SMS Billing and Credits

Arbor's powerful built-in messaging platform allows you to quickly and easily contact students, guardians and staff.

While emails are free to send, there is a small processing fee for SMS. To keep costs down for schools, messages are pre-purchased in bundles of SMS Credits. 1 SMS = 1 Credit. The larger the credit bundle, the cheaper each message becomes. 

From the date of sending your first SMS, Arbor gives you a 30 day grace period to purchase a SMS bundle. This means that you'll still be able to send all your essential messages to students and guardians while you top up your SMS Credits.


SMS Credit Balance

The balance of your SMS Credits can be viewed at any time on the SMS Billing page in Arbor. This can be found by going to School > Communication > Setup > SMS Billing. 



Click the Usage tab to see your usage.



Credits and characters

Please note that the character limit of 153 characters is only an estimate. This is the maximum number of characters allowed, but the real number will be lower to account for an estimated 22 characters for the school name that we append to the end of the message.

The actual number of characters and credits is shown when sending an SMS.


This shows a more accurate credit estimate, which often varies on a per-recipient basis because of merge fields (and recipients with foreign or Channel Islands phone numbers). 


How do we know we're running low on SMS credits?

No surprises when you need to send important messages and find you don’t have enough credits! If you have permission to top up your school's SMS balance, we'll send you email reminders when you're running low on SMS credits.

Users with the School: Communication: Setup permission will receive an email when your balance is below 150 credits, and another reminder when your balance is at or below 0.




Adding more credits

SMS unlimited

Tired of running out of SMS credits? Our new SMS Unlimited package gives you uncapped text messages for a year - all for one fixed fee of only £2 per student (with a minimum of £300 per school).

Get in touch with our Account Manager Team to find out more at

Make sure you use up your existing credits before moving to SMS unlimited, as any existing credits will not be saved or reimbursed!

Please note: We accept that there are peaks in the school year but we reserve the right to review excessive SMS usage. We will begin reviewing usage above 2 SMS credits (1 SMS credit = approx. 153 characters) per week per number of pupils (this includes messages sent to any recipient). If this is breached, we reserve the right not to renew annual SMS Unlimited subscriptions with 90 days notice. 


Topping up SMS Credits

To purchase an SMS Bundle and top up your Credits, select the bundle you wish to purchase from the SMS Billing page.

Once the bundle is added to your basket, click Checkout and select your preferred method of billing. Credits purchased by Debit/Credit Card or Direct Debit will be instantly added to your account, while payment by Check/BACS will require processing before Credits are added.    

0 out of 0 found this helpful
I'm still stuck!



Please sign in to leave a comment.