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Long-distance calling with Home Phone Unlimited
Home Phone Unlimited includes unlimited long-distance calling throughout most of North America (50 states, Canada, and U.S. territories). But what if you have family in Japan or Australia?
If you need to call other countries, CenturyLink charges extra for long-distance calls, just like back in the old days. You’ll pay higher rates during peak hours (Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.) and slightly lower rates on nights and weekends.
Of course, those rates are straight outta SayWhat-town. Calling Japan during peak hours with CenturyLink will cost $1.62 a minute. On nights and weekends, the same call will set you back $1.17 a minute.
Obviously, those prices aren’t ideal, but there is an alternative.
For an additional $6 a month, the CenturyLink Choice International add-on slashes your long-distance rate. That call to Japan, for instance, drops by 86–96% ($0.08–$0.22 a minute) with Choice International. And there are no restrictions on the time of day you can call.
See CenturyLink Choice International rates by country.
If you pick the Home Phone Unlimited plan, CenturyLink Choice International will bring your bill up to $66 a month (plus fees and taxes).
But do you really wanna spend 66 bucks a month on a landline? That feels like a lot of dough to blow on a service that’s almost obsolete.
Long-distance calling with Basic Home Phone
Bundling (discussed in the next section) is one way to get CenturyLink phone service cheaper. But if you don’t need or want internet service, you can save by going with only the essentials.
Let’s start with CenturyLink’s Basic Home Phone service ($24.25 a month). It doesn’t include long-distance calling. But if you can rely on your smartphone for long-distance calls, you’re done—and also richer by about $42 a month.
However, if you want long-distance service on your landline, you can add CenturyLink’s Easy Talk, which starts at $5 a month. You’ll get a monthly allotment of long-distance minutes to use that are valued at CenturyLink’s regular long-distance rates (discussed above).
That will bring your monthly bill to $29.25, which is still around $38 cheaper than Home Phone Unlimited with CenturyLink International Choice.
There are drawbacks to that method, though. Basic Home Phone requires a $25–$35 activation fee (Home Phone Unlimited doesn’t). It also has no calling features (call waiting, caller ID, etc.), but you probably won’t miss those as much as you’d love having 38 extra bucks every month.