A Phone Card is a small plastic card used to pay for telephone services, particularly with public phones.
Similar in nature as a Credit Card, standard cards can be purchased with a fixed amount of credit attached. The credit associated with the card is then used to cover the charge of a phone call instead of coinage.
Various types of phone cards are availabe; from "disposable cards" which possess a set amount of credit and are discarded when used up, rechargeable cards where the credit can be "refilled", or cards fixed to a payment plan which are "refilled" or "renewed" at varying periods.
- As they were produced, telecom companies have placed advertising on phone cards, as well as celebrity portraits, artwork, or attractive photography. As the supply of a certain type of phone card is limited, the act has led some people into collecting disposable phone cards to order to collect a certain series of prints on the cards. The hobby is sometimes called "Fusilately" in the UK and a collector is known as a "Fusilatelist". In the USA it is called "Telegery".
- Phonecards have been collected worldwide since the mid-1970s and peaked in the mid-1990s, when over 2 million people collected phonecards.