Rogers: ‘Roam Like Home’ Cheaper vs Bell, TELUS for U.S. Weekend Trips [PIC]

A recent study commissioned by Rogers looked into Canadian technology and travel habits, while a separate comparison pit the company’s Roam Like Home roaming add-on versus the same service provided by rivals Bell and TELUS.

Rogers used the scenario of a customer traveling from Toronto to New York City for the weekend, using 358MB of data over 48 hours and three calendar days.

Rogers roam like home study

The company explains if the traveller lands on Friday at 6PM in NYC, and opts into Roam Like Home, they’ll start paying $5 per day, while Bell’s Roam Better plan is also $5 per day and TELUS Easy Roam is at $7 per day. From landing to just before midnight, the customer will use 100MB of data.

Once midnight strikes, Bell’s Roam Better option charges another $5, as the service is billed by calendar day, not every 24 hours, like Rogers and TELUS’ roaming options.

On the Saturday, if the traveller uses 158MB of data, they’ll be billed another $5 for 100MB on Bell, since their Roam Better only offers 100MB per day.

On departure day, Sunday, the customer uses another 100MB of data from 12:01AM to 6PM. This is where Rogers concludes it’s cheaper to use Roam Like Home at $10 (2 x $5) versus Bell Roam Better at $20 (3 x $5 + $5 for 100MB) and TELUS Easy Roam at $14 (2 x $7).

Rogers roam like home

Rogers explained in an email their technology and travel survey also concluded 80% of travellers will be vacationing in Canada this summer, while one-third of respondents said they would going to the U.S., and 9 per cent off to Europe.

While Canadians are travelling, 60 per cent of respondents said they would be reluctant to use their smartphones as normal, because of the threat of data overages.

While subscribing to a U.S. or international roaming plan from the ‘Big 3’ is convenient (since you keep your number), other options are available too, such as Roam Mobility, which offers unlimited calling, texting and data in the U.S. for $4.95 CAD per day. The company recently changed their SIM card expiry, shortening it to six months from one year.

Update: A TELUS spokesperson emailed to add the following response to Rogers:

Unlike competitors’ plans, we’ve made US Easy Roam available to customers on any Consumer rate plan, except North American plans (CDMA, Mike, Business & Prepaid customers are excluded). TELUS also provides more flexibility, as customers have the option of choosing between US Easy Roam or a US 30-day travel pass, depending on which option better suits their needs.

When you’re roaming in the U.S.–what do you usually do?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Quattro

    I absolutely HATE that Roam Mobility’s SIM card expires AT ALL, let alone after 6 months. That was not made clear when I bought it.

    Now you have to create bogus plans and remember to change the dates. That’s just total non-user-friendly BS. I lost a 2 week plan because of that and their customer service wouldn’t even respond to my e-mails when I caught it less than a day after it started. BOOOO Roam Mobility. You suck!

  • Jim Benning

    totally agree.. I don’t travel to the US that frequently, probably once a year, hence having roam mobility was okay, now if I need to keep topping it off just to keep the SIM active every 6 months, it’s ridiculous. Two years ago I had to buy another Roam SIM as I didn’t travel to the US at all for the whole year and SIM expired. Now the new SIM is expired as well. What a waste for me. It’s good only for users who travel to the US at least once in every 6 months now…

  • Ced

    This is not the reality ! For rogers you need a share everything plan… You can’t get the 5$ option on old plan… For telus you can get the 7$ option on any plan !

  • sukisszoze

    I let my Roam SIM expires with their new policy. Recently switched over to Roger’s Roam Like Home so the whole family can roam rather than trying to get new SIM cards for all the phones..so much easier not to keep looking for WiFi. The hotel’s WiFi tends to be quite slow too so I switch over to LTE.

