Global Roaming

Phone Home

New phone cards make every call local.

As if traveling overseas on business weren't expensive enough, those hotel phone bills for calling home can shock even the most experienced travelers. Calling cards reduce the sting because they don't charge access fees like hotels do, but they still charge high international rates. Call-back cards, however, challenge conventional international-calling wisdom.

With call-back cards, you first dial a local number (obtained before your trip) in the city where you're doing business. You're then connected to a computerized phone network, which links you to a computer in the United States and sends the call to its final destination as if it were a local call. KallBack (http://www.kallback.com) and IDT, or International Discount Telecommunications Corp. (http://www.idt.net), are two companies that offer these cards. And there's a bonus: IDT's card is pre-paid, so you can budget for your phone needs before leaving home.

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This article was originally published in the October 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Global Roaming.

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