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Calling Card Jamaica || by Kesha Stewart

jamaica calling card

The Jamaican calling card has evolved along with the communication landscape in Jamaica. I can recall the World Talk Card from the then Cable and Wireless (now Flow) and the Oliver’s Foreign Card; the latter strictly for overseas calling.

Our two local mobile providers Digicel and Flow now have cards available which like the older versions provide a number but the composition of the card, denominations, formats in which they exist, and the availability has definitely changed. In addition numbers are redundant after you have followed the procedure to top up. 


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I used the World Talk Calling Card in the 90’s when I was in teacher’s college. It was a card with which you could make local or international call from phone booths and landlines. It was a scratch off card made of material similar to a debit card. My number remained unchanged as I bought new cards to top up. One had to be careful when using the card in public spaces because if an unscrupulous person copied your number they could transfer the balance to their number and leave you without credit. Imagine that.

In Jamaica these days you can get calling cards from the two network providers at almost any location. I tell you what, if you are using a Jamaican mobile number you can purchase your top up online, at most stores, provider branded stores, salespersons and maybe even the man selling you that cool jelly coconut.

Calling cards can be purchased in basically any amount desired but you will need to remember the 16.5% tax added to the cards’ selling price. For example, for your local Flow mobile you may purchase a scratch off top up from a minimum of 100 JMD (which is usually retailed at $125 tax included) to a high of 1000JMD. With your Digicel number a scratch off card is denominated from 108 JMD plus tax which equates to 135 JMD. 

The amount denominated on the card is not the cost but rather the actual amount which will be added to your mobile after you have topped up. Top ups can be done online with credit cards (or locally linked debit cards), in basically any amount, while electronically generated cards usually retail along the denominations of the scratch off cards.  Some retailers add markups which push the price above what the providers recommend so ask before you purchase. Cards carry a validity date so be sure to check before you leave the location of your purchase so that your card can be returned. 

If your purchase was a scratch off card please be very careful when you scratch. It is best to set the card on a flat surface and then use a coin to gently scratch it off. If the card is damaged you will have difficulty getting your top up effected. However, you may call the customer care line of the particular provider to get assistance with completing your top up. 

I should let you know that calling cards can only be used with local mobile numbers. Not sure how to top up? Don’t worry instructions are carried on each card as well as instructions for checking your balance. To top up you will dial *121*card number# then press send and to check your available balance you dial *120# press send.

Now you know about Jamaican calling cards but just one more bit of advice; when you scratch off the card make sure you protect the numbers so that no one will be able to add on the numbers to their mobile before you have a chance to do so.  

See Also: Jamaica Calling Cards from The USA

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.  Read more about him here.

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