Premium Rate Numbers - all you need to know!

What are premium rate numbers?

Premium rate numbers are telephone numbers used to offer value-added services to subscribers at a premium charge, for example, those numbers used for TV or Radio competitions, weather forecast services, 24hr veterinary service etc...

Which are the telephone numbers that are considered as premium rate numbers?

In Malta, all the telephone numbers which start with the number five (5) are considered as premium rate numbers.

Does a call or SMS towards a premium rate number cost more than those towards a standard fixed or mobile number?

Calls or SMS to premium rate numbers, are charged at a higher rate than calls or SMS towards mobile or fixed numbers.  Whilst in the case of SMS premium rate numbers, a one-time premium charge is incurred for the event, charges for calls to premium rate numbers consists of the standard fixed call charge and an additional service charge. In order for the subscriber to be able to take a conscious decision whether to call or text to such a premium rate number, all references to any premium rate number must be clearly accompanied by all the costs which the subscriber will incur.

How can I know whether a telephone number is a premium rate number or not?

The following points may help you to identify a premium rate number:

  • The first digits of a telephone number will help you identify whether the number to which you are calling or texting is a premium rate number. All premium rate numbers start with the number five (5).
  • Look out for the applicable tariff charge as this information should always be made public when the particular service is advertised or referred to; and
  • Contact your service provider for information on specific premium numbers.

(Note that premium rate numbers in other countries may have a different number and charging structures from those applicable in Malta).