US-Samoa cheap, reliable phone card?
November 18, 2004 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a cheap, reliable international phone card? (Google returns millions of results.) Specifically, I'm looking for inexpensive rates from the US to Samoa.
posted by Dr. Wu to Technology (8 answers total)
I'm not sure what the rates are like from U.S. to Samoa, but back in the States, I'd use one of those AT&T phone cards from Sam's Club to call my boyfriend in Australia (and that's now what my mom uses to call me). Because it was international, I'd use up 2 units per minute, instead of having a 1:1 ratio for a call within America. So, if I bought an 800 minute phone card, I'd get 400 minutes. Not bad, and I usually only spent about $20 to recharge it every once in a while (and as I recall, that got me a lot of minutes).

Anyway, I don't know if that 2:1 ratio is for all international calls on that card, or if it varies depending on the country you call. Might be worth looking into, though!
posted by fricative at 12:33 AM on November 19, 2004

Have you considered SkypeOut? They're offering €0,08 to US Samoa (which works out to a little over 10c), and €0,32 to Western Samoa (41c).
posted by benzo8 at 12:47 AM on November 19, 2004

I can't coment on Samoa (I call the UK a lot), but I just experiment with $5 cards from gas stations. When I find a good one I buy the $20 version. I'm currently using one called 'Clean Card,' it has a blue water-like pattern on it. No connection charges, and about 3 hours US > UK for $10.
posted by carter at 5:59 AM on November 19, 2004

BigZoo offers roughly the same rates as SkypeOut (plus $0.75/monthly), but it's just a calling card. You can use BigZoo from your cell phone, which isn't true for some cards, and they have a couple of nifty features like speed dial and conference calling. They also have a you-call-me thing where, should you be outside North America (or want to share your calling card with someone outside NA), you can go to the web page and set up the call and the system will call both parties.

My company has offices in China and BigZoo is pretty much our long distance service.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:41 AM on November 19, 2004

Response by poster: Wow - a member for less than 24 hours, and already I'm reaping the benefits!

Thank you, everyone - these are very helpful suggestions!
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:36 AM on November 19, 2004

Whenever I've made phone calls to various foreign countries, I've always gone down to the nearest chinese or Filipino market and looked at the phone card sheets that they seem to keep by their registers. They'll have the rates to all the countries that they service, plus any other info relating to that particular card.

I never found one that was consistently cheaper than another, so I would pick the card based on who had the cheapest overall rate for the country I was calling.

Something to keep in mind though, a lot of those cards have a minimum charge every time you make a call, so make sure you figure that into the overall cost.
posted by icey at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2004

You might want to look at I used them last December, in Paris; good price, clear connection. Just mind the details: some cards have a monthly fee, some charge a three-minute minimum, etc.

And they don't list "Samoa" as such - would that be "Western Samoa"?
posted by WestCoaster at 12:05 PM on November 19, 2004

Response by poster: WestCoaster: Yes, it's Western Samoa. (The "other" Samoa is American Samoa.) In 1997, I think, Western Samoa officially changed its name to Samoa, but didn't make much fanfare about it. I shipped a package there t'other day, and the address was still Western Samoa. Clearly, a nation in conflict.

Thanks for your helpful suggestion!
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:09 PM on November 19, 2004

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