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What is the best phone card to call from Beijing to the United States?

What is the best phone card to call from Beijing to the United States?

Old Jun 8, 12, 3:54 pm
  #1  
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What is the best phone card to call from Beijing to the United States?

I will be travelling to Beijing for couple of weeks. Can anyone recommend any good calling card from China?
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Old Jun 8, 12, 5:50 pm
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Why calling card?

I have used China Telecom's Long Distance Card which gives you good minutes at a reasonable per minute price but in this day and age, why not use Skype? Google Talk? MSN? QQ? or a whole slew of other options that would be much more convenient and cheaper.

I do keep my CT LD Card handy in my wallet because if I need to fax something and I am not near my office / hotel, it does come in handy but rarely.
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Old Jun 8, 12, 6:00 pm
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As Taiwaned says, no need for a calling card. Skype and Google have free or near-free solutions, depending on who you're calling; a month of unlimited calls to US numbers on Skype is $2.99, for instance.

If you don't want to use a computer-based solution, China Mobile's 12593 or China Unicom's equivalent service both offer very low rates for calls to the US (around 0.5 RMB, or $0.07 per minute). You can pick up a SIM card for either service nearly anywhere and just pop it into any unlocked phone.

Last edited by Scifience; Jun 8, 12 at 6:06 pm
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Old Jun 8, 12, 10:32 pm
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+1 for Google Voice.... 100% free, and often better quality than Skype.

It didn't know calling cards still existed.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 4:04 am
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I thought paid skype calls were blocked unless you had access to a VPN? (I thought I read that somewhere?) Free skype calls were fine at least for me in March (calling toll free numbers in the USA for example).

But I agree with the cheap calling prices through china mobile. I was paying RMB1 per minute to AU.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
I thought paid skype calls were blocked unless you had access to a VPN? (I thought I read that somewhere?) Free skype calls were fine at least for me in March (calling toll free numbers in the USA for example).

But I agree with the cheap calling prices through china mobile. I was paying RMB1 per minute to AU.
You don't need vpn for skype, but best to download the programme before entering PRC.

If you don't want to faff with calling numbers etc, some sim cards are specifically tailored at the call overseas market, and are incredibly inexpensive to most countries. Usually, sim card sellers at the newstands preferentially sell these to foreigners (i.e. they assume that's what you want/need).

tb
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Old Jun 9, 12, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
You don't need vpn for skype, but best to download the programme before entering PRC.

If you don't want to faff with calling numbers etc, some sim cards are specifically tailored at the call overseas market, and are incredibly inexpensive to most countries. Usually, sim card sellers at the newstands preferentially sell these to foreigners (i.e. they assume that's what you want/need).

tb
thanks for clearing that up re Skype. When I was in China last year there was some talk that using skype to call non toll free numbers was going to be blocked (protection of revenue for Chinese telecom companies). I'm guessing that didn't get too far!

China Mobile sim doesn't require any fussing arund. You have to 'register' to make international calls (and there is a charge per month for that), but once you have it you just direct dial. I got mine at the airport on arrival from a small customer service stand.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
You don't need vpn for skype, but best to download the programme before entering PRC.

tb
So true.

If you download it in China, you get Tom Skype which is slightly different version than regular Skype. Supposedly it allows governmental oversight.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
+1 for Google Voice.... 100% free, and often better quality than Skype.

It didn't know calling cards still existed.
GV is not free from China, Google Call is. GV like Skype requires prepaid minutes. But I think GC is what you meant.

I would jump back and forth between Skype and GC to whatever quality was better.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by mnredfox View Post
GV is not free from China, Google Call is. GV like Skype requires prepaid minutes. But I think GC is what you meant.

I would jump back and forth between Skype and GC to whatever quality was better.
I think we're splitting hairs here. The fact of the matter is that GV (and, whatever other Google products are essentially the same animal) permit free calls to the US from anywhere in the world. I'm not sure how it works wrt to receiving calls, though I'm guessing this is what you were getting at.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I think we're splitting hairs here. The fact of the matter is that GV (and, whatever other Google products are essentially the same animal) permit free calls to the US from anywhere in the world. I'm not sure how it works wrt to receiving calls, though I'm guessing this is what you were getting at.
Get a VPN (say surfbouncer.com), and make GV calls after connected to VPN. Depending on the location of your VPN servers, GV calls are most likely free.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by g46r View Post
Get a VPN (say surfbouncer.com), and make GV calls after connected to VPN. Depending on the location of your VPN servers, GV calls are most likely free.
You don't need a VPN to use GV at present.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 11:00 pm
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GrooVeIP

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...om.gvoip&hl=en
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