Canada doesn’t have the best options for mobile coverage, but good luck getting by without a speedy phone plan. Unfortunately, Canadians won’t find the same unlimited data deals or shockingly low prices available south of the border or across the pond. With that in mind, you still need a mobile plan in the Great White North. Here’s a look at the best cell phone plans in Canada.
So how do you choose? We have big, seemingly reliable brands like Rogers and Bell and smaller discount brands offering what seem like decent savings. Is there a catch? Does a big name mean better service? Let’s find out.
The best cell phone plans in Canada:
We’ve gone through the current offerings from major providers available across the country, and we think we’ve landed on the best Canadian phone plans you might want from each one.
Many companies offer plan customization, including family plans and service bundles, so don’t treat this as a complete and unabridged breakdown of offerings.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of Canada’s best cell phone plans regularly as new ones launch.
When it comes to finding the best cell phone plans in Canada, we have to level with you — Bell plans aren’t great ways to save money. They’re among the most expensive, in fact, but at least you can bundle your mobile service with internet, TV, and more to save money.
Bell recently revamped its lineup, moving from its classic Connect Everything plans to shiny new Unlimited Share options. Essentially, they offer you and your family a pot of high-speed data that you can all pull from starting at CA$80 per month. That rate gets you 30GB to work with, while CA$85 kicks you up to 35GB, CA$125 ups you to 50GB, and CA$175 tops you out at 100GB.
While the Unlimited Share plans aren’t exactly cheap, you can save CA$15 per month each time you add a new user to your plan. You can add a tablet or smartwatch to your data pool for another CA$5 per month.
Keep in mind that these prices are only available to those who bring their own device to the network. If you get a phone from the carrier along with the new plan, you’ll have to dish out an extra CA$20 per month for each of the three unlimited plans.
For those looking for something cheaper and who don’t need data, Bell has a plan called Basic Phone 35. It gets you unlimited calls and texts in Canada for CA$35 per month. Bell is also offering the Unlimited 30 for CA$80 per month as a special promotion. You can opt for the Canada/US version of each plan for just CA$20 more per month.
Call it the curse of the major Canadian providers: Rogers plans won’t save you much either. They’ll save you money if you also have Rogers internet or TV, though. You can also share data on family plans, which might be worth factoring into your decision-making.
A family plan is also a great way to counteract the Canadian provider curse, as Rogers will give you CA$15 off for each additional line you add.
Rogers has recently rebranded all of its plans as Rogers Infinite, and they now support Canada’s most extensive nationwide 5G network. You can choose from four tiers — one with 30GB, 35GB, 50GB, or 100GB. The basic plan starts at CA$80, and plans increase by CA$5, CA$40, and CA$50 as you increase your data cap.
You’ll also get a few streaming perks when you sign up for Rogers. Right now, the plans with more than 30GB of data include six months of Apple Music, and you can get a free tablet plan for 24 months.
Fido plans are the way to go for everyday smartphone use. They offer talk and text or talk, text, and data plans at very reasonable prices. If you want a way to avoid the Canadian provider curse, Fido might be the way to go.
Like Rogers, Fido has recently revamped its plans, and it now offers a built-your-own approach to phone service. You can choose from Data and Text, Talk and Text, and Talk, Text, and Data plans, and kick things off by selecting your data cap. All plans include unlimited texts, and you can get up to 15GB of data for as much as CA$80 per month. The introductory 3GB plan will run you CA$45 per month.
Need a new device? For a few extra bucks or more per month, you can get a significant discount on a slew of smartphones that Fido has on offer. Fido also has different promotions running throughout the year that are worth exploring.
Telus tends to rank alongside Bell and Rogers, though its presence is slightly smaller in Eastern Canada. As such, it has those big-name rates, unfortunately.
For CA$80 per month, you get unlimited nationwide calling and texting, along with “unlimited” data up to 30GB. You can share that data between your collection of devices starting at CA$85 per month for a pool of 35GB. If that’s not quite enough, Telus can hook you up with 50GB of data for CA$125 per month.
If you’re hoping to grab a pool of data to share with family and friends, Simple Share is the way to go. You can choose between 20GB and 50GB of high-speed data, and it starts at CA$90 per month. However, you’ll have to make sure that all of your lines and devices are on Simple Share if you plan to sign up.
Check out family plans for savings, or, if you need a new phone, upgrade to a two-year contract to get a free or discounted device.
5. Freedom Mobile
Freedom plans are known for being very cheap. Formerly known as Wind, Freedom has limited coverage, but the company is refreshingly candid about its shortcomings. It recognizes it’s not perfect but seeks to offer an affordable alternative to Canadians.
The cheapest cell phone plan Freedom offers Canadians gets you 250MB of data, unlimited texts, and 100 minutes of talk for CA$15 per month. You can get similar plans with more data for more money, but there are plans if you want unlimited calling, too.
You can also check out the Freedom Big Gig Unlimited plans that start from CA$50 per month. Unlimited plans start at 17GB of Freedom data with an extra 500MB of Freedom Nationwide data that you can increase as you expand your plan. The base Unlimited plan offers calling at CA$0.05 per minute, but for CA$60 and up, your calling is unlimited.
The prices may have gone up a little bit recently, but Freedom is still cheaper than just about anything else in Canada.
Koodo cell phone plans are another way to save money without sacrificing data or coverage. If calling isn’t too important to you, you can get Koodo plans for as little as CA$30 per month. For CA$50 per month right now, you can sign up for a pretty solid standard plan with unlimited calling across the country, unlimited texting, and 5GB of data.
Koodo also offers “shock-free data” on all its data plans. That means you can’t go over your data limit and rack up overage fees. Instead, your data shuts off automatically when you reach your limit. You do get a heads up before that happens, though, and Koodo will offer you the chance to buy more data. It may not be a game-changer, but shock-free data can avoid some nasty surprises when your bill reaches your inbox at the end of the month.
Koodo is also emphasizing its Tab on each of its plans too. It allows you to put a certain amount of money on your plan towards your next new device, up to $492 per year.
And the winner is…
There’s no easy calculation to tell you which of these are the best cell phone plan in Canada because these companies offer some seriously different levels of service.
Freedom wins the bargain basement award for its ultra-affordable plans. Freedom Mobile is also the least likely to work everywhere you go or to have as fast of an internet connection — but maybe that’s still worth it to you.
Then there’s the question of service bundles, family plans, and savings on new devices, which can complicate your choice. That doesn’t mean we can’t make a few overarching judgments.
It’s tough to beat CA$50 for a basic plan with more than decent data, calling, and texting offerings. That’s a considerable discount from what you’d get from the more prominent providers, and Fido and Koodo rely on those very same cell towers. For my money, the shock-free data pushes Koodo just an inch ahead. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your particular needs, so do look over the pros and cons of each provider above.