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Cell Phone Plans in Canada for Newcomers

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Are you a new resident to Canada? Welcome! We’re sure you have a lot on your mind while making this huge nation your new home. Of course, we understand that everyone wants to stay in touch with their friends and family back home, as well as get the most out of their cell phones. Fortunately, we’re here to make your transition as easy as possible. This post will explain everything about mobile plans in Canada for newcomers. Even if you’ve never stepped foot in Canada before, we’ll go over everything you need to know. By the time you’re finished reading this, you should have a much better understanding of how things operate, as well as what kind of plans you should purchase.

How to Find a Phone Plan

First and foremost, you’re going to have to learn how to find a phone plan that appropriately suits your personal needs. Of course, there are hundreds of options to choose from, which can make the search pretty overwhelming. With that in mind, how should you get started? Well, for the majority of phone plans, you cannot subscribe to a plan online.

Typically, customers have to visit a provider store/kiosk or call them directly to sign up for their first phone plan. Of course, the internet is still a valuable resource that can help you with choosing a cell phone plan. One of the best things you could do is search the internet for current offers from Canadian providers. 


However, you should make sure to keep your personal usage habits in mind when searching the internet. With your previous phone plans, did you tend to use a lot of data, or was that not too important to you? Do you want to be able to place long distance calls abroad, or are you fine with using apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime? These kinds of questions should guide your research process. For example, if you need a huge data plan, try searching through Canada’s bulkiest plans. In doing so, you can find out which providers offer the more inclusive plans that you want, and get an idea of their prices. Then, you can visit one of their stores and talk with an employee about signing up.

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New Phone vs BYOD

You should know that there are two central kinds of mobile plans in Canada: New device plans and bring your own device (BYOD) plans. As the names imply, new device plans include a brand new cell phone, while BYOD plans require you to bring your own phone. If you choose to purchase a new phone, you could either pay for the device upfront, or slowly pay it off over the course of (typically) two years. This is known as phone financing, which many Canadians choose to do. There are many pros and cons to both approaches, so make sure you’re aware of them if you end up purchasing a new cell phone with your mobile plan. So, on top of figuring out what kind of mobile plan you want to purchase, you must also consider new phone vs BYOD, as well as phone financing or paying for the device upfront. 

Contract vs Prepaid Mobile Plans in Canada

Again, there are more important factors to consider before subscribing to a new plan. All consumers must consider the kind of payment method for their mobile phone. The two primary methods are long term contracts and prepaid (pay as you go) plans. Mobile plans with contracts demand the customer to sign a long term deal with their provider. The contract details the monthly fee, the perks you receive in exchange, and more. For example, if your contract states that your plan will cost $40 a month, you will pay $40 every month until the contract runs out. Once the contract is up, you could either renew it or sign a new one. Usually, mobile plan contracts last two years. Also, it is important to note that contracts can be cancelled at any time, although you’ll need to pay the difference.

On the other hand, pay as you go plans provide an alternative to long-term contracts. Instead of committing to a consistent form of payment every month, prepaid plan users simply pay as they go along. Users pay for the kind of plan they want at the start of each month, with the option to change it whenever they please. Prepaid plans are appealing because of the lack of commitment, and the ability to switch it around whenever you please. Make sure to consider if you want the stability of a contract or the freedom of a prepaid plan before settling on a mobile plan in Canada.


Now that you’ve finally figured out all the details, how are you going to pay for your brand new mobile plan? Unfortunately, certain contracts conduct mandatory credit checks. A credit check examines your personal financial status in Canada. Companies do this to ensure that their customers are financially responsible, and tend to pay their bills in time. In doing so, they know that their customers are capable of paying their bills on time, and trust them to sign up for their plan. So, if you’re new to Canada, it could be difficult to earn a positive credit check. Without a Canadian bank account, you cannot receive an official credit check. So, we would recommend starting with mobile plans in Canada that don’t require credit checks. If you’re interested in a specific plan that needs one, you can open a bank account and try applying after a few months. 


In addition to the ability to receive credit checks, bank accounts allow you to use Canadian debit and credit cards. These are the primary payment methods for mobile plans in Canada. Although your previous cards should be able to easily pay for items all over the country, getting Canadian cards could make your life easier. They allow for seamless features like auto-deposit and e-transfer, so you can pay anyone in just a few seconds. 

Mobile Providers in Canada

Finally, we wanted to quickly go over some of the primary mobile providers in Canada. Currently, there are three major companies that offer the largest network coverage with the biggest customer bases: Bell, Rogers and Telus. If you want a plan with a huge and reputable company, it doesn’t get any bigger than these three. As major telecom providers, they also offer deals on internet, TV and home phone services. They also own dozens of stores across the country, if you ever want to talk to a sales representative about their mobile plans.

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Depending on where you are settling, there are some large companies that offer their services exclusively in certain provinces. Companies like Videotron, Shaw and Eastlink are widely popular, despite only being available in select regions. Although the “big three” are available all over the country, these large companies still provide great and reputable services in their specific provinces. Try looking into which providers work exclusively in your province, as they could offer unique deals and prices.


Finally, there are dozens of independent providers offering great deals on mobile plans in Canada. These companies tend to only operate in select regions, and offer a smaller network coverage. However, this doesn’t stop them from offering highly competitive prices. We definitely recommend seeing if there are any independent providers exclusive to your region, as they could offer some of the best deals available to you. Some notable examples are Fizz, Freedom Mobile and Chatr.

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As you can see, there are several things to be aware of before getting your first mobile plan in Canada. It may seem daunting at first, but familiarizing yourself with this information will make the process significantly easier for you. Knowing the difference between the different kinds of plans, providers and payment options will help you choose the greatest option that matches your preferences. We know that you’ll be able to find a great first mobile plan in Canada, and we’re here to help for every step along the way.


Of course, even if you know everything there is to know about mobile plans, finding the perfect one is never easy. Fortunately, we at PlanHub offer all kinds of services to make this process much simpler. Want to find the ideal phone plan quickly? Click the button below to try out our mobile plan searching technology.



This service makes the hunt so much easier by doing all the searching for you! After inputting your province and personal preferences, our website will present you with the greatest and most affordable mobile plan options. All you need to do is browse through our selections and choose one that you like the best, it’s that simple! Additionally, mobile plan prices are constantly changing in Canada, so PlanHub lets you keep a close eye on them. Anyone can achieve this by repeatedly using our services, and reading our regularly updated blog posts. In doing so, you should be able to have a great idea of the industry, and always select the best possible mobile plan.

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