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Top Prepaid and Pay-as-You-Go Phone Plans for Canada in 2023

Prepaid and Pay-As-You-Go Plans in Canada for August 2023

Prepaid cell phone plans offer you more choices when customizing a plan than monthly contracts. That means you’re in control of your monthly spending rather than under the control of the cell phone company.

Best PrepaidSmartphone Plans

Telus | Nationwide Talk, Text & Data | $35/month—Best overall prepaid plan

If you’re in the market for a prepaid plan, it’ll be hard to beat the latest offer from Telus. Telus’ standard Nationwide Talk, Text & Data plan, with its promise of unlimited nationwide talk and unlimited international text for $35/month, is a solid deal on its own, but if select “Bonus Data” during activation you’ll pick up additional data that gives you 1GB per month.

It’s rare to see this much data for this cheap, but it’s almost unheard of to find this much 4G LTE data on a prepaid plan. Considering that, we think this is the best overall prepaid plan in Canada.

And, for a limited time, you can grab an additional 1GB of data if you enroll in auto-renew or auto top-up and use promo code AUTO1GB. In order to get the most out of this plan, you’ll first want to make sure Telus’ network has you covered. Considering 97% of Canadians can access Telus’s 4G network, there’s a good chance of that being the case. The 4G LTE network, however, is only available in urban centres, so you should look up Telus’ coverage in your area.

Chatr Mobile | Nationwide Talk, Text & 3G Data Plan | $25/month—Prepaid unlimited data deal

Not all Canadians know that you can get unlimited data on a cheap prepaid plan, but prepaid unlimited plans do exist, even if they’re hard to come by. Chatr is known for their prepaid unlimited plans and this one gives you unlimited nationwide long-distance minutes, free international texting, and 500MB of 3G-speed data.

Even if you use up your monthly data, Chatr keeps you connected with unlimited downloads at reduced speeds (64Kbps). This isn’t a great plan if you like to stream music or video while away from your home Wi-Fi. However, your chat, email, and DMs still work without any surprising data overage fees. Chatr is offering a one-month credit when you sign up for any plan, which will be applied to the second month’s bill.

Best Prepaid Talk-and-Text Plans

Koodo Mobile | Prepaid Base Plan | $25/month—Best unlimited talk-and-text prepaid plan

If you’re less interested in streaming and browsing but still want to make sure you’re able to call and message as much as you like, there are a number of unlimited talk-and-text plans from Canadian carriers. The best of the bunch is Koodo’s $25 Prepaid Base Plan, which offers unlimited nationwide minutes and unlimited international texting. In addition, you pick up 1GB of 3G data on the Telus network. If you want more data, sign up for automatic top-up to get an additional 500MB of data each month. If you like the plan but wish it had just a bit more data, Koodo sells 1GB Data Booster add-ons for $30. So long as your account is active, they don’t expire and can carry over month-to-month.

PC Mobile | Unlimited Talk & Text & Data | $30/month—Cheapest unlimited talk-and-text plan

PC Mobile recently added this option that puts non-stop talk on your phone with free long-distance to anywhere in the country. If you’re looking for a cheap way to call and text, this is a solid option, with 2GB of monthly data. Plus, PC Mobile runs on Bell’s network, so you’ll get 4G LTE speeds. If you have a PC Optimum card, there’s another reason to get this plan: activate a PC Mobile SIM card and get 20,000 PC Optimum points.

Best Pay-as-you-Go Plans

7-Eleven SpeakOut | 365-day Top-Up | $25/year—Cheapest pay-as-you-go choice

Most cell phone plans in Canada require you to pay every month, but a few let you pay 12 months upfront. 7-Eleven SpeakOut (yes, the convenience store has a wireless brand) will charge up any phone with nationwide coverage on the Rogers Wireless network. Pay $25 upfront, and your credit won’t expire for 365 days. This is a great plan if you need a limited phone for a child, senior parents, or a trusty back-up phone for yourself. Like the plan, the phones offered are on the cheaper side, though there are a few refurbished older models, including the iPhone 11.

Petro-Canada Mobile | Top Up  | $25/120 days—Best prepaid plan for bonus perks

Just like 7-Eleven SpeakOut’s plan, this is a great option for an emergency phone or to keep in contact with a child or elderly parents. You can top up your account at any time online or at any of Petro-Canada’s 1,800+ stations found across the country. Petro-Canada’s phone selection is limited, so we recommend you use an older, inactive device if you’re looking to activate this plan. After all, you won’t be worried about download speeds or screen size in an emergency. The plan is a good, limited-use option for calling and texting; if you’ve got an old phone that can do that, there’s no need to purchase a new device. A perk that comes with this plan is Petro-Canada’s loyalty program. Every $1 spent earns 10 Petro-Points at all of their locations. Use these loyalty rewards for fuel, snacks, or splurge on the deluxe car wash.

It’s easy in Canada to switch to a new wireless carrier and keep your old phone and number.

Methodology: How we picked the best prepaid plans

To choose the top prepaid plans, we compared offerings from all MVNOs, flanker brands, and major networks. We reviewed different plans ranging from low-cost options to premium offerings. In ranking each plan, we looked primarily at price and network coverage, though we factored in whether these plans included extra perks like 4G LTE data. We also considered how each plan compared to similar postpaid offerings. WhistleOut keeps a watchful eye on the mobile market and will change these ratings as necessary.

Why choose prepaid?

Most Canadian carriers have prepaid plans that range from a few bucks a month to plans that include unlimited nationwide calling and several GB of data. You can choose a cheap plan under $100 or buy a top-of-the-line plan upfront with no commitment.

Thanks to rules in the CRTC’s Wireless Code of Conduct, you can bring your own phone (BYOP) from another carrier as long as the technology is compatible. WhistleOut has a guide to help you move an old phone from one mobile carrier to another.

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