What are Communications Credits?

Communications Credits are a convenient way to pay for Audio Conferencing and Calling Plan minutes. It helps ensure you and your users are never caught without being able to:

  • Add toll-free numbers to use with Audio Conferencing meetings, auto attendants, or call queues. Toll-free calls are billed per minute and require a positive Communications Credits balance.

  • Dialing out from an Audio Conference meeting to add someone else from anywhere in the world.

  • Dialing out from an Audio Conference meeting to your mobile phone with the Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams app installed to destinations that aren't already included in your subscription.

  • Dial any international phone number when you have Domestic Calling Plan subscriptions.

  • Dial international phone numbers beyond what is included in a Domestic and International Calling Plan subscription.

  • Dial out and pay per minute once you have exhausted your monthly minute allotment.

Note

Outbound calls to some destinations may be included in your Audio Conferencing subscription. Please check your subscription information for details.

Note

If your organization is located in a different region than the billing address of your Enterprise Agreement (EA), you might not be able to purchase Communications Credits. If you are unable to acquire Communications Credits, open a support incident from the portal and we will work with you to mitigate this issue until a permanent solution is in place.

What are the Communications Credits rates?

If you're wondering how what the cost of the calls are for Calling Plans, see Communications Credits Rates for Calling Plans.

What is it?

To use toll-free numbers in Skype for Business, Communications Credits are required as these calls are billed per minute. Also, we recommend that you set up Communications Credits for your Calling Plan and Audio Conferencing users who need the ability to dial out to any PSTN destination. Many countries/regions are included, but some destinations may not be included in your Calling Plan or Audio Conferencing subscriptions. If you don't set up Communications Credits or assign a license to your users and you run out minutes for your organization (depending on your Calling Plan, Audio Conferencing plan, or your country/region), those users won't be able to make calls or dial out from Online Audio Conferencing meetings.

Note

You must set up Communications Credits and then assign a Communications Credits license for each user in the Office 365 admin center > Users > Active Users.

It's recommended that you carefully evaluate your organization's PSTN Service usage in order to understand the best setup for Communications Credits. You can see more about PSTN services by reading What are Calling Plans in Office 365? and Audio Conferencing common questions.

You can set up consumption billing using a one-time funding of the pre-paid balance OR by setting up an auto-recharge ( recommended ) amount with a minimum balance that will trigger a purchase for that recharge amount. Initially, it's suggested that you set up auto recharge amounts that allow you to monitor actual usage and find the right auto recharge thresholds that meet your needs and usage patterns. Communications Credits should be monitored over time and then adjust the minimum balance and recharge amounts as needed to be tailored for each organization's needs.

Note

You can see the plans and pricing by signing in to the Office 365 admin center and going to Billing > Subscriptions > Add subscriptions.

In the Office 365 admin center > Billing > Subscriptions, you can add credit manually at any time. You can also enable the Auto-recharge option, which will allow automatic account refills when the balance falls below the threshold that you set. If you choose to fund your Communications Credits balance with a one-time amount and then the balance falls to zero, the additional calling scenarios above will no longer work, including toll-free phone numbers. As such, it's recommended that you use the Auto-recharge setting to avoid any disruption of service should your Communications Credits balance reach 0 (zero). You will be sent an email when recharge transactions succeed, recharge transactions fail (such as an expired credit card), and or your Communications Credits balance reaches 0 (zero).

Communications Credits

Each organization will have a different usage of Calling Plans volume and rates to consider. You will need to get this type of usage data from your current service provider. For organizations using Skype for Business already as their service provider, you can get usage data by reviewing it in either Office 365 admin center > Reports or Skype for Business admin center > Reports > PSTN usage details.

When you are setting up Communications Credits, you will need to investigate call usage for your organization to determine the amounts that you will need to put in. You can get call usage information by reviewing the PSTN usage details report. This report lets you export the call data records to Excel and create custom reports.

We recommended that you begin by using a small funding amount, which for smaller organizations could be even the minimum of $20. After you gather a month or two of PSTN usage using the PSTN usage details report, you'll be able to adjust the amounts to meet the normal usage in your organization.

If you're ready to set this all up, see Set up Communications Credits for your organization.

Want to know about plans and pricing?

You can see the plans and pricing by visiting one of the following links:

You can also see information about pricing by signing in to the Office 365 admin center and going to Billing > Subscriptions > Add subscriptions.

To see a table with the license or licenses you will need for each feature, see Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams add-on licensing.

Skype for Business PSTN usage report