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Why Some Area Codes Are More Prestigious Than Others?



Why Some Area Codes Are More Prestigious Than Others

Area codes are the three numbers at the start of the phone number. These three numbers identify a geographical region. Your area code connects you to a specific location no matter where you go.

Some area codes, like 212 in New York City or 310 in Los Angeles, are special and prestigious. Several area codes look prestigious due to their history, the population they cover, their Cultural importance, and many more.  

Besides this local pride, why are some area codes more prestigious than others? Let’s explore this in this article.


  • Area codes are the 3-digit numbers at the start of a phone number, identifying geographical regions. 
  • Prestigious area codes are often linked to major cities and business and commerce hubs.
  • The first area codes, such as 201 (New Jersey), have a longer history and are considered more prestigious. 
  • A prestigious area code can boost a business’s reputation, build trust, and attract high-profile clients.
  • Prestigious area codes are limited in supply, making them more valuable. 

Why Some Area Codes Are More Prestigious?

1. Association with Major Cities

Area codes are associated with major cities to gain importance because these cities are big hubs for businesses and commerce. For example, area code 213 (Los Angeles) often brings more opportunities than 308 area code (Nebraska) because 213 cities have larger economies, more skilled manpower, and better connections to other businesses. 

213 area code of california

On the other hand, area codes like 308 may not have the same advantage due to the fewer businesses and fewer chances to expand because they are in smaller and less known areas and have fewer economic opportunities. While these both area codes have their own advantages, such as lower costs of living or specific industries, that may not attract as much attention of investment compared to the major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles or Atlanta.   

308 area code of Nebraska

From a business perspective, operating in a prestigious area code like 213 (Los Angeles) can boost the business. Investors often prefer to be associated with well-known cities that are economically strong rather than 308 area codes, which may have fewer resources and recognition. So, the choice of the area code can impact a business’s reputation and its potential for success, illustrating why businesses might prefer operating in prestigious area codes linked to major cities.

2. Originality and History

Before the introduction of area codes in 1947, everyone had a phone number that consisted of only 7 digits. As the population grew, the limited number of combinations possible with 7 digits became insufficient. To address this issue, the concept of area codes was developed.

Under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), each phone number was assigned a unique prefix based on its location. AT&T divided the United States and Canada into separate regions known as numbering plan areas (NPAs). Each region was given a 3-digit number prefix called an Area Code.

The first area codes assigned to a region are seen as more prestigious because they have a longer history and originality. For example in New Jersey city, area code 201 is highly valued because it is one of the oldest area code in USA. It became a famous for representing Jersey City, which is the important part of the city. In contrast 201 was split in 1997, creating the need to update some of the phone numbers even it covers the same area.

201 area code of New Jersey

Area codes like 201 are prestigious because they’ve been associated with iconic parts of the city for a long time. Businesses and people often prefer having a phone number with a prestigious like area code 212 because it shows a strong connection to a well-known and historic area.

3. Perception and Impact

Our brains make the quick judgements, including when it come to phone numbers. Area codes particularly associated with the major cities which shape our impression on the caller. Imaging receiving the call 212 on the caller ID, which is associated with the New York city, it creates an impression for a professional from a well established firm. 

For businesses, especially those in competitive industries like finance, entertainment, or technology, a prestigious area code may attract higher-profile clients and partners. However, It is important to remember that area code prestige doesn’t guarantee actual importance. From a crowded marketplace, a recognizable area code can help your business grab attention.

Having a prestigious area code might make people think better of you first. It might catch the receiver’s attention and encourage them to answer the call. 

4. Considerations for Businesses

For business having a prestigious area code becomes the plus point, it help to build the trust, and grab the initial attention. Well known area code helps to build the trust, grab attention, and builds trust. In competitive market, a recognizable area code can make your business stand out from the crowd. 

Getting the desired phone number with an area code can be more expensive. Businesses with important area codes may find it easier to connect with high-profile clients and partners. 

