MBA Japan

Prepaid Phone Cards


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The easiest, simplest, and less expensive means to make international calls while on the road is by using prepaid phone cards. These can help you save money!

A prepaid phone card is a card you acquire to make long distance phone calls. Several people make use of a prepaid phone card due to the card's convenience (it can be used at any place and, because you pay beforehand, there is no bill). Prepaid phone cards are popular among travelers, students, people who regularly call overseas, and those who haven't chosen a preferred long distance telephone company.

Can I get a Prepaid Phone or SIM Card in Japan?
Prepaid phones are available but prepaid SIM cards are not. Notice that IDs are required to buy a prepaid phone to prevent criminal use. In case of strangers, Japan's Alien Registration Card is required. In some shops you may be able to buy one only with a credit card.

Who makes your Prepaid Phone Card Work?

  • Telephone Companies are in charge of the telephone lines that transmit calls.
  • Resellers buy telephone minutes from the transporters.
  • Issuers set the card rates and provide toll-free customer service and access numbers.
  • Distributors sell the cards to the retailers.
  • Retailers offer the cards to customers (although it is essential to remember that a store may not have control over the quality of the card or the service it provides).

Why use a Prepaid Phone Card?
These cards offer you the following advantages:

  • No more forcing unusual coins into a machine.
  • Eliminate or reduce excessive hotel extra charges.
  • No more collect, operator-assisted, and third-party hassles and extra charges.
  • They offer rates that are much lower than a telephone company’s basic international rates; you can save up to 90% of the cost of a normal call.
  • Card providers offer very cheap calls because they buy high quantities of international minutes at large discounts.
  • They can be used from every phone (your office, work, home, mobile and public phones).
  • If you use a toll-free number, you can call from work or a friend's phone without them being charged for the call.
  • It's easy to control your payments and avoid the 'bad surprise' of a huge monthly phone bill.

How do I use my Prepaid Phone Card?
Using prepaid calling cards is simple once you understand how they work, generally they work all the same way. A toll-free access phone number and a personal identification number (PIN) are usually printed on each phone card; then all you need to know is the right access number to dial and a PIN number. If you have a Prepaid Phone Card you could use the following steps:

  1. Dial the access number provided with the card.
  2. Enter the PIN number provided with the card.
  3. And finally dial your destination number. An automatic voice will ask you to enter the phone number you are calling, and tell you how much time you have left on your card.
Note: Prepaid Phone Cards often have expiration dates. Verify that to keep track of the date your card expires so you don’t lose unused minutes.
Which card should I buy?
This question is complicated due to the sheer abundance of calling card companies. We recommend you to buy your card from a reputable, well-known company or outlet, or from a vendor you trust. Additionally, you can select from prepaid to standard (non-prepaid) calling cards. Out of the country, you may find your options limited. If you understand the rate system, and it looks logical, you will be okay. In several places, it's worth doing a little shopping comparison.

Global Net

Global Net
Maintenance Fee - 69c
Minute Rounding - 1 min
Minutes for $10 card - 552
Connection fee - $0.15
Expiration - 90 days after the first call


95.0 ˘/min
Maintenance Fee - No
Minute Rounding - 1 min
Toll Free Access Numbers - Yes
Local Access Numbers - No
Payphone Surcharge - 5c
Expiration - unlimited
Prompt Languages - English, Spanish

Golden Lotus

Golden Lotus
3.4 ˘/min
Maintenance Fee - 99c/weekly
Minute Rounding - 3 min
Toll Free Access Numbers - Yes
Local Access Numbers - Yes
Payphone Surcharge - 99c
Expiration - Unlimited
Prompt Languages - English


12.4 ˘/min
Maintenence Fee - No
Minute Rounding - 1 min.
Service Fee - 15%
Payphone Surcharge - 89c
Expiration - 10 months
Prompt Language - English

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