When traveling to Canada don’t waste money on high roaming costs, buy a Canada sim card! In this article you will find all the pay as you go sim card operators in Canada, the best network for you, the prices and even Canada sim cards that you can order online. A local sim card is the best way to stay connected and it is easy, reliable, cheapest and gives you the fastest internet connection!
When arriving in Toronto I looked for buying a sim card at Toronto Airport, but damn those prices were insane and value for money was terrible. Therefore I went to the mall and gathered info from all the mobile internet providers if they were selling sim only plans for Canada.
LET ME WARN YOU! Canada is probably the most ridiculous country when it comes to prices for data. I sincerely have no clue how Canadians deal with this, but for 1 GB data you easily pay about $30 CAD!
Prices for prepaid sim cards in Canada are through the roof and the value for money is INSANELY BAD! You are MUCH better off buying a Canada sim card online! Keep readin and you will understand...
Prepaid sim cards in Canada are expensive and there are some pretty good deals for world sim cards with coverage in Canada. Check out my article about the 11 Best Worldwide Sim Cards in 2021. Also most of the USA prepaid sim cards cover all of Canada and their data bundles are valid in Canada as well. Check my article about the Best Prepaid USA Sim Cards in 2021 for those with free roaming in Canada.
Where to buy a Canada sim card
There is always an option to buy a sim card at the airport, but mostly that is not a good idea. I did for example research for buying a sim card at Toronto Airport and the value for money was NOT good either!
If you want the best Canada sim card deals you will have to drive to a mall and walk into one of the official retail stores. On top of that you can now also get sim cards for Canada in bigger gas stations, convenience stores like 7Eleven, Dollarama and even in some grocery stores.
TIP: When buying a Canada prepaid sim card bring your passport!
Buy a Canada sim card online
To save the hassle of finding a mobile phone store on your Canada tripI recommend buying a Canada sim card online. For $49.90 you can already get 10 GB and for $79.90 you get 30 GB data and unlimited calling and texting in Canada, USA and Mexico. Click here to see all online deals for a sim card for Canada.
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Mobile internet operators in Canada
Canada is a damn huge country, but not that many people live here. Surprisingly there are a lot of mobile internet providers in Canada. But are they all offering a temporary Canada sim card?
These are the 4 main mobile internet providers in Canada who all offer Canada wide pay as you go sim cards:
- Telus Mobility
- Virgin Mobile
- Bell Canada
On top of that there are a handful local mobile internet providers like Freedom Mobile, Chatr, Videotron Mobile, WIND Mobile, etc. These providers do NOT operate Canada wide, but could still be a good fit if you do a city trip in Canada.
Prepaid sim cards for Canada in 2021
These are the Canada sim card prices you will find on arrival in Canada
1. Telus Mobility
They offer 3 different Canada tourist sim cards:
- $45 CAD = 1 GB data - unlimited sms + calling.
- $65 CAD = 3 GB data - unlimited sms + calling.
All Telus prepaid sim card packages are valid for 30 days in all of Canada. For more info head over to the Telus prepaid deals on their website.
2. Virgin Mobile Canada
Virgin Mobile operates on the Bell Canada network. They charge $10 CAD for activating their prepaid sim card. On top of that they offer the following sim only deals:
- $40 CAD = 1 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $50 CAD = 5 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $65 CAD = 7 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $75 CAD = 10 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
All Virgin Mobile Canada prepaid sim card packages are valid for 30 days. For more info have a look at the prepaid plans on the Virgin Mobile Canada website.
3. Bell Canada
Bell Canada prepaid sim cards are rather expensive:
- $45 CAD = 1 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $65 CAD = 3 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
Bell Canada is half the value for money compared to Virgin Mobile Canada. An absolute no-go as they even operate on the same network. If you are still interested to get more info about their prepaid sim cards click here to go to the Bell Canada prepaid plans on their website.
4. Rogers Canada
To be honest I don’t think Rogers prepaid sim cards are even worth mentioning. For example the biggest data bundle is 1 GB and that costs already $65 CAD! May you still be interested then click on the link to go to the prepaid plans on the Rogers Canada website.
Best mobile network in Canada
Now that we have seen the (ridiculous) prices, let’s have a look at the best mobile network coverage in Canada so that we can determine what is the best sim card for Canada travel (source nperf.com). Virgin Mobile operates on the Bell Canada network. Is there even 5G in Canada yet?
Telus Mobility Canada network coverage
Bell Canada network coverage (also Virgin Mobile)
Rogers Mobility Canada network coverage
From the above Canada coverage maps from January 2021 it is clear that Telus Mobility has by far the best Canada mobile network. With a bit of luck you can also get a 5G signal, but it seems that the Virgin and Bell network is NOT yet ready for 5G.
Best prepaid sim card in Canada
After reviewing all the pay as you go deals and the network coverage it is an easy conclusion that Telus Mobility is the best prepaid Canada sim card. For $75 CAD you get 20 GB data plus unlimited calling and texting.
Order a Canada sim cards online
Before diving more into the best prepaid sim card for Canada, I can already tell you that you save a lot of hassle by buying one online. These are the 3 best sim cards for Canada travel I could find online.
- 6 GB data all over Canada
- Valid for 15 days
- Price: $35.95
- 22 GB data in Canada, USA and Mexico
- Unlimited Calling/Texting
- Valid for 15 days
- 5 GB data all over Canada + Mexico
- Unlimited calls and sms to Canada, USA, Europe, Brazil and many more
- Valid for 15 days
- 30 GB data all over Canada
- Unlimited calls and sms to Canada, USA and Mexico
- Valid for 30 days
The above AT&T sim card for Canada is your best buy for your trip to Canada!
All the above sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip to Canada. They are already activated so you will be online as soon as the plane touches the ground. In case you don’t want to order your Canada sim card online, you can also buy a local sim card on arrival.
Portable wifi device for Canada
Another option to consider instead of buying a Canada sim card is to get a Teppy. This portable WiFi device from TEP Wireless lets you connect up to 5 devices at the same time and gives you unlimited internet for a couple dollars per day. Perfect for traveling with children! Click on the link above or the banner below for more info.
Canada travel blogs
I hope all the above information for buying a Canada sim card was helpful for your upcoming trip. In case you are heading to Halifax, Montreal, Jasper, Edmonton, Niagara Falls click on the link for my travel guides. Or see all my Canada travel blogs in this link.
In case you still have questions please send me a message on my Instagram account: @traveltomtom. Here you can also follow my journey to every country in the world.