Best Cell Phone Plan

Summer 2007 CSANews Issue 63  |   Posted date : Aug 07, 2007.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I learn so much from reading our CSA magazine, plus the sharing of information from our snowbirds via Bird Talk. Is there a way to determine the best cell phone plan to use between Canada and the U.S. that avoids the prohibitive roaming fees? Ideally, one would not have to establish and maintain a 'land line' at their winter residence, just use their cell phone. As usual, I wish to have the best of both worlds.

Please keep up the good work on our behalf.

Anne Loftus
Edmonton-Mesa


Response:
Ed: We hate to say this, but…”it depends.” First, we would recommend “bundling” all services; combine your cable TV with a phone plan and a high-speed Internet connection for the most discounts (assuming that you need all of these). Using only a cell phone at your winter destination just makes sense. Why would you pay for two services that do essentially the same thing? If you want a normal fixed line, we tend to like AT&T’s new CallVantage Plan for $29.95 US per month. This is the new Internet-based digital system (so simple that a child can use it) and it provides unlimited calling to both the U.S. and Canada. Verizon is considered one of the best wireless companies (for cell phones), but they recently changed their unlimited long-distance plans; the various plans with any carrier change frequently and can get complicated. Again, our recommendation is to call them all (see the list below) and look for unlimited local and long-distance plans for both the U.S. and Canada, and add Mexico to the list if you are a frequent visitor. Be sure that you can make a call from Canada to the U.S. for free, as well, if that is important.

Alltel 1-800-alltel1 (1-800-255-8351)
AT&T (formerly Cingular Wireless) 1-888-333-6651
Net10 1-877-TEN-CENT (1-877-836-2368)
Sprint 1-800-SPRINT1 (1-800-777-4681)
STI Mobile 1-800-784-3277
T-Mobile 1-800-TMOBILE (1-800-866-2453)
Tracfone 1-800-867-7183
Verizon Wireless 1-800-483-4000
Virgin Mobile USA 1-888-322-1122

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