Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit vs Monthly Subscription

**Update (Sept 2010)** Please click here for an updated and expanded comparison article, with current Skype Monthly Subscription and Pay As You Go prices – Skype Monthly Subscriptions or Pay As You Go with Credit. While the ideas and thoughts discussed here are still valid, the specific “Unlimited US and Canada” monthly subscription discussed in this article is not currently available from Skype. Please visit the updated article.

There are many options available through the internet, for making long distance or out-of-area calls from a PC to a regular phone line (either to landlines or to cell phones). One of the most popular ways to make a PC-to-phone call, is by using Skype, which offers the same rates for any time of the day and any day of the week. Skype offers several payment options, but for some it can be unclear which option is the cheapest or most inexpensive.

Depending on both the number of calls you make per month and the length of your average outgoing PC-to-phone call, you can save money by using the right plan, either Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit or a Skype Monthly Subscription. The price option that is the cheapest option for you is discussed below.

Is a Skype Subscription Good Value for You?

Depending on what kind of caller you are, and how you plan on using Skype, getting a Skype Monthly Subscription can save you a lot of money. The chart below shows how much you can expect to spend per month, based on the number of outgoing calls you may make with Skype, and the average length of each outgoing call.

If you live in the United States or Canada, and you generally call within the US and Canada, then the “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription plan may be suitable for you. No long-term contract is required for Skype subscriptions. A comparison is made below between the “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription and Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit, for outgoing Skype calls (in US dollars).

Total Calls per Month Cost with “Pay As You Go” (Average Minutes per Outgoing Call) Monthly
Subscr.
Cost
2 min 5 min 10 min 20 min 30 min 45 min 60 min
2 calls $0.162 $0.288 $0.498 $0.918 $1.338 $1.968 $2.598 $2.95
4 calls
(1/week)
$0.324 $0.576 $0.996 $1.836 $2.676 $3.936 $5.196 $2.95
12 calls
(3/week)
$0.972 $1.728 $2.988 $5.508 $8.028 $11.808 $15.588 $2.95
20 calls
(4-5/week)
$1.62 $2.88 $4.98 $9.18 $13.38 $19.68 $25.98 $2.95
30 calls
(1/day)
$2.43 $4.32 $7.47 $13.77 $20.07 $29.52 $38.97 $2.95
80 calls
(2-3/day)
$6.48 $11.52 $19.92 $36.72 $53.52 $78.72 $103.92 $2.95

The yellow-highlighted costs: For the specified number of calls you make per month, a Skype Subscription could be the cheapest option, depending on the length of your average outgoing call.

The green-highlighted costs: For the specified number of calls and call lengths, purchasing Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit is the cheapest option.

The red-highlighted costs: For the specified number of calls and call lengths, purchasing Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit will cost you significantly more money per month, when compared to a Skype Subscription with a fixed monthly fee. For the specified number of calls and call lengths, the Skype Subscription is the cheapest option, and will save you a significant amount of money.

As the above chart shows, depending on the type of caller you are, you could save a lot of money by purchasing a Skype Monthly Subscription to make your calls to the US and Canada, rather than Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit. This assumes that most users won’t use Skype as a full replacement for a cell phone or a home phone.

If you think that you will call often enough that your Skype Credit usage per month would be close to the monthly fee for a Skype Subscription, then it is probably a better choice for you to choose the Skype Subscription. This way, you won’t need to worry about counting the minutes of each call as you monthly credit usage approaches the subscription price, and you will never pay more than the fixed subscription price, even if you do happen to talk a little bit extra this month.

Skype Pricing Option Details

If you live in the United States or Canada, and you generally call within the US and Canada, then these are the pricing options available to you, for outgoing Skype calls, in US dollars.

Skype “Pay As You Go”
(in US Dollars)
Skype “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription (in US Dollars)
Per Call to Canada $0.021 per Minute No Extra Fees
Per Call to US $0.021 per Minute No Extra Fees
Per Month No Monthly Fees $2.95 per Month *
Connection Fees $0.039 per Outgoing Call No Extra Fees

Here are the same options in Canadian dollars.

