be more than you need for a call or two. Either way, you just dial the number direct and avoid all the extra numbers that go with a calling card.

enzian is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 12:58 PM
Posts: n/a
You should be aware that if you use a pay phone you may need a local card to reach the access number for your international card. Fewer and fewer phones accept coins.
May 3rd, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 776
It is probabaly best to get a local calling card primarily for the reason jeffkeller stated.

We have a Sam's AT&T card with great rates internationally. The only problem is that the toll free access numbers often needed a coin deposit (returned after call). The no-coin card phones were more common. Putting in the access # without a deposit did not go thru. Did not try using a credit card for deposit though.
nibblette is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 754
I also have a Cingular phone. Last year we called Cingular to turn on our European option and was told that it will be turned on and were given the basic costs. Well! Please don't take anything for granted. The phone was never activated to make overseas calls to the US as Cingular promised. We bought a phone card in Germany at a store and used the card with any phone to call the US. The cost of the card was cheaper and better than what we got at T-Mobile in Germany. Make sure the phone is activated.
aeiger is offline  

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