Best long-distance service with AA miles?

 
Old Jul 25, 01, 12:28 pm
  #1  
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Best long-distance service with AA miles?

My latest AT&T bill is the last straw; I am ready to change. Any suggestion for the best offer out there to get AA miles?
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Old Jul 26, 01, 8:20 pm
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I think you're stuck with MCI if you want miles, but I'd sooner use 2 cans and some string. I went back to them for 5k miles, but got burned on the bills (ouch - watch out if you call canada and haven't called in with the magic $7 per month service charge, etc.) Finally, the raised the rates retroactively )Starteed billing in March adn no notice until May's bill) and told me they had the freedom to do so if they like. Never again, unless it's for a LOT more miles.



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Old Jul 26, 01, 8:30 pm
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You can get Starwood points from AT&T that can convert to AA (or tons of other airlines).
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Old Jul 26, 01, 8:58 pm
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As of Aug 1, the long distance companies will not be able to change rates without notification. There have been lots of mail with that information. I have a line with power net global - no miles but 7 cents to Canada. It is next to a phone line that has MCI. I made a mistake one night and called canada on my mci line. 89 cents a minute. Thank goodness the call was only 7 minutes. I called MCI and appealed to them letting them know that I would switch. They would do nothing. I am waiting for the switch to go through. I cannot afford that kind of mistake again. To hell with the miles.

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Old Jul 26, 01, 10:03 pm
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Let's face it...

MCI is the AirTran of the long distance carriers!
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Old Jul 27, 01, 9:42 am
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dgordon, I didn't even know it was canada, and my calls (2 successive nights) were more than an hour each, and I figured I'd just eat them since they'd each only be a couple of bucks, and using the employer supplied calling card takes filling out reimbursement forms to get it paid (these were work related conference calls). Well, when the $90 bill came, MCI would do me no such favors, explaining that if I'd only signed up with their canada plan, that they'd have been 7 cents rather than 73 cents per minute.

I've never flown airtran, but I'd think it a bit harsh to compare them to MCI - sloppy, not oriented to customers, maybe - so I've heard - but MCI's pure evil.


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Old Jul 27, 01, 10:20 am
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Wow! I can't believe that my experience with MCI is so different than the previous posters. I've found their rates extremely competitive (for US and International calls) and their customer service friendly and knowledgeable.

Once I got burnt by using my calling card outside the US to a number also outside the US (I knew it was going to be expensive, but I was surprise that it was going to be *that* expensive). I called Customer Service and I got a 33% off the bill as a gesture of goodwill.

BTW, I have a $3.50/mo plan that allows me to make 7c/5c calls to Canada on weekdays/weekend in addition to AA miles.

I usually change companies every 6mo or so to keep getting their bonus (current one I have gives me 1000mi per month for the first 5mo in addition to 5mi per dollar spent).
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Old Jul 27, 01, 12:38 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by acrespo:
BTW, I have a $3.50/mo plan that allows me to make 7c/5c calls to Canada on weekdays/weekend in addition to AA miles.
</font>

acrespo, do you have a link to that particular phone deal, or did you call MCI direct?
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Old Jul 27, 01, 9:19 pm
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I've mentioned this on similar threads but I feel it's worth repeating. I've been using GTC Telecom http://www.gtctelecom.com/ which I believe has the lowest LD rates around. It's 5 cents per minute 24/7, no minimum connect time, no monthly minimum and no monthly fee.

True, you don't get any miles. But saying that MCI is the Air Tran of long distance is like giving MCI a compliment. I would say that MCI is the Aeroflot of long distance!!
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Old Jul 28, 01, 1:38 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Neal:
I've mentioned this on similar threads but I feel it's worth repeating. I've been using GTC Telecom http://www.gtctelecom.com/ which I believe has the lowest LD rates around. It's 5 cents per minute 24/7, no minimum connect time, no monthly minimum and no monthly fee.

True, you don't get any miles. But saying that MCI is the Air Tran of long distance is like giving MCI a compliment. I would say that MCI is the Aeroflot of long distance!!
</font>

Thanks for the heads up on this one, I'm gonna switch right now. I've been with MCI's AAdvantage deal (signed up back when they were giving out 25k bonus miles!) for quite some time now, but strangely enough have had zero offers from competitors to switch. Tried emailg both ATT and Sprint for an offer to switch and neither responded. Oh well, their loss. I figure if I switch to this deal, which is suprisingly good, MCI will beg me back in no time and Imight get more bonus miles out of it!


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Old Jul 28, 01, 4:55 pm
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i have been a happy MCI/Aadvantage member for some time.. the best part, IMHO is the calling card.. it gives you the same rate internationally no matter from where you call from in the US, and moreover, you also get the same rate to call the US from abroad, if you use their access numbers.. this can be a HUGE savings..

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Old Jul 28, 01, 5:28 pm
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Regards to this company and its plan when I visited its web site, I see several negative considerations (at least for business customers):

1) $4.95 per mo mandatory fee for business users on their plan
2) in-tra state rates (TX at least) are a very noncompetitive 10cents/min, WITH full minute rounding to boot
3) Study on ld rates I read indicates when FULL MINUTE ROUNDING is used, versus 6sec incremental billing after first 30sec, you should add 30% to the rate. So, instead of 7c/min, try the "effective" rate of 9.1c/min, PLUS the $4.95 mo fee.

Yes, their residential program may be a bit better, but if they aren't rounding the min to 6sec after first 30sec, then add a flat 30% increase, because every call, no matter if one second into the next minute, is counted as another full minute, just like all cell phone plan scams.

Not trying to be harsh here - but the practice of full minute rounding is a real slick knife in the back for long distance companies IMHO. ALWAYS ask if a long distance co uses 6-sec incremental billing to get true effective rate. FWIW.
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Old Jul 28, 01, 8:18 pm
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I've given up on the Big 3 for my phone service. And yes, in the process I have given up the frequent flyer direct point linkages. But the amount saved can be converted to points by donating it to a charity such as Erin Go Bragh.

I now use ECG service, which offers 4.9 interstate per minute. Their calls go over qwest lines. They bill in 6 second increments, with 18 seconds minimum per call. There is NO monthly fee. Details of their plan can be found at: http://abtolls.com/ecg.htm

Take the $4.95 a month you save from the other plans and convert it via charity like Erin Go Bragh at 15 points per dollar you get 75 points per month.

The ECG plan just happens to work for my calling patterns, but there are different plans in different states that offer similar deals suited better to other patterns. Check out the ABTolls main comparison page for your state at: http://abtolls.com/intrast.htm

Cheers!


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[This message has been edited by flyaow (edited 07-28-2001).]
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Old Jul 29, 01, 10:42 am
  #14  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ChaseTheMiles:

acrespo, do you have a link to that particular phone deal, or did you call MCI direct?
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I called them directly. At the time I was with Sprint and I called customer service and asked for a competitive offer given my calling patterns (a lot of international, little of domestic).
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Old Jul 29, 01, 12:08 pm
  #15  
 
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By the way, if you do make a lot of international calling the ABTolls site also has a complete database of rates to pretty much every single country listed by country.

It is available at http://abtolls.com/intrates.htm

Cheers!


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