ZapTel Calling Cards - The Original International Prepaid Phone Card Store
Travel Cards
Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are buying a card for yourself or someone else, ZapTel offers a great selection of global phone cards to fit any need. Before you begin your search, you may have questions about using phone cards outside the U.S.

Calling Origination

Using a Phone Card to Dial Back to the U.S. Choosing a Phone Card Purchasing a Phone Card Other questions

Calling Origination

Some hotels may impose a charge to your room for using their phone. It is also possible that toll free numbers may also be blocked. The best thing to do before purchasing a card is to find out what practices your hotel follows. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and not be able to call home.

Pay Phone
In the U.S., the FCC mandates a surcharge when using a phone card from a pay phone. Outside the U.S., similar practices may apply, but they can be very different from country to country. These surcharges may be applied as a percentage deducted from your phone card, required coin deposit before placing the call (coin may be returned) or an increase in the rate per minute you are charged.

It may also be possible that a pay phone outside the U.S. could block the use of the phone card from their phone. ZapTel notes any feedback received from customers regarding this information with the access numbers for the global cards.

Cruise Ship
Just like when you stay in a hotel, it is important to find out how the phones work from a cruise ship. An additional question you should ask is how the phones are routed from the ship (through the U.S.A. or another country) and whether or not you can access a toll free number from the phones.

If you plan on calling from the ports, please refer back to the section on Calling From Pay Phones.

Mobile Phone
If you are using your U.S. mobile phone, you need to contact your provider to see whether or not they will support service to your phone while traveling. The last thing you want to do is take your mobile phone with, use it, then find that your provider has charged you much more for usage because you were out of the country.

If you are planning on using your phone card from either your mobile phone for the U.S. or an Internationally originating mobile phone, you will need to contact your phone provider to see whether or not they will allow a phone card to be used from the phone. Many International mobile phone providers block the usage of phone cards.

Residential Phone
Each global card from ZapTel has toll free access numbers for over a hundred countries each. Just like using a phone card in the U.S., dialing the access number allows you to dial around the phone's long distance provider so your phone call costs come directly off the phone card. There will be no charge to the residential phone bill.

Using a Phone Card to Dial Back to the U.S.

Phone Card Access Numbers
Because each country does their telephone number formatting different, each country has a different access number for each ZapTel global card. You can find a listing of these access numbers by clicking on the name or image of a card, then clicking the link that says "Access Numbers for this card". There will also be a link to this on the "Thank You" screen after you place your purchase, and in your e-mailed receipt of purchase.

Calling U.S. Numbers
When purchasing your global phone card, it is important to review the dialing instructions so you can be familiar with how to properly use the card. Most of the global phone cards ZapTel carries use the same method of dialing a U.S. phone number as if you were dialing from the U.S.: 1 + Area Code + Number. However, some cards may require you to dial 00 + 1 + Area Code + Number. Please refer to a card's calling instructions for more information.

Choosing a Phone Card

How do I find phone cards I can use from outside the U.S.?
ZapTel's rate search tool makes comparing phone cards and rates easy. The rate search tool is listed at the top left side of this page for your convenience.

Select the country you will be calling from and to, then press the Get Best Rates button. A list of rates for each of our available phone cards will appear. To find out more about a card's specifications, click on the name or image of the phone card. For one click links to the most popular rate search result pages, visit the Traveler's One-Click phone card page.

Can I use one phone card to call from more than one country?
Yes. You can find additional rates for a phone card by either doing a new rate search from that country or by clicking on the Rates link on any card specification page.

Should I choose a flat rate card or one with associated fees?
The answer to this question depends on your phone calling needs. If you find that your calls are longer in length (more than 20 to 30 minutes), you may benefit from a card that has additional surcharges and service fees. If your calls may be shorter in length (less than 20 minutes), you may benefit from a flat rate card that has no associated fees.

ZapTel has 6 global cards to choose from with competitive rates and terms so you are sure to find a card that will best fulfill your calling needs:

Card NameSurchargeService Fee Billing IncrementsExpirationRecharge Available Denominations
Absolute Global NoneNone1 Minute 24 Months after first use No $25
Absolute World NoneNone1 Minute 90 Days after first use No $25
Global Caller 15-20% Per Call69� Weekly 2 Minutes 90 Days after first use No $20
Global Line 15% Per Call69� After First Use then Weekly2 Minutes Never expires if used once per year Yes $20
Study Abroad Student's Choice NoneNone6 Seconds Never expires if used at least once every 10 months Yes $5, $10, $25
True North NoneNone6 Seconds Never expires if used at least once every 10 months Yes $25

Purchasing a Phone Card

How will the phone card be delivered?
ZapTel phone cards are virtual and are delivered to your e-mail. There is no physical phone card that will be shipped to you.

After I place my order online, how soon will I get the phone card?
If this is your first order with ZapTel, a representative will review your order and may optionally contact you within 30 minutes after you submit your order to verify your information. These calls are placed during the business hours of 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday, and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday, central time U.S. ZapTel then processes your order and releases your order to your online account and also sends an email with your PIN and dialing instructions. Future orders process instantly on your computer screen (you must use the same email address and password that you registered with). You may also receive a follow up phone call for confirmation if your billing information changes.

What do I need to do to purchase more time if I need it?
If you have internet access from where you are staying or by going to an internet caf�, you can access ZapTel's website and your account 24 hours a day so you can conveniently purchase additional calling time when needed. By logging on to your account, you will be able to recharge your PIN if you have purchased a rechargeable card or purchase a new PIN in just a few clicks.

What if I have time left on my card when I return home?
All of ZapTel's global cards have U.S. access numbers so any remaining balance can be used when you return to the U.S. You can call either domestically or internationally. Please refer to the card's rate list for a detailed list of rates for calls from the U.S.

Other Questions

Illustration of Account Pin Options

How do I print out my phone card?
ZapTel makes printing your phone card easy with its Print-n-Go function. After you place your purchase, log back into your account with your e-mail address and password. Next to the PIN you just purchased, you will see a blue box that is titled PIN Options (Image A). In this blue box is a link that says Print-n-Go.

When you click on this link, a new page will come up with an image of your new phone card. On this page, you can select the countries you will be calling from, and the access numbers will drop on to the page. Press the Print This Page button at the top of the page to print your card's details.

If Print-n-Go does not work with your browser, you can print out the e-mailed receipt of your phone card to print out the PIN and dialing instructions. Be sure to look up the access numbers for the countries you will be calling from on the card's specifications page.

How do I know how much time is left on my card?
After you enter the PIN for your card, you will hear a message that will tell you how much money you have remaining on your phone card. After you enter the number you are calling to, the message will tell you how much time you have to talk with the balance you have remaining.

If you have purchased a rechargeable card, you can view your balance online by logging on to with your e-mail address and password.

What if I have trouble with my phone card while I'm traveling?
If you are having trouble with your phone card while you are traveling and you have internet access, please e-mail your issue to Our Customer Service Representatives will work on your behalf with the carrier to resolve the issue.

Still have questions?
A Customer Service Representative will be glad to assist you. Please Contact Us. We will answer your questions promptly.

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