In March 2020 I traveled to Canada and researched the best sim card in Canada for travel. 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.
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 informed at all the mobile internet providers which sim only plans for Canada they were offering for tourists.
3 best Canada sim cards to order 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 valid all over Canada
- Valid for 15 days
- 5 GB data valid all over Canada + Mexico
- Unlimited calls and sms to Canada, USA, Europe, Brazil and many more
- Valid for 15 days
- 30 GB data valid all over Canada
- Unlimited calls and sms to Canada, USA and Mexico
- Valid for 30 days
The above AT&T Smart Data X sim card for Canada is your best buy whenever planning a 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.
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.
If you want the best Canada sim card deals you will have to drive to a mall and walk into one of the phone shops. Make sure to bring you passport or an ID.
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.
4 Best Prepaid sim cards for Canada travel
When you decided not to buy a Canada sim card online you can still get them on arrival in Canada and these are the prices for Canada prepaid sim cards.
1. Telus Mobility
They offer 3 different tourist sim cards:
- $35 CAD = 1 GB data - unlimited sms + calling - 1000 minutes international calling.
- $45 CAD = 4 GB data - unlimited sms + calling - 1000 minutes international calling.
- $75 CAD = 20 GB data - unlimited sms + calling - 1000 minutes international calling.
All Telus prepaid sim card packages are valid for 30 days in all of Canada.
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:
- $45 CAD = 2 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $55 CAD = 4 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $60 CAD = 6 GB data - unlimited calling in Canada - unlimited texting worldwide.
- $65 CAD = 8 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.
3. Bell Canada
Bell Canada prepaid sim cards are rather expensive:
- $55 CAD = 2 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.
4. Rogers Canada
To be honest I don’t think Rogers perpaid sim cards are even worth mentioning. For example the biggest data bundle is 1 GB and that costs already $65 CAD.
Best mobile network in Canada
Now that we have seen the 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
Telus Mobility Canada network coverage
Bell Canada network coverage (Virgin Mobile)
Rogers Mobility Canada network coverage
From the above it is clear that Telus Mobility has by far the best Canada mobile network.
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 tourists. For $75 CAD you get 20 GB data plus unlimited calling and texting and even 1000 international minutes.
Buy a Canada sim card online
To save the hassle of finding a Telus Mobility phone shop before getting connected I recommend buying a Canada sim card online. For $79.90 you get 30 GB data and unlimited calling and texting in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Click on the link to see all online deals for a sim card for Canada travel.
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.