If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who visit the U.S. every year, you’ve probably run into the perils of traveling  with your cell plan.

If you’re paying per-use rates for roaming, checking your email and keeping up with social media while away from home could quickly cost as much as your vacation (like it did for this poor dad) when your cell phone bill rolls in.

Getting around these concerns used to require using a travel SIM with your unlocked phone or even purchasing a cheap prepaid phone when you arrived in the States.

But thanks to the CRTC’s Wireless Code, many carriers now are incentivized to offer roaming and travel packages that are actually worth using.

Whether you’re a snowbird spending the colder months in warmer climates or just popping over the border for a day trip, these travel bundles and add-ons will keep your phone costs low while you explore the U.S.

Roaming Explained

Before we dive into the options available, it’s important to understand what roaming is, when it applies, and how these bundles and add-ons can help you save money.

Any time that your phone can’t find a connection to your carrier’s mobile network, it will check for networks from other providers nearby. If it finds one and connects, you’re officially roaming.

Just a few years ago, even roaming within your own country ran the risk of huge overage charges and even the possibility of service termination.

However, these days, most carriers in Canada have roaming agreements that allow you to use your phone just about anywhere in Canada without worry.

Freedom Mobile is one of the only carriers left where you might need to track your usage closely, but they also offer plans with looser roaming restrictions if you prefer.

Today, the big problem with roaming is when you travel abroad.

Crossing the border to the U.S. or hopping on a plane to Europe can cause some major financial woes if you use your phone much at standard pay-per-use prices with many carriers.

Saving Money While Roaming

If you’re looking to avoid bill shock while still enjoying your phone while visiting the States, most carriers offer add-ons and bundles to help lower costs. They typically cover periods from one day up to one month depending on the carrier and the exact add-on you choose.

This means you can enjoy your phone while travelling without the need to micromanage usage. As many add-ons and bundles now include unlimited calling (or large minute allotments) determining how much data you need will be essential to finding the best option for your needs.

Below you’ll find the best U.S. travel add-ons and bundles from Canadian carriers.

NOTE: Most roaming plans don’t cover usage in the air or on cruise ships. If you’re getting to the U.S. by boat or plane, it’s probably best to leave your phone in airplane mode until you’re safely on the ground or at the docks.

Carrier Name Feature Name / Terms


Roam Better: $13 per day - Using your data, enjoy Unlimited outgoing calls within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and back to Canada, Unlimited incoming calls, Unlimited outgoing and incoming text messages.

First 5GB per day at full speed, rest limited to 512kbps.

Ultimate 150 Plan(RoC): $105/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 150GB Data

Ultimate 25 Plan(QC): $65/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 25GB Data

Ultimate 50 Plan(QC): $75/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 50GB Data

More Info


As of July 1, 2022: U.S. carriers are gradually shutting down their 3G wireless networks. If travelling to the U.S., you are no longer guaranteed roaming cellular services including 9-1-1, while in the U.S. There’s no impact to your service while in Canada.

More Info


Roaming Not Available


easyTravel: $13 per day - Use the same plan in the US as you have at home.

3-Day US Combo Pack: $15 - Unlimited calls and texts in US, 300MB data

7-Day US Combo Pack: $35 - Unlimited calls and texts in the US, 750MB data

10-Day US Combo Pack: $50 - Unlimited calls and texts in the US, 1GB data

30-Day US Combo Pack 35: $35 - Unlimited calls and texts in the US, no data

30-Day US Combo Pack 80: $80 - Unlimited calls and texts in the US, 1GB data

More Info


Fido Roam: $12 per day - Use the same plan in the US as you have at home for up to 20 days per billing cycle

More Info


Canada + USA plans: $21 to $47 - 0GB to 30GB

Travel Data Addons: $5 to $10 - 500MB to 2GB of additional data

More Info

Freedom Mobile

1GB Freedom Nationwide + U.S.: $20/30 days - 1GB of LTE data to use on Freedom Nationwide or while roaming in the U.S.

Big Gig Roam Extra, U.S.: $7/day - Get 150MB to 3GB of data (depending on time paid for) plus unlimited local/back to Canada calling and global texting while roaming in the U.S.

More Info

Ice Wireless

Endless Plan: $28 to $69/mo - Unlimited Text and 500MB to 2GB of Data

Talk & Text Plan: $25 to $69/mo - Unlimited Text and 0GB to 2GB of Data

More Info

Koodo Mobile

Easy Roam: $14/day capped at $280/billing cycle - Use your same plan while in the U.S.

