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The best SIM cards for taking your phone to Canada

Get your SIM needs sorted in Australia before travelling to Canada.

Nathan Lawrence
Jun 27, 2024
Icon Time To Read11 min read

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If you’re travelling overseas and want to use your phone while you’re abroad, you’ve got options. You can take the risk of relying on WiFi hotspots while travelling. Alternatively, you can buy a SIM card or eSIM from your intended destination. But the third and most straightforward choice is to activate international roaming on your existing SIM-only or prepaid mobile plan.

And if you’re heading to Canada, the good news is that there are dozens of Australian mobile providers and hundreds of plans to choose from. Before we get into the full breakdown, here’s a snapshot of the most popular mobile plans from our comparison engine.

There are 30 mobile providers we track in our database. Of those, six telcos offer a choice of SIM-only and prepaid plans, all of which have international roaming options for Canada. That said, some are better than others, so we’ve ranked them from top to bottom in the section below.

Before you jump into the full breakdown, here’s a list of the most popular mobile plans from Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, Kogan Mobile, Everyday Mobile and Coles Mobile.

Info Box
Travel SIM for Canada

While the bulk of this article is dedicated to international roaming for Australian mobile plans, there is other options: eSIM or travel SIM.
Modern mobile phones that support eSIM—instead of just physical SIM cards—make it easy to not just switch between Australian telcos but also to add an international plan when travelling abroad. If you’re going to Canada with an eSIM-compatible phone, consider a travel eSIM from Jetpac or Airalo. Jetpac prices typically start at US$4 for a four-day plan with 1GB of data, which covers travel to North America (Canada and the United States). Alternatively, Airalo plans to Canada start at US$6 for seven days with 1GB of data or US$6.50 for 1GB over seven days for Canada, Mexico and the United States.

You can also organise a travel SIM before your trip to pop in your smartphone and activate once you arrive at your destination. Simcorner has plans for most popular travel destinations, including Canada, with various data options as well as unlimited data.

Best: International roaming in Canada with Vodafone

As was the case for travelling to China and Vietnam, Vodafone is the winner of the best international roaming plan if you’re visiting Canada with a SIM-only mobile plan. That’s because Vodafone offers $5-per-day international roaming to Canada, alongside the United States and 98 other eligible destinations. The $5 daily fee means you can use your phone like you would at home, including calls, texts and data. Note that it costs $5 per extra gigabyte if you burn through your monthly allowance, plus you can’t use roaming for more than 90 days collectively per year.

Here are the most popular SIM-only Vodafone plans from our comparison engine.

It’s different for Vodafone prepaid users travelling to Canada, which is one of the supported 80 destinations. Here are the Vodafone roaming add-ons for Canada:

  • $5 per day for 200MB of data, 25 call minutes and 30 texts.
  • $15 per day for 750MB of data, 90 call minutes and 120 texts.
  • $35 per day for 2GB of data, 200 call minutes and 300 texts.

Check out the most popular Vodafone prepaid plans from our database.

Next best: International roaming in Canada with Optus

Optus international roaming is the next best pick for travelling to Canada, which is one of the 100+ countries that Optus categorises as Zone 1. SIM-only users with Optus Choice Plus plans pay $5 a day for unlimited calls and texts, plus 5GB of data. If you’re an Optus SIM-only customer who’s not on an Optus Choice Plan, it costs $10 per day in Canada for unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB of data.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Optus SIM-only plans.

You’ve got two add-on choices if you’re an Optus prepaid customer. Option one is to pay $5 per day for 100 minutes of calls, 100 SMS and 1GB of data. Alternatively, it costs $35 for a whole lot of sevens: seven days, 700 call minutes, 700 SMS and 7GB of data.

Check out the most popular Optus prepaid plans today.

International roaming in Canada with Telstra

Telstra also divvies international destinations into zones, except that only New Zealand is Zone 1. Every other eligible country is either Zone 2 or 3. Canada is a Zone 2 destination, which translates to $10 per day for unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB of data.

Below is a list of the most popular Telstra SIM-only plans from our database.

