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Pre-Paid Calling Cards and Cell Phones in Greece

pre paid calling cards in greecepre paid calling cards in greecepre paid calling cards in greecepre paid calling cards in greece



Pre-Paid Calling Cards

There are a number of calling cards you can get at any kiosk in Greece; each for a specific purpose and some for all purposes. Some are dependable, others not; some save you money, others charge the same as a call through a fixed line. Some you can call abroad and others only for Greece. These groups are split into 3; the ones you put into a slot at any outside phone booth (without the actual booth) and some you can only call from a fixed line; some can even store the credit of your card in memory of your fixed line while others need you to enter the pin number for each call. This page will show you the best known cards, what they can or can't do. Keep in mind that the WIND cell phone company has recently come up with a new "Pay as you Go" prepaid card offer.  It is called WIND International and this new offer gives the customer a flat rate of Euros 0.21 per minute for calls to specific countries including the United States, Greece, Italy, Russia, Albania, and the Ukraine. This means that at the current exchange rate, their calls to the U.S. will cost them only about $ 0.30 per minute.  See www.greecetravel.com/phones

Fixed Line Cards

These come in different colors and designs and price range. Here you see one in blue and another in pink. They are called "telecarta" and can be used from any public phone "booth" by just inserting the card in the slot. There is no pin number. You can identify them by a "gold chip" (see picture). Calling from this card is a bit cheaper than from a land line phone andabout 80% cheaper than mobile (cell) phone, and much much cheaper than calling from a hotel. However, calling abroad with these is not cheap. You'll see the units on the phone in your booth traveling at the speed of light. You'll manage to say something like," Hi Mom, I'm in Gree....; the "ce" won't make it through, times up and so goes the 4 euros of the card. A bit of exaggeration but nevertheless it's expensive. Try calling after 10 pm. Greek time when the rates drop. It is a good idea to always have one on you as there are "booths" everywhere to make your inland calls; reservations, your hotel, a friend, Dorian, etc.

The cheapest way, and I mean cheapest, to call abroad is to use a pre-paid card and call from a land line anywhere. There are many, and you can also call a mobile phone abroad for almost the same price as a fixed line. There's Dorian who accumulated a monthly bill of 600 euros as he always calls the States from Greece until someone told him about a card that's almost a gift from heaven. He tried it. The same amount of time and the same number of calls cost him 54 euros!!! That's the incredible difference. This card he strongly recommends is called SMILE+WEB. It's the green one in the picture and you can find it at any kiosk. This card literally saved his relationship with his fiance who was living in the USA. Now Dorian has the money to go and visit her since he is not spending so much on phone calls.

pre paid calling cards in greeceSMILE:  Simply the best (according to Dorian). However, the mobile phone cannot memorize the pin. Don't use it from a mobile. Do not call locally with it. Calling across the street is more expensive than a regular OTE call. OTE is the Greek Telecom company.....monopoly. It also has the capability to be used for internet services and even more, you don't have to keep dialing a pin number. You add the pin number. just once and your fixed line remembers it. Calling from a fixed line to a mobile phone is cheaper too than without it. These cards start at 3 euros. You scratch the back of it for your pin no. Of course if you are calling from your hotel room you don't care if your phone remembers the pin since you are just an extension and the next person who uses the phone from any room in the hotel may get the benefits of your card. But the solution is simple. Just buy them in 3 euro implements and stay on the phone until they run out.

pre paid calling cards in greeceCALL PLUS (Vivodi) I've been using this card for about a year now. It is the best card I've found untill now.. Before I was buying "talktalk" but they're out of business. It isn't possible to buy it anymore, and even if u'll find somewhere an old talktalk card it won't work so later it is just a big problem fighting for the money back..

Vivodi Call plus gives 50  cents bonus. and it is "for national, international and mobile phones" and that what is writen in front of it. Some cards with 5 euro give 20 minutes, some 1 hour. Vivodi gives about 2 hours or 2 and a half for landlines which is about 40 minutes for mobiles,if I am not wrong.. but I don't remember exactly.. So if anyone would ask me which card to choose i would say vivodi call plus... recently it is possible to buy it as a blue card but more often the shops are instantly printing on a "bill" the pin and rules how to use the card.. maybe that's why it is problematic to find a blue card.. but if one asks for it they will print it without a problem. Oh and I have to add that I make calls abroad, Poland, because I live in Greece but originally I am polish, for that forgive me my imperfect english.. :) And of course that's why i'm sure the card is good :)
Really.. for me.. vivodi is the best card on the market with the most minutes to use.. for that i write to You because it's a pittty for people to avoid it.. 

pre paid calling cards in greeceCHRONOKARTA CONN-X. This one directly from OTE gives you, yes, believe it or not, 0.36 euros extra talking time. That is the equivelant of about fifty whole US cents. Wow! OTE thank you. This one (blue, green grey) has internet service as well, but cannot retain the pin. The charges are a bit higher than SMILE but this card can change the language to one of your choice. Smile is only in Greek and English but here you have, so it says, a choice of other languages. I've never tried it and really who cares? By the way, the cards you scratch with a pin CANNOT be inserted into pay phones.

pre paid calling cards in greeceYa. The orange and yellow card is like the two above and sponsored by Q telecoms, a company which is getting alot of praise lately. This card gives you a whopping 30 cents bonus and is good for Greece and abroad but it's more expensive than SMILE and has the disadvantage that it's only in English and Greek....no Swahili. You cannot use it for internet.

Also...Vivodi calling cards, they are probably the cheapest card, very much still in use, excellent line quality and very definitely can be  used for international calls.

