Canadians preparing for March Break travel received an unpleasant surprise when both Telus and Bell announced they will be hiking their roaming charges for customers travelling outside of Canada, meaning many customers will be paying $112 per phone for a one-week vacation.
Beginning on Wednesday (March 8, 2023), Telus will be charging Canadian customers $14 per day to “roam” while in the United States (currently $12 per day), and $16 per day to “roam” while traveling internationally (currently $15 per day).
Telus customers roaming in the United States: $14 per day (up from $12)
Telus customers roaming internationally: $16 per day (up from $15)
And beginning on Thursday (March 9, 2023), Bell will implement similar changes to their roaming fee structure, charging Canadian customers $13 per day to “roam” while in the United States (currently $12 per day), and $16 per day to “roam” while traveling internationally (currently $15 per day).
Bell customers roaming in the United States: $13 per day (up from $12)
Bell customers roaming internationally: $16 per day (up from $15)
Rogers, the third major player in the Canadian telecom game, has not announced any charges to their roaming fees yet. Rogers currently charges Canadian customers $12 per day to “roam” while in the United States, and $15 per day to “roam” while traveling internationally.
Canadians frustrated by high travel data costs
The news is especially unwelcome, considering Canadians are already paying exorbitant prices for mobile service, including roaming data while they travel. According to a recent CBC report, Canadians are paying seven times more per GB than people in Australia, 25 times more than people in Ireland and France, and 1,000 times more than people in Finland.
What are roaming fees, anyway?
When your phone is “roaming,” that means it’s hopping onto a new network because it can’t find your usual one, since you’re in another country. So if you’re traveling, your phone might try to “roam” and connect you to a new network (and add some wild roaming charges to your next carrier bill).
Instead of aimless, ever-increasing roaming fees, most carriers offer travel plans where you can pay a flat daily fee to use your regular data plan in another country. Whether you spend 10 seconds or 10 hours on the internet, you’ll pay the same flat rate to use your regular plan from home.
The problem? That’s still a LOT of money to pay every single day of your vacation, just to use a data plan from home (especially if you barely use any data while traveling).
Avoid roaming fees with prepaid eSIM data
Instead of paying $12, $13, or $15 a day for the privilege of using your own data plan from back home, more Canadians are opening their eyes to the power of prepaid eSIM data.
It’s easy to use, it’s cheaper than a carrier plan, and it’s fully customizable. If you only need a little data, you only pay for a little data.
Step 1: Use an eSIM-friendly device
Most newer phones and tablets are eSIM compatible, but older ones were only build to hold physical SIM cards.
Step 2: Choose a country or region
Select the country or region where you need data. aloSIM has data for more than 130 countries (and counting)!
Step 3: Buy an eSIM data package
Step 4: Install your new eSIM
An eSIM is a digital SIM card. No messing around with a SIM card swap! We’ll show you exactly how to install your eSIM via detailed instructions for iPhone eSIM installation, Google Pixel eSIM installation, Samsung Galaxy eSIM installation, and for many other devices.
Step 5: Use your new eSIM data
Once you’ve arrived in the correct country or region, activate your eSIM data package to start the data flowing. You’ll be connected to the best local network we support, and your phone or tablet will be able to have a steady internet connection anywhere in that country or region.
Your eSIM data connection can even support calling and texting on your regular phone number (with minimal carrier charges for active calls and texts), or you can use your eSIM data to power a free SIM phone number instead.
How much would I save?
If you’re a Canadian Bell customer visiting the U.S.
OPTION 1: Pay $14/day to roam with Bell and use your regular plan
If you’re a Canadian Telus customer visiting the U.S.
OPTION 1: Pay $13/day to roam with Telus and use your regular plan
If you’re a Canadian Rogers customer visiting the U.S.
OPTION 1: Pay $12/day to roam with Rogers and use your regular plan
Ready to give eSIM a try for your next trip outside of Canada? Browse prepaid eSIM data prices in our web store, or within the free aloSIM app (available on the App Store and Google Play). And please reach out if you have any questions for us!