Understanding Phone Cards

June 27th, 2011

“How do phone cards work?”

Even though phone cards have been around for 25+ years, we still find customers each day who have never used one and have questions on how to use them and how they work.  Although there are details you should know before you purchase a phone card to make sure you have the best one to fill your calling needs, using a phone card is relatively easy.  You dial into the phone card carrier’s network, access the time you’ve purchased, and connect your call.  Here are the basics of how to use a phone card.

1)  Dial the access number for your phone card.

Most times, this will be a toll free number (i.e. 1-800, 1-877, 1-866).  Some phone cards have local access numbers which may be free for you to call if your telephone provider considers the number local for you and you have unlimited local calling on your phone plan.  Regardless of which type of number you’re using, the access number connects you with the phone card provider’s calling platform.

2)  Enter your phone card PIN.

The term PIN stands for “Personal Identification Number.”  It is the number assigned to your phone card that will allow you to access the calling time you’ve purchased.  It is a number assigned only to you with your purchase.  By entering this PIN, you should hear the balance available for placing calls.

3)  Enter the number you’d like to call.

Now that you’ve accessed the calling time you’ve purchased, you need to dial the number you’d like to call.  To call within the USA, you dial 1 + Area Code + Number. 

To place calls outside the USA, you first need to dial the international exchange 0f 011, followed by the country code (with no zeros ahead of it), city code, and number.  Each country has a different country code and phone numbers may vary in length from country to country, so there’s really no standard for how many numbers you’ll dial for calls outside the USA.  Here’s an example of calling to a phone number in the United Kingdom, specifically London:

011 + 44 + 20 + ####-####

Check out the country code for your calling destination.

4)  Enjoy your calling time.

After you enter the phone number you’re calling, you should hear the number of minutes you have available for your call.  

While these are basic instructions for how most phone cards work, it’s best to review the dialing instructions for your specific phone card in case there are other dialing actions you must perform to place a call.

For more information about using phone cards, read our First Time Phone Card Buyer’s Guide.


Phone Card Coupon for Week of June 27th

Through July 3rd, take 5% off the purchase of a new phone card PIN from ZapTel.  Coupon does not apply to recharge or cellular refill purchases.  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 July 3, 2011.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 3:02 am 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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