Best Cell Phone Plans in Canada in 2020

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Beyond Bell, Rogers and Telus there are more than a dozen cell phone plans in Canada offered by different companies. Some target a younger demographic with better price-per-feature rates like Fido, Koodo, and Virgin Mobile. Regional carriers like SaskTel, Videotron and Freedom Mobile provide superior prices in their geographical areas. Discount carriers like Public Mobile and Chatr have a lot of restrictions but also provide the cheapest service you can find in Canada. 

You are unique and no one plan is the best value for everyone, so we’ve listed our favourite deals in each category below. WhistleOut does the work to find the best plans for Canadians and report them to you. 

If you’re in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Quebec, there may be even better options for you to consider. Happy with your carrier? You can also find the best plans by wireless provider.

Best Smartphone Plans

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. We do more than communicate, we read, watch, and listen to the world around us on our phones. While there a lot of new deals out there offering 10GB and up, most Canadians use only a few gigs per month. 

Koodo 4GB and Unlimited Minutes Plan

The best smartphone plan in Canada right now is from Koodo Mobile with unlimited talk, text and 4GB of data for $47/month when you bring your own phone.

Why we love it: You probably don’t need unlimited data for $75 per month or more. In fact, most Canadians use less than 2GB of data every month. Koodo offers you 4GB of data on Canada’s largest LTE network for only $55/month, but sign up now and get a $8 credit to your bill each month for one year. The plan costs you $47/month and the rest of your money goes back in your pocket.

Fido and Virgin Mobile offer similar prices. If you want to know what else makes these three carriers unique, read our guide on Fido vs Koodo vs Virgin Mobile and learn which wireless provider is the best for you.

More Great Smartphone Plans

  • Virgin Mobile also has a 4GB plan with unlimited talk time for $47/month
  • When you want lots of data but HD video streaming isn’t a need, then consider Public Mobile. For just $25 every 30 days you get 1GB of 3G-speed data (about 3 Mbps) with unlimited talk and text when you sign up for AutoPay. You also get a $2 credit with every payment so next month’s bill will only be $23.

Best Unlimited Cell Phone Plans in Canada

Now that Rogers has ended data overages on all plans, the era of unlimited data is starting to become a reality in Canada. There’s still a long way to go, as most carriers still charge for overages when you hit your data cap and the unlimited plans can throttle your speed to a trickle. Even so, WhistleOut is watching all the Canadian unlimited data plans closely and will keep you updated with the best plans for unlimited streaming.

Telus Peace of Mind Connect Plan

The best unlimited data plan in Canada is the Telus Peace of Mind Connect plan for $85/month. This plan includes 10GB of full-speed LTE data before your download speeds are throttled.

Why we love it: Telus has added 10GB, 20GB and 50GB unlimited data plans to new Peace of Mind Connect plans. These plans offer many features similar to the competition, including:

  • unlimited talk and text
  • large data caps
  • unlimited throttled data (512 kbps) when you go over your monthly limit
  • change plans at any time with no penalty even if you’re on a 2-year financing plan

As an added bonus, you can add up to six LTE-enabled devices to use that data with no additional monthly fee including:

  • tablets
  • smartwatches
  • Telus Drive+ system which turns almost any car into an intelligent Wifi hotspot 

Not sure why unlimited data plans in Canada come with data caps? Read our Unlimited Data Plans in Canada Guide to find the best plan for your needs.

More Unlimited Plans

  • If you don’t have LTE-enabled tablets or smartwatches, save $10/month and still get 10GB with the Telus Peace of Mind plan at $75/month
  • Rogers offers three tiers of full speed data at 10GB, 20GB and 50GB before you are throttled for the rest of the billing month
  • Bell has the same coverage as Telus and they offer unlimited data plans with 10GB, 20GB or 50GB of full speed data
  • The best overall unlimited data plan belongs to SaskTel, so if you live in Saskatchewan then you can get access to the Total 15 plan for as little as $75/month when you bring your own phone. Unlimited speeds are 4x faster than anyone else after you hit your monthly 15GB data cap.
  • For the lowest price on unlimited data, Lucky Mobile has the cheapest unlimited smartphone plans in Canada starting at $15/month 

Best Family Sharing Cell Phone Plans in Canada

Bundling your phone lines together can save a family hundreds of dollars over a year. Each mobile plan includes a bucket of data, talk time and texts that everyone shares. Adding additional phones for a child or grandparent is a simple monthly fee. Rogers, Bell and Telus have Family Sharing plans to suit every need, so what makes them different? Read our guide to Bell vs Rogers vs Telus to find out which is the best carrier for your needs.

