1. Best Canadian Smartphone Plan: Fido
2. Best Canadian Unlimited Data Plan: Telus
3. Best Canadian Prepaid Plan: Public Mobile
4. Best Canadian $0 iPhone Deal: Fido
5. Best Canadian $0 Android Smartphone Deal: SimplyConnect
6. Best Canadian Family Sharing Plan: Telus
7. Best Canadian Data-Only Mobile Plan: Freedom Mobile
8. Best Canadian Talk and Text (No Data) Deal: Cityfone
Which Canadian Provider Offers The Best Cell Phone Plan?
The real answer to this question depends on your individual needs. For example, if you want unlimited data and you plan on using a phone you already have, Rogers is probably the best choice. If you don’t use very much data but you still want to have a smartphone, Koodo is the most affordable. For someone wanting an inexpensive prepaid plan for a phone they already own, Public Mobile is the best bet.
These differences between providers show us that the best cell phone plan in Canada for you may not be the same as what’s best for some else. Where you live even plays a role. The best options for a Canadian living in Quebec are different than someone living in Saskatchewan.
So how do you know which provider and plan to choose? Popular Canadian tech site Whistleout.ca recently took a deep dive into all the current plans offered by every Canadian provider. They separated their findings into 8 main categories. We’ve summarized their results here.
1. Best Canadian Smartphone Plan
Top Choice: Fido
Despite the majority of Canadian smartphone plans offering data plans of 15GB or more, usage numbers show that most Canadians use way less than that per month. If you’re part of this majority, why not save money by paying only for the data you actually use? The 6GB Fido Unlimited Canada-Wide Talk plan is a fantastic way to do this, especially if you bring a phone you already have.
This plan is only $45 per month and there’s no contract. It’s a month-to-month plan. And you can save $5-10 more each month by using a preexisting phone. Unless you’re someone who loves streaming video on your commute, 6B should be plenty of data.
Also worth noting is that many Canadian providers are switching to a province-wide minutes structure which includes an extra monthly fee for long-distance. Fido has not done this yet, but chances are they will at some point. So if you want to save an additional $5, jump on this plan sooner than later.
2. Best Canadian Unlimited Data Plan
Top Choice: Telus
Unlimited 4G LTE data plans have upsides and downsides. When you’re not on an unlimited plan, you have to pay overage charges when you go over. If you are on one, you don’t have to worry about that, but you do have to deal with throttled speeds during downloading.
This is why premium unlimited plans are a better choice. They offer 5G network access which gives you download and upload speeds much faster than 4G LTE. Bell, Rogers, and Telus all offer such plans. But if you know that you need unlimited data, there’s one Canadian plan that takes the prize. The Telus Peach of Mind Connect Plus plan.
This plan includes 25GB of data and costs $90 per month. Because this plan gives you 5G access, your phone will switch between 4G and 5G depending on where you are. You get unlimited talk and text, even if you go over 25GB. When you add a family member, you save $15 per month (sometimes more).
Also, if you use a preexisting phone, you don’t have to sign a contract. But if you prefer getting a new phone when you sign up, Telus has pretty much every smartphone you’d ever want in their selection.
3. Best Canadian Prepaid Plan
Top Choice: Public Mobile
Many people in Canada prefer prepaid cell phone options (also referred to as pay-as-you-go plans). These plans give the customer much more control, letting you choose how much you spend. Though these plans have limitations, knowing that there will never be a surprise charge on the bill is worth a lot to many Canadians. The best plan of this kind is the Public Mobile 1GB + Talk + Text plan. It’s also the cheapest.
This plan is only $23 per month and includes unlimited nationwide talk and text. They also offer plans up to 8.5GB. Public Mobile operates on the Telus network, so you don’t have to worry about coverage issues.
A perceived downside is that data speeds can get down to as low as 3Mbps. But the thing you have to remember is that this is still fast enough to stream Spotify, browse the internet, and chat. If calling, texting, and doing these basic things is the extent of your cell phone usage, then this plan has no downsides.
