While travelling I needed to purchase a phone card as international calling rates can be exorbitant. After buying a couple in various stores (Tabac stores sell them if you’re stuck in France) I looked online to see if there was any better advice or options.
I stumbled on to ComFi which I’ve been more than happy with. They allow you to review from a whole bunch of ‘cards’, showing you the rates, which countries they can be used in and much more. Makes selection easy – I’ve now purchased a card which has great rates to Australia (4-6 cents/min) and can be used toll-free in all of the countries I’m travelling in. They don’t send you out a physical card, they just send you information and a PIN via email.
We called Australia for an hour recently and it cost less than $4. And this isn’t even the cheapest card for use in Germany! (We picked it because it was the best considering we wanted to use it from Germany, Italy and the UK.)
All of the ‘cards’ have a web login where you can check the current balance, top it up (or set it to top-up automatically), review your history (including how much each call cost), set up speed dials and many other features.
Quality of the connections have been very good. Although I have had a couple of flaky calls to Aussie mobiles…but then I’ve had that problem with every phone card I’ve ever used.
For the security conscious folks out there I was able to use Google Checkout and PayPal to pay for the services – I’ve never had to hand over my credit card number (although that was an option too). Also, after I’d topped it up a couple of times and spent more than maybe $40 they insisted that I go through a verification process which involves calling them (or setting up a time for them to call you) and answering a couple of security questions (home address etc). I think this is a great balance between not getting in your way and ensuring someone isn’t fraudulently abusing the system.
Anyway, you can probably tell I’m impressed. 🙂 Apart from making the website easier to use I’m having trouble thinking of ways to improve the service. Highly recommended if you need a calling card.