How Calling Cards Charge?

Those who have used a calling card in the past may have experience that some calling cards have a flat rate per minute, other cards have other fees associated with them like connection fee, maintenance fee, surcharges per call and public payphone charge. How to do the math? Let’s see the glossary.

* Connection Fee(Access fee)

Most of calling cards don’t have connection fee!

calling cards need connection fee charge every time when the connection is established. Connection fee reduces the advertised number of minutes on the calling card.

* Maintenance Fee

It is charged to maintain services for some prepaid calling cards. This fee may be applied to calling card’s balance within 24 hours after the first phone call is made. Maintenance fee can be deducted from card’s balance every week or every two weeks depending on the card.

* Rounding

This is the basic unit for measuring the duration of a phone call. For example, your call time is 4 minutes and 40 seconds: if rounding is 1 min, your call time will be rounded up to 5 minutes; if rounding is 3 min, your call time will be rounded up to 6 minutes.

* Toll Free Access number

This is a nationwide free of charge access number that You dial to start using a calling card. In the US it is 11 digits phone number beginning with 1-800, 866, 877 or 888.

* Local Access number

Some of the calling cards have Local Access numbers in addition to Toll Free Access number. Local Access numbers are free of charge only calling from particular areas. These numbers are designed to provide better rates for customers.

* Service Taxes and Surcharges

It may be applied to calling card’s balance for every phone call. For example, if the rate is 5 c/min and the tax is 10%, the charge for 10 minutes call will be like this: 10min X 5c + 10min X 5c X 10% = $0.55

* Public Payphone Charge

This charge applies to calling card’s balance for every call made from a public payphone. This is a requirement of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC requires calling card providers to pay a per call fee to the pay phone carriers for their equipment to be used to place a phone call.

* Validity period

Calling card’s expiration period, that begins on the day of the the first phone call.

The charge of a flat rate card is very simple to do the math. For example, a card with rate 8c/min, 1min rounding, without connection fee, without maintenance fee, without surcharge, the charge of 30 minutes call will be: 30min X 8c/min = $2.4.

Let’s see the charge of a card with extra fee.

Rate: 4c/min Maintenance Fee: $0.60 per month Connection Fee per Call: $0.2 Surcharge per Call: 10% Rounding: 3min Call Time: 29min

The math like below:

Call time: rounding up to 30min

Cost of Minutes: 30 min x 4c/min = $1.20

Surcharge: $1.20 x 10% Surcharge = $0.12

Total Call Cost: $1.20 (Cost of Minutes) + $0.12 (Surcharges) + $0.20 (Connection Fee) = $1.52

The extra maintenance fee $0.60may be applied to after the first phone call is made, and will be deducted from card’s balance every month.

Many calling cards that have extra fees also have very low rates. From the above math, you can find if you call frequently or more time every month the cards with extra fee may cheaper than the flat rate cards.

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