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Saving Money on Long Distance

Category Saving Money
Woman Making Long Distance Phone Call
It doesn't have to cost a lot to make calls out of your area. This guide is about saving money on long distance.


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March 11, 20050 found this helpful

Do you have an extra clock in your home? Place it near the phone. Just watching the minutes tick away will remind you to keep those long distance conversations short!

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ThriftyFun0 found this helpful
February 2, 2003

We've been using One Suite for over a year now. The way it works is you are given an 800 number and can set up your home number as a default. The cost is 2.9 cents a minute (there is no service charge). The minimum order is $10.00.


It has saved us hundreds of dollars in long distance over the year. You can order over the internet and recharge when your minutes get lean. They tell you how many minutes are left each time you call. What we do is put the 800 number in our memory dial on the phone.

Before we started with One Suite, we kept getting slammed by long distance providers. Our special 7 cents a minute Sprint service (plus a monthly service charge) was taken over by a slammer and they were charging us 25 cents a minute plus a service charge. We went through months of calling the phone company and trying to get everything straightened out.

We have cut long distance service to our phone for both local and out of state long distance. (You have to call the phone company to do this. Make sure you tell them you don't want either.) This has made our monthly bill cheaper, too. Logs of who you called and how much time you used are available on their website. (20 minutes x 2.9¢ per minute = $0.58)

The only drawback that I have found with this service is that there system goes down from time to time. It has happened very often but there has been a couple times when I was unable to reach the number in the last year. Not enough to sour me on the service.

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July 20, 20070 found this helpful

Tips for saving money on calling long distance. Post your ideas!

Use Your Cell Phone

I dropped my land line and only use a cell phone. It's great because I can walk around the city and feel safe, plus, anyone can get a hold of me in an emergency.

I get free nights and weekends, eliminating the need to pay for long distance. Plus, I get caller ID free on the phone. I have T-mobile service and save a ton.

By wheelbarrow_1

Calling Cards or a Cellphone

To save money on your long distance charges you can do a couple of different things. First of all, you could buy long distance phone calling cards from stores, convenience stores, etc. They are usually cheaper per minute than using your house phone. The other option, which happens to be the one we chose, is to get a cell phone. You pay a certain amount for a certain number of minutes per month. It has been lot more economical than long distance from our home phone.

By Robin

USA DataNet

USA DataNet has a website. You are only billed for the time you use. There is a maximum price per call or a small fee for very short calls. So much better than ATT which charged us every month, whether we used it or not.

By Barbara

Editor's Note: There is a website like this that I have used for a number of years called You have to dial a long number to call long distance but you can program it into your phone.

Wal-Mart Phone Card

We make a lot of long-distance phone calls from our home. My husband's family lives 4 hours from us and my son's dad lives an hour and a half. We buy the 500 minute phone cards at Wal-mart and they last forever! Plus our phone bill is so much lower!

By Alica

Take Advantage Of Free Weekends

Most cell phone plans have "free" weekend minutes. Make sure to take advantage of those minutes, too!

By Sandy

Call People On The Same Network

If you have a Cingular cell phone, you can call anyone else with a Cingular cell phone and it is free anytime, day or night, weekends or weekdays. If you want to call someone who doesn't have a cell phone, there is no long distance fee, and if you call at night or on weekends, the calls are free. The only reason we still have a phone line into our house is for our Internet service. We are in an area where there is no cable service. Our son added us to his family plan with Cingular, so our phone is only $9.99 a month. His wife is a traveling nurse, and this enables us to talk to them wherever they happen to be without paying a long distance bill. In December, they were in Iowa, presently they are in Ohio, and when they are "home" they are in Missouri... 5 hours away from us. It sure has saved us lots of money while keeping in touch.

