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 Microsoft Teams app or Skype for Business 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've exhausted your monthly minute allotment.
Dial out and pay per minute for all outgoing calls, if you have a Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan.
Can I use Communication Credits?
Not all customers can or should use Communication Credits. Below are a few reasons why you can't or shouldn't use Communication Credits.
Call destinations may be included in your subscription
Outbound calls to some destinations may be included in your Audio Conferencing or Calling Plan subscription. Check your subscription information for details before purchasing Communication Credits you don't need.
Conflicting organization addresses
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're unable to purchase Communications Credits, open a support incident from the portal, and we'll work with you to mitigate this issue until a permanent solution is in place.
Customers with new commerce experience calling subscriptions
The new commerce experience (NCE) allows customers to pay for services after the services have been consumed, also known as post-usage billing.
Because Communication Credits is a pre-paid budget to support outgoing minutes, it’s not available to purchase for customers with NCE calling subscriptions.
Instead, NCE customers will pay for overage outgoing minutes after they've used them. There's no need for a pool of Communication Credits.
Your Calling or Audio Conferencing plan is through a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)
If you purchased your Calling or Audio Conferencing plan through a CSP, you won't be able to acquire Communication Credits in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
To fund your Calling or Audio Conferencing plan with Communication Credits, you should directly purchase your Calling and Audio Conferencing plans from Web Direct or Volume License agreement (VL) channels.
What are the Communications Credits rates?
If you're wondering what the cost of the calls are for Microsoft Teams Calling Plans, see Cloud-Based Phone System for Voice Calling (scroll down to "See rates for where you want to call").
What is it?
To use toll-free numbers, 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.
You must set up Communications Credits and then assign a Communications Credits license for each user in the Microsoft 365 admin center > Users > Active Users. Communications Credits licenses will appear as unlimited in quantity as they are used to grant access to the Communications Credits balance for any user to which you assign the Communications Credits license.
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 Phone System and Calling Plans 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.
You can see the plans and pricing by signing in to the Microsoft 365 admin center and going to Billing > Subscriptions > Add subscriptions. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Billing > Purchase Services > Add Ons you can select Communication Credits to add the credits, and 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 other 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 may view your current Communication Credits balance by going to Billing > Your products > Communications Credits.
You will be sent emails to all users with Lync Service Administrator, Company Administrator, Billing Administrator, Company Administrator, User Account Administrator, Helpdesk Administrator, Service Support Administrator, Billing Administrator, Lync Service Administrator, Device Administrators, Application Administrator, License Administrator, Cloud Device Administrator, Authentication Administrator, Privileged Authentication Administrator, Teams Communications Administrator, Teams Communications Support Engineer, Teams Communications Support Specialist, Teams Administrator admin roles, when recharge transactions succeed, recharge transactions fail (such as an expired credit card), and or your Communications Credits balance reaches 0 (zero).
Each organization will have a different usage of Calling Plans volume and rates to consider. You'll need to get this type of usage data from your current service provider. For organizations using Teams already as their service provider, you can get usage data by reviewing it in the Microsoft Teams admin center > Analytics & reports > Usage reports, and then select PSTN and SMS (preview)usage.
When you're setting up Communications Credits, you'll need to investigate call usage for your organization to determine the amounts that you'll need to put in. You can get call usage information by reviewing the PSTN usage report. This report lets you export the call data records to Excel and create custom reports.
Important notifications related to the Communication Credits balance of your organization will be sent to the following admins:
- Billing Administrator
- Skype for Business Administrator
- Global Administrator
- User Administrator
- Helpdesk Administrator
- Service Support Administrator
- Azure AD Joined Device Local Administrator
- Application Administrator
- License Administrator
- Cloud Device Administrator
- Authentication Administrator
- Privileged Authentication Administrator
- Teams Communications Administrator
- Teams Communications Support Engineer
- Teams Communications Support Specialist
- Teams Administrator
Communications Credits are also used for premium rate numbers. The caller pays the charges.
Recommended funding amounts
We recommended that you begin by using a small funding amount, which for smaller organizations could be even the minimum of $50. 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 up Communication Credits, 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 Microsoft 365 admin center and going to Billing > Purchase Services.
To see a table with the license or licenses you'll need for each feature, see Microsoft Teams add-on licensing.