AAFES Calling-Card Best Value for Troops in Southwest Asia
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2004 Looking to buy a prepaid phone card for a servicemember deployed to Southwest Asia, but confused about which one to buy?
Take comfort in knowing you're not alone. With so many competing companies offering different calling cards, picking the best one can be a tough call.
Just about any calling card will work for servicemembers calling the United States from Southwest Asia, Judd Anstey, public affairs specialist for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, told American Forces Press Service.
The big question, he said, boils down to which card offers the lowest per- minute talking charges.
Thanks to an exclusive contract with AT&T, DoD military exchanges offer a card that provides the lowest per-minute fees for calls placed from AT&T phone centers in Southwest Asia, Anstey said.
The Military Exchange Prepaid Global 550-unit phone card offers lower per- minute rates than other prepaid cards, including AT&T prepaid cards sold by other retailers, Anstey said. "It's the best value out there," he said.
If the card is purchased in the United States, the per-minute fees are 28 cents a minute from Iraq or Afghanistan and 21 cents a minute from Kuwait. If the deployed servicemember buys the card in Southwest Asia, the rates are even lower, Anstey said, 25 cents a minute from Iraq and Afghanistan and 19 cents a minute from Kuwait.
This compares to as much as 40 cents per minute charged by some phone-card companies after converting calling units to actual calling minutes, Anstey said.
Anstey said the cards offer additional features: there's no connection fee for calls placed, cards never expire, and the purchaser has the option of "recharging them" so the recipient doesn't run out of calling minutes.
With the winter holidays just over the horizon, Anstey said interest in buying Military Exchange Prepaid Global 550-unit phone cards is picking up.
Anyone can buy them -- not just those who qualify to shop in military exchanges, he said. This makes them favorites for groups as well as individuals who wish to buy them for troops serving in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
"Anybody can buy them to donate to a specific servicemember or to any servicemember," Anstey said. "They make great gifts."
The cards are available for sale through all military exchanges: the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Navy Exchange, and the Marine Corps Exchange.
For more details about the cards or to buy them, visit the AAFES, NEX or Marine Corps Exchange Web sites or call (800) 527-2345.