Planning a trip to Canada and wondering what is the best way to stay connected? Don’t waste money on high roaming charges or get frustrated by slow overseas data roaming plans. This is a complete guide for finding the best sim card for your trip to Canada.

Find out where to buy a prepaid sim card for Canada, the best e-sim cards for Canada, up to date prices as per June 2024, the best 4G/5G network in Canada, my recommendation, information about international sim cards and more.

Heads up! Canada is probably the most ridiculous country when it comes to prices for prepaid data plans: 1 GB data will cost you around $30 CAD ($22 USD)!

It is much cheaper to order a travel sim card or an e-sim card for Canada on the internet before your trip. Have a look at my article with the best International sim cards in 2024 or even better my guide with the best e-sim cards for traveling to Canada in 2024 including everything you need to know about e-sims.

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 reading and you will understand...

The first thing I do in a new country is either buying a local prepaid sim card or getting an e-sim card to stay connected. In total I wrote more than 200 local prepaid sim card guides from all over the world: AsiaEurope, Guatemala, BrazilIstanbul, Nairobi, Cairo, Cape Town, Lisbon, Oslo, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Vietnam, New York, Bogota, Dominican Republic and many more!

How I get to all these places? Traveltomtom is trying to visit every country in the world and has been to more than 155 countries as of June 2024.

So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid sim card and e-sim card advice for your next destination. Bookmark me and let me help you save money.

When arriving in Toronto I also looked for buying a sim card at Toronto Airport, but damn those prices were insane and value for money was terrible! What's up with your prepaid sim cards for tourists Canada!?

There are some pretty good deals for world sim cards with coverage in Canada. Also, most of the Mexico and USA prepaid sim cards cover all of Canada and data bundles are valid in Canada too with free roaming. Check my article about the Best Prepaid USA Sim Cards in 2024 or the best Mexico sim cards in 2024 for those with free roaming in Canada.

Why buying a sim card for Canada

A local prepaid sim card is the cheapest way to stay connected and it is easy, reliable and gives you the fastest data speed connection! Therefore Traveltomtom normally always recommends buying a sim card on arrival in a new country.

Most hotels, bars, malls and restaurants offer free pubic WiFi in Canada, yet I still recommend you to buy a sim card in Canada. Having a working data connection can save you a lot of hassle and traveling gets simply more convenient. Canada is a HUGE country and staying connected while on long straight boring roads keeps you entertained, but what about getting directions from Google Maps, finding a nearby restaurant or ordering an Uber to get back to your hotel. Many reasons I can come up with to buy a sim card for your trip to Canada.

Keep in mind that surfing the web on free public WiFi is through an unsecured network. The use of a VPN is recommended!

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends a Telus Mobility prepaid sim card for Canada. Telus has the best 4G/5G network coverage in Canada and the best value prepaid sim card data plans: for $70 CAD ($52 USD) you get 20 GB data.

As you can see buying a prepaid sim card in Canada is very expensive and therefore it is wise to look at other ways to stay connected when traveling to Canada.

Buying a tourist sim card for Canada on the internet is much cheaper.

The best and cheapest way to stay connected when traveling to Canada is an e-sim card for Canada with 20 GB data for 30 days for $34.90 USD, also available as prepaid sim card.

Click on the link to directly order one or check out my guide with everything you need to know about Canada e-sim cards including a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Canada in 2024.

There are also international physical prepaid sim cards and these are also cheaper than buying a sim card for tourists on arrival in Canada.

Traveltomtom recommends global sim cards with for example 10 GB data for less than $29.90 USD. Check out our comparison of the best world travel sim cards in 2024.

Make sure your phone is unlocked otherwise a sim card for Canada won't work in your phone. This also counts for international prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards.

However, the easiest way to get connected these days is an e-sim card. Arrange everything online in just a couple clicks.

Best e-sim cards for Canada

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Canada in 2024 are e-sim cards. No more swapping physical sim cards or visiting a phone store.

You order an e-sim card for Canada on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Canada e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Canada it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Canada.

Traveltomtom wrote also an extensive guide with everything you need to know before buying an e-sim card for Canada in 2024.

Airalo

airalo esim card plans for canada 2024

Airalo is a reliable e-sim card provider which Traveltomtom has used in more than 50 countries around the world. Check out the following Airalo e-sim card plans for Canada for 2024:

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $6 USD
  • 2 GB data for 15 days = $11 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $15 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $18 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $35 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $49 USD

Click here to order an e-sim cards for Canada directly via Airalo.

Airalo always has ongoing promotions and lately they had their Canada e-sim card plans on sale and offered a 50% discount.

The above data-only e-sim cards for Canada are from Tuque Mobile and data is only valid in Canada. Tuque Mobile operates on the Rogers 4G/LTE, Bell 5G and Telus 5G network. So yes, these e-sim cards for Canada are 5G ready.

SimOptions

simoptions esim cards for canada 2024

SimOptions has several different kind of e-sim cards for Canada, so called international e-sim cards. In fact, these are the best e-sim card deals for Canada in 2024.

