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Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions
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Products > Rates

How do you keep your rates so low? (fd934)
We can offer rates lower than your phone company for 3 primary reasons.

  1. High Volume Purchases

    We are part of a network of calling card buyers that purchase more than one billion dollars in calling cards per year. That volume allows us to command
    the best rates in the industry and pass them along to you.

  2. Economic Freedom is Good for Consumers

    Unlike the direct-dial telephone companies, calling card issuers are not made less efficient by government-protected monopoly. When you dial a long distance number direct from your home phone your call is routed to its destination by a long distance carrier who bills you for every call you make. A direct-dial long distance company profits by becoming the exclusive carrier for as many homes as it can service. While there has been much deregulation during the past five years, it is still highly regulated and made inefficient by burdensome government controls. This regulation makes it harder for new companies to enter the market, thereby reventing as much competition as there should be a and makes it more expensive for the companies already in business, thereby making it hard for them to lower their rates.

    By contrast, a calling card issuer makes its money when you initiate your long distance call through the issuer's toll-free access number. It doesn't need to spend millions on lobbying or on the infrastructure to run lines into your home. It contracts with the local phone company to "go around" the direct-dial carrier that would otherwise service your area. As a result, thousands of smaller, more efficient calling card companies fight hard for your business against one another and against the direct-dial carriers. The way they do this is by offering you the lowest rates possible. In short, consumers benefit from economic liberty.

  3. "Good" calling card Users Benefit Because Some Users are "Bad."

    It may sound odd, but calling card issuers count on the fact that some of you will not use your calling card. The "bad" users are those that have a perfectly good prepaid calling card in their hand but choose to throw it away or otherwise waste it. The result is that calling card issuers can offer even better rates to "good" users are those that use every last penny of every calling card they buy.

    How does this work?

    Let's say we sell a batch of calling cards to a big computer trade association that wishes to give them to all the attendees of their national convention. Now let's say that these cards are priced at 5 cents per minute. The association pays 1st-USA.com full value for the cards. And, in turn, 1st-USA.com pays the calling card issuer full value. But what happens if 20% of the attendees fly home from the convention without ever having used their cards a and then throw them away when they unpack from their trip? That's right, 1st-USA.com paid for more time than was used! We paid the calling card issuer 20% more than it expected, or an average of 6 cents per minute for its 5-cent phone cards. But, as noted above, this is a competitive industry. Rather than simply keeping the money as extra profit, most calling card issuers rely on such wasted cards to offset losses on other cards. In order to attract more business, they might create a new batch of 4-cent calling cards a even if a 4-cent rate is below their cost! Such a card might attract new users to their products a users who might call not only to locations at the below-cost domestic rates, but also to profitable international locations. In this way the company may earn even more profit than it would have by just keeping the 20% surplus that 1st-USA.com paid.

    The calling card companies are constantly thinking of ways to lower their rates in a battle for your business. So be a "good" user and enjoy your calling card to its limit.

Rates to international cell phones? (NMJCF)
When calling most countries outside North America, it is typical for calls to cell phones to cost more than calls to regular telephones or "land lines." Consequently, most phone cards will give fewer minutes for calls to international cell phones.

International cell rates are determined largely by the receiving cell phone company but are charged to the caller. We have no control over the rates.

If you are unsure if the number you are calling in another country is a cell phone or other fee-based service (such as a 900-number equivalent in the U.S.), you can call the telecom carrier support number for your card, provided in your PIN email and on our product detail pages, and ask the carrier to verify.


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