Q: My aunt has an iPhone 4 and I have a fourth-generation iPod touch. If she FaceTimes me will it cost her any minutes initially while she makes the connection? Also, I have an Apple ID registered on my debit card; since I have nearly zero balance I will shut down the account. Will my Apple ID stop working? I don’t use it to make any purchases—I just needed one for FaceTime.
A: There are no costs associated with placing a FaceTime call between two iOS devices as these calls travel entirely over your Wi-Fi connection via Apple’s FaceTime service—they do not use the cellular voice or data network at all.
Note that if you are placing an initial voice call between two iPhones and then switch to a FaceTime call, you will be charged the minutes for the duration of the voice call, as this acts like any other voice call on the cellular network. Once you switch to FaceTime, however, the voice call ends and you are no longer charged for the time you’re using FaceTime.
The iPhone makes this appear completely seamless, but what you’re technically doing is ending the voice call entirely and initiating a new, separate FaceTime call.
Similarly, you do not need to have a payment method associated with your Apple ID in order to use FaceTime, since there are no costs involved. A payment method is only needed if you intend to make purchases using that Apple ID, such as buying apps or music from the iTunes Store or making retail purchases from Apple’s Online Store.