You can e-mail alex@intersell.gr who sells and recharges pre-paid phone cards on-line through paypal. (If you are going to Mykonos he has the Fast Internet, internet center where he also sells phone cards).



Mobile Card Phones

pre paid mobile phone cardspre paid calling cards in greece

There are four companies in Greece and they are all the same except for one which is under government investigation when they were caught in a bugging scandal which you can read about in The Nation Magazine (March 20, 2006 issue) . They had bugged the Greek prime minister, his wife, the foreign minister, the defense minister and 100 other Vodafone subscribers from before the 2004 Athens Olympics until March 2005, when the bug was removed. A  VODAPHONE network manager, engaged to be married and with no known personal problems, hanged himself at his home one day after the bugging was discovered. He was one of a handful of employees with the access required to install such software. Vodafone firmly denied that the death had any connection to the scandal. No one believes the company.

VODAPHONE. Good company, bad name now. They have bonus plans now and sales to try to regain their market. Their slogan is "get a Vodaphone phone and make friends all over the world." That's because the whole world can listen in. The cards come in different colors and price ranges. The one here (above) is red (their characteristic color which like TIM you will see everywhere, even written on the sides of ferry boats in gigantic letters) and costs 10 euros. Here you scratch the back and insert the number in your mobile (cell) phone. ONLY FOR MOBILE PHONES. These four companies are roughly the same and share the market equally. Mobile phones are much more expensive to use than fixed line telephones but you have the luxury of receiving calls pretty much wherever you are.

WIND. Formally called TELESTET which was popular with travelers because of their guided tours. You would call a number and the phone would zero in on your location and tell you what you were seeing and give you a guided tour of the area. VODAPHONE tried something similar only when it zeroes in on you it would send a predator missle (Greek Joke). Dorian uses this card. Always has the blue and red color like the one pictured above. Matt uses these too. In fact if you get a phone from Greece Travel Phones this is the system they use. They offer specials sometimes like if you get a card and send a text message to a number they double your time. So if you got a 15 euro card they give you 30 euros worth of calls. Same scratch system as VODAPHONE.

Q by Telecom. (not pictured) but just the same as the one for fixed lines. Good company. Like the rest. (Even VODAPHONE)

COSMOTE. This is directly from OTE the monopoly. They are reliable, have much to offer as the others do but is OTE's baby, they take care of it's offspring. OTENET is a subsidiary of OTE.

Don't forget, these mobile phones can be used IN GREECE ONLY. Just like mobile phones from America won't work here in Greece. Well some of them will. I think Cingular does but if you use it in Greece to call down the street for a souvlaki you are calling through America so your souvlaki will be a lot more expensive. You can buy these phones from Germanos or the shops that bear the signs of the different companies. But you have to wait 24 hours for it to charge and sometimes they guys in the shop are not very helpful, if they even speak English. If you rent one from Greece Travel Phones you get it fully charged, they can deliver it to your hotel or the airport or anywhere you like, and the instructions are in English. Matt's first phone he got from a shop and it took him weeks to figure it out and then it was time to go home. See www.greecetravel.com/phones

Something happened to me just a few weeks ago. I’ve always praised the merits of the SMILE card which I have been using for the last 4 years to call overseas. It was reliable and, I thought, cheap. For 5 euros you could talk what seemed like forever. I was wrong after seeing how many cards I was using up per week. Someone from a kiosk told me about the XRONOKARTA (chronokarta) from OTE which is the Greek Tel. company. It’s great. For 6 euros you literally forget about time when making long distance calls. You can even make calls from any tel. booth or stands found everywhere. There are about 14 tel. stands in the square next to me, Victoria sq. Just like Smile you scratch the back to reveal the numbers and then listen to the directions in English after punching in the 807-1122 code. I’ve had my card for 2 weeks , calling the States every night and it’s still going strong. Great card except for one minor flaw; the lady’s voice you hear giving you directions is definitely not the type of lady, judging from her tape recorded voice, you would want to flirt with. As opposed to the soft, sexy, voice on Smile where you hear: “welcome to Smile…please scratch the back of my neck….I mean the card….and press ever so softly the numbers to get me…..I mean the destination of your choice” the voice on chronokarta sounds like a Gestapo fraulein (sp) ready , with her whip, to administer your punishment. It sounds like: “ Scratch!! ( as if she wanted to say, you dumb idiot) and punch the numbers.” As though she was desperately keeping back from saying, what else would you do with them, play roulette? You unbelievable moron.

But who cares, it’s a great card.

Testial SIM Cards

If you're traveling to Greece and Europe,a prepaid Greece SIM card for your handset, complete with a local Greece cell phone number, will save you  money on communications while you're living, working or studying in Greece. Telestial are the experts in arming international travelers with the right SIM card options before travel. With a Greece SIM card from Telestial, you'll have the peace of mind of landing in Greece ready to call. See www.greecetravel.com/phones/telestial/

See Also Staying Connected...Computers and Internet Cafes

Thanks to Dorian Kokas who passed away in Dec of 2009 for this article. See his website at www.athensguide.com/dorian

The WIND cell phone company has recently come up with a new "Pay as you Go" prepaid card offer.  It is called WIND International and this new offer gives the customer a flat rate of Euros 0.21 per minute for calls to specific countries including the United States, Greece, Italy, Russia, Albania, and the Ukraine. This means that at the current exchange rate, their calls to the U.S. will cost them only about $ 0.30 per minute.  See www.greecetravel.com/phones