When visiting Canada, North America, you are sure to want to stay in touch with family and friends. Maybe even business, if you have to. Lucky for you, Canada has plentiful network coverage and international SIM card options for travelers, available in mobile boutiques and stores. Whether you are exploring the vast wilderness in the north, traveling coast to coast, or playing tourist in one of the many metropolises, you will be able to snap a pic and send it to your friends back home using these travel SIM cards. The first four carriers, Rogers, Telus, Bell and Freedom Mobile, are the largest and cover nearly all of the Canadian population, from Toronto, to Ontario, to Vancouver, and all the towns in between. Many of the smaller carriers utilize the larger mobile networks but can provide some more budget-friendly packs and cellular plans for those who are interested in getting the most bang for their buck. Take a look at the options outlined below and remember to follow up with your own research because oftentimes there are promotions and special deals taking place. Whether you’re traveling around aboard a camper rental or camping out in the boonies in a yurt, you can stay connected! Take a look at our list of the best SIM cards for Canada.
Rogers is the largest network provider in Canada. Some plans available include 100MB of data for $10 (CAD), $20 (CAD) for 250MB, $30 (CAD) for 500 MB, and $40 (CAD) for 1GB. These plans also include unlimited calls and SMS to national lines. Rogers has very wide coverage and is in the process of phasing out 2G for 3G/4G across the country. It’s one of the most reliable tourist SIM cards in Canada too!
Bell is the third largest network provider in Canada. It is the only provider that has SIM cards for modems and tablets that can also be used in mobile phones. Plans can be purchased online or in stores. Prepaid options include 250MB and 150 local minutes for $30 (CAD) per month, 500MB and 500 minutes for $45 (CAD) per month, and 1GB and unlimited minutes for $60 (CAD) per month.
Telus is the second largest network provider in Canada, North America. It has phased out 2G for 3G/4G. Its sub-brands include Koodo and Public Mobile. For $80 (CAD) per month, you can bring your own mobile phone and get a new SIM with 3 GB of data and unlimited calling and texting nationwide. If you just need to talk and text, there are more affordable plans including a $10 (CAD) per month plan with 50 minutes of talk and 50 SMS. Or upgrade for $15 (CAD) a month and get 100 minutes and 100 SMS.
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
Camper/RV in Mississippi Station · ★4.74 · 1 bedroom · 3 beds · 1 bath
Mississippi Station, Ontario, Canada
Camper/RV in Peachland · ★4.92 · 1 bedroom · 1 bed · 1 bath
Peachland, British Columbia, Canada
4. Freedom Mobile
For data SIM cards in Canada, Freedom Mobile is one of the smaller carriers in the country and has more limited coverage. It is perfectly fine for use in large cities, but if you plan to travel to more remote locations you will be better off with one of the other providers. That being said, Freedom Mobile offers competitive pricing. Be sure to check if your mobile phone is compatible first. Plans include the Home 250MB package for $15 (CAD) per month which also includes 100 minutes of talk and unlimited text. For $25 (CAD) per month, you can upgrade to 1GB of data and call at $0.05 (CAD) per minute.
Fido has plans starting at $35 (CAD) per month if you bring in your own mobile phone and are just looking to get a SIM card. The $35 (CAD) pack gives you 500 national minutes and unlimited text with pay-per-use data. There is also a $50 (CAD) per month option that includes 3GB, 500 national minutes, and unlimited text. For those who need even more data, consider the $60 (CAD) per month option that includes 5GB, 500 national minutes, and unlimited text.
Chatr offers larger data plans for a better rate than some of the aforementioned providers. Plans include 6GB and unlimited Canada and U.S. talk and text for $50 (CAD) per month. Current promotions also offer 5GB for $45 (CAD) and 4GB for $40 (CAD) per month, both with unlimited Canada and U.S. talk and text. The cheapest options offer 50 Canada minutes and texts for $10 (CAD) per month, or a local calling plan or $20 (CAD) per month with unlimited local calls.
Koodo, one of the cheap SIM cards in Canada, runs on the country’s largest 4G LTE provider. The cheaper options include 500MG of data, no minutes, but unlimited incoming messaging for $30 (CAD) a month, or pay-per-use data, 500 minutes and unlimited messaging for $35 (CAD) per month. Upgrade to $45 (CAD) a month and you will get the same deal with unlimited minutes. The cheapest option with data is the $50 (CAD) per month pack with 3 GB, 500 minutes, and unlimited messaging.
8. Lucky Mobile
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Lucky Mobile offers plans based on zones within Canada, so check their options based on your travel plans. Base plans include unlimited local zone calls for $20 (CAD) per month. The next level offers unlimited Canada-wide calls and texts, with 2GB of data, priced at $40 (CAD) per month. For just five dollars more you can get the same deal and coverage experience with 5.5GB of data.
While better known as a convenience store, 7-Eleven in Canada offers SpeakOut prepaid plans. They include voicemail, caller ID, free incoming text messages, and 365-day expiration on all top-ups. You can add credit to your SIM and then you are subject to the following affordable rates: $0.30 (CAD) per minute local talk rate, $0.45 (CAD) per minute U.S. long-distance talk rate, and $3.50 (CAD) 411 call rate charges. If you just need to talk and text, this is a good and affordable option.
10. Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile divides its plans into a limited 500 minutes of talk, or unlimited. With 500 minutes your options include pay-per-use data for $35 (CAD) per month, 3GB for $50 (CAD) per month, or 5GB for $60 (CAD) per month. Unlimited talk rates are slightly higher, coming in at $45 (CAD) for pay-per-use data, $55 (CAD) for 3GB, and $65 (CAD) for 5 GB of data per month.
Coverage in Canada
Depending on how long you will be in the country and how much regional travel within Canada you will be doing, there are different base plans and packages with excellent mobile speeds to meet your needs. Rates in Canada are more expensive than in other countries, so it may be worth considering your access to WiFi and opting for a talk-and-text option only if you are considering overspending. As with all network providers, there are oftentimes special promotions on Canadian SIM cards so keep your eyes open.
Get Trip101 in your inbox