More Info

Lucky Mobile

Roaming Not Available

PC Mobile

Roaming Not Available


Roaming Not Available

Public Mobile

U.S. Talk, Text and Data Add-on: $30/15 days - Unlimited Talk, Text and 3GB Data

U.S. Talk and Text Add-on: $15/15 days - Unlimited Talk and Text

U.S. Data Only: $10 to $20/15days - 250MB to 3GB of 4G LTE data

More Info


Roam Like Home: $12 per day - Use the same plan in the US as you have at home for up to 20 days per billing cycle

Infinite Advanced Plan(QC): $85/month - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 60GB Data

Infinite Premium Plan(QC): $115/month - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 100GB Data

Infinite Premium Plan(RoC): $110/month - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 150GB Data

More Info


Pay-Per-Day Rates: $6/day - 500MB of data, $3/day for unlimited calling within the U.S. and to Canada, Free messaging for included plans or $0.20 per message

R&R U.S. 40: $40/mo - 250 minutes, unlimited text, video, and picture messaging, and 1GB of data

R&R U.S. 60: $60/mo - 400 minutes, unlimited text, video, and picture messaging, and 3GB of data

R&R U.S. 80: $80/mo - 600 minutes, unlimited text, video, and picture messaging, and 5GB of data

totalSHARE Canada & U.S.: $90 to $170/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 5 to 100GB of Data

VIP 35: $105/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, 5GB of Data and unlimited U.S. data at reduced speeds while in the U.S.

More Info


Roaming Not Available


Roaming Not Available


Easy Roam®: $14/day capped at $280/month - Access to data from your monthly plan, plus unlimited talk and text.

Canada-US Plan(QC): $65 to $85/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text,  25GB to 60GB of Data

Canada-US Plan(RoC): $105/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 150GB of Data

More Info


Daily Traveller Pass: $10/day capped at 10 days/month - Use your plan as you would at home.

All-Inclusive Canada-US Plan: $65 to $70/mo - Unlimited Talk, Text, and 25GB to 50GB of Data

More Info

Virgin Mobile

Roam Sweet Roam U.S.: $13/day capped at 20 days/month - Unlimited talk and text and access to the data from your plan.

More Info

Zoomer Wireless

Roaming Not Available

Each of these add-ons or bundles can save you a surprising sum over using your carrier’s pay-as-you-go roaming rates. Better still, most simply require you to login to your online account or call up customer service to activate them.

This means you don’t have to worry about unlocking your phone, picking up a new SIM, or adding any other last-minute complications to your travel plans.

Common Questions

1. What if I use all my travel bundle?

In most cases, carriers will allow you to purchase another travel bundle within the same period if you use your entire allotment. However, most will not apply a new bundle automatically and will instead switch you to pay-per-use rates should you use all your minutes, data, or messages.

This means it’s important to keep track of your usage or you might still find yourself with a nasty surprise waiting in your next bill.

2. What can I do if my carrier does not offer roaming bundles or travel add-ons?

While most carriers offer an option these days to help reduce your roaming costs, you have options that aren’t through your carrier as well if you’re looking to avoid insane pay-per-use rates.

If your phone is unlocked and compatible with US carriers, you can always sign up for a prepaid plan through a US carrier at a more affordable rate. Just be sure to check the rates for calls back home to Canada. Fortunately, many companies allow international texting to help with this.

You can also sign up for a travel SIM. This allows you to put in the SIM and enjoy low-cost usage in a variety of countries -- including the United States. Popular options include GoSIM, TravelSIM, and OneSimCard.

If your phone isn’t unlocked, your options decrease pretty drastically. But it might still be cheaper to pick up a basic prepaid phone in the States and load it up on minutes and data and just put it in a drawer when you get home.

3. How can I be sure my phone will work in the U.S.?

The United States and Canada share a range of common wireless frequencies. So if you want to use a travel bundle from your carrier and they have roaming agreements with a U.S. carrier, there’s a good chance your phone will work.

However, if you want to be completely sure, we recommend checking your phone’s supported frequencies at Frequency Check or Will My Phone Work. Then compare that with the information available at your carrier about their roaming agreements. Most will tell you who they partner with in the U.S. to provide service.

Key Takeaways

  • Roaming occurs when you use your phone on the network of a different carrier than you pay for your monthly service.
  • While domestic roaming is less of an issue these days, roaming fees when in other countries can add up fast if you don’t plan ahead.
  • Most carriers offer travel add-ons or bundles to help you save when travelling in the US and abroad.
  • You must monitor your roaming usage as using your entire allotment could result in reverting to pay-per-use pricing.
  • Roaming add-ons may not apply to in-flight or cruise ship usage.
  • Using an unlocked phone can provide additional options for reducing your roaming expenses.

P.S. Travelling to the UK instead? Our rundown of the frequencies used by popular UK carriers makes it easy to ensure your phone will work on your next trip across the pond.

[1] iMore: Best roaming plans for Canadians travelling to the U.S.
[2] whistleOut : US Roaming Guide for Canadian Mobile Users
[3] CRTC : The Wireless Code, simplified
[4] Orchard : The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Best U.S. Roaming Rates