By Harlean from Arkansas

Momentum Phone Service

I don't have a cell phone. I lived quite well without one before and still do. I do have Momentum for my phone company. It gives me unlimited long distance, local and regional calls besides 12 different features including Caller ID, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Three-Way Calling and a bunch of other stuff for no additional charge. The total cost is $39.95 a month plus state and local taxes you are already charged on your regular phone bill. It comes in just under $50 which is great since I'm on the phone to my family in NY several times a day!

I have never had a problem with them, their customer service is excellent and I have had them for two years now.

By Fran Marie

Reload Your Phone Card

We have gone the route of the phone card also. But instead of buying a new card every time it is empty, we just add new minutes to it. We use an MCI card and the cost per minute is about 3.5 cents. I haven't seen a company or card that will beat that rate unless they charge you a per call fee. There is no fee for the call with MCI. Since we do not use a long distance company our phone bill is less than $25 per month and I usually put about $10 on a card at a time and that will last about 2 1/2 to 3 months.

By Dani

Pay By Minute Plan

The best long distance is no long distance. I do have family out of state but I got rid of the long distance service reluctantly at first. I was given a phone card. It has been wonderful. I have over 300 minutes left on it. It started with 450 minutes. it just requires an 800# then my pin #. That way, I don't have a long distance bill if I don't use it this month. It's cool!

By Sandy

VOIP - Vonage

Hey if you use a cable modem you can sign up with any voice over internet service. I am with Vonage and they give you all the bells and whistle services plus free long distance to anywhere in the US and Canada. My price plan is $24.99 which with tax come to around $28.00 a month. Beat that! This is unlimited long distance!! The sound quality is excellent and I can't tell the differece. It's great!

By Randy

ECG Long Distance Or Just Use Email

I am happy with ECG at 3.9 cents/minute with no monthly fees. It's the lowest I know of without having to sign up for direct debit. Frankly, if it comes down to rent, food, or my long distance company, guess who's going to wait? I don't do direct debit because it forces me to put the least important thing first.

Another option is to use email and written letters in place of phone calls some of the time.

By Papillon

Shop Around For Phone Cards

If you make a lot of long distance phone calls. Shop around for phone cards. I found one (at Sam's Club) for 2.9 cents per minute. That is a real bargain, the 2.9 that includes tax, FCC line charges, universal fee. Those fees can add up to $10.00+ per month.

By Ladyjudy

Spring PCS

We use SprintPCS for our long distance. Long distance is free and Sprint to Sprint phones provide free calls, as well as after 7pm and weekends.

By Kidseatfree

Compare Your Phone Company Rates First

See if your phone company has a long distance plan. We have 250 minutes a month for just $12. It's through the phone company, so there's no dialing numbers off a phone card before calling.

By BrookesMommy

Make Sure Long Distance Is Canceled On Your Home Phone

I didn't realize, until I called the phone company, that you aren't *required* to have a long distance company on your home phone. We use our cell phone for long distance, and so we were paying our long distance carrier for NOTHING! They charged us a fee even when we didn't use it at all. Better late than never.

P.S. The man at the phone company didn't even know if we "had" to have a long distance carrier. He had to put me in touch with a customer care rep.


By LizCar

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 28, 20070 found this helpful

I have an all-inclusive phone plan....... at home, so I can call long-distance as needed without having to keep track of every little minute I'm on the phone.

And for when I'm out, I do have a prepaid cell phone for emergencies only!!! If someone finds themselves home most of the time...... this would work well.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 28, 20070 found this helpful

Use Skype! I use it, it's awesome. $30.00 for unlimited calling to anywhere in the USA for a whole year! I can call landlines and cell phones. it's awesome! (no i don't work for skype, but i love it!)

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March 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have to have a landline b/c I don't get cell service at my place. Even worse, I live JUST over the line from one A/C and another, so ALL my calls from home are long distance!

I ditched AT&T and got Unitel instead. I spend between $1 and $4 a month now on long distance! I don't use it much, but that used to be $20-30!

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2010

Seeking angels on earth who can help me. I need advice and opinions on the most reasonably priced, clearest reception, easiest to understand, and most reliable way of communicating long-distance, without having to worry about the expense each and every time I make a phone call. In other words, a specific cell phone carrier, Magic Jack, etc.

