Finding the Cheapest Phone Card For Your Child Headed to College -

Finding the Cheapest Phone Card For Your Child Headed to College

Phone cards are a great way to give your son or daughter the ability to stay in touch while away at college.
It's better than a cellular phone because phone card minutes can be limited and they come with many different calling plans to choose from.
Features and calling plans are quite different among various cards. Using the wrong plan can become costly.
Here are some issues to watch out for:

Some cards charge a "day-usage fee" for any day that the card is used.
Some cards charge a monthly fee, so that the value on the card erodes even if not used.
Some cards include a surcharge on each phone call. So the cost per minute can be misleading.

A card with a daily usage fee but with a very low cost per minute can still be a bargain if many calls are made in the same day. But if your child uses this type of card only once a day, you are adding on extra fees.
Cards that include a surcharge on each call also tend to have lower per-minute rates. So if calls tend to last long, this may work out in your favor. However, if calls are short, it's best to use a card that has no per-call surcharge.
Monthly fees may not matter if the entire value of the card is used up quickly. But if the card is meant for just emergency calls, you probably will want one that retains its value when not used.
There are phone cards for international use too. If your child is at a college in another country, international calling back home will be important. Rates vary based on the destination country. International calling cards are usually tuned to specific countries or regions.
Doing your own online research is important to find the best deal. The proper keywords you use in your search will help find the cheapest phone card for your child's type of usage.
Here are some examples of search keywords to help you find the right card for your child. Use your favorite search engine and pick the keywords that fit your needs.

prepaid or subscription
international or domestic

Also include the country if you need an international calling card.
Some phone service providers also offer their own brand of calling cards. Check their rates and plans to see if these work for you.
If you want the ability to see a log of your child's calls, select a card that includes a feature to view a call log via a web portal.
The phone cards that have web access to the account are usually very user-friendly. You can control a lot of the features online -- and even replenish the card when low.
Before your child heads off to college, discuss what you learned here and figure out how he or she will be using the phone card. This will help narrow down the specific calling plan you'll want to get.

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