And there’s another great thing about Public Mobile. There are numerous other ways to save money on your monthly bill. They give bill credit for doing auto-pay ($2), staying with them for more than a year ($1+), referring a friend ($10), and helping in the online community forum ($20).
4. Best Canadian $0 iPhone Deal
Top Choice: Fido
If you’re an iPhone loyalist looking for the best cell phone plan in Canada, you should look at Fido. The best iPhone deal in Canada is without a doubt their promotion on the iPhone SE.
When you sign up for a two-year contract with Fido and choose the iPhone SE, you get the phone for only $15 per month for 24 months. Remember that the iPhone SE (released in 2020) is the last iPhone with the classic home button design. For this reason, it’s still very popular. It has a 12MP camera, 64GB of storage, and an A13 Bionic CPU. But the best feature is that it’s half the price of the new iPhone 12.
5. Best Canadian $0 Android Smartphone Deal
Top Choice: SimplyConnect
Last year, Android crossed the 1 billion mark in total devices worldwide. Android users tend to be very loyal, and there are many reasons why. One of the main ones is the diversity among Android devices compared to Apple. You can get an Android smartphone that costs less than $100 or one that costs more than 2 grand. In Canada, the best deal right now is the Samsung Galaxy A51 at SimplyConnect.
Why? Because when you sign up for a SimplyConnect plan that’s $45 per month or higher and choose the Samsung Galaxy A51, you get the phone for free. No money upfront, no extra monthly charges, nothing. And there’s more. If you sign up as a new customer, you get a $150 bill credit!
FYI: SimplyConnect uses the Rogers network.
6. Best Canadian Family Sharing Plan
Top Choice: Telus
Jumping on someone else’s phone plan is a tried-and-true method of saving money. A family plan can save everyone involved hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Almost every family plan available in Canada includes shared 4G LTE data (unlimited in many cases) and unlimited calls/texts.
But the four Telus Peace of Mind plans takes the cake. Going with one of these saves $60 on the monthly bill; the biggest family sharing discounts of any Canadian carrier. To get the discount, you need four or more lines on the account. Adding a second line takes $7.50 off, the third takes $10, and the fourth (and beyond) takes $15. All lines receive 25GB of 4G LTE and 5G (where available).
7. Best Canadian Data-Only Mobile Plan
Top Choice: Freedom Mobile
In today’s mobile market, an unlimited cell phone plan isn’t the only option to communicate with your contacts. VoIP services, Skype, FaceTime, and other options are available that can help the user accomplish the same tasks. This is why inexpensive data-only mobile phone plans now exist. Basically, on a plan like this, you’re primarily using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. If you rarely use your phone to make calls, choosing a plan like this is a great way to save money.
The best of these right now is the Freedom Mobile Big Gig Data plan. It gives you 15GB per month with unlimited text and limited talk time (which is on a pay-per-use basis). Customers also get 500MB (or more) when roaming nationwide. An important thing to remember about this plan is that Freedom Mobile is only available in urban areas of southern Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.
8. Best Canadian Talk and Text (No Data) Deal
Top Choice: Cityfone
In today’s world, WiFi is available in so many common places. Libraries, schools, coffee shops, gyms, at work, at home, etc. If you think you could comfortably get by with a no-data cell phone plan, you’d save lots of money. And there are many options to choose from; everything from low-priced bare-bones plans to basic plans geared toward children. Some Canadian carriers include a free flip phone or even a free smartphone when you sign a contract.
The best no-data deal in Canada right now is from Cityfone; a talk and text option for $22.50 per month. This plan has unlimited minutes (there aren’t many of these in Canada under $30). And if you use a phone you already have, you get an additional 10% discount. No contract required and no fees other than your monthly charge. Cityfone uses the Rogers network, so coverage is really good.
Conclusion - Know How Much Mobile Data You Need
If you live in Canada, it’s extra important to have a very good idea of how much data you use on monthly basis. Canada has some of the most expensive data rates in the world. The more ways you can chip away at your data plan, the better off you’ll be. You would be wise to take care and choose a cell phone plan that truly suits your particular needs.