Phone cards and mobile phones while traveling abroad

August 10th, 2015

“I’m going to be traveling outside the United States. Can I use my phone card from my mobile phone to make calls home?”

This is a question our customer service gets asked almost weekly as people prepare to travel abroad. Phone cards and mobile phones are both great ways to make calls home when traveling but when you’re outside the United States, you don’t really need to use both.

For most people, your U.S. based cell phone is set up to work just in the United States. When you need to take it outside of the country when you travel, it’s best to contact your mobile phone provider to see what adjustments you should make to your plan in order to have the phone both work from where you’ll be traveling to and not get charged higher roaming fees. Your mobile carrier has plans set up to accommodate your international calling needs and, in some cases, advise you about unlocking your phone or changing the SIM card if necessary.

So if you set up global calling with your cell phone so you can use it while you travel, why would you need to use a phone card from your mobile phone?

Exactly. You wouldn’t!

If you have the plan set up with your mobile phone plan, then using a phone card would just add additional cost to your calls.

Now with that said, there are a couple reasons why having a phone card with you as a back up would be a good idea.

If you don’t plan on using your cell phone and you’ll be making calls home from a landline or hotel phone only, then a phone card may be a better fit than a global mobile phone plan. As we state on our Travel Card FAQ page, it’s best to contact your hotel to see if they allow phone cards to be used from their phones and if there is any room charge for using their phones.

Just like when you use your cell phone at home, there may be times where your cell service drops and you may not be able to make a call out with the device. Having a phone card as a back up would be ideal to have.

Also, we’ve had several customers report that their mobile provider’s global plans come at quite a cost. A phone card would be a cost effecting alternative so you’ll have more money to spend on your travels.

Have additional questions about using global phone cards? You’ll find the answers to several of your questions on our Travel Card FAQ page.

Phone Card Coupon starting August 10, 2015

Through August 23rd, receive $1.00 off of your purchase of a new PIN or recharge 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 August 23, 2015.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 10th, 2015 at 7:08 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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