• Last Updated:
  • Feb 13th, 2020 7:51 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts

US Phone Plan

For those who travel to US for business often, what phone plan do you have?

Bell Mobility offers $95 per month plan that works in North America, whether you are in Canada or in the US. However wondering if there are cheaper solutions, perhaps buying a US-SIM card, or having 2 phones, one with Canadian plan and the other with US plan?

Thanks.
13 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4829 upvotes
Here 'n There
When it is only 2-3 days or so I use the $7/day per 24hr period roam with home data that my Rogers plan provides. For longer I now use the AT&T Prepaid SIM which costs a fraction compared to Rogers roaming for anything over 4 days.

When travelling with this SIM since I get my biz calls through my iPhone Groundwire app (via voip.ms) I don't have to change any iPhone settings. Before leaving I forward my personal calls to my personal Groundwire # or just phone in for my messages.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
eonibm wrote: When it is only 2-3 days or so I use the $7/day per 24hr period roam with home data that my Rogers plan provides. For longer I now use the AT&T Prepaid SIM which costs a fraction compared to Rogers roaming for anything over 4 days.

When travelling with this SIM since I get my biz calls through my iPhone Groundwire app (via voip.ms) I don't have to change any iPhone settings. Before leaving I forward my personal calls to my personal Groundwire #.
That sounds like a great solution. Do you find that the AT&T SIM is reliable and provides good connection? Did you try using the AT&T number as well or you always just use their data for voip calls?

I guess you have to stop the roaming feature before you leave for longer trips?

Thanks for the great tip!
Member
User avatar
Apr 29, 2018
431 posts
232 upvotes
Have you checked out US Mobile? They were shipping SIM Cards to Canada a while back and have some dirt cheap plans
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
kramer1 wrote: Have you checked out US Mobile? They were shipping SIM Cards to Canada a while back and have some dirt cheap plans
I just concerned that SIM cards may not work reliably, have any of you can vouch for one that works well? US Mobile or the AT&T?
Member
User avatar
Apr 29, 2018
431 posts
232 upvotes
Seinfeldfan wrote: I just concerned that SIM cards may not work reliably, have any of you can vouch for one that works well? US Mobile or the AT&T?
US Mobile is an MVNO and provides SIMs for both T-Mobile & Verizon. Verizon is pretty good imo and pretty much comparable to AT&T
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4829 upvotes
Here 'n There
Seinfeldfan wrote: That sounds like a great solution. Do you find that the AT&T SIM is reliable and provides good connection? Did you try using the AT&T number as well or you always just use their data for voip calls?

I guess you have to stop the roaming feature before you leave for longer trips?

Thanks for the great tip!
Very reliable. I mean, it's AT&T! You leave roaming on regardless of the length of trip whether you are roaming with home data or the AT&T SIM. If you turn it off it won't work. I use the AT&T # or my Google Voice app for personal calls and Groundwire for biz calls so my customers see my company name on their call display.

As US carriers go, I have also used T-Mobile and Verizon in the past and see no difference among the 3 carriers. However, there are small rural pockets where one or the others might provide better coverage but that is very rare these days.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
eonibm wrote: Very reliable. I mean, it's AT&T! You leave roaming on regardless of the length of trip whether you are roaming with home data or the AT&T SIM. If you turn it off it won't work.
Good to know!

With Bell-Mobility, I have to make sure that "Roam Better" feature is turned off, or will be charged $8 a day while in US. You probably meant to leave different kind of roaming on / just the non travel cell phone plan?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4829 upvotes
Here 'n There
Seinfeldfan wrote: Good to know!

With Bell-Mobility, I have to make sure that "Roam Better" feature is turned off, or will be charged $8 a day while in US. You probably meant to leave different kind of roaming on / just the non travel cell phone plan?
Given you have to switch SIM's there is no need to turn off any Bell feature as Bell won't be active in the first place.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
eonibm wrote: Given you have to switch SIM's there is no need to turn off any Bell feature as Bell won't be active in the first place.
So just change the SIM? That's logical, thanks for the tip.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4829 upvotes
Here 'n There
Well, la-di-da, Rogers/Fido just increased their roaming charge from $7/day/USA to $8. At least the 24 hours starts from the time you first use it in the USA rather than ending a midnight regardless of when you enter like Bell/Virgin. That makes it even more economical to use the AT&T Prepaid SIM. Even better is to use Airalo but you need an eSIM compatible phone and mine (iPhone X) does not qualify. They only charge $3/1GB/7 Days, $11/3GB/30 Days, $16/5GB/30 Days, $26/10GB/30 Days. That's rock bottom cheap.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
eonibm wrote: Well, la-di-da, Rogers/Fido just increased their roaming charge from $7/day/USA to $8. At least the 24 hours starts from the time you first use it in the USA rather than ending a midnight regardless of when you enter like Bell/Virgin. That makes it even more economical to use the AT&T Prepaid SIM. Even better is to use Airalo but you need an eSIM compatible phone and mine (iPhone X) does not qualify. They only charge $3/1GB/7 Days, $11/3GB/30 Days, $16/5GB/30 Days, $26/10GB/30 Days. That's rock bottom cheap.
That $8 increase was expected, I don't see a real competition between phone companies, seems like all end up matching their prices.
The eSIM sounds great, but need a compatible device. Maybe worth buying just for that.
Otherwise the AT&T SIM looks good, for about 3 days to a few weeks. For longer trips, such as 3 weeks the AT&T card starts to cost over $40, and depending on your base phone plan, might be better to choose a North American plan, such as Bell offers for $95/month. But for up to a few weeks the AT&T SIM card looks like the best option, I think.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 2, 2010
15194 posts
4829 upvotes
Here 'n There
I'll likely upgrade my iPhone X to whatever apple comes out with in the fall so then I'll have the eSIM ability. I only pay $50/15GB/mos for my Rogers plan so I wouldn't switch to a $95/mos plan as the extra $45/mos would cost me $610 per year extra with HST. I'll spend much less than that roaming a la carte with roam with home data or SIMs.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 4, 2020
22 posts
eonibm wrote: I'll likely upgrade my iPhone X to whatever apple comes out with in the fall so then I'll have the eSIM ability. I only pay $50/15GB/mos for my Rogers plan so I wouldn't switch to a $95/mos plan as the extra $45/mos would cost me $610 per year extra with HST. I'll spend much less than that roaming a la carte with roam with home data or SIMs.
I am on a month to month plan with Bell, so I can switch to $95 per month only when I head to the States, otherwise I can switch back to a cheaper plan.
Upgrading to a device that works with eSIM though looks like the best bet!

Top