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The Ultimate Guide to U.S. Roaming for Canadian Travellers and Snowbirds

Phones Canada: The Ultimate Guide to Using Your Cell Phone in the U.S.

Many Canadians visit the United States as cross-border shoppers, weekend tourists, snowbirds, or traveling for business. Before going, make sure you know how to avoid excessive roaming charges and understand your rights as a Canadian cell phone citizen.

How to Use Your Cell Phone Plan in the U.S.
The easiest way to use your cell phone while in the U.S. is to enable roaming on your existing nationwide cell phone plan. All major Canadian carriers offer options that let you use your existing cell phone plan abroad, including data, for a day, a week, or longer.

Option 1: Daily Roam Add-On
We highly recommend daily international roaming packs for a quick and easy solution when you’re traveling for less than a week.

Option 2: Travel Packs for Extended Vacations (1 week+)
For trips longer than a week, you should consider travel packs that include talk time, texts, and data for use in Canada and the U.S.

Option 3: Canada-U.S. Plans
Major network providers, including Telus, Rogers, and Bell, offer nationwide coverage that includes the U.S. for a little more money per month.

Fine Print for Snowbirds
An excellent option for long-term vacationers is a Canada-U.S. plan which lets you use your existing cell phone plan while abroad with no extra fees.

What are My Rights When Roaming in the U.S.?
It falls upon the carrier to suspend data roaming charges once they reach $100 within a single monthly billing cycle. Carriers typically provide an account management app or website where you can track these details in real-time.

Should I Get a U.S. Cell Phone Plan?
The U.S. may offer plans that include twice as much data and almost half the cost you’re probably paying now. However, consider the issues of having a different phone number, ensuring phone compatibility and unlocking, and finding the best plan for your needs.

Canada-U.S. Roaming Rates by Carrier
Consider paying an extra fee and taking your smartphone, your existing plan, and even your phone number when you travel. However, you should still track how much time you talk and how much data you use, as overage charges in another country can quickly add up.

Roaming Rates by Carrier
– Bell
– Rogers
– Telus
– Fido
– Koodo
– Virgin Plus
– Freedom Mobile
– Videotron
– Fizz Mobile

It’s important to optimize your plan based on the length of your travel to the U.S.

Lucky Mobile
Unfortunately, there are no U.S. roaming options for Lucky Mobile customers.

In July 2022, Chatr announced that U.S. carriers were shuttering their 3G wireless networks, meaning Chatr could no longer guarantee roaming in the U.S.

Please reach out to our customer support if you require further assistance with your travel plans!

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