Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Long-Distance Scams Work

        Money | Scams

Billed Calling Cards

These are credit cards specifically for making long-distance phone calls. Rather than paying for the calls upfront like with the prepaid calls, you pay on a monthly basis after you make the calls.

You can usually get a calling card through your existing long-distance carrier, or through a different carrier. Some carriers do require, however, that your residential or business's long-distance service be through a specific carrier that they are usually affiliated with. Or, they may be restricted to certain geographic areas. Like your regular long-distance service, you need to carefully examine each carrier's rates, charges, restrictions and everything else we've discussed here.

There might be:

  • A minimum monthly amount
  • Different rates for different times of the day
  • Surcharges for pay phones
  • A per-call surcharge

These types of cards are sometimes considered safer than their prepaid cousins. Since you're not paying for something you haven't received yet, you're not taking as much of a risk. If the service is through your existing long-distance carrier, you're also dealing with a known, rather than an unknown.


More to Explore