Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cheap International Phone Calls From Your USA Cell Phone

Telephone calling cards have gone the way of the Dodo among cell phone users. With one exception, that is. That exception is international phone calling cards that you can use from your cellphone.

Many wireless plans now come with free long distance and free nationwide roaming. It used to be that if you wanted to avoid getting gouged by ridiculously high phone charges on your hotel bill you used a calling card to avoid hotel long distance rates. Now, you just whip out your trusty cell phone no matter where you happen to be. You really have no need for pay phones either. Or dorm room phones at school.

But have you tried making a call out of the country lately? Don't. Even if your cellular provider permits international calling, you will pay a hefty rate on those calls. Long distance calling plans for home and business landline phones now offer pretty decent rates to other countries. Cellular has not kept up. So what do you do?

A good solution is what's called a post-paid or billable international calling card, such as the one from CogniCall. This is a "virtual card" in that you don't get a piece of plastic. What would you do with a plastic card that's bigger than your phone anyway? What you do get is a toll free number and a personal access code. When you want to make an international call, you dial CogniCall's toll free number and then enter your access code. You can then dial the international phone number you want to call. This works from any phone, including home or business lines, pay phones and cell phones.

What will these calls cost? You'll be using your cell phone minutes for these calls, but your cellular bill won't increase unless you've run out of minutes. Remember, as far as the cell phone carrier is concerned you are only calling a toll free number in the USA. You'll pay the CogniCall international rate to the city you are calling. Calls to the United Kingdom, including London, are 4.4 cents per minute, Moscow is 4.8 cents/min, Tokyo is 6.8 cents/min, Bangalore is 25 cents a minute, and so on. There are decent rates to every country, sometimes lower to major cities.

You know, at these rates you might as well use CogniCall instead of your regular long distance service when you call overseas. It's probably cheaper.

I mentioned that CogniCall is a billable or post-paid service. What that means is that you don't buy minutes in advance like you do with those prepaid calling cards you find in convenience stores. The cost of your calls is billed to your credit card. If you don't make calls, you don't get charged. You also never run out of minutes or have to worry about finding another card because you're running low. It's about as cheap and convenient a solution as you are going to find.

You might as well go ahead and order the CogniCall service now, because there is no fee to get your account and access code and your credit card won't be charged until you start making calls. You'll get an email with your info and a number to call to verify your account activation. Then just keep your numbers handy. You'll use them the next time you call overseas or if the phone you are at costs more than 6.9 cents per minute to call long distance state to state in the U.S. CogniCall also lets you make cheap international calls from over 50 other countries, so it's perfect for international travel.

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