Telstra prepaid customers have 35 eligible destinations that support international roaming, including Canada. These are the three Telstra prepaid roaming add-ons:

  • $10 per three days for 400MB of data, 15 call minutes and 15 texts (SMS or MMS).
  • $15 per seven days for 2GB of data, 25 call minutes and 25 texts (SMS or MMS).
  • $25 per 14 days for 4GB of data, 50 call minutes and 50 texts (SMS or MMS).

You’ll find popular Telstra prepaid plans below.

International roaming in Canada with Kogan Mobile

Whether you’re a Kogan Mobile SIM-only or prepaid customer, you have access to the same international roaming add-ons. There are 30 destinations to choose from, including Canada, with one of these three options:

  • $10 per one day for 1GB data, 50 call minutes and 50 texts.
  • $25 per three days for 2GB data, 100 call minutes and 100 texts.
  • $45 per seven days for 5GB data, 150 call minutes and 150 texts.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Kogan Mobile SIM-only plans.

And here’s a snapshot of Kogan Mobile’s popular prepaid plans.

International roaming in Canada with Everyday Mobile

Like Kogan Mobile, Everyday (Woolworths) Mobile offers a trio of international roaming add-ons for its SIM-only and prepaid users. Canada is one of the 68 eligible destinations via one of these three roaming options:

  • $12 per day for 1GB of data, 20 call minutes and 20 SMS.
  • $45 per seven days for 5GB of data, 30 call minutes and 30 SMS.
  • $70 per 14 days for 10GB of data, 60 call minutes and 60 SMS.

Have a look at popular Everyday Mobile SIM-only plans below.

And below is a ranking of Everyday Mobile’s popular prepaid plans.

International roaming in Canada with Coles Mobile

Coles Mobile is at the bottom of this category because it doesn’t offer add-ons for its SIM-only and prepaid customers. Instead, Coles Mobile customers are reliant on international credit for making calls, sending texts and using data in Canada (and other eligible destinations). Note that international credit expires after 30 days, but you can roll over up to $500 of credit if you keep recharging. Here are Coles Mobile’s international roaming rates for Canada:

  • Calls and voicemail: $1 per minute (make and receive).
  • SMS: 50 cents per SMS sent, $0 to receive.
  • Data: 50 cents per megabyte.
  • MMS to Australian number: 49 cents per standard MMS (send and receive).
  • MMS to non-Australian number: 75 cents per standard MMS (send and receive).

Below is a daily updating list of popular Coles Mobile SIM-only plans.

And here’s a list of today’s popular Coles Mobile prepaid plans.

The next lot of mobile providers are the ones from our comparison engine that exclusively sell SIM-only plans. They’re ranked from top to bottom in terms of international roaming to Canada. But before diving into the ranking, check out the most popular SIM-only plans in our database.

Best: SIM-only international roaming in Canada with Belong

Belong is our top pick for a SIM-only telco for those travelling to Canada (one of 48 destinations), thanks to a straightforward and competitively priced international roaming add-on. It costs $30 for 15 roaming days, which includes 3GB of data, 150 minutes of calls and unlimited SMS.

Have a look at Belong’s popular SIM-only plans below.

Next best: SIM-only international roaming in Canada with Tangerine Telecom

The next best SIM-only telco for visiting Canada is Tangerine Telecom. While it’s a steeper asking price than Belong, we do like that Tangerine offers a few international roaming options with comparatively generous data inclusions for 68 destinations:

  • $35 per seven days for 5GB of data, 30 call minutes and 30 SMS.
  • $55 per 14 days for 10GB of data, 60 call minutes and 60 SMS
  • $60 per three days for 3GB of data, 300 call minutes and 300 SMS.

You’ll find Tangerine’s most popular SIM-only plans below.

SIM-only international roaming in Canada with More

More has a couple of decent international roaming add-ons for its customers who are travelling to Canada, which is one of 67 eligible destinations. Option one: pay $35 for seven days and get 5GB of data, 30 call minutes and 30 SMS. Option two: spend $55 to cover 14 days, which includes 10GB of data, 60 call minutes and 60 SMS.

Here’s a list of More’s popular SIM-only plans today.

SIM-only international roaming in Canada with Spintel

Spintel is another example of a mobile provider that likes to simplify its international roaming via a single add-on. There are 100+ Zone 1 destinations for Spintel customers, including Canada. It costs $15 for a day pass, which includes 1GB of data, unlimited call minutes and standard SMS.