The international e-sim cards are valid in up to 141 countries, including Canada:

  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
  • 20 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
  • 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD

Click here to order an international e-sim card for Canada via SimOptions.

In my opinion the Three HK e-sim cards from SimOptions are the best buy e-sim card for traveling to Canada. The best thing is that you can order it directly online through the link above and arrive prepared.

Traveltomtom readers have reported that TikTok is not working without a VPN on these Three HK e-sim cards due to regulations in Hong Kong.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for canada 2024

Nomad is another trusted e-sim provider. Traveltomtom reviewed Nomad e-sim cards in more than 10 countries and they worked like a breeze. Nomad has often very competitive e-sim card prices compared to Airalo and SimOptions.

  • 1 GB data for 7 days = $6 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $12 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $17 USD
  • 10 GB data for 30 days = $30 USD

Click here to order a Nomad e-sim card for Canada.

Nomad has proven to be a great e-sim partner however, Traveltomtom has faced some issues with Nomad lately and therefore it is not Traveltomtom first choice when recommending an e-sim card for traveling to Canada.

Before ordering an e-sim card for Canada make sure your your mobile phone is e-sim card compatible otherwise an e-sim card is not going to work. How to find out? Simply type it in on Google and find your answer instantly... 'is my X phone sim card compatible?'.

Find more info check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Canada in 2024.

All the above e-sim cards for Canada are data-only. If you also want to make phone calls it is better to order a physical sim card for Canada. For $49.90 USD you get 10 GB data and for $79.90 USD you get 30 GB data both sim cards with unlimited calling and texting in Canada, USA and Mexico. Click here to see all the international prepaid sim card deals for Canada from SimOptions.

Where to buy a sim card for Canada

International Airport on arrival

Buying a prepaid sim card for Canada on arrival at the airport sounds like a great idea. In fact it would be one of the most convenient places to buy a sim card for Canada of course. Unfortunately the reality is that it is almost impossible to find a good prepaid sim card for tourists on an international airport in Canada.

For more info check out my guide for buying a sim card at Toronto Airport, but I can already tell you that it is not going to make you smile. The conclusion is the same as in this article: buy your sim card for traveling in Canada online! At the airports of Quebec, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa it is all the same story.

Phone stores in city center

If you want the best prepaid sim card deals in Canada you will have to drive to a mall and walk into one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators. On top of that you can also get prepaid sim cards for Canada in bigger gas stations and convenience stores like 7Eleven, Dollarama and even in some grocery stores.

However, Traveltomtom does not recommend buying a sim card in these places as there is pretty much no service. Meaning, the staff has zero knowledge of the prepaid sim cards they are selling and you will have to do the activation yourself through the internet. All too complicated and not even cheaper than buying a sim card for Canada online.

TIP: When buying a Canada prepaid sim card bring your passport! You need it to register you prepaid sim card.

Online

As I have mentioned several times above, Traveltomtom actually recommends you to buy a sim card for traveling to Canada on the internet. Whether you want a physical prepaid sim card or an e-sim card. Both options are cheaper than buying a local prepaid sim card on arrival in Canada.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Canada via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo. Physical prepaid sim cards for Canada are only offered by SimOptions.

For more info check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for Canada in 2024.

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
  • Rogers
  • 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.

Prices prepaid sim cards in Canada

These are the Canada prepaid sim card prices and plans as per June 2024, which you can only buy in Canada in a phone store. $1 CAD = $0.73 USD and $1 USD = $1.36 CAD.

Telus Mobility

telus canada prepaid sim card plans 2024

They offer 4 different Canada tourist sim cards:

  • 500 MB data + unlimited sms + calling = $30 CAD - $22 USD
  • 2.5 GB data + unlimited sms + calling = $40 CAD - $30 USD
  • 4.5 GB data + unlimited sms + calling = $45 CAD
  • 8 GB data + unlimited sms + calling = $55 CAD

All Telus prepaid sim card packages are valid for 30 days in all of Canada and only on the 4G network, no 5G access on Telus prepaid sim cards. For more info head over to the Telus Canada website. 

Virgin Mobile Canada

virgin mobile canada prepaid sim card plans 2024

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:

  • 2.5 GB data + unlimited minutes in Canada = $40 CAD - $30 USD
  • 4.5 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $45 CAD
  • 8 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $55 CAD - $41 USD
  • 10 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $75 CAD

All Virgin Mobile Canada prepaid sim card packages are valid for 30 days, max data speed is 4G, no 5G network access on Virgin Mobile prepaid sim cards. For more info have a look at the prepaid plans on the Virgin Mobile Canada website.

Bell Canada

bell canada prepaid sim card plans 2024

Bell Canada prepaid sim cards are rather expensive:

  • 2.5 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $40 CAD - $30 USD
  • 4.5 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $45 CAD
  • 8 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $55 CAD - $41 USD

Bell Canada offers the exact same prices for prepaid sim card deals as Virgin Mobile and Telus Canada. Also Bell does NOT allow prepaid sim cards to use the 5G network, max data speed is 4G. For more info check the Bell Canada website.

