Choosing a Long Distance Carrier

by Daymon Hoag

Choosing the right long distance phone service is not as cut and dry as simply getting the cheapest cent per minute rate. Though a low rate is a major factor, there are just a few more variables to consider in this equation.

The first thing is to estimate how much time you spend calling long distance each month. Keep in mind, long distance rates for in state calls may be different from out of state calls and long distance calls made within your area code may be higher than both.

Let's break it down. Look at your phone bill and find the inter-state long distance charges. Take note this is spelled with an "er" at the end. These are your out of state long distance calls.

Next, look for intra-state. This one is spelled with an "ra" at the end. These are calls made in state but outside your area code. Inter-state and intra-state are easily confused, so look closely.

Last, look for intra-lata or local toll charges. These are long distance calls made within your area code. In most cases local toll long distance charges can be significantly higher than the others.

Now that you know what your rates are, all you need to do is locate a long distance carrier in your area who can provide a lower cent per minute long distance rate for each category.

You'll also want to take what are commonly referred to as hidden charges into account. These charges usually appear on your bill as various taxes, fees, and sir charges, and can be a significant amount of your over all bill.

If you do not make many long distance phone calls, you should be fine just locating lower long distance rates. If you are one who needs to make a good amount of long distance phone calls you may want to look into bundled long distance service.

Many bundled long distance providers offer unlimited long distance calling for a flat monthly fee, and no cent per minute charge. Though this is cheaper than a cent per minute rate, you'll still get stuck with those hidden fee's charged by tradition phone companies.

Broadband telephone, or VoIP is a cheap alternative to traditional telephone service. VoIP companies usually do not charge any hidden fee's or taxes other than a 3 percent federal excise tax.

Even if you do not completely replace your local carriers service, a VoIP plan on the side can serve as an unlimited long distance plan as well as a second phone line, and for less than twenty dollars a month.

Chances are good you can save about half that cost by just canceling the long distance service from your local carrier, and only using them for local calls and emergencies. This will eliminate most of those hidden fees.

Editor at Cheapest Service We also provide a Long Distance Calculator

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