Mexico and Canada: the best calling, texting and roaming plans compared


WhistleOut
12 May 2017

Mexico and Canada roaming


With Canada and Mexico being the top two destinations for US travelers, and two of the most called countries from within the US, it makes sense that so many wireless providers are adding unlimited calling, texting and roaming features for both countries to post and pre-paid cell phone cell phone plans.

The last two years have seen several major carriers (and a bunch of smaller brands!) add Mexico and Canada-focused features to plans, including T-Mobile, Sprint, MetroPCS and Cricket. 

Here's our round-up of the special Canada/Mexico add-ons and plans available for customers looking to travel (or keep in touch with friends and family) on either side of the border.

T-Mobile’s Mobile Without Borders give customers on One Plus and Simple Choice plans three countries for the price of one. The feature allows users to make unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada from the US, as well as make unlimited calls back home when traveling in either country.

Customers will also be able to use their plan’s LTE data allowance when in Mexico and Canada at no extra cost, and Simple Choice users will still have access to all their plan’s 'Uncarrier' features – such as Music Freedom and Data Stash.

If you're on the One Plus or One Plus International plan, you'll also receive unlimited 3G data and unlimited global texting in more than 140 destinations. One Plus International customers can also make unlimited calls from the US to more than 70 countries.

Cost: Free as part of T-Mobile’s One, One Plus and One Plus International unlimited plans, and on older Simple Choice plans. For other plans, $10 per month, per line

Features

  • Unlimited calls and texts to, and from, Mexico and Canada
  • Use of your plan��s data allowance in Canada and Mexico without roaming fees
  • Use of other Simple Choice features, such as unlimited music streaming, when in Mexico and Canada
  • Unlimited 2G or 3G data (depending on your plan), and unlimited international texting in over 140 countries


Over the last year Cricket has gradually added calling and texting to and from Mexico and Canada to its $50 Smart and $60 Unlimited prepaid plans.

Customers on these plans can also use their included high-speed data allowance to roam fee-free in both countries, with unlimited throttled data use after your fast gigabytes run out.

Cost per month: Free as part of Cricket’s $50 Smart and $60 Pro plans

Features:

  • Unlimited calls and texts between Mexico, Canada and the US without roaming fees
  • Use of your plan’s data allowance in Canada and Mexico without roaming fees
  • Unlimited domestic calls and texts
  • Unlimited texts from the US to 38 countries
  • Save $5 per month with AutoPay



T-Mobile’s prepaid brand now offers add-on Mexico or Canada Unlimited packs, available for all plans of $40 per month or higher.

Both Mexico Unlimited and Canada Unlimited are priced at $5 per month and include unlimited calls to and from either country, plus unlimited texting. You'll also get use of your domestic plan's high-speed data allowance when traveling through Mexico or Canada, plus unlimited throttled data use. 

Cost: $5 per month

Features:

  • Unlimited calls and texts between Mexico and the US, or Canada and the US
  • Use of your plan's LTE data allowance when in Mexico or Canada, without roaming fees
  • Unlimited domestic calls and texts
  • Can receive Friends & Family discount for adding lines to your plan – save $5 per month, per line



Sprint's new Global Roaming service is now automatically enabled on all of the carrier's LTE/GSM capable phones, and is free to use for all customers on postpaid plans.

The new roaming plan includes unlimited 2G data roaming, and unlimited texting, in more than 160 destinations including Canada and Mexico. Low-cost calls from each country back to the US are also available, with rates a set $0.20 per minute. 

If you prefer 4G data, high-speed data passes are available in both Mexico and Canada. A one-day pass is $2, and one week of 4G data access is priced at $10. 

Global Roaming replaces Sprint's previous Open World add-on, which offered 1GB of free, high-speed data roaming per month in selected countries, including Canada, Mexico and most of Latin America. 

This service is no longer available to add to Sprint plans. But if you're a customer with Open World still active on your account, you should be able to keep the add-on until you switch to a different international option. 

Cost: Free

Features:

  • Unlimited texts and 2G data roaming in Canada, Mexico, and more than 160 additional countries
  • Calls back to the US are priced at $0.20 per minute
  • 4G LTE data roaming in Canada and Mexico available for $2 a day, or $10 per week




Calling across all of North America isn't automatically included in Boost's prepaid plans, but you can add an international calling pack to your account. The Todo Mexico Plus add-on is priced at $5 per month and includes unlimited calls to all of Mexico, unlimited calls to Canada (excluding the Northern Territories), and unlimited international texting. 

