Distance Phone Rates Comparison - ABTolls

October 24, 2016

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Tips For Long Distance Savings
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So you're interested enough in long distance savings to have started a search on the web and you found ABTolls.com in the process. On top of using the Custom Comparison Tolls or looking through the Impartial Rate Comparisons you can save on whatever plan you eventually choose.

These are this site's tips for finding out about the "latest and greatest" savings offered by the companies. (And if you do stumble on to some deals not listed on these pages, please drop an e-mail to tips so we can let other people know about it.) We want this service to act as a true clearinghouse of information, and you as the user can help make this a reality.

Here are our tips to save on long distance:

  1. Check out the impartial rates comparison pages to compare over 150 plans from different long distance companies in a true "Apples to Apples" setting. We take all of the carrier specific fees and hidden charges into account so you don't have to think, "What do they really mean by 5 cents a minute?"

  2. If you haven't found a plan that is well suited for your patterns on the impartial rates comparison pages, the next step is to check out the carriers' websites. You can find an exhaustive list on our Long Distance Provider page. Please help us keep this list up to date and send in any sites you think should be listed that you can't find on our service.

  3. Know how to use 10-10XXX Codes. They let you use the services of a secondary long distance carrier during the hours you want to. This for instance is a great way to take advantage of special deals for a particular calling pattern. If, for instance, you happen to make a lot of calls to two different countries and can't find a plan that handles both inexpensively, perhaps a dial-around is the way to go. You would setup one of the carriers as your "primary direct dial" carrier, which is the default when you just dial a number, and the other as a "secondary dial-around" carrier for those calls to the 2nd locale. When using 10-10XXX numbers be sure to have checked the details of the service with the carrier you are using. They frequently change their rates. Ask carriers if you can sign up with them as secondary service providers. This allows you to use a 10-10XXX code to access their services when they are most reasonable. Be sure to sign up with the carriers you plan to use. If you do not, you will receive their highest rates!

  4. Understand your own calling patterns. Figure out if you tend to make calls during the daytime, nighttime, weekends, 24 hours a day, etc. You can then pick the plans that are least expensive during your peak times.

  5. Ask the carriers about promotions. Carriers frequently run promotions. Give your current carrier (or others) a call and simply ask, "What is the best deal on long distance you are currently offering?" You'd be surprised what you can learn through this simple question! (Hey, that is how this page started!) :)

  6. Ask the carriers about switching benefits. Call up a carrier you don't currently use, and ask, "I am currently using XXXX for my long distance. I heard you have good service. Can you tell me why I should switch to you?" This will frequently elicit special promotional offers. Be sure to let us know about what you turn up so we can tell others!

  7. Ask carriers about frequent flier mileage tie-ins. Many of the larger providers offer you 5 or 10 miles per dollar spent on their services. This can add up quickly if you talk as much as we do! Why not get a free flight or free upgrade for your money? Frequently though if a plan offers frequent flier miles it is not the least expensive plan out there. The deep discount plans tend not to offer these expensive additions. The general rule for figuring out if frequent flier bonuses are "worth it" is to value each airline frequent flier mile as about 2 cents. So if a company gives you 5 miles for every dollar you spend on their services, that is worth approximately 10 cents per dollar spent (or a 10% discount for those math inclined types)!

  8. Have your monthly long distance bill billed to your credit card. Most carriers provide this service, and some even give you a discount on your rates if you use it. On top of that if you have an affinity credit card you can get extra bonuses from your credit card company such as frequent flier miles, cash back, mall dollars, etc. For instance, American Express is currently offering up to 2 percent cash back if you charge your phone bill on their free cash back card. Full details of that offer can be found here.

  9. Verify your monthly bills. We offer a Guide to Reading Your Monthly Bill to help you understand all of those pesky charges that appear on it. If you find anything that still doesn't make sense give your carrier a call and ask for an explanation. If you think the numerous rate plans are confusing to you, imagine what it is like to create a computer billing program! They are filled with mistakes and you frequently will find charges that differ from the promotion you were offered.

Good luck, and please e-mail ABTolls.com at tips with any additional tips or comments. Thanks!

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