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Pre-Paid Calling Cards
Updated: November 02, 2006

This page demonstrates how a call made from a store-bought prepaid phone card shows up on your CallerID as coming from another number.

First, if you are unfamiliar with or have never used a pre-paid calling card, here is how it works.

I went to a local Eckerd Drugs and bought an AT&T PrePaid Phone card. $9.99 + tax bought a 100 minute card.

AT&T PrePaid Phone Card AT&T PrePaid Phone Card
AT&T / Eckerd Drugs PrePaid Phone Card.
Click here for pictures of the package.

The card is worthless until activated. The cashier at Eckerd activated my card by swiping it through the same machine used for credit and debit card purchases.

To use the card I dialed a toll-free 1-800 number from my home land-line telephone. After choosing English as the language I wished to continue in I dialed the pin number shown on the back of the calling card, then dialed the number of my cell phone, which was next to the land-line phone.

Sure enough, my cell-phone caller ID said I had a call from 312-730-9978. The call I made from my home phone appeared to come from Chicago, but I live nowhere near Chicago.


Pre-paid calling card calls can be made from virtually any type of phone. I was able to use this AT&T card to call my land-line phone from my cell phone.

Using prepaid calling cards from pay telephones, however, is not without its problems. I tried using this AT&T calling card from a payphone owned by Global Network Communications. Calling the toll-free number on the calling card got me a recorded message saying that the number could not be reached from my calling area. Calling the same toll-free number from a Verizon payphone across the street did allow the call to go through.

Furthermore, AT&T deducts an extra 6 minutes from your calling card for calls made from pay telephones. Rates may also be higher for calls made to or from mobile phones.

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