Best US SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States


best us sim card for traveling roam mobility - THE BEST US SIM CARD FOR CANADIANS TRAVELING TO THE UNITED STATES

Best US SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States

One of the most common questions that I get as I travel around the world is “How do you stay connected and online with your phone when traveling outside of Canada?”.

The answer is

1) I have an unlocked iPhone and

2) in most places that I travel I purchase a local SIM card so that I can stay connected wherever I am.

3) Specifically when traveling to the US as a Canadian the answer is using a US SIM card from Roam Mobility. (As of June 30th, 2020 Roam Mobility is closing down due to the pandemic.)

Buying a local sim card everywhere you go beats jumping from wifi to wifi, from hotel to McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc. It also keeps you from bugging friends to share a personal hot spot constantly.

Whether you are Canadian or not before you travel abroad tell your cell phone service provider and they can arrange a talk, text and data roaming plan for your trip. In most cases you will pay an arm and a leg each day for this option. The longer your trip the worse the fees. Whether your cell phone is with Bell, Rogers, Virgin, Koodo, Fido, Lucky Penny or one of the other Canadian cell phone service providers, they all have phone plans that you can pay extra for to stay connected when traveling south of the border. However those costs can add up especially when you are using a lot of data like I tend to do.

On average Canadian cell phone companies charge $7 – $10 a day to use your phone with talk, text and data while in the United States. This fee is extra on top of the cell phone plan you already pay for. After all of that then the data amounts and speeds you are given are limited as well.

There is now a much more affordable option with Roam Mobility which is made specifically for Canadians traveling to the US. (As of June 30th, 2020 Roam Mobility is closing down due to the pandemic.)

usa sim card how does roam mobility work - The Best SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States

Without a doubt in my mind Roma Mobility is the best SIM card for Canadians traveling to the United States.

**You do need to have your phone unlocked to use them**

Where can you buy Roam Mobility SIM cards?

Once your phone is unlocked you can purchase one of their SIM cards on their website or at various stores in Canada. You can buy Roam Mobility sim cards at every Staples, London Drugs or Petro Canada gas stations. To find a location to buy near you check out the list on their site HERE.

How do Roam Mobility SIM cards work?

Once you have your Roam Mobility sim, activate it online at Choose the plan that best suits you depending on the length of your trip and your needs. There are various options available that you can mix and match with data, talk and text options. Then select the time and dates you wish for the sim to be active.

As long as you use the SIM once a year then you can keep using it without ever needing to get a new one. Which is convenient so you can always keep the same US phone number.

The Roam Mobility SIM cards give you your own US number and allows you to text, talk and have data while traveling around the US.

usa sim roam mobility daily plans - The Best SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States

roam mobility monthly plans - prepaid sim card for use tourists

How much are the Roam Mobility plans?

You can pay by day, $4.95 for talk, text and data or you can pay by month for longer trips which is perfect for Canadian snowbirds, $64.95 a month. You can switch up what you need and get talk and text only, text and data only, etc. Using Roam you can’t go over on your usage. You only use what you pay for which is nice so you don’t come home to a phone bill of a million dollars. If you run out of data you can just log on to their site and add more.

When you run low on data, text the word “balance” to 7850. Within a few moments will be sent a text back with how many mbs/gbs you have used and have remaining. If you need to contact support one of the quickest ways to hear back from them is to send them a DM on Twitter @roammobility.

Using Roam Mobility in Lanai, Hawaii - The Best SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States

It has even worked for me in the middle of nowhere Lanai, Hawaii on a boat!

Where is there coverage?

If you are worried about whether or not there will be cell coverage where you are traveling to in the US you can also check out their coverage map to see where coverage is available. I was recently on the small Hawaiian island of Lanai and my Roam sim even gave me coverage there.

Wherever  possible the Roam Mobility SIM cards use T-Mobile towers to give you the best connection.

If you have any questions or other suggestions about what is the best sim card for Canadians to use when traveling to the US please let me know!


Peggys Cove lighthouse - The Best SIM Card for Canadians traveling to the United States

Thanks to Roam Mobility for sponsoring my large amounts of data when I travel to the US. All opinions and views are my own. Sorry non-Canadians!

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  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Now that Roam Mobility is closing down, who do your recommend?

    • Reply
      May 31, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Buying a sim from Ting will probably be the best option going forward. You would have to buy it once you get to the states from a Best Buy or somewhere similar.

      • Reply
        June 1, 2020 at 11:58 am

        Thanks. I’ll look into it.

