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Compare prepaid SIM cards for Canada

Use a local SIM card to reduce your roaming rates


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Editor's choice: SimCorner

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If you’re planning a trip to Canada, contacting family and friends abroad can be expensive. A top tip for keeping down costs is to switch over to a local SIM card. Canada has some great voice, SMS and data plans on offer, deals that could really reduce your phone bill. You can get 1GB of data from Canada’s top telco providers for CAD$15 (US$11). So, whether you’re planning a short or lengthy trip, you could save money by comparing SIM card options on

Compare international SIM cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of countries Data range Shipment time
1-12 business days
SimCorner's prepaid SIM cards offer local call, text and data rates in dozens of countries around the world. Choose from a range of data packages, including unlimited data in the USA.
Flexiroam X
3-7 business days
Attach the Flexiroam X ultra-thin microchip sticker to your current SIM card to access data roaming in over 140 countries.
Up to 10GB
1- 5 working days

Compare up to 4 providers

Prices last updated 17 Jun 2017

Telco providers in Canada

There are four main telco providers in Canada: Rogers, TELUS, Bell and Freedom Mobile. Locals and travellers have tried and tested SIM cards from all four networks, so they can be trusted. Although there are many other SIM card options offered by the likes of Fido, Chatr, Koodo, 7-Eleven Speak Out/Petro-Canada, Virgin Mobile and PhoneBox, they are all operated as MVNOs through the four main operators we have mentioned above.

About Canada’s telco providers

Canada’s operators offer competitive prices and sell prepaid credit, which allow users to take advantage of cheap plans, tariffs and deals. All networks offer customers 2G (although it is being phased out this year), 3G and 4G/LTE. Canadians call their SIM cards “SIMs” and there are no real rules and regulations when purchasing them. Just make sure you show your passport and register your SIM card online once you have purchased it, using the address for where you’re staying. It would be easier to ask the store assistant to do this for you to save time. SIM cards and credit can be purchased from supermarkets, stores, kiosks and main airports in Quebec, Vancouver, Toronto, Ontario, Ottawa and Montreal.

About Rogers

Rogers, along with sub-brand Fido, is the largest operator in Canada and offers 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. 2G is slowly being phased out as 3G and 4G/LTE services become more widespread. SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved sellers and can also be ordered online. SIM cards are free of charge but credit must be added to start using them. Prepaid SIM card plans come without data so add-ons must be purchased. The “Talk anytime” plan is the cheapest and can be purchased for $0.75 per month along with a minimum top-up of $10. The following monthly data packs can be added:

$10100MB$0.1 /MB
$20250MB$0.05 /MB
$30500MB$0.06 /MB
$401GB$0.04 /MB
$502GB$0.025 /MB

Call 611 from your phone and select the desired plan or book online through your Rogers account. The standard default data rate once the package has been used is charged at $1 for 10MB in 24 hours or $5 for 60MB in 7 days. There is also a year-long prepaid SIM card deal that’s always on sale as a promotion. It can be purchased for $120 and allows 50 minutes’ calling per year, unlimited evening and weekend local calls and unlimited SMS within Canada. Daytime minutes can be expensive, at least 50 cents a minute, and international calls and SMS are not included in this deal.


TELUS, along with its sub-brands Koodo and Public Mobile, is the second largest operator in the country. It has good 3G and 4G services but has scrapped 2G. Micro, mini and nano SIM cards can be purchased in official stores, at approved resellers or online for $15. A $10 refund will be debited to the account once you have purchased a prepaid plan. TELUS also gives $5 credit every 30 days when you buy a rate plan or add-on of $15 or more during the first six months. The standard default rate for data separate to plans or add-ons is $2 per MB. The following prepaid plans which include data are available:

Talk, Text & Data 35250MB$35100 mins local voice, Unlimited SMS
Nationwide Talk, Text & Data 551GB$55500 mins local voice, Unlimited SMS
Nationwide Talk, Text & Data 653GB + 1GB bonus$65500 mins local voice, Unlimited SMS

You can also add data packs to any prepaid SIM card plan:

  • Data 10 : $10 – 100MB
  • Data 20 : $20 – 500MB
  • Data 30 : $30 – 1GB

Overuse is charged at $0.15 per MB. Dial *123 to activate your desired plan, or select the desired option online by using your TELUS account.

About Bell

Bell is the third largest operator in Canada. Be sure to check with the retailer that your phone is compatible with the network. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores, resellers or online. Bell is the only provider in Canada that gives out data SIM cards for modems or tablets; they can also be used in phones. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased for $9.95 – credit will then have to be added. Data packs can be purchased either online or in stores, or can be updated using credit vouchers. Plans renew automatically; to cancel call customer services or cancel online. Overuse is charged at $0.15 per MB.

  • Daily pass (20MB) – $2, to be used within 24 hours
  • 100MB – $10
  • 500MB – $20
  • 1GB – $30
  • 2GB – $50

Credit can be purchased from most stores or online by using your credit card. Refill cards can be purchased in several different denominations from $15 valid for 30 days, $25 and $50 valid for 60 days, and $100 valid for a year. Once the time limit has been reached then the account will be closed.

