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Prepaid Phone Cards in Italy or Germany

generally, is it better to get prepaid phone cards ere in the US or buy them from Italy or Germany as we go? We will be travelling twoweeks from now, so I hope to get some feedback as to the best way to call back home.
Thanks!

Posted by
1127 posts

For Italy buy a card once you are in the country. Tobacco stores and newspapers sell them. The "europa" card is 5 euro and gives you a lot of minutes. Many internet cafes have international calling booths. Enter your own telephone both, make your call with a meter telling you how much you're spending and pay at the desk when you're done.

This may seem silly but I've heard of many people purchasing cards in the US that don't work outside the USA. The toll-free number is only accessible within the US. The card can be used from the US to make international phone calls but not outside the US. Make sense?

Posted by
3580 posts

In Italy I bought a phonecard for 3 EU at the Tabacchi in the Florence train station. It was good for two phone calls to a mobile phone. Land line phone calls are cheaper; my card would have been good for a dozen of those. As far as I can tell, all calls in Italy and around the country are charged at the same rate. The card slides into the pay phone, and then you punch in the phone number. Simple, and usually inexpensive.

Posted by
43 posts

I bought a phone card at a tobacco shop in Rome and used it throughout the country and actually came home with money still remaining on it. I used it right from my hotel room phone...it's so worth buying one!

Posted by
466 posts

the phone cards in italy are a little difficult to use. I suggest buying an at&t prepaid phone card here in the states and then calling to number on the back of the card before you leave the states to get the international code for italy. It works great and you can add a dollar amount from any phone in Italy. I would never use the prepaid cards in italy as you need 2 cards to work the payphones and if you do not speak italian, it can be very confusing.

Posted by
466 posts

In order for a us prepaid phone card to work, you need to call the number on the back of the card, tell them you will be using it in italy and they will give you the international code that you need to use whenever you make a call. It really is simple. But you do need to know that code or the card will now work. I have done this many times and its reassuring to hear that AT&T voice on the other end. AT&T should borrow mastercards slogan..............don't leave home without it!!!

Posted by
25 posts

Sam is right...the Europa card is the best deal. Just make sure you buy the 5 Euro card and not the ten...you get more minutes if you buy two 5 Euro cards than if you buy a ten Euro card. I found out the hard way!

Posted by
30 posts

Personally I like the costco or sams phone card for europe.....all directions in English and easy to work with lots of minutes. Much easier to use....We wasted alot of time IN austria trying to find one....then just using the phone cards was not that easy. Have never had a problem with the Costco or Sams card....Sorry, can't remember where I got it, one of those two stores. Marilee

Posted by
241 posts

The major "pay phone" or "phone booth" provider in italy is Italy TELECOM. You will see their name on many phone cards. Phone cards usually come in smaller denominations such as 3 or 5 Euro, which is fine for local calls. On a long distance call it is easier to run out of time, and it just hangs up on you...no warning. Also, just like in US, there are fewer and fewer public phones as everyone is using cell phones. We were at a large truck stop on a major highway and the pay phone was disconnected due to lack of use. The Italian cards work fine. Your biggest problem is finding a phone and hoping it works. Most do.