Save money on your holiday jingles

Plan on making a few extra long-distance calls to family and friends this holiday season? If so, now might be a wise time to check your calling plan. A majority of Americans pay more than twice today's most competitive rates for domestic long-distance service, according to SmartPrice.com, an online service that analyzes long-distance plans for consumers and small businesses.

Half of the respondents to the site's survey don't believe they'll save money if they shop for a new plan - though almost as many concede that they're wary of their existing long-distance plans.

Here are some tips from SmartPrice.com:

On specific holidays, check with your carrier regarding its rates. For example, Christmas and New Year's both fall on a Monday this year, so you may be paying peak rates for calls.

Don't assume that your rate will stay the same. If you signed up for a specific low-rate plan, know that such plans and rates can change.

Be informed of hidden fees or service charges before signing up. For instance, many companies charge monthly fees in order to offer lower per-minute rates.

Examine calling-card rates. Your super-low rate for calls dialed from home often do not apply to your calling card.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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