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Thread: Cheapest sim option for US resident visiting Canada for just 2 days

  1. #1
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    Cheapest sim option for US resident visiting Canada for just 2 days

    Hi all, I'm visiting Canada (Ontario) from NY for just 2 days, please suggest cheapest option for me other than T-Mobile (US) sim that offers free international data and sms. Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by farhan.cma View Post
    Hi all, I'm visiting Canada (Ontario) from NY for just 2 days, please suggest cheapest option for me other than T-Mobile (US) sim that offers free international data and sms. Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Still waiting for suggestions

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    What are your requirements? Local calls only, Canadian SMS, any data?

    You will be surprised by the cost.

    Have a look at speak out, you can pick up a SIM an vouchers at a 7-11 store.

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    Ok, I mainly need the internet for local searching, gps etc


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Ontario is a pretty big province; I'm not sure whether you are staying around Toronto, London or Kenora.

    I assume you are going to be around Toronto or at least southern Ontario. Here are a few options:

    - Telus (they have $20/month [+$0.75 for 911 charge] for 100MB + unlimited *international* text with voice extra; another option is $20/7-day pass which gives you unlimited local calls + *international* text + 100MB. The $20/7-day pass will probably cover 99% of your needs - just put enough money in the account to cover that $20 service, and don't do auto-renew and don't put credit card against the account)
    - Bell (same $20 plan/month as Telus but I can't seem to find whether they have the 7-day pass)
    - Petro Canada (anytime plan + $10/100MB; note that anytime plan charges per outgoing text)
    - 7-11 Speakout (offering is pretty much the same as PetroCan)
    - Fido (they have unlimited $1/day evening and weekend plan; you can add $5/60MB weekly pass, as well as text and long distance add-ons depending on your needs)

    You'll have to pay for the SIM card separately in additional to the airtime. Also note that Telus and Bell require your phone to be compatible with HSPA 850/1900 (they have no GSM fallback), while Fido/PetroCan/7-11 can access both GSM and HSPA networks (they are on Rogers).

    Now if you are going to be around Northern Ontario then the recommendation would be quite different.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDEA_NXT View Post
    Ontario is a pretty big province; I'm not sure whether you are staying around Toronto, London or Kenora.

    I assume you are going to be around Toronto or at least southern Ontario. Here are a few options:

    - Telus (they have $20/month [+$0.75 for 911 charge] for 100MB + unlimited *international* text with voice extra; another option is $20/7-day pass which gives you unlimited local calls + *international* text + 100MB. The $20/7-day pass will probably cover 99% of your needs - just put enough money in the account to cover that $20 service, and don't do auto-renew and don't put credit card against the account)
    - Bell (same $20 plan/month as Telus but I can't seem to find whether they have the 7-day pass)
    - Petro Canada (anytime plan + $10/100MB; note that anytime plan charges per outgoing text)
    - 7-11 Speakout (offering is pretty much the same as PetroCan)
    - Fido (they have unlimited $1/day evening and weekend plan; you can add $5/60MB weekly pass, as well as text and long distance add-ons depending on your needs)

    You'll have to pay for the SIM card separately in additional to the airtime. Also note that Telus and Bell require your phone to be compatible with HSPA 850/1900 (they have no GSM fallback), while Fido/PetroCan/7-11 can access both GSM and HSPA networks (they are on Rogers).

    Now if you are going to be around Northern Ontario then the recommendation would be quite different.
    I will be visiting niagara falls and toronto may be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IDEA_NXT View Post
    Ontario is a pretty big province; I'm not sure whether you are staying around Toronto, London or Kenora.

    I assume you are going to be around Toronto or at least southern Ontario. Here are a few options:

    - Telus (they have $20/month [+$0.75 for 911 charge] for 100MB + unlimited *international* text with voice extra; another option is $20/7-day pass which gives you unlimited local calls + *international* text + 100MB. The $20/7-day pass will probably cover 99% of your needs - just put enough money in the account to cover that $20 service, and don't do auto-renew and don't put credit card against the account)
    - Bell (same $20 plan/month as Telus but I can't seem to find whether they have the 7-day pass)
    - Petro Canada (anytime plan + $10/100MB; note that anytime plan charges per outgoing text)
    - 7-11 Speakout (offering is pretty much the same as PetroCan)
    - Fido (they have unlimited $1/day evening and weekend plan; you can add $5/60MB weekly pass, as well as text and long distance add-ons depending on your needs)

    You'll have to pay for the SIM card separately in additional to the airtime. Also note that Telus and Bell require your phone to be compatible with HSPA 850/1900 (they have no GSM fallback), while Fido/PetroCan/7-11 can access both GSM and HSPA networks (they are on Rogers).