For me, it is long-distant to call any of my family; and I stay constantly depressed because of it, as my better judgment tells me, "I just cannot afford those individual phone calls." I even bought a Magic Jack 3 months ago, but have yet to hook it up. Because of so much negative feedback, I'm almost afraid to try it. Should I?

Someone please help to put my mind at ease, by sharing with me your own advice, opinions and/or personal experiences. I will be forever grateful. Thanks in advance, dear web friends.
Earthly Angel Mom

By Lois from Brandenburg, KY

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February 4, 20100 found this helpful

I have a friend in Texas who can not call long distance. She calls me hangs up and I call her back on my cell phone. It is legal as far as I know. I have many extra roll over minutes so I can call her with no charge to her home phone. It works for us.

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February 4, 20100 found this helpful

The Magic Jack is easy to use. Just plug into your computer and plug the phone line into the Magic Jack device. It will download and give you a phone number.You have to answer a couple of questions so it will know what area code to give you. But, it has a drawback! Whoever calls you will be charged with the call unless they have long distance on their home phone or they can use a cell phone. I just tell my family and friends to call, I won't answer, and I call them back. Problem solved.

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February 6, 20100 found this helpful

I too use pre-paid calling cards for long distance. Presently I can ring London for 1.8 cents/min; no connection fee; no maintenance feel. I put the 'access' number in Memory and it's just one push of the button to connect. Been doing this for years. Just do a search on-line for 'best pre-paid long distance card' [or International].

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 28, 20100 found this helpful

To save on my phone bill I had the phone company eliminate my long distance capability from my phone. I then purchased a MCI phone card from Costco $19.95 for 600 minutes. This card allowed me to call at any time for the same price.The time that it took me to dial in my extra numbers took less than a minute.

I also saved on the taxes that would have been charged to me by my local phone company on top of the long distance charge. I was able to keep track of what numbers were or were not long distance.

I can recharge the phone card when needed for the same cost. I also gave my teenage daughter a card so that she can learn to budget her time. The savings have been tremendous for our family as I have been doing this for over a year.



Saving on Your Long Distance Bill

This is a good tip if you have trouble with long conversations. However make sure that you read the fine print carefully. You'll see that most cards charge extra minutes for certain countries, states, etc. The card should come with a list that says which countries 1 minute = 1 minute and which countries 1 minutes = 2-6 minutes. Make sure you know before you call. (02/23/2005)

By Suzanne S.

Saving on Your Long Distance Bill

I use an internet service called which is like a calling card. There is a 800 number to call which has been programmed into my memory phone on 0. So the only thing I do different is dial "memory 0" before making the long distance call. The cost is under 3 cents a minute for anywhere in the US any day/anytime, and although I do not call outside the country, the prices listed on the site seem cheap to me.

There are no other fees and you can look up your account to see how many minutes you talked to who and when. It can be recharged online in a choice of denominations and can either be programmed to recognize your phone/phones as the pin or you can dial it in if you are not home. Great savings and very convenient. (02/24/2005)

By Betty

Saving on Your Long Distance Bill

If you have cable internet, try this site:

We have phone service from them. It is unbelievably cheap. (02/24/2005)

By dse77

Saving on Your Long Distance Bill

I checked out the and I like the fact that they offer call waiting, caller ID, and others for free. As far as the plans go, some months I will not use 500 minutes and other months I could use more so I still would be paying the monthly fee. With the MCI card from Costco, I pay 2.99 cents per minute within the US anytime any day. I know how many minutes I have each time I make a call. I keep my card in a pocket I made in front of of my address/phone book. This way I know where it is at all times. (02/25/2005)

By Christy

Saving on Your Long Distance Bill

I got a MagicJack, it is unbelievable. It works great. You need High Speed Internet to use this.(10/29/2008)

By bdon1

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