You'll also get extra roaming services when travelling in Mexico, including unlimited calls back to the US, unlimited international texts, and the ability to use your plan's high-speed data allowance without any additional fees (up to 8GB, depending on your plan).

For $10, you can expand your pack to International Connect Plus, which excludes the Mexico roaming options but does allow you to make unlimited calls to landlines in over 70 countries. You'll also get 200 minutes to call mobiles in over 50 countries, and reduced rates to call over 200 international destinations. 

Cost: $5 or $10 per month

Features:

  • $5 plan gives you unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in Mexico and unlimited calls to Canada
  • Also features worldwide text messaging
  • $5 plan includes up to 8GB of data roaming in Mexico, plus unlimited calls from Mexico back to the US and unlimited SMS
  • $10 plan includes 200 minutes to mobiles in over 50 countries, and unlimited landline calling to over 70 countries
  • Discounted calling rates to over 200 other destinations
  • No international roaming options yet outside Mexico



While Virgin Mobile doesn’t include Mexico and Canada calling as part of its prepaid unlimited plans, you can add-on international packs starting from $5 per month. The International add-on gives you unlimited calls to Mexico and unlimited calls to Canada (excluding the Northern Territories) from the US, as well as unlimited global text messaging.

For $10 per month, you can add the International+ option, which includes the above features plus 200 minutes of mobile calls to over 50 countries, unlimited calls to landlines in over 70 additional countries, and discounted calling rates to a further 200 destinations.

Cost: $5 or $10 per month

Features

  • $5 plan gives you unlimited calls to landlines in Mexico, and unlimited calls to Canada
  • Also features worldwide text messaging
  • $10 plan includes 1000 minutes to mobiles in Mexico and unlimited calling to 70 other countries
  • Discounted calling rates to over 200 other destinations
  • No international roaming option



If you're on AT&T's Unlimited Choice or Unlimited Plus plans, you'll be able to use all your monthly text, talk and data across Mexico and Canada free with the Roam North America add-on. 

The feature is included in all of AT&T's new unlimited plans, and allows customers to talk, text, and use data free of roaming fees, with up to 22GB of unthrottled 4G LTE data available each month. Roam North America also gives users unlimited calling and texts from the US to Canada and Mexico. 

AT&T customers on tiered data Mobile Share Plans can activate the $10 International Day Pass for 24 hours of unlimited talk, text and use of domestic plan data. Customers will be charged $10 for each day they use their phone internationally, and data is restricted to the amount that's included in your monthly Mobile Share plan. 

Cost: Roam North America: free, International Day Pass: $10 per day 

Features:

  • Unlimited plan customers can use all plan inclusions (talk, text, data) in both Mexico and Canada, free from roaming fees
  • Roam North America also includes unlimited calls from the US to Mexico and Canada
  • Mobile Share customers can add unlimited talk, text and data for $10 per day with International Day Pass



If you're on Verizon's Unlimited Plan, you'll be able to use your plan's talk, text and data when traveling through Mexico and Canada at no extra cost. Otherwise, you can add a Mexico and Canada TravelPass pack to your plan for $5 per day.

The pass extends your domestic plan inclusions (talk, text and data) across borders to be used internationally, with just a $5 charge applied for each 24-hour use period. The fees will only be charged on days you actually use your plan’s inclusions; but if you go over your plan's data limit, you'll be hit with overage and roaming charges.

Monthly Mexico and Canada add-ons are also available. The $15 per month pack includes 100 minutes, 100 sent texts, and 100MB of roaming data each month, while the $25 plan comes with 500 minutes of talk, 500 sent texts and 1GB of data. 

Cost: $5 per day for the Mexico and Canada TravelPass, or $15 to $25 per month for monthly add-on plans.

Features:

  • Canada and Mexico roaming free on Verizon Unlimited 
  • Non-unlimited customers can use their plan's data, talk and text allowance in Mexico and Canada for $5 per day
  • Only charged on days you use your plan features
  • Customers can also add a $15 or $25 Mexico and Canada Plan to their account


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