Global News has again released its report for consumers, titled “the best, cheapest cellphone plans in Canada” but for 2019.
The publication tries to find the most affordable cellphone plan to go with a premium smartphone on contract, using Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9 as part of examples, comparing prices from Rogers, Bell, Telus and Freedom Mobile.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude Canadians pay some of the highest cellphone rates in the world. Study after study has concluded we pay the highest price per gigabyte of data versus other nations.
In the Global News report, the emphasis is on finding the ‘best’ plan on a two-year contract, with a smartphone subsidy. By now, you should know this is not the way to go.
The Big 3 offered an iPhone X for $0 on a two-year term, on a $120-125 per month plan with 4GB of data and unlimited Canada-wide calling. The high monthly price on contract is essentially you paying back the cost of the iPhone blended into the monthly cost.
If you can’t afford the best smartphone, getting one on contract for the allure of a cheap upfront cost is not the way to go, as you’ll be paying more for your phone over the long run.
Or, if you have Freedom Mobile coverage in your area, Shaw’s wireless company offered the iPhone X for $0 upfront on a $95 per month plan with 7GB of data and Canada-wide calling.
Global News says among flanker brands, Koodo offers “the best plan rate deal overall”, while the “cheapest plan rate” goes to Chatr. Freedom Mobile offers the most data and the cheapest activation fee.
What You Actually Should Do for the Best Cellphone Plan in Canada
Comparing cellphone prices in Canada is a lost cause, as it’s basically the same across the board when it comes to the Big 3. It’s best to buy a smartphone outright, then take your business to carriers as a free agent.
You’re better off going with a flanker brand such as Fido, Virgin Mobile, or Koodo for the best BYOD deals. You could also consider Telus prepaid brand Public Mobile and sell your soul to friends and family for the $1/month referral bonus, until your plan drops to $0 per month. Update: forgot to mention Videotron’s Fizz.ca in Quebec.
Armed with your unlocked smartphone and paying month-to-month on BYOD, you can now jump to the best plan whenever it pops up as part of periodic promos. Before you jump ship, talk to your carrier’s retention department and ask for a deal to make you stay. Chances are they can provide you with a better plan to keep your business. If they don’t, just leave.
Rinse and repeat the above and eventually over time, you should end up with a decent cellphone plan that’s not available publicly…that is until the Big 3 decide to raise prices arbitrarily like they are doing to the 2017 $60/10GB holiday BYOD plan.
An example of a plan only available in stores is Koodo’s current $50/6GB BYOD plan, available in select cities as part of a Lunar New Year promotion.
If you’re on a BYOD plan right now—what are you paying per month and what carrier are you with? What strategies are you using to get the best cellphone plan?