In many areas, most public payphones are card-operated, with the card inserted into a slot to be read like a credit card (technically more like a debit card, since the charges are deducted from an existing balance). Other phone cards come with a code printed on the card, which the user enters in order to place a call when payment is required. This may be done either from a public telephone, or on a personal phone to access long-distance and other services.
Telecom companies have also taken advantage of phone cards to place advertising on the card, or to feature celebrity portraits, artwork, or attractive photography to increase the appeal of the cards to consumers. This practice, combined with the disposability of the cards (encouraging individuals to purchase multiple cards), has led some people to start collecting phone cards as a hobby.