      • Reply
        January 23, 2021 at 8:07 pm

        Mint Mobile
        They are only online btw

  • Reply
    August 6, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Too bad the daily price is so high. At $5 / day it ends up being $6.55 CDN. A massive savings of $0.45 per day vs. roaming with Rogers. Not worth it.

    • Reply
      Brian Foot
      October 6, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Look at the Roam Mobility web site, you will see that “all prices in Canadian dollars”

  • Reply
    July 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    How about texting to canada from.your famil and friends going to get dinged??

    • Reply
      August 16, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      When you have the sim in you have a US number so yes there were would international charges I would think.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Roam Mobility is great when you can get coverage. Better hope you don’t need emergency service in West Virginia as that state has coverage near the Pennsylvania border and that’s it. Roam goes dark until you are well into Virginia. T-Mobile is the worst roaming partner they could have picked. Their service should be able to switch to any available network for constant coverage but that would probably drive the cost up. I’ll be grabbing an AT&T Sim when I head to Myrtle Beach this year. I don’t feel safe having no coverage at all in a state that takes six hours to cross and that’s beautiful West Virginia.

    • Reply
      February 16, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      I agree it would be nice if it could jump to the best system in the area. If you are worried about not feeling safe then I would definitely recommend trying to get a local sim with a plan like the T-Mobile travel plan if you can.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2019 at 12:07 am

    Had many options. Mrsimcard BLOWS over priced roam out of the water. What the website lacks in prettiness they make up with functionality!

    • Reply
      January 16, 2019 at 7:40 pm

      Good to know you had success with them! From what I can tell on their site they actually charge more than Roam though?

  • Reply
    Bill Madill
    November 15, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Worst cell phone experience of my life. there coverage shows it works sometimes in your car, sometimes if you are standing outside, sometimes in your house and sometimes in a commercial building. I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t work in any of these places in central Florida. Who sells a cell service that works sometime??? Roammobility, that’s who.

    • Reply
      December 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Sorry you had that experience Bill. I have used them quite often myself in the Orlando area and haven’t have problems. They do provide a coverage map that you can easily see on their website. If you are having problems with it working inside or outside of buildings that to me sounds more like an issue with your phone rather then the sim card itself.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I also had coverage issue, taveled to Pougkeepsie area in NY. The coverage map shows dark green color, but it didn’t connect to anywhere around that area with roam mobility SIM, (in fact, even in middle of Central Park, Manhattan, I had hard time) although my Koodo SIM (with the same iPhone SE) picked up T-Mobile and AT&T randomly. I have a feeling that Roam Mobility changed something during last several years, it used to connect to AT&T and T-Mobile, never showed “Roam Mobility” on top of the screen. (Now, either out of service area or if I am lucky, get Roam mobility connection)

    • Reply
      December 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      I find that no matter what sim I use in NYC it always works poorly possibly because there are so many people smushed into such a small area and the systems are overloaded all the time? Also often when I have issues in areas where it should work fine I fully turn the phone off and on again and it seems to work.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    Is there any cost to Canadian friends calling or texting me on the new US number? I assume it’ll be long distance?

    • Reply
      September 17, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Yes you would be right. UNLESS you have an iphone and they have and iphone too. Then you can just imessage and that goes through data so it is free.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    I also had problems a couple years ago. Service in Central Florida was poor, and in a lot of cases I could not understand the person on the call. Hope reception has improved

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      I think coverage has improved but it also varies on which cell towers your phone reaches out to.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I came across your blog looking for a smart way to use my phone (as a phone and using mobile data) while traveling in Canada and the US. (I am traveling there from Europe.)
    Your descriptions sounds very good, but I did not understand if the Roam Mobility SIM can also be used for calling and the internet within Canadian borders. In other words: Would it be smart to used use a Roam Mobility SIM/plan instead of getting a Canadian SIM _and_ a US SIM?

    • Reply
      July 31, 2018 at 11:22 pm

      Roam unfortunately doesn’t work in Canada. It’s only for the US.

      I would get a T-Mobile plan once you land in the US? They have a “traveler” sim. Or Three UK works great in the US with roam like home. Then maybe you can pay a bit more for it to work in Canada too?

      Sorry I’m not more help! Canadian cell providers kind of suck and aren’t cheap. Koodoo and Fido are the cheaper companies in Canada. So maybe check them out too?

  • Reply
    January 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    One problem you can have with Roam Mobility is their coverage. I went on a road trip last summer in Montana and Wyoming and only discovered on the way that none of the cities or areas I was traveling in had coverage except Jackson WY. Best to consult their coverage map (below) before traveling.

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