Host Family and au pair Phone Card Recommendations for International Calling – ZapTel
Host Parent’s Guide to Phone Cards
Helping you find the best card for your student’s calling needs

Your international student or au pair has come to live with you for an exciting year in America.  While they're getting settled, they're excited to touch base with their families at home.  Phone cards help both international students and au pairs stay connected with their families during their stay. 


Here's a quick reference of how you can help your student or au pair find the best card for their calling needs.

  • Do a Rate Search for where your student or au pair will be calling to.  This will bring up a list of phone cards with their rates per minute to the calling destination you've selected.  Click here to do a rate search.
  • Notice that there are two rates per minute listed in the rate searches.  One is for calling to a fixed landline and the other is for calling to a mobile phone.  Mobile phone rates are usually higher because of the way international providers bill their customers for incoming calls.  Make sure you know the type of phone your student will be calling so you can help them choose the most cost effective phone card.
  • Phone cards that have additional fees have a blue box next to them in the rate search that says "Additional Fees Apply."  Cards with additional fees are better if you call frequently and for a long period of time.  Flat-rate or no fee cards are better if you make shorter or infrequent phone calls. 
  • Some people like to purchase a phone card to use up all at once for budgeting purposes.  ZapTel carries a number of phone cards in $5 and $10 denominations for this customer need.  Please note that purchases of $10 and under are subject to a small order fee.  To avoid this fee, you may purchase more than one card at a time.  If you purchase two PINs at one time, the expiration dates will not be set until the PINs' first use.  You can use one right away and save the other to use later without risk of the card expiring.
  • Phone cards can be purchased online with a major credit card or PayPal Account.  ZapTel's phone cards are virtual and will be delivered to your e-mail so you can use them right away.
  • Dialing can be made simpler with features like PINzap PINless Dialing and Speed Dial.  This is a great feature if you plan to pay for your student or au pair's phone time.  You can associate the phone number they will be dialing from with the PIN you've purchased without having to give them the PIN.  This way, all they have to do is dial the access number for the phone card to be able to make international calls. 
  • Some phone cards have online call detail records available if you're purchasing calling time for your student or au pair and would like to monitor their usage.


Other Helpful ZapTel Pages for Host Parents, International Students & Au Pairs

Phone Call Tips for International Students

Recommendations for International Students

Calling to Other Countries from the USA

Calling Within the USA

ZapTel Account User's Guide

Country Codes for International Dialing

Frequently Asked Questions


For additional assistance, send us an e-mail at 

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