Definitions of Phone Card Terms – Calling Card Terminology & Jargon – ZapTel
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Glossary of Terms
Definition of phone card terminology

This helpful reference guide will help you better understand the phone card industry terminology. 

 

011:  The 3-digit prefix for making international calls from the USA and Canada.  You would dial this number before the country code, city code, and phone number.

Access Number:  The telephone number you dial to use your phone card.  Access numbers may be either toll free (1-800, 1-888, 1-877, 1-866) or local.  Local access numbers are not toll free but may be called for free if you have unlimited local or nationwide calling with your phone service provider and if there is a local access number available for your call origination area.

Area Code:  In the USA and Canada, it is the 3-digit prefix before the 7-digit phone number that indicates the regional location of the number you're trying to call (the destination number).  This number in the USA and Canada is the equivalent to the city code.

Billing Increments:  The method the carrier uses to round phone calls.  For example, if your call is billing in 1 minute increments and your call lasts for 3 minutes and 45 seconds, the call will round to 4 minutes.  If your call bills in 3 minute increments instead, your call will be rounded up to 6 minutes.

Call Destination:  The phone number you're placing a call to.

Call Detail Records:  A log of the phone call activity made with your phone card.  This feature is available only on select ZapTel phone cards.

Calling Instructions:  (also known as Dialing Instructions) Directions for how to use your phone card.

Call Origination:  The phone number you're placing a call from.

Carrier:  (also known as the Service Provider) The company providing underlying service to your phone card.

Cellular Refill Card:  A prepaid phone card used to refill minutes on a prepaid cellular or mobile phone. 

City Code:  The prefix that comes after the country code but before the phone number that indicates the regional location of the number you're trying to call in a specific country.  This code varies in length depending on the country you're calling.

Clean Phone Cards:  (also known as Flat-Rate Cards and No Fee Cards)  Phone cards with no additional fees.  All fees applicable to the card are rolled into the rate per minute for easy calculation of available minutes.

Connection Fee:  A per call cost the carrier deducts from your phone card for connecting your call.

Country Code:  The 1-3 digit prefix before the city code or area code that indicates the country of the number you're trying to call (the destination number).  In the USA and Canada, the country code is the number 1.

Dialing Instructions:  (also known as Calling Instructions) Directions for how to use your phone card.

Expiration Date:  The date your card is no longer valid.  Each phone card has an expiration date.  Some phone cards expire after first use while others expire after the last use.

Fee Cards:  Phone cards with additional fees such as surcharge per call, weekly or monthly service fees, connection fees, and billing increments larger than 1 minute.

Flat-Rate Cards:  (also known as No Fee Cards and Clean Cards)  Phone cards with no additional fees.  All fees applicable to the card are rolled into the rate per minute for easy calculation of available minutes.

Global Phone Cards:  A calling card that can be used from multiple countries around the world.

International calls:  Calls placed to a destination outside of the country you are calling from (the call origination).

Internet Dialing:  Using your phone card as an internet dialer with a broadband connection in lieu of a cell phone or land line.  Usable with a soft phone application on your computer and a headset and microphone.  This feature is available only on select ZapTel phone cards.

Interstate calling:  Calls placed outside the state your call is originating.

Intrastate Calling:  Calls placed within the state your call is originating.

Local Access Number:  An alternative access number that is not toll free but may be called for free if you have unlimited local or nationwide calling with your phone service provider and if there is a local access number available for your call origination area.  Some carriers offer a discounted rate per minute for using a local access number.  Check your card specifications for further details.

Landline:  A phone line that has a traditional telephone connection (not cellular).

Maintenance Fee:  (also known as a Service Fee) A fee charged by the carrier for use of their service.  This is a charge usually added to offset the cost of the carrier offering the lowest possible rate per minute.  May be charged weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the card purchased and its terms.  This fee is deducted from the balance of your phone card.

Mobile Phone:  (also known as Cellular Phone) A wireless telephone with service provided to it over a large geographical area.

No Fee Cards:  (also known as Flat-Rate Cards and Clean Cards)  Phone cards with no additional fees.  All fees applicable to the card are rolled into the rate per minute for easy calculation of available minutes.

Payphone Surcharge:  An FCC (USA Federal Communications Commission) mandated charge per call for a phone card to be used from a pay phone.  This surcharge is paid to the carrier for the usage of the pay phone for the card.

Physical Phone Card:  A tangible calling card with the details to make a phone call.

PIN:  (acronym for Personal Identification Number) For phone cards, it is the number you enter after the access number to access the prepaid funds on your phone card.

PINless Dialing:  (known as PINzap at ZapTel) Allows you to register your phone number to your phone card so you don't have to dial the PIN after you dial the access number.  This feature is available only on select ZapTel phone cards.

PINzap:  (also known as PINless Dialing) ZapTel's PINless dialing feature.  This allows you to register your phone number to your phone card so you don't have to dial the PIN after you dial the access number.  This feature is available only on select ZapTel phone cards.

Prepaid Calling Card:  (also know as Prepaid Phone Card)  A purchased card with a PIN that, when you dial into it with an access number, you can place phone calls without receiving a bill at a rate specified by the phone card carrier instead of your phone provider.   Prepaid indicates that you've purchased the card before making phone calls.

Prepaid Phone Card:  (also known as Prepaid Calling Card)  A purchased card with a PIN that, when you dial into it with an access number, you can place phone calls without receiving a bill at a rate specified by the phone card carrier instead of your phone provider.   Prepaid indicates that you've purchased the card before making phone calls.

Print-n-Go:  The ZapTel feature that allows you to print out on one page a quick reference of all the details you need to use your phone card. 

Rate Search:  An action to search for the cost per minute to your calling destination.

Rates:  The per minute cost for a phone call. 

Recharge:  (some may say fill-up or top-off) Adding funds to your phone card PIN without purchasing a new PIN.  This can be done online through ZapTel 24/7. 

Service Fee:  (also known as a Maintenance Fee) A fee charged by the carrier for use of their service.  This is a charge usually added to offset the cost of the carrier offering the lowest possible rate per minute.  May be charged weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the card purchased and its terms.  This fee is deducted from the balance of your phone card.

Service Provider:  (also known as the Carrier) The company providing underlying service to your phone card.

Speed Dial:  Allows you to register multiple destination numbers to your phone card so instead of dialing the entire number, you just press the speed dial number and the pound key (#) and the number is dialed.  This feature is available only on select ZapTel phone cards.

Surcharge:  Usually billed per call, it is a percentage of your total call cost.  For example, if you talk for 10 minutes at 5¢ per minute and the card has a 10% surcharge per call, your total call cost is $0.50; 10% of $0.50 is $0.05 making the total that is deducted from your phone card $0.55.

Technical Support:  The phone number provided by the phone card carrier to provide technical assistance to customers having trouble with their phone cards.

Toll Free Access Number:  The telephone number you dial to use your phone card.  Dialing to this number is free and will not be charged to your phone bill.

Virtual Phone Card:  A calling card that is delivered by e-mail without being sent through traditional mail services.

VoIP:  (acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol) Phone calls made through the internet instead of a traditional landline or mobile phone.

ZapTel:  a) The educated choice in phone cards.  b) A privately held company that in 1999 pioneered the convenience of desktop delivery and 24-hour a day online self-service account management.

 

Is there a term we don't define here?  Let us know.  Send an e-mail to feedback@zaptel.com.

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