Rogers Infinite +10 Plans

This month’s best family plan is the Rogers Infinite +10 plan where three lines costs $205/month. 

Why we love it: All three major wireless networks offer unlimited data plans right now, but Rogers is the only one that lets you share the full speed data across all phone lines. Put three family members on one account and you can share that data before unlimited speeds kick in. 

Rogers will also discount all additional lines by $10/month. With this deal, three plans share 30GB of data then get unlimited data at throttled speeds until the end of the billing month.

Not sure how unlimited data works? We’ve put together a guide outlining the truth around unlimited data plans in Canada. 

Bell and Telus also have Family Sharing plans to suit every need, so what makes them different? Read our guide to Bell vs Rogers vs Telus to find out which is the best carrier for your needs.

More Sharing Cell Phone Plans

  • Telus offers 10GB, 20GB and 50GB data packs as unlimited data or shareable plans. Not both. Whichever you choose, Telus knocks $5/line off two lines, $10/line off three lines, or $15/month off four lines. That means you save $60/month if four people are on one account.
  • Cityfone offers 400 minutes shared, unlimited evenings and weekends, and 1GB to split between two lines for only $80/month. SimplyConnect offers this deal too. When you bring your own phones, they’ll knock off 10% ($8/month), double your talk time to 800 minutes, and boost your data to 3GB. 

Best Data-Only Cell Phone Plans in Canada

Whether you use Facetime, Skype, or another VoIP service, cell phones don’t really need minutes and SMS text anymore. Get a simple data-only mobile plan and don’t pay extra for minutes you won’t use.

These are our favourite deals but see our full guide covering the best Data-Only plans in Canada.

Lucky Mobile Canada-wide Data Plan

The best data-only plan is the $15 Nationwide Data-only Plan from Lucky Mobile.

Why we love it: You won’t find a lot of low-cost cell phone plans in Canada. If you just need a data connection, $15 with Lucky Mobile will give you 500MB of data on the nationwide Bell Mobility network. If you set up Automatic Top-Ups with a payment card, you get an extra 250MB. That’s more than Chatr gives you for $15 and on a larger network.

Download speeds are throttled at 3Mbps, and if you hit your data limit your speeds are slowed to a trickle (128 kbps). That’s really only good for basic browsing and chat, but you’ll stay connected without ever paying data overages.

More Data-only Plans

  • If high-speed LTE is a requirement, Virgin Mobile has 1GB for $28/month. Fido and Koodo offer 1GB of LTE data too, but priced at $30/month
  • Although Home Zone coverage is limited to major cities in Ontario, BC and Alberta, Freedom Mobile has the cheapest per-megabyte data-only plan in Canada with 10GB for $45/month when you bring your own phone and sign up in-store. You get an additional 500MB for roaming anywhere in Canada, then have unlimited downloading at throttled speeds.
  • The plans above are for smartphones, but tablet plans offer gigs of data for cheap. Fido has the best deal with 4GB for $10/month and they’ll throw in a free LTE-enabled tablet if you sign a 2-year contract. Technically the plan should work on smartphones, but your account can be disabled if they find it’s not being used on a tablet. You also need to be a Fido smartphone customer to get the deal.

Best Talk and Text Cell Phone Plans in Canada

With WiFi available at coffee shops, schools, libraries, as well as at work and at home, many Canadians find the best cell phone plan doesn’t need data. Whether you’re looking for something low-priced to keep you connected, or a basic plan for your kids, talk and text plans let you pay for only what you need. Editor’s Pick 

Freedom Mobile Prepaid Talk + Text

The best talk and text plan is Freedom Mobile’s prepaid Talk + Text plan for as little as $14/month.

