Guide to Long Distance Service Plans

Choosing the long distance calling plan that is right for you.

We have defined long distance calling as a calling plan used in addition to your local landline service. Long distance may be offered by your local phone company, but you may also choose a separate service provider to handle your long distance needs.

Some long distance plans offer an inexpensive by-the-minute rate, others offer a monthly rate with an allotted amount of minutes, while still others offer a combination of these two. It is best to have an idea of how much long distance calling you make a month in order to determine what plan is best for you. For the casual long distance user, a by-the-minute rate may be best, whereas for a frequent caller a monthly rate plan may save money in the long run.

If you make international calls, many long distance providers offer special plans for international calling.

Methods of Long Distance Calling

There are a few different ways of making a long distance call, depending on which service you prefer to use. With direct dial long distance services, you can simply pick up your telephone and dial the number. In order to get this service, you or your long distance provider will need to contact your local phone company to give them your permission to change long distance providers.

With dial around long distance, you don’t need to change your current long distance plan or alert your local phone company. Instead, you simply dial a telephone number or special phone prefix which then prompts you to place your long distance call.

Some long distance providers also offer a calling card so that you can take advantage of their service from other telephones other than your home phone. Calling card rates may be higher than your direct dial or dial around rate, and may incur a connection fee.

What are prepaid cards?

Prepaid phone cards are long distance phone cards that you pay up front for a specified amount. These have become incredibly popular in the international long distance market. They are available in many convenience stores and shopping markets, as well as online.

Sometimes a phone card will be for a specific amount of time, (i.e. $10 for 100 minutes). In other cases the amount of time one gets from a $10 card may be dependent on the country called.

Many prepaid cards are country or region specific. For instance, one card may offer low rates to Latin America, whereas another card may be specifically for calls placed to China.

Due to the countless options for prepaid calling we do not include these plans in the CUBConnects database. A helpful website we recommend is