Skype Connection Fees

Skype-to-Skype calls are free but others require credit or a subscription

Skype is free when you call other Skype users, no matter where they may live, much like other free internet calling services such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger, and Viber.

However, the service isn't free when you call landlines or other mobile phones that don't use Skype. VoIP services normally charge a fee per minute for these calls, which are considerably lower than fees for non-VoIP calls. The rates depend on the destination you're calling.

Smartphone conversation
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Connection Fees

Skype charges a connection fee for phone calls. This fee applies to all calls to mobiles and landline phones made using Skype Credit, but only when the call is answered and lasts longer than one second.

The connection fee is a one-time charge, per call, that covers the cost of bridging a VoIP call to the packet-switched telephone network. PSTN relies on copper or fiber-optic cable whereas VoIP uses the internet for call routing. Technically, PSTN and VoIP are wholly separate technologies that cannot cross paths, but several providers — including Skype — connect the two networks to complete VoIP-to-PSTN calls or vice versa. The connection fee covers this cost.

The connection fee varies depending on the country you are calling. For instance, when making a call within the United States, a connection fee of 4.9¢ applies. This fee can be as much as 8.9¢.

There is no connection fee for calls to toll-free numbers within the U.S.

Rate Examples

Per-minute rates vary substantially depending on the country you are calling. You can enter your preferred country on the Skype website to learn its per-minute charge. Some examples from March 2020 include:

  • Calls to non-Skype landlines and mobile numbers in the U.S. cost 2.3 cents per minute with a 4.9-cent connection fee. Sending a text message costs 11.2 cents.
  • In France, calls in most locations including Paris cost 2.3 cents per minute, but a few outlying locations are as high as 45 cents per minute. Text messages are 13.3 cents each.
  • In India, all non-Skype calls are 1.5 cents per minute. Texts cost 7.7 cents each.
  • The rates throughout China are 2 cents per minute, with texts costing 5.5 cents.
  • Basic United Kingdom and London rates are 2.3 cents per minute, but there are a lot of outliers of this rate, and those costs are much higher. Check before you assume. United Kingdom texts are 9.9 cents each.
  • Australia rates are 2.3 cents per minute and texts are 8.8 cents each.

Before making any calls to non-Skype landlines or mobile phones, you need to purchase Skype Credit or a Skype Subscription.

Skype Credit

You pay for calls to non-Skype numbers by purchasing Skype Credit in $10 or $25 increments. The credit reloads automatically whenever your balance falls to $2.

Skype Subscriptions

If you make many calls to mobile or landline phones that aren't on Skype, you'll save money by using one of Skype's subscription plans:

  • United States Subscription — includes unlimited minutes to non-Skype mobiles and landlines in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Guam for $2.99 per month.
  • North American Subscription — includes unlimited minutes for calls to landlines and mobiles in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virginia Islands, and American Samoa for $6.99 per month.
  • World Subscription — includes unlimited minutes to mobiles and landlines in eight countries, and unlimited minutes for landlines only in 55 countries for $13.99 per month.

Skype offers a 5 percent discount on the monthly subscription rates to users who pay every three months and a 15 percent discount to users who pay once a year. These prices are accurate as of March 2020.

Calling toll-free numbers does not accrue a charge in the United States.