At first glance it would appear that using a prepaid phone card with a cell phone is hardly worth it. But when you consider that long-distance and international charges can be pretty significant on some cell phone plans, the idea of a calling card can be rather attractive. Realizing this to be the case, there are some cell phone makers now allowing phone card information to be stored directly in the cell phone for one-touch calling.
The new phone card feature is pretty simple and straightforward to use. Customers simply open an app that asks for the telephone number and account number relating to the phone card. When the phone card is used the customer simply opens the app, dials the eventual phone number he needs to reach, and presses the call button. The app contacts the phone card company database, completes the transaction then dials the number the customer is trying to reach. It's very simple and easy to use.
Virtual Makes It Happen
With the old stored-value cards this would not impossible due to the fact that the magnetic strip on those old cards contained all the account information and the card's balance. But the switch to virtual cards changes the ballgame. Since virtual cards have no value in and of themselves, all you really need is the account information to make it work. Phone card apps take advantage of virtualization to make it easy to use them with your mobile phone.
As an added bonus, some of the apps allow virtual phone cards to be refilled by charging them to your cell phone account. In order for this to work however, your cell phone account must be set up to authorize third-party charges. This might not be a good idea if you are the type of person who finds it easy to use unsecured credit. Having your phone set up for third-party billing is an enticement to use your phone to purchase all sorts of things. That's not necessarily a good idea.
International Charges Make It worth It
Pay phones are becoming harder to find with each passing day - even in the world's major cities. Cell phone technology has become so pervasive that it's almost not worth it to be in the pay phone business. That means when you go international sometimes your only option is your cell phone. But international cell phone rates can be prohibitive at the same time. If your only options are expensive international rates, costly hotel phones, or prepaid phone cards with your cell phone, you're likely to choose number three.
To find out if your cell phone has a specific phone card app, just visit the app store where you purchase them. If not, you can still use phone cards; you just have to enter the information manually every time you use it. And by the way, if you're going international make sure you get an international phone card or you'll still wind up paying exorbitant charges on your cell phone bill.