    Now if you are going to be around Northern Ontario then the recommendation would be quite different.
    well thank you so much for this detailed reply. how about more data as I might need it for navigation? 1gb or more ideally preferred.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Have a look at http://koodomobile.com/en/on/plansandboosters.shtml

    You can buy 1GB booster for $30 and the SIM for $15, which can be used as a credit to towards the 30 day minimum charge for sms

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    Quote Originally Posted by farhan.cma View Post
    well thank you so much for this detailed reply. how about more data as I might need it for navigation? 1gb or more ideally preferred.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Personally I think 1GB for just a couple of days in Canada is way overkill, if all you need is navigation. Last time I was in US and got 1GB for my phone, and like you I was using mostly for navigation (no Youtube on the go, and upload of pictures were done with wifi at hotel). After a week I was using just 50%.

    Koodo's option is definitely viable if you really want 1GB, but note that Koodo's base prepaid plan ($15 for unlimited text) does not include voice minutes; you'll have to buy a voice minute booster for that. Currently on Koodo's website, the prepaid sim is listed at $20 with $20 credit, you'll be looking at $20 for the SIM with $20 credit (in which you can get $15 for base unlimited text plan with $5 credit left over), so you'll need another $25 to buy the 1GB booster. They also have 500MB booster for $20, which IMO is a better option for just a 2-day visit. If you want to buy a booster for just few calls, you can buy 25 minutes for $5.

    There are lots of options when it comes to prepaid in Canada. Check out their sites and see which ones you like best.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDEA_NXT View Post
    Personally I think 1GB for just a couple of days in Canada is way overkill, if all you need is navigation. Last time I was in US and got 1GB for my phone, and like you I was using mostly for navigation (no Youtube on the go, and upload of pictures were done with wifi at hotel). After a week I was using just 50%.

    Koodo's option is definitely viable if you really want 1GB, but note that Koodo's base prepaid plan ($15 for unlimited text) does not include voice minutes; you'll have to buy a voice minute booster for that. Currently on Koodo's website, the prepaid sim is listed at $20 with $20 credit, you'll be looking at $20 for the SIM with $20 credit (in which you can get $15 for base unlimited text plan with $5 credit left over), so you'll need another $25 to buy the 1GB booster. They also have 500MB booster for $20, which IMO is a better option for just a 2-day visit. If you want to buy a booster for just few calls, you can buy 25 minutes for $5.

    There are lots of options when it comes to prepaid in Canada. Check out their sites and see which ones you like best.
    Thank you mate. Yeah it's mainly navigation and local searching of places. I think your opinion of $20 plan seems better. Now they won't ship the sim to US, can I get it easily from 7.11?

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    Koodo has a store locator at:

    http://koodomobile.com/en/on/storelocator.shtml

    Select Ontario as province and Niagara Falls as the city, and you should find 4 stores listed. Out of the 4, I would recommend trying Future Shop (7555 Montrose Rd) first. But no matter which store you visit, make sure you ask about the pricing of the SIM and credit, because those stores may not sell the SIM card at the same price level as shown on Koodo's website. Bring a printout from Koodo's website if possible.

    (I would have preferred to go to a Koodo corporate store/kiosk, but none were listed under Niagara Falls; there is one at St. Catharines, which is about 20 minutes away from Niagara.)

    Future Shop sells services for pretty much all of the major cell phone providers in Canada, so if you decide to go with Fido, Bell, etc. you can go there too. (Future Shop is like a "Best Buy"; in fact, BB owns FS.)

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    Well I went to Canada (Niagara Falls only). I was able to receive LTE and 3G (at times) near the falls on Canadian side and was even receiving signals at Skylon and was able to make phone hotspot to do a facetime call from iphone. So didn't really felt need for Canadian sim.

    via the HoFo App

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    Check out Phone Box
    It was brought up in the Canadian prepaid forum and looks like a solid deal for both short-term and longer term as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maege View Post
    Check out Phone Box
    It was brought up in the Canadian prepaid forum and looks like a solid deal for both short-term and longer term as well.
    Is that company trustworthy? That site contains many broken links (including account log-in pages), which raises a red-flag. They also make no mentioning of which provider they are with, and no coverage maps.

    Then if you look at their conditions, they indicate that they would require customer's passport; is providing such information to an unknown company such a good idea?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pfwarrior View Post
    Hi all, I'm visiting Canada (Ontario) from NY for just 2 days, please suggest cheapest option for me other than T-Mobile (US) sim that offers free international data and sms. Thanks

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    I'm not sure if they are doing it still, but Verizon offered a 'North American plan' as well as an add-on for like 20 bucks a month. A friend of mine from the US has been going to school in Vancouver and kept the family plan that way... Not a peep from Verizon and it's been a few years.

    So assuming you aren't on a grandfathered rate plan, call them before you leave, switch to it, then switch back when you get home?

    N

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