A recognized area code is a marketing tool that attracts attention and makes it look like the business is in a big, important city.  For example, the 800 series area codes (such as 800 area code, 833 area code, 888 area code, and 877 area code) are toll-free numbers that are widely recognized across the United States.

833 area code

They are often associated with national businesses and customer service lines. Using an 800 series area code can make a business appear nationwide and show they cares about customer service and being easy to reach.

5. Limited Availability

The basic principle of supply and demand applies to area codes as well. When a particular area code has a limited number of available phone numbers, it becomes more prestigious. Often, the first area codes assigned to a region become the most prestigious.  These original codes represent the initial growth and success of the area. 

As cities and areas grew, these original area codes became known and respected. They became symbols of the area’s history and importance. People and businesses like these original area codes because they show a connection to the area’s past and represent its significance.

For example’ Area codes like 212 in New York City and 415 area code in San Francisco are very prestigious. They were some of the first codes given to these cities and are symbols of their importance. For example, 212 is connected with Manhattan’s busy business and cultural activities, while 415 shows Silicon Valley’s creativity.

These area codes have been used for a long time and are linked with big cities and successful industries. That’s why they are seen as more special compared to newer area codes or ones from less well-known places.

Because they are hard to get and have a long history, these original area codes are seen as more special than newer ones or those from less well-known places. They are valued for what they represent and how recognizable they are to people.

Use Cases of Prestigious Area Codes

Building Brand Image

A well-known area code, especially one linked to a famous financial hub, can enhance brand visibility. Customers tend to trust businesses that appear local. For example, the 212 area code in New York City indicates that the business is situated in a major financial and cultural center. This helps the company stand out from competitors; a recognizable area code sets your business apart. Additionally, well-known area codes are easy to remember, making customers more likely to recall and recognize a number with a familiar area code.

Boosting local presence

If your targeted audience is in a specific area, having a local area code makes your business appear more local and established. In the competitive market, having a prestigious area code can help a business stand out as a local leader. Businesses with a 310 area code in Los Angeles might be seen as more established and reputable than others with less familiar area codes.

Standing out the competitors

Prestigious area codes grab the recipient’s attention, making them more curious and likely to remember your call or message. For example, a 212 area code in New York City or a 310 area code in Los Angeles suggests that your business is more well-established in a major city than a competitor with less known area code. 

Prestigious area codes are often linked to major cities or successful business centers. For example, a financial consulting firm with a 212 number (New York City) might be seen as more established and experienced compared to a competitor with a less well-known area code.

Personal Influence

Having a prestigious area code can make a consultant or freelancer look more professional. For example, someone with a 415 area code in San Francisco might seem more influential and well-connected in their field, which helps them make better connections with others in the industry and gain more trust from clients and partners.

Top 3 Alternatives to Prestigious Area Codes

1. Toll-free numbers

Toll-free numbers are instantly recognizable and free for customers to call. A single toll-free number can serve your entire customer base, regardless of location.

toll free number call

They are commonly used for customer service and marketing purposes. Toll-free numbers typically have a monthly fee and may not offer the same localized connection as a local area code. 

2. Vanity Numbers

Unlike standard area code numbers with random digits, vanity numbers are easy to remember. For example, a company might use 1-800-WAREHOUSE  as its vanity number, making it easier for customers to remember and dial. 

3. Virtual phone number

Virtual phone numbers are powerful alternatives to traditional or prestigious area codes. Virtual numbers allow businesses to choose numbers from different geographical locations, regardless of their location. Unlike fixed landlines, virtual numbers allow you to choose any prestigious area code. Virtual phone numbers can be easily added or removed as your business grows. You can manage all your virtual numbers from a single, centralized online platform. 

Get Prestigious Area Code Phone Number Online.

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Certain area codes are seen as more prestigious because they are linked to major cities, have historical significance, and represent economic opportunities. Area codes like 212 (New York City) and 310 (Los Angeles) are valued for these reasons. 

For businesses, having a prestigious area code can improve their reputation, build trust, and attract important clients. These area codes are rare, making them even more desirable. 

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Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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