  • JP

    I was going to be harsh on Roam Mobility, but I would tone it down. It depends. If you don’t travel much, the Roam Mobility makes sense. If you are on Rogers with a Share Everyting plan, the Roam Like Home option is a no brainer, at avoids the trouble of getting another SIM. And if you have a big bucket of data, well, you roam like home… Telus is OK at 7$ too, but if you are on a Share Plan, that extra 2$ is hard to justify compared to Rogers (it looks like small change but it’s 10$ of your money after 5 days…). What really kills it all is roaming outside of the US. Europe, Asia… Rogers becomes the only affordable option, besides getting a local SIM (and all the trouble that comes with getting one). I moved from Telus to Rogers on roaming charges consideration. I don’t like particularly Rogers and would return back to Telus if they would just match Rogers in that area…

  • Larry

    When I go to the U.S. it’s to visit family in one four states. Since none of them have a plan to call Canada, I use Roam Mobility. Since my visits can be anywhere up to three weeks, we do a lot of calling back and forth. Plus I’m always using date for searches or maps. At 500 MB data/day cumulative, I never worry about running out. Yeah, the SIM card renewal is annoying, but keeping thousands of dormant US phone numbers active has got to cost them something. I was surprised they kept them alive for a year. Pinger kills your VOIP number if you don’t use it once every 30 days.

  • If going for more than a few days, pick up a T-Mobile tourist plan sim for 30$ which gives you 2 gigs of LTE, unlimited slower, free calls in the US and free texting(including to/from Canada)

  • Rory Breaker

    I went to NYC near the end of May with my gf. I stuck with my Roam and my gf used her Rogers. Well, I guess she didn’t get a notice telling her she was near her data cap.

    What good is using Rogers when you have almost nothing left for data even to begin your trip? No thanks, I’ll stick with Roam.

  • Jack

    Pinger/Textfree/Textplus/etc/etc/etc all give you free numbers, so yes, they have to reuse them quickly, but Roam is not free. I think 1 year for expiry was good but again, I don’t know what kind of costs they’re incurring keeping these numbers active for long.

  • Jason Chu

    Well I can tell you if you have an old corporate plan you can’t get Easy roam on Telus. So I usually just get the $25 50 minutes, 50 MB of data and 150 sent text messages. It last a month. Only use data if I need, usually around wifi areas.

  • Jason Chu

    Just not on old corporate plans such as the one I am currently on.

  • Jezzah

    Roam mobility lost me as a customer with the switch to 6 month expiry terms. Rogers is now preferred for US roaming.

  • Travis Pinky Mcdowell

    as someone who lives in a border town and buy all my gas state side I’m extremely happy with my wind plan.

  • MleB1

    Tried Roam Like Home with Rogers in April while in NYC for a few days. AT&T the partner there and the service was absolutely appalling in Manhattan. Ranged from No Service to 2 bars (even when standing still), with drop offs. The best service I got (finally got LTE) was on the train back out to Newark International. Called Rogers when I got back home, expressing my disappointment in the service (while acknowledging they were let down by their partner, but I ended up using coffee shop wi-fi) and they investigated and then killed off the Roam charges.

    These plans are only as good as the providers.

  • Ken

    Just returned from 7+ weeks in Europe with my daughter (grad trip) and used Rogers Roam Like Home with our Share Everything plan. Here are my observations vs Bell “Roam Better” (don’t think so!) plan. IF you have a share plan, the Rogers plan design is brilliant IMHO. You turn on roaming and (relatively) instantly, you have full data roaming/phone/text just as if you were still standing in your hometown. 1) It works in 24-hr segments, not like the ridiculous Bell design of whenever you start mid-day to 11:59:59pm EST!! 2) it uses your plan data allotment, not the restrictive (and ridiculously arbitrary) 100MB/day that Bell allots. For example, if you need roaming for more data-intensive uses one day, say using your phone as a GPS for a rental car, then with Rogers no problem. With Bell you need to keep doling out $5+tax every extra 100MB (not to mention if your overseas usage-day crosses over the 11:59:59pm EST barrier (which believe me it will with Europe’s 5-7 hour difference!). For these two reasons alone, the Rogers plan kicks Bell’s a**!