Check out Spintel’s popular SIM-only plans.

SIM-only international roaming in Canada with Moose Mobile

Moose Mobile customers can use global roaming in Canada because it’s one of 104 Zone 1 destinations. The big disclaimer is a $200 pay-as-you-go (PAYG) prepayment to use roaming. Practically speaking, though, Moose users pay $15 for 24 hours of unlimited call minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data.

Below is a daily updating list of Moose Mobile’s popular SIM-only plans.

SIM-only international roaming in Canada with Circles.Life

Circles.Life has a couple of different international roaming add-ons but it’s low on the list because neither of those options includes calls or SMS (those cost extra). Still, Canada is one of the 91 Zone 1 destinations, so you’ll pay either $15 for a 24-hour pack with 1GB or $30 for 5GB with one-month expiry.

Have a gander at Circles.Life’s popular SIM-only plans below.

SIM-only international roaming in Canada with iiNet

Of the SIM-only mobile providers we track, iiNet is the last one that offers international roaming. It’s at the bottom of the list because iiNet doesn’t have any roaming add-ons. Instead, Canada is a Zone 1 country with the following PAYG rates:

  • Calls: $4 per minute (make and receive).
  • SMS: $1 to send, free to receive
  • Data: $15.50 per megabyte.
  • MMS: standard domestic or international MMS rate + $15.50 per megabyte (send and receive).

Here’s a daily updating list of popular iiNet SIM-only plans.

For the SIM-only mobile provider we track, that leaves AGL, Aussie Broadband, Dodo Mobile, Mate, Numobile and Southern Phone. None of those telcos offer international roaming, let alone to Canada. If you’re a customer of one of those mobile providers, consider one of the other options on this page, otherwise you’ll need a travel SIM card or eSIM.

If using a mobile overseas isn’t important to you, check out the popular SIM-only plans below from these roaming-less mobile providers.

Prepaid plans are a great way to stay in control of your monthly mobile bill at home, but there are several prepaid telcos that only offer PAYG international roaming rates. There are a few that offer add-ons, though, which you can find ranked below alongside their less-impressive PAYG counterparts. Before scrolling on, though, here’s a look at popular prepaid plans from our comparison engine.

Best: Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Felix Mobile

Felix Mobile is our top pick if you’re looking to travel to Canada. International roaming is available in 45 destinations, including Canada, and there’s one straightforward option that’s valid for 365 days. Pay $20 for 4GB of data, 100 call minutes and 100 standard SMS.

Check out Felix Mobile’s popular prepaid plans below.

Next best: Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Lebara

Lebara Mobile is the next best pick for an Aussie telco that’ll look after you in your travels to Canada. International roaming supports 53 destinations, including Canada, and there are a couple of different options. Lebara’s Economy Roaming add-on comes with 500MB of data for two days, with 50 call minutes and 50 SMS. Alternatively, the First Class Roaming pack costs $45 for 10 days and includes 3GB of data, 150 call minutes and 150 SMS.

Here's a snapshot of Lebara’s popular prepaid plans today.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile offers international roaming for 42 destinations, including Canada. Here are the three international roaming add-ons for Boost prepaid customers:

  • $20 per three days for 1GB of data, 15 call minutes and 15 SMS.
  • $30 per seven days for 3GB of data, 30 call minutes and 30 SMS.
  • $40 per 14 days for 5GB of data, 60 call minutes and 60 SMS.

Have a look at Boost Mobile’s popular prepaid plans from our comparison engine.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Amaysim

Amaysim prepaid customers have access to 100+ destinations, including Canada. Like Felix Mobile, Amaysim’s packs are valid for 365 days. Here’s what you get with each Amaysim international roaming pack:

  • $20 for 100 call minutes and 100 SMS (no data).
  • $25 for 2GB of data, 50 call minutes and 30 SMS.
  • $50 for 6GB of data (no calls or texts).
  • $70 for 9GB of data, 100 call minutes and 60 SMS.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Amaysim prepaid plans from our database.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Catch Connect

Catch Connect does things a little differently for its international roaming. Customers pay $25 for a 30-day-expiry international credit pack, which is then put towards PAYG roaming rates. Here’s what Catch prepaid customers can expect to pay when visiting Canada:

  • Calls and voicemail: $1 per minute (make and receive).
  • SMS: 50 cents to send per text, free to receive.
  • Data: 50 cents per megabyte.
  • MMS to Australian number: 49 cents to send and receive (per MMS).
  • MMS to non-Australian number: 75 cents to send and receive (per MMS).