Why we love it: Fido has increased the price on their no-data option, so we’ve found something even cheaper. Freedom Mobile relaunched their prepaid plans with a low price on their Talk + Text plan. Set up pre-authorized payments and you’ll get a Digital Discount of five bucks each month so it’s only $14/month. 

Minutes work to and from anywhere in Canada, but you need to live in a Freedom Zone to sign up. That includes most urban centres in Ontario, BC and Alberta with more being added every month. There are Talk and Text plans from other carriers with more nationwide availability for as low as $15/month but they are pay-as-you-go minutes. You’ll need to watch the clock if you go that route.

More Talk & Text Plans

  • If you don’t live in Ontario, BC or Alberta but still want unlimited talk time, Public Mobile’s $25/30-days plan includes up to 1GB of data but you don’t need to use it. What you will use is a $2 credit applied to the next month so that your next bill will only be $23.
  • Koodo also has prepaid plans that let you control how much you spend. Get a base $15/30-days plan then add 600 minutes for $30. Your minutes don’t expire until they’re used up as long as you pay the base $15 every 30 days. That base plan includes unlimited international text, voicemail, call display, and even 250MB of data.
  • Cityfone’s $30 Talk & Text Plan has a nation-wide network that gives you 200 minutes and unlimited texts. Right now it’s only $27 if you bring your own phone and they’ll double your talk time to 400 minutes.

The Best Prepaid Plan

With a prepaid plan you can take control of exactly how much you spend on your mobile phone. Some cell phone companies like Chatr use older technology to keep prices cheap, but you’ll never experience any surprise bills when you’ve paid up front for these mobile plans. 

Public Mobile 1GB + Talk + Text

Among the best cell phone plans in Canada this month is Public Mobile’s 1GB + Talk + Text plan for $18/month. 

Why we love it: Just like Koodo, Public Mobile runs on the Telus network covering 99% of Canadians. Data speeds are slowed down to just 3Mbps, but that’s still fast enough to chat, browse and even stream Spotify. While $25/30-days might seem high (even though it includes unlimited nationwide talk time), there are lots of ways to reduce your monthly bill. For example:

  • Every 30 days you’re credited with $2 towards your next bill when you set up AutoPay
  • For a limited time Public Mobile will credit every bill $5 for the first 8 months on this plan
  • After one year, you’re credited $1 every 30 days. Then it’s $2 after the second year, $3 after the third year, and up to $5/30-days credit for five years of loyalty
  • Save $1/30-days for every friend you refer, and a bonus $10 finder’s fee
  • Up to $20 more per bill for helping out in the community forum

Public Mobile also has more data options. If you find 1GB isn’t enough then get up to 8.5GB data on their larger plans. 

More Prepaid Cell Phone Plans in Canada

  • Freedom Mobile has a plan that’s even better, but it’s only available in parts of Ontario, BC and Alberta. Just $19/month gets you unlimited talk, text and 1.5GB of data that works anywhere in Canada.
  • Rogers Pay As You Go plans have evolved over the decades, and for only $25/month you get free international texts and unlimited evenings and weekends after 6pm (long-distance extra)
  • If you need lots data but don’t want to commit to a plan, Chatr has a $50 8.5GB plan that lets you keep downloading for free even when you hit your limit. It’s not a very good plan for high-speed downloads. Chatr uses slower 3G tech and after your monthly cap you get unlimited data downloads at 64kbps. 

How Much Mobile Data Do You Need?

Emails and texts have given way to social media and streaming video. When we’re on the go, we don’t want to just be connected, we want to be entertained. Even the best cell phone plans in Canada have some of the most expensive data rates in the world. The more you know about how much data you use, the better you can pick the cheapest mobile phone plan. 

WhistleOut took a look at some of the most common online activities and measured how much data is used. Usage varies depending on how you use your cell phone, butĀ read our data usage guideĀ to find out which mobile deal is the best buy for you.

Source: whistleout.ca