Understanding Carrier Fees

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Is your shop on usage billing? If you downloaded Postscript on or after 3/1/2022, then your shop is on usage billing. This article is for you.

At Postscript, we strive to be as transparent as possible with shops about how our pricing works. After thorough research and conversations with partners and customers, we determined a usage-based plan offers shops the flexibility needed to adapt to their industry throughout the year. With a usage-based approach to pricing, shops only pay for what they use and what they send.

In this article, we discuss carrier fees and how they fit into the billing process. 

What Are Carrier Fees?


Carrier fees are small surcharges that mobile carriers (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) apply to both incoming and sent messages. Carrier fees will differ based on the type of messages sent (i.e., SMS vs. MMS) and the phone number sending the message (i.e., a toll-free number or a short code).

Carrier fees cover the costs associated with the increase in commercial text messaging across carrier networks. We've included a breakdown of carrier fees below. At this time, Carrier Fees are only applicable when sending to recipients in the United States and Canada. You can view these fees by country, carrier, message type, and sending number type below. Learn more about international sending costs (outside of the US and CA) here.

United States Canada
  Short Code Toll-Free Number
  SMS MMS SMS MMS
Verizon $0.0030 $0.005 $0.0030 $0.005
AT&T $0.0025 $0.003 $0.0025 $0.003
T-Mobile $0.0025 $0.010 $0.0025 $0.010
US Cellular $0.0035 $0.010 $0.0070 $0.0025
   A Note on Inbound Carrier Fees. T-Mobile charges fees for inbound messages. Inbound fees are identical to their outbound fees listed in the table above (i.e., $0.0025 for SMS and $0.010 for MMS).

How Carrier Fees Work


When a shop sends a message, carriers check what type of message it is (i.e., SMS vs. MMS) and what type of number is sending it (i.e., toll-free or short code) and then charge the applicable fee.

At the end of the day, Postscript totals the fees related to messages a shop sent that day and updates the Estimated carrier fees line in the Usage Activity summary.

Shops on a Free or Growth plan with Postscript will be charged for usage activity each time they hit their usage cap. Once Postscript totals final carrier fees related to that usage activity, shops are charged those fees.

This means shops will see two separate, transparent charges: one for the usage activity and one for the related carrier fees.

Got Questions? We've Got Answers


  • Why are my carrier fees charged different each time even though my usage activity is the same?
    • Remember, carrier fees vary based on the type of message you send (i.e., SMS vs MMS) and the carriers delivering the messages. If, for example, you send a few back-to-back MMS campaigns during a usage activity period, the related fees would be higher. Or, maybe you sent out a campaign to your VIP customers and it just so happens that the majority of those phone numbers are on Verizon. That would impact the total charge carrier fees for the usage activity.

Get Support


Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to our wonderful Support team at support@postscript.io or via live chat. You can also submit a support request here!

Need ongoing channel strategy guidance? Please fill out this form and we'll connect you to one of our certified partners.

Don’t have a lot of time to put together your SMS marketing plan for BFCM? Check out our 60-minute strategy and checklist for ecommerce brands here

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