Hi all, and happy new year.
I got started on my trip to NZ a bit more than a week ago. I'm loving it here, but I tried to call home today for the first time, I put my credit card in the phone and called, it worked fine but it cost $4 and that was just to leave a message since no one answered, this seems a bit pricey. I haven't looked hard, but I haven't seen any calling cards around in any of the stores. Is there any specific type of calling card I can get that can allow me to call Canada and US for cheap?
There's a ton of calling cards around, all with very good rates. You can find them mostly at cheap convenience stores/supermarkets and internet cafes (or worst case at hostels, although those never have really good rates). Just ask the person behind the counter for the one with the best rates to the USA. Should be somewhere between $0.01 and $0.05 per minute iirc, plus variable connection charges, plus extra charges if you use pay phones and have to dial a freecall number first. (But even then the total charges come out to $0.40 per minute or so, which is still ten times cheaper.)
Like Sander said, get a calling card. A lot of newsagents have them advertised on windows in shops. Go to shopping malls and where you find newspapers sold along with lots of different types of magazines in the same store, you will usually find that they have the calling cards advertised somewhere.
I had one a while back that on a $10 phone card it allowed me over 1 full day of talk to US, UK, China and a few other countries. It was like about 2000 minutes of talk that it allowed for $10. That was from a home phone, so the minutes reduce a real lot for calling from a payphone especially if you use the 1800 number. It definitely pays to put use the local access number, because depending on the card, they'll also add a certain cent per minute fee for the 1800 number as well as the charge for calling from a payphone. It still works out a hell of a lot cheaper than those credit card phones. You were lucky just to get $4.00 charged, I read on a travel forum a while ago, that someone got $15 charged for a few minutes talk to America on one of those phones.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 1, 2007, at 6:54 AM by aharrold45 ]