Bare-bones U.S. cell phone plan that works in Canada
June 17, 2021 11:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently using Mint Mobile and I love it -- I pay $15 a month for 4 gigs of data and unlimited talk and text. However, I'm about to have to renew the plan for another year, and with the Canadian border about to open again I'm hesitating...

Is there a similar cheap bare-bones limited data plan that works in Canada (and ideally also Mexico)? With Mint, I can make calls to friends in Canada, but it looks like I can't actually call out if I'm the one in Canada. My old T-Mobile plan was great for this, but to go back to T-Mobile I either have to choose zero data ($20 a month, but a huge pain when I'm traveling and I need just a little bit of data to look something up) or unlimited data ($70 or some ridiculous per month, since I'm just a single phone line and don't qualify for any discounts).

Are there any other plans out there that would fit my needs? Assume I do not have access to a family plan.

Alternatively, is there a SIM card I can buy for Canada that isn't time-limited? All the minimalist SIM cards I've seen only work for a 30-day window. When the border is open, I commonly go to Canada for a weekend once a month or so, so 30 days plans don't suit my needs very well. The cost adds up, and it's also a pain to have to stop my drive to buy a card on every trip. If there exists some kind of cheap annual Canadian SIM card with a minimal amount of data and minutes on it, that would potentially solve my problem too.
posted by cnidaria to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You should look at Google Fi. Definitely works in Canada and Mexico. Very affordable and reliable. I’ve been using it for years. Only caveat is, you will need to check if your phone is compatible with their service. Not all are.
posted by pjsky at 11:57 AM on June 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ting works in Canada, though it charges by the minute/ text. I switched to Mint a few years ago and just use WiFi while in Canada.
posted by metasarah at 1:30 PM on June 17, 2021

Best answer: Seconding Google Fi.

Their Flexible plan is a flat rate for text and voice, including calls to, from, and in Canada. Data is the same as in the USA, $10 per GB.

I've had Google Fi for months now, and I really like the service. But their customer service can be lacking, and you have to see if you can port your phone over. (I just bought a new phone with a promotion that they had.)

Info on their plans, and info on their international rates.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:57 PM on June 17, 2021

If you sign up for Google Voice in the USA you can use it while in Canada. However, you can't sign up for it from Canada. It's free. Or if you want to pick a specific number, there's a one time fee. I think it was $20. I have the same phone number with both 416 (Toronto) and 415 (SF).
posted by dobbs at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2021

Also note that though Fi works in Canada, you can't sign up from Canada. I live 5 or 6 months a year in the USA but because my credit card is Canadian, Fi won't take me.
posted by dobbs at 5:33 PM on June 17, 2021

Best answer: Most of AT&T Prepaid's plans work in Canada and Mexico. They have a $300/year plan with 8GB of data, among others.
posted by meowzilla at 9:11 PM on June 17, 2021
You can do a prepaid plan and an electronic sim with this Canadian company.
posted by zdravo at 9:57 PM on June 17, 2021

WhatsApp let's you video call internationally for free. It is a free app.
posted by DixieBaby at 4:10 AM on June 18, 2021

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