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Canada: How to choose a Phone Plan?

“When you arrive in BC, one of your first priority is to find a way to communicate”

When you arrive in BC, one of your priority is to find a way to communicate and to have a phone number where people can contact you either for networking, to find work and of course to create friendships.  You have three different options to do that.

Keeping your European Cell-Plan

You keep your French number because you have an international plan that gives you the opportunity to call, text and use data in Canada with no fees. This option is correct, but it has two significant concerns.

  • Your French plan might be canceled if you are not geolocalized in France during the next six months (The new regulations could change it to 12 months).
  • The local employers and even your local friends will not call you because your number is not a Canadian one and they would have to pay fees to call you.
“The local employers and even your local friends will not call you because your number is not a Canadian one.”

This option is for you if you planned to stay in Canada for a short period or if you are here to visit or to prepare your future installation.

BYOP: Bring Your Own Phone

You decide to open a line with your actual phone, so you do not have to buy a new one. You should know that the costs for monthly plans in Canada are way higher than the ones in France, for a plan that you would pay 15€ in France, it would cost you around 90$ in here. You can find different monthly offers for prepaid sim cards that are giving you the possibility to keep your old phone but to put a Canadian sim card in it. This option would cost you a minimum of 40 $ a month with low costs phone operators like Koodo, Virgin, Fido and some others for an essential service (minimum data, 500 minutes calls in BC, unlimited texts).  Alternatively, if you want a better service, more data, unlimited calls and many other advantages; direct yourself to the giant operators like Telus, Rogers, and Bell (Even if these three companies are owning the low-cost ones).

“The costs for monthly plans in Canada are way higher than the ones in France.”

Tips: Great option if you are staying more than six months because you can stop your sim card when you want and you do not have to engage yourself with a company for an extended contract.

Start a contract with an operator

You are in Canada for an extended period and you know you can take an agreement with an operator. Then your best solution is to start a 1 or 2 years contract with an operator (low cost or not). It also gives you the opportunity to buy a new phone and to pay it on a monthly basis. As an example, If you want the new iPhone X that cost, 1319 CA$ (without tax), you will be able to pay 319 $ to get it and then 41 $ / month during 24 months. Of course, the price to pay in the beginning will depend on the plan you are taking; if you are considering a 100$ plan, it will be cheaper than if you choose a 60$. You can compare the price difference between the phone provider and any retailer with this tool.

“Always be sure to do a benchmark of all the market before choosing your plan”

Tips: If you don’t have to save money or if you need a new phone, this is the best option. Just remind that if you want to stop your plan or to change your phone, you will have to pay your previous tab before leaving the operator, so this discourages many people. Always be sure to do a benchmark of all the market before choosing your plan, because you could regret it quickly.

Bonus points

  • Sometimes operators are making special offers and very interesting promotions. Usually, it’s during the Christmas period. Last December, they advertised a 60$ offer where you could benefit unlimited texts, unlimited calls in Canada and the US and most importantly of 10 GO data. Usually, the operator's maximum data amount for a reasonable price is 3 GO, and it costs around 100$ CA. Be careful and always check the social media accounts of the operators because these offers are limited and usually are available for a brief period.
  • Always negotiate and be nice with the staff in the shop when you subscribe to a plan because you may get some great advantages like Extra data, a case or a screen protector for your phone and many other things. Also if you have any problem, do not hesitate to signal it to the customer service or in a store and you might get a discount or something equivalent for your next balance.
  • Never forget that the prices for the plans are without taxes, we are in BC, so all of them are added when you proceed to the payment, a 60$ monthly plan cost in fact a bit more than 67$.

Now that you have heard about these three solutions, which one do you think you would choose?

Vote here and after watch the Results from the others.

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