Alternatives to Long Distance Phone Services
Most people make long distance calls on at least a semi-regular basis. I make them almost daily. When we hooked up our phone here they tried desperately to sign me up for a long distance plan. Actually it would cost me more money to not have a long distance plan than it is costing me to have one. I had to agree to a plan that is included in my package, but that has a high per minute rate. I have never used it and never plan too. There are plenty of alternatives to having a long distance plan on your landline.
The number one alternative to using your home phone for long distance calls is to use your cell phone. It seems as if everyone has one these days. Long distance is typically free on cell phones, but it does use up your minutes. Provided that making a long distance call doesn't put you over your limit, then the call is basically free. I can handle free for sure! If you have a cell phone then this is probably your best bet for long distance calling. If you make a lot of long distance calls and are wanting to start using your cell phone, look into a cell phone plan that has unlimited minutes. Then you won't ever have to worry about going over your limit.
For a long time my husband and I only had one cell phone between us. Whoever was gone from the house usually had it. This presented a problem since when we lived in Colorado we really had no long distance service on our phone. Knowing that "what if" type situations do come along sometimes, we opted to purchase a calling card. This way whoever was at home had a way to call long distance if needed, and/or if we were at our limit in minutes on our cell phone we could then use the calling card.
You can purchase calling cards just about anywhere; however I found the cheapest place to be at Sam's Club. Of course purchasing calling cards through a Wholesale Store means you have to purchase a lot of minutes. We bought 1000 minutes worth of calling cards, which added up to a good chunk of change, but at $.03 per minute the price really couldn't be beat.
If you do use a long distance plan through your home phone, researching your options will get you the best plan for the least amount of money for your situation. Please don't ever assume that the first plan and price you find out about is the one to go with. Talk to several long distance companies and find out their best deals for your needs. Then negotiate. Let the companies know that you are in the market for a new long distance plan and are contacting several companies to find out who has the lowest price on a plan that meets your needs. Often times the customer service agent is able to lower your rate per minute or monthly rate just because you asked.
I am not saying that you should never have a long distance plan for your landline. There are alternatives though and there are ways to save money on an existing plan. Yes it might take a little time spent on the phone, but if it takes you 15 minutes to lower your long distance bill by $10 a month, then you just saved yourself $120 for the year. That is as if you were being paid an hourly wage of $480 - for one phone call. I think it is worth it to rethink your current long distance plan and see if you can save some money there.