Compare Discount Long Distance Phone Service Providers
Here is our list of the cheapest discount long distance calling plans in America. All of these plans are under 5¢ per minute, with 6 of them offering plans for less than 3¢ per minute. These telephone companies all use high quality digital lines like AT&T or MCI, they just charge a whole lot less for their services.
My favorite companies to deal with because of their good customer service and fast turn around time over the last 10 years have been Pioneer Telephone and Opex Communications. Opex was acquired by Total Call International last year, and they are doing a good job with customer service and provisioning also. If prices are close, I'd lean towards one of these companies.
Cheap Long Distance Phone Service Plans
Description All business and residential long distance customers are accepted unless otherwise noted. These are discount carriers using digital lines from Qwest, Global Crossings, AT&T, SBC and other large long distance carriers, so there is a delay of 2-10 days from the time the order is placed until your calls are actually routed over your discount provider's lines. The company that seems to have the fastest provisioning time is Pioneer in most cases.
(Please don't contact your local phone company unless asked to do so by your new carrier. These are discount carriers, and they use other phone companies PIC Codes. So, if you PIC yourself, you will end up as a customer of the underlying carrier instead of the discount carrier you wanted. (And Oh will it cost you more... Read the story about Self PICing about half way down the page.))
Pioneer will debit your credit card $10.00 upon sign up in order to validate the card. But, they do credit the full amount back to your account on your first invoice. (This is only if you provided a credit/debit card at sign up.)
If you opt to receive a paper bill instead of being billed online, and your bill is under $15 per month, there is a monthly minimum usage fee of 99¢ in the months that you don't use at least $15.00 in service. (With online billing the low usage fee is waived.)
IBNtel is one of the few companies that allow customers to sign up without giving out their social security number. To order service without a social security number, just fill all 0's in the SS# field. You will be required to prepay, or place a security deposit on the account, before it will be activated.
There is a billing fee of $1.95 if your usage is under $20 for a particular month. They also charge a $2.00 activation fee for every 800, 866, 877 or 888 number you order, but there are no monthly fees associated with the account.
All calls, both domestic and international, are billed in 6 second increments. Some international destinations, like Mexico, may have a 30 second minimum charge per call.
ECG Communication's rate for business PIC-C fees is $3.50 per line with the first discounted to $0.00. PICC rates don't apply to residential phone service. ECG also charges 59¢ per month to recover other regulatory costs.
ECG has a refferal program which offers customers a chance to lower their long distance phone bill all the way to zero. Send your friends this link and have 5% of their telephone bill credited to yours.
There is a minimum usage fee of $2.00 in any month that your phone bill is less than $20.00. A toll free number is $2.00 a month for the first number and $0.53 a month for each additional number. Opex also offers both verified and non-verified Product Account Codes (PACs), which give you the option of keeping track of who is using your phone service by making them enter a code before making a long distance call.
Total Call offers the best business calling plans due to their reduced fees and low cost instate and international calling rates. If you want to see what's required to sign up for Total Call International, watch the Total Call Video.
Here’s a heads up if you’re looking for a cheap calling card
or dial around option to India or Pakistan. Amantel.com is offering
calling to India for as low as 1/2 cent per minute, and calls to
If you live in the United States, and you make a lot of long
distance calls to India, you might want to take a look at India
LD’s $29.95 Unlimited India Calling Plan. The plan lets you call
I periodically get billing questions from younger people who
have cell phones, but who have never seen a regular landline phone
bill. They’re usually wondering why their landline phone bill
If you are going to make an international phone call from the
US to Malaysia, you will first need to dial the US exit code, which
is 011, then you dial the Malaysian country code of 60, followed by
I’ve had customers email me over the years, because they were
trying to order long distance phone service online, but didn’t know
what some of the questions on the order form were asking. So, I
Mark Sullivan, over at PCWorld figures Google Voice is going
to be one of the top 10 up and comers in 2010 because of it’s
potential ability to deliver cheap or free long distance service.
Of course, ...
Does anyone know what’s going on with Primus, and why they
need 130 million dollars? Are they expanding, paying off debts, or
just trying to stay alive? Dec 10 (Reuters) – Primus
It’s kind of hard selling long distance phone service
anymore. Sure, you have the random customer wander in who still
wants long distance service, but why bother? In the old days (pre
2005) everyone h...