Popular Philippine Phone Cards
The most popular Philippine phone card is the PLDT touch card. PLDT stands for Philippine Long Distance Telephone. PLDT is the largest land-line telephone company in the Philippines.
The PLDT touch cards are pre-paid cards that contain a pre-loaded amount that will enable you to make local, long-distance or international calls. Inter-province calls are considered long-distance calls. For example, if you call from Baguio to Manila or vice versa, the call is considered a long distance call.
However, if the calls are within a province, or within Metro Manila, the calls are simply local calls. The PLDT touch cards come in several denominations: 50, 100, 200, 300 and 500 pesos.
Local calls cost 2 pesos per minute. Domestic long distance calls cost 3 pesos per minute. International calls cost 22 pesos per minute. As of this writing, one US dollar = 50 Philippine pesos.
To know more about the current rates, you may visit the PLDT website and view the page about the PLDT touch card. The site is: http://www.pldt.com.ph/prod-serv/home/prepaid-tchcrd.htm
Pre-paid Philippine phone cards are also available for mobile phone subscribers. In fact, the pre-paid card medium is very popular in the Philippines. The pre-paid card is usually referred to as "Load" since one actually loads a number on the phone card to the mobile phone.
Thus, if you want to get enough credits on your mobile phone to make phone calls, you may just want to say "May I buy some load?" to your sales attendant at any mall.
The three mobile carriers in the Philippines are Smart, Globe, and Sun. Each of these three mobile carriers sell pre-paid phone cards. The most popular denominations of these phone cards are 300, 500 and 1000 pesos.
If you plan to stay over 3 months in the Philippines, it might be good to get a mobile phone. Mobile phones are not really that expensive here.
Almost everyone in the urban areas communicate through text or SMS messages. Having a mobile phone would be handy if you want to keep in touch with your local contacts. With mobile phones, you can even make international calls if you have enough credits loaded on the phone.
The best thing with mobile phones is that you can load credits almost anywhere. Every supermarket, grocery, mall, and sometimes even the local store in your neighborhood (e.g. the sari-sari store) sells Philippine phone cards, both for the landline and mobile phones.
The card validity for the Philippine phone cards vary. For mobile phone cards, the validity may be up to 2 months upon loading to your mobile phone. The PLDT touch cards are valid within three months from first use.
There are 2 major types of public payphones available in major establishments around Metro Manila. The first one is called the PLDT cardphone. The other is the Bayantel payphone.
There are also several PLDT cardphones in major establishments around the Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. To use a PLDT card phone, you should have a PLDT fonkard that you insert into the cardphone. PLDT fonkards for PLDT cardphones are available on major supermarkets, groceries, malls and many business establishments.
You may also use a PLDT touch card on a PLDT cardphone. For you to do this, you simply have to dial 101-74, press the "TALK" button and follow the voice instructions. You do not have to insert the PLDT touch card on the card slot of the PLDT cardphone.
Another public phone service is that of Bayantel, another telephone network in the Philippines. Bayantel public phones can sometimes be found alongside PLDT public phones.
To use a Bayantel public phone, you have to buy a BayanPhoneCard. According to Bayantel, the BayanPhonecard is a prepaid intelligent chip-based card used exclusively in BayanTel Payphones through its built-in card readers. The BayanPhoneCard has a microchip embedded in the card that stores the card unit value.
BayanPhonecards are also availalbe in major supermarkets, malls, and business establishments. For Bayantel card details, you may want to visit: http://www.bayantel.com.ph/athome/bayanphonecardsandpayphones.shtml
Many rural areas do not have public phones. However, you could always use a PLDT touch card to call any place and anyone from a PLDT phone. Most landlines in the Philippines are PLDT lines.
Another alternative would be to borrow or buy a mobile phone. In that case, you could load up credits for the mobile phone by purchasing Philippine phone cards
easily available anywhere.
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