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Phone card

It is looking like the least expensive way to call home from Paris is to buy a pre-paid phone card. Can anyone explain how that would work? I hear you can buy them at a tabac. What would I need to buy if I only intend on making 2-3 short phone calls? Can I use them from my hotel without being charged a huge fee or would I need to use a public phone? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
389 posts

My experience is that hotels charge you to touch anything in the room. I always use a public phone. Depending on the hotel there may be a fairly nice one in the lobby or if it is the Pensions that we stay in your might find the best one in one of the train stations. The phone cards come in varying amounts and many say how many minutes to America so that should help you.

Posted by
81 posts

Calling from a public phone with a prepaid card works pretty well and is cheap per-minute, but the card I got was 5 euros and good for over 200 minutes, so don't feel you have to make a short call. Kind of an odd system; you dial a number and get a busy signal, then hang up. A few seconds later your phone rings. You answer and it prompts you as to language, when to enter the PIN and the number you are calling. I suggest you write out the whole sequence before dialing. One other option is to find one of those street-level internet shops, which often also have some kind of booth-type arrangement, for maybe 10-15 euro-cents/minute to North America.

Posted by
473 posts

Definitely call from a public phone. Remember that when you dial, you'll need to start with "00" (international access code in most of Europe), then "1" (US country code), then the 10-digit area code and phone number. BTW, if you're calling home just to say "Hello" and that you're having a great time, another option would be to just send an email or two. Internet cafes are pretty common in Europe and reasonably priced.

Posted by
223 posts

It's been YEARS since I was in France, but at that time you could make phone calls for a fee from Post Offices. They had little booths you could sit in for comfort and privacy and make your calls. I'm unsure now if they still offer this service, but I imagine it would be cheaper than encoutering fees from your hotel.

Posted by
711 posts

Phonecards purchased in Europe are great.We just returned from Italy and used the Europa card.. 5 or 10 euros. Call to the United States are about 2 or 3 cents a minute. The 5 euro card gives you about 3 hours. Now, we used the card in all our hotels . I would ask first, but it is cheaper in the hotel because at a payphone you are charged more minutes on the card for every minute you talk. There is also a different 800 number on the card for payphones. If you have extra minutes on the card give it to someone you meet. They will appreciate it.