Rogers Canada

rogers canada prepaid sim card plans 2024

  • 2.5 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $40 CAD - $30 USD
  • 4.5 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $45 CAD
  • 8 GB data + unlimited calling in Canada = $55 CAD - $41 USD

Exact the same prices for prepaid sim cards and the exact same conditions. For more info check the Rogers Canada website.

Best 4G/5G network in Canada in 2024

Now that we have seen the (ridiculous) prices for prepaid sim cards and data plans in Canada, 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 traveling in Canada. Virgin Mobile operates on the Bell Canada network.

Is there 5G in Canada?

Yes, there is 5G in Canada. Bell, Telus and Rogers all have a 5G network these days. However, for prepaid sim card users it is still not available in 2024, only for postpaid users.

When buying a prepaid sim card in Canada the max data speed is 4G/LTE. However, a Tuque Mobile e-sim card for Canada does support 5G, see more info in the section about the best e-sim cards for Canada.

Telus Mobility Canada 4G/5G network coverage

telus 4g 5g network coverage map canada 2024

Bell Canada network coverage (also Virgin Mobile network)

bell mobility 4g 5g network coverage map canada 2024

Rogers Mobility Canada network coverage

rogers 4g 5g network coverage map canada 2024

Although the above mobile data network coverage maps are updated for 2024 they are not 100% accurate. However, they are a great reference to compare the 4G/5G networks of the mobile internet providers in Canada in 2024.

From the above Canada coverage maps updated for 2024 Traveltomtom concludes that there is not so much difference when it comes to the mobile data network coverage between the mobile internet operators in Canada.

Some operators have better network coverage than others in certain areas and then for other regions in Canada it is the other way around.

Especially if you are traveling to West Canada it is recommended to buy a Telus or Rogers prepaid sim card for Canada. Rogers has a great network In East Canada: Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec. But all the way in East Canada in places like Halifax you definitely want a Telus sim card.

Best prepaid sim card for Canada in 2024

From the above comparison of all the prepaid sim card deals and the mobile internet operators in Canada Traveltomtom comes to the very simple conclusion that buying a prepaid sim card in Canada is more expensive than ordering an international sim card or an e-sim card for Canada online.

Honestly speaking my Canada prepaid sim card comparison leads me to say that it almost feels like the Canada mobile internet providers have price agreements. They literally all offer the exact same prepaid sim card plans!

There is no such thing as the best prepaid sim card in Canada in 2024 as every provider has the exact same prices for the exact same prepaid sim card plans. All valid for 30 days and none of the mobile internet operators allow prepaid users to use the 5G network in Canada, max speed on a Canada prepaid sim card is 4G/LTE.

Ok, Telus and Rogers have slightly better 4G/5G mobile data network coverage than Bell, so that would be a reason to call Telus or Rogers the best prepaid sim card in Canada in 2024. But is also depends where in Canada you are traveling.

I started this article already by informing you that sim cards for Canada that you buy on the internet are actually much more affordable and therefore Traveltomtom recommends ordering a sim card for traveling to Canada online before your trip. The easiest way is to order an e-sim card.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Canada via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo.

Why? Because e-sim cards are simply cheaper! An e-sim card for Canada with 5 GB data for 30 days = $18 USD or what about 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD.

Also Airalo offers e-sim cards for Canada that are 5G ready. Another reason to order your sim card for Canada on the internet.

For more info about Canada e-sim cards check out my guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Canada in 2024.

Order a prepaid sim card for Canada online

orange holiday world international prepaid sim card for canada

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a sim card for traveling to Canada online before your trip then check out the following.

Arrive prepared in Canada with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Canada, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions is the only sim card provider that sells physical prepaid sim cards for Canada:

Orange Holiday World = $49.90

  • 10 GB data
  • Valid in Canada, USA + Mexico + 121 other countries
  • Valid for 14 days

Click here for more info or to order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in Canada via SimOptions.

Also a last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible the easiest way to get data on your phone when traveling to Canada is an e-sim card.

Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Canada via SimOptions, Nomad or Airalo.

For more detailed info including FAQ about using e-sim cards check out Traveltomtom's guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for traveling to Canada in 2024.

North America sim cards

As you have read in this article there is FREE ROAMING in all of Mexico, Canada and the USA. Regardless where you buy your sim card. When buying a sim card in the USA you get free roaming in Canada and Mexico. Buying a sim card in Mexico you get free roaming in Canada and the USA. There are basically no borders for these 3 countries when it comes data roaming.

Therefore you might want to buy a USA sim card for your trip to Canada, or even a Mexican sim card. But, there are a lot of limitations when it comes to the data speed. Always read the Fair Use Policy very carefully. Because on Mexico prepaid sim cards there is often a FUP of 10 GB data in USA and Canada. Which means after you used 10 GB data the data speed is reduced to 256 Kbps, which is barely enough for sending an email.

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 or leave me a comment below. Visiting my Instagram account might fuel you with wanderlust though as I am trying to visit every country in the world and have visited more than 155 countries as of June 2024.

Enjoy your trip to Canada!

Some links in this article about the best way to stay connected when traveling to Canada are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you.