Catch Connect’s popular prepaid plans are listed below.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Lycamobile

Lycamobile is another prepaid mobile provider that offers PAYG international roaming rates for its customers. Strangely, data isn’t included in the roaming rates for Canada. Lycamobile users can expect to pay $1.84 per minute to make calls, $1.50 a minute to receive calls and 64 cents per SMS (receiving texts is free).

If you’re in the market for a Lycamobile prepaid plan, the popular picks are below.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Yomojo

Canada is listed as a Zone 1 country as far as Yomojo’s PAYG international roaming is concerned. For Yomojo customers, that translates to $0.005 per 10 kilobytes of data, $1 to make and receive calls (including voicemail), and 50 cents per sent SMS or MMS. It’s not stated explicitly, but it’s implied that incoming messages are free to receive.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Yomojo prepaid plans.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Exetel

Exetel continues the prepaid PAYG international roaming trend for its customers looking to travel to Canada or other Zone 1 destinations. Here’s what Exetel customers can expect to pay for Canada and other Zone 1 countries:

  • Calls (including voicemail): $1.50 per minute to make and receive.
  • SMS: 60 cents per text to send, free to receive.
  • Data: $1 per megabyte.
  • Standard MMS: $1 per megabyte, plus 75-cent flag fall (if sending outside roaming country).
  • Video MMS: $1 per megabyte, plus 60-cent flag fall.

Popular Exetel prepaid plans are listed below.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with TPG

TPG is another prepaid mobile provider that treats Canada as a Zone 1 destination and whose customers have to use PAYG international roaming rates. The big disclaimer is that TPG may charge users $500 to cover PAYG roaming rates. Here are the roaming rates TPG customers can expect to pay in Canada:

  • Calls (including voicemail): $1 per minute to make and receive.
  • SMS (to Zone 1 countries): 50 cents to send, free to receive.
  • Data: 50 cents per megabyte.
  • MMS (for Zone 1 countries): 50 cents per megabyte to send and 50 cents to receive.

Check out TPG’s popular prepaid plans below.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Superloop

Superloop is yet another telco that categorises Canada as a Zone 1 country and asks its customers to use PAYG international roaming rates. Here are the Superloop Zone 1 international roaming rates:

  • Calls (including voicemail): $1.50 per minute to make and receive.
  • SMS: 60 cents to send, free to receive.
  • Data: $1 per megabyte.
  • Standard MMS: $1 per megabyte used.
  • Video MMS: $1 per megabyte used, plus 75-cent flag fall.

Have a gander at Superloop’s popular prepaid plans below.

Prepaid international roaming in Canada with Aldi Mobile

The final prepaid mobile provider on our list is Aldi Mobile, which charges PAYG rates for the “top 10” destinations, including Canada. Here are the Aldi Mobile PAYG roaming rates for Canada:

  • Calls: $1 per minute to make and receive.
  • SMS: 50 cents to send, free to receive.
  • Data: 50 cents per megabyte.

Below is a daily updating list of popular Aldi Mobile prepaid plans.

Canada SIM card frequently asked questions

Which SIM card is best in Canada?

The best SIM card in Canada for those travelling from Australia is a Vodafone SIM-only plan, which costs $5 a day to use your plan in Canada as you would in Australia. Alternatively, consider an eSIM from Airalo or Jetpac.

Can you buy a Canadian SIM card in Australia?

Yes, online retailers like Simify offer Canada SIM cards for Australians, but if you have an eSIM-compatible mobile phone, consider buying an eSIM roaming pack from Airalo or Jetpac.

Is it better to buy a SIM card in Canada?

With a compatible mobile phone, buy an eSIM before travelling to Canada so that you’re ready to use it once you land. Alternatively, use an Australian SIM card with good international roaming perks in Canada (like Vodafone).
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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