About Freedom Mobile

Freedom Mobile is the smallest carrier in Canada and has limited network coverage. Unless you intend on using this network in the large towns and cities then we strongly advise you select another provider. Make sure you use Freedom’s IMEI number (your phone’s unique identification number) checker to see if your phone will be compatible with the network. If you are lucky enough to be compatible then Freedom offers the best plans and prices in the country. Freedom’s SIM card can be purchased for $10 in official stores, resellers or can be purchased online. Credit can also be purchased in the same way:

  • $25 – no data, unlimited local calls and SMS
  • $30 – 250MB data, unlimited local calls and SMS
  • $40 – 4GB data, unlimited local calls and international SMS
  • $49 – 6GB data, unlimited local and US calls and international SMS
  • $59 – 8GB data, incl. 1 GB in the US, unlimited local and US calls and international SMS

Make sure that when you use the Freedom network that there is a Freedom Mobile signal available. Sometimes you will roam on other networks and will not be able to use the above-mentioned plans when your phone is not in service. Look out for “Home” at the top of your screen near the signal icon to be sure you are using it correctly. Freedom also offers a data-only plan on 4G/LTE for $40 offering 10GB of data. Although this deal sounds phenomenal, the network can be rather congested which means you sometimes get no connection at all or the speed is ridiculously slow. Also, Freedom doesn’t provide data sticks for modems so be prepared to fork out for a new one if you haven’t already got your own.

Some top tips from staff:

  • They speak English and French in Canada and absolutely love tourists, so you shouldn’t have any problems.
  • Locals call a SIM card a “SIM” or “chip”.
  • Ask the store assistant to set up the SIM card for you; they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we have highlighted above or go to the official operator website to seek advice.
  • Get to the shops early to receive better assistance and to avoid the crowds.

TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them

TripAdvisor has many user comments that can help guide you through which SIM cards have been tried and tested in Canada. Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:

  • “Rogers and Fido have prepaid data plans for $5 for 60MB for 1 week (buy more if 60MB used up within the week)”
  • “I had no problems using my Galaxy S3 in Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto… Fido doesn’t charge extra for data when you are in other cities”
  • ”There is Wi-Fi everywhere so you can use the phone in airplane mode, data off, Wi-Fi on and get what you need. There are phone kiosks in every mall if you want to buy a SIM card. The main providers are TELUS, Bell and Rogers

Pros and cons of Canada’s top telco providers

All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible phone. To double check you have this phone, contact your provider before you set off on your travels.


  • Good value for money
  • Prepaid credit when required
  • No in-store contract needed
  • Could be compatible with your current phone


  • No devices offered with the SIM card packages
  • Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
  • Freedom Mobile can suffer from poor coverage in some areas

Got more questions about finding the best SIM?

Switch to a cell phone plan with international calling

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
Starting at 2 GB
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
Starting at 2 GB
30-day phone plans that allow you to cancel your service at anytime. Choose from five different talk, text and data options with the choice to add international calling for $10/month.
Starting at 500 MB
Starting at 200 minutes
Starting at 500 texts
Bring your own phone for a free plan with 500MB of data, 200 minutes and 500 texts per month using Sprint's CDMA Network. Prepaid plans with more data, talk and text start at $9.99/month.
NET10 Wireless
Starting at 1 GB
30-day plans with unlimited talk and text and the option to choose how much data is right for you. Add-on rollover data is available starting at $5/500MB.
Straight Talk Wireless
Starting at 3 GB
Choose from several different plan options with no contracts, no fees and coverage on the same networks as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Compare up to 4 providers

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    HinOctober 13, 2018

    I am going to Toronto by car from MI, USA on 16/10 afternoon. Where can I buy a data only simcard in Canada?I need a exact location for GPS. Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Hin,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      There are a lot of places where you can buy a SIM card in Canada. There are official stores, malls, resellers, and online. Please be sure that you have an unlocked phone to use a SIM from Canada. If you don’t have one, then you might need to buy a new phone that works in Canada. Of course, you can use your current US phone and SIM, but you would need to turn roaming which is more expensive.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    DavidSeptember 28, 2018

    I need a SIM card for use in Canada …. need only texts and calling, and a true USA phone number, but no data is required. … can u suggest such a sim card for me? ship to me in Canada

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 1, 2018Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a comparison website, we are not permitted to provide specific recommendations. However, on this page, you will learn more about the telcos in Canada. All major telcos in Canada such as Rogers, TELUS, Bell and Freedom Mobile provide plans and packages that meet your needs. Our page have detailed these plans as well. You might check them out above.

      I’m not sure why you need a true USA phone number if you’re in Canada when you are looking for a Canadian SIM at the same time. You might want to give me more detail about that. However, generally, it is cheaper to use a local SIM rather than using a foreign SIM in roaming.

      In regards to shipping, most Canadian SIMs can easily be bought once you arrived in the country. You may want to check with your chosen provider to see if they can ship you the SIM ahead of time.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    HamedSeptember 22, 2018

    I will be in Canda for Sabbatical Leave in UBC and I will stay one year in Vancouver. I used internet a lot, but dont need a lot of calls. I want to know which Providers is the best for me.
    and can I trade my current device in Canada in a long-term payment for a better cell phone?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaSeptember 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Hamed,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      There are four main telco providers in Canada, namely, Rogers, TELUS, Bell and Freedom Mobile. Any of these brands are trusted and reliable. All of these telcos also provide internet prepaid and postpaid plans. What you can do is review the details on this page to determine the right provider for you.

      Trading your current device is a good option especially if it is locked to your current carrier. However, there might only be a few people who would be interested in accepting your phone if it is locked. You may want to ask around or ask a friend in Canada to give you specific details.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    BillMarch 21, 2018

    I will be back in Canada for the month of April. I have a Chinese phone and need to have phone and data service on vacation.
    What is the best of the big three for me — I will be in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC.
    I do not have a large phone or data demand — but still need it available.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your inquiry! As we are a comparison website, I’m afraid we can’t really advise which telco provider is best for you as that entirely depends on your preferences and needs.

      Nonetheless, if your device is SIM-unlocked GSM phone, you should be able to use that in Canada using a local SIM. You can also get a SIM from any of the main telco providers mentioned above. I would suggest that you visit the website of these providers and check your options for your data and voice/text message requirements.


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