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One of the best ways to get great rates for infrequent long distance callers is still by using a calling card.
Rates as low as 2.9 cents a minute are offered by Powernet Global, and AT&T offers a combination calling and credit card for even more convenience.
Some of the best international rates are offered by the Pingo calling card.
If you don't want to have any nasty surprises when you receive your bill, a prepaid calling card may be the way to go. It simply stops working when you have used up all your minutes.
Calling cards can be very useful if you travel frequently, or in emergencies. They can be used from any phone, which includes both pay phones and cell phones.
Watch out for those "low prices". I ahve an AT&T calling card that I have been using for years with my home phone. I got my minutes for around 3 cents per. Then one day I made an instate long distance call, which is pretty much all the LD calling I ever do, and I got a report of my minutes as always. But this time it said, you have 1000 minutes of call time remaining. You have 400 minutes for the instate number you dialed. So that changes the cost of my long distance minutes dramatically. I don't know if there was some corporate pirateering law made by the greedy politicians or what. But now I can't call instate long distance without paying through the nose.