How phone card expiration dates work

September 13th, 2009

“Why do phone cards have expiration dates?”

The best way to answer why phone cards have expiration dates is to explain it with simple business accounting.  At some point, a business has to consider a product as used or abandoned so they can accurately balance their outstanding credits.  For some businesses, the product is a gift certificate.  In ZapTel’s case, the product is a phone card.

Here’s an example for you.  Let’s say you buy a phone card and have a $2.00 balance remaining on it.  At what point should the carrier consider that you’re not planning to use the PIN?  The entire time that you have a balance remaining on the phone card while it is active, whether you use it or not, the carrier is reserving capacity in case you decide to use the card.  The carrier has to make a decision based on user activity and the rates they make available plus the capacity they reserve to determine a product’s expiration date.  It’s a standard business practice for a phone card carrier.

Think of the practice like cleaning out old clothes from your closet.  You only have room for so much clothing.  In order to fit more into your closet, you have to take out pieces you no longer plan to wear.  Once you’ve made more room, other pieces can take the place of the older ones.

In general, some phone cards have hard expiration dates that usually occur after the card’s first use.  Some carriers will set expiration dates to a short period of time forcing customers to use the minutes within that period of time.  In exchange, the carrier may offer a lower rate per minute.  Other cards have an expiration date that is a period after the card’s last use so you can continue to use and recharge the same PIN.

Before purchasing any phone card (from ZapTel or another retailer), make sure you know the expiration terms.  ZapTel lists this  information on the card specification page for each calling card.  Click on the name or image of a phone card to find out the card’s expiration terms.

Phone Card Coupon for Week of September 14th

Through September 20th, receive 5% off of your purchase or recharge of a Flying Colors! phone card from ZapTel. Use the following code to receive the discount:


Enter the coupon code on the Review Your Order page, and be sure to click the “Add Coupon Code” button on the page to apply the discount. Offer expires at Midnight Central Time on September 20, 2009.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2009 at 11:00 pm and is filed under Phone Card Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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