Phone card to use with pay phones
August 31, 2006 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Do they make phone cards to use specifically with pay phones (phones that require you to put in 50 cents for a call)?

I'm in a situation that leaves me heavily dependent on pay phones for my communication needs and was wondering if there was a phone/calling card that I could buy that would have me paying less than 50 cents for a call within the US. I looked at a few normal ones that one can use to make international calls or cheap long distance calls and such and they usually have a 90 cent or such surcharge which defeats the purpose.
posted by sk381 to Work & Money (7 answers total)
As long as the payphone doesn't slap a surcharge on 800 numbers, there are plenty of cheap calling services you can use through that method. Like, OneSuite is 3 cents/min for domestic calls when calling through the 800 number.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:25 PM on August 31, 2006

Compare at My recollection is that pay phones charge terminating 800 numbers for the call. This used to be something like 35 cents, so it was still conceivably cheaper than 50 cents.
posted by grouse at 1:33 AM on September 1, 2006

Folks answering: 800 numbers are still free from pay phones in the US, in general, but to calling card numbers there will typically be a n unit surcharge which comes out to $0.50 or more. Read the fine print.
posted by whatzit at 7:28 AM on September 1, 2006

For all my long-distance and away-from-home calls, I use Telespeed, one of the many available at . That specific card has a multitude of local numbers, where domestic US calls are 1¢/minute plus the 50¢ you'd put into the payphone (which can vary depending on the location). Or you can call one of their 800 numbers, so you don't give the pay phone anything, but then the call's minutes cost at least twice as much.
posted by Rash at 10:05 AM on September 1, 2006

I have used and not gotten the big ugly surcharge.
posted by craniac at 11:55 AM on September 1, 2006

Heck, most payphones are only charging $.10 - $.25 per minute on long distance calls with no surcharges! Plus the prepaid card companies tend to whack you with surcharges. I have been seeing pay phone providers going with 10 minutes for a buck. Look around for one. You can also check out to find one:

posted by payphonebill at 1:22 PM on December 1, 2006

Better yet....just call your family and friends collect!! 1-800-Call4Less is cheapest.

posted by payphonebill at 1:23 PM on December 1, 2006

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