Skype “Pay As You Go”
(in Can Dollars)
Skype “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription (in Can Dollars)
Per Call to Canada $0.024 per Minute No Extra Fees
Per Call to US $0.024 per Minute No Extra Fees
Per Month No Monthly Fees $2.95 per Month *
Connection Fees $0.059 per Outgoing Call No Extra Fees

* Subscriptions follow Skype’s Fair Usage Policy: A maximum 10,000 minutes per user per month, with a maximum of 6 hours per day, and no more than 50 different numbers in total can be called per day.

Still Undecided Between Skype Credit or Subscription?

If you remain unsure or undecided about which is for you, Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit or a Skype “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription, and you do not think that you will be making frequent outgoing calls with Skype (i.e. maybe a maximum of 1 to 3 calls per week), then you may want to act on a trial basis of sorts by first purchasing a small amount of Skype Credit. Track your credit usage over one month, then decide if “Pay As You Go” is right for you, or if a Monthly Subscription would save you money.

If you do find that you are using too much Skype Credit too fast, then you can still sign up for a Monthly Subscription. You will be able to keep all of your remaining Skype Credit, which could be used for other things like sending text messages (SMS messages) and making the occasional call outside of the US and Canada. From the official Skype web site help section, on how long Skype Credit is valid:

As long as you continue to make calls to landlines or mobile phones your Skype Credit will not expire. Skype Credit remains on your account and its validity extends the same way as it did before – your Skype Credit is valid for 180 days from your last call or purchase. This includes also the unlimited US/Canada calls. So the credit won’t expire as long you keep making calls, be it paid or free.

On the other hand, if you sign up for a Monthly Subscription and find that you use Skype much less than you thought you would, you can always cancel your subscription and start using Skype Credit to pay per minute, per call. From the official Skype web site help section, on how to cancel your Skype Monthly Subscription:

Easy. Sign in to your account and click on Manage your subscription. Next, scroll down the page and click on the link that says Cancel. Next, simply follow the instructions on the following page.

More Reasons to Use a Skype Monthly Subscription

  • Unexpected Longer Calls: You normally only make short outgoing calls, and have purchased enough Skype Credit to cover these calls, but once in a while you may end up talking for an extended time in an outgoing call, thus using up more credit than you had budgeted or planned for. This would cause you to buy more credit sooner, thus causing you to spend more money than you intended to.
  • No Need to Countdown Minutes: Subscription includes an unlimited number of minutes for PC-to-phone calls.
  • No Connection Fees: Subscriptions do not charge you any additional connection fees for the calls it covers, to the US and Canada.
  • Fixed Costs: The “Unlimited US and Canada” Monthly Subscription fee includes all fees required to make calls to any phone within the US and Canada.
  • PC-to-PC Calls: Calls between computers remain free, for voice and video calls.

More Reasons to Use Skype “Pay As You Go” Credit

  • Infrequent Caller: You rarely will make an outgoing call to a landline or a cell phone within the US or Canada.
  • Short Calls: Of the few calls you do make, they are usually only a few minutes in length.
  • Not Your Main Long Distance Method: You use your home phone or cell phone to make most of your long distance calls, but would like the flexibility or option to call using Skype. For example, when the home phone is being used by someone else, or when your cell phone is low on batteries.
  • Mainly Make PC-to-PC Calls: When you do use Skype, you use it to talk between two computers, either for PC-to-PC voice calls or for video calls, both of which are free and do not require Skype Credit.
  • Call Several Countries: You make calls to several different countries, outside of the US and Canada, which are not covered by the “Unlimited US and Canada” Subscription. Skype Credit is required for all calls not covered by the subscription. Alternatively, you could purchase an additional or alternative subscription if that would fit your needs and reduce your costs.

**Update (Sept 2010)** Please click here for an updated and expanded comparison article, with current Skype Monthly Subscription and Pay As You Go prices – Skype Monthly Subscriptions or Pay As You Go with Credit. While the ideas and thoughts discussed here are still valid, the specific “Unlimited US and Canada” monthly subscription discussed in this article is not currently available from Skype. Please visit the updated article.

Related Information

» Alternatives To Fring For Using Skype On Android Mobile Phones

» Skype Rates for Calling with Skype Credit

» Skype Official Help – Inactive Skype Credit

» Skype Official Help – Cancel Subscription

» Use Fring To Make Skype Calls From Your Mobile Phone

Leave a Comment