Please tell me more about how "a calling card with a Canadian number to dial" works. I'm guessing that you call a Canadian number from your Canadian number on your CA$35 SIM, which counts against your 100 minutes within Canada, and once connected, you dial a US number, which counts against your calling card minutes. If so, how much was your calling card and how many minutes did it get you? What number would a person you call see on caller ID?
As far as you know, would a similar strategy work for European countries? Thanks.
That's pretty much exactly what I did. I did also sometimes call from my hotel room to save my 100 cell phone minutes; the one I had has a local number in most Canadian cities, so the call was free from my hotel.
I bought the Bizon card from CallingMart - it seemed to have the lowest rates and didn't have any connection fees or weird stuff like that. A $2 card got me between 50-100 minutes (maybe 150? I don't remember exactly) and they sell them in a $5 and $10 increment as well. I think it showed my Canadian number on the caller ID (whatever number I was originally calling from - so the Canadian cell phone or hotel number.)
A similar strategy would likely work for European countries, though the service on the cell phone would likely cost a lot less (Europe has a lot more competition in that sector than Canada or the US does.) I've never used it, but I've heard decent things about the "three UK" SIM cards on some of the cell phone forums I frequent. When I looked, that same card had numbers in Western Europe as well, but I've never tried using it as such.