Using Your Canadian SIM Card with a Roaming Plan vs. Getting a SIM Card in Mexico

My cousin is visiting me this week. One of the first things I did when she got here was take her to a TelCel store to buy a SIM card (chip).

Her mobile provider, Telus, generously offered her the option of using her Canadian plan for only 12CAD a day and a cap of 15 days! That’s only 108CAD to have cell service for her whole trip! What a deal, right? It’s no wonder so many Canadians choose to just use that option instead of going through al the trouble of buying a SIM card in Mexico for their unlocked phone!

I mean, who wants to go through the bother of walking into one of a myriad of TelCel stores, asking for a chip, and then letting the clerk set you up for TelCel service? I mean, the cost is 30 pesos (2CAD) for the chip and then plans range from 80 pesos (5.60CAD) to 500 (35CAD), depending on length and features. So, really, the hassle isn’t worth it.

Well, for 100 pesos, my cousin got a 17-day plan that got her:

-unlimited talk and text to Mexico, the US, and Canada (so she was able to easily call her son!);

-800MB data, all she needed because…

-use of most social media platforms, including Facebook (what she mostly was going to use), is unlimited

-and she can use up the rest of her minutes and data in Canada if she has anything left over.

Total cost was 9CAD. Compare that to Telus’ generous offer of letting her use her Canadian plan for only 108CAD!

And yet, for some odd reason, most Canadians who ask on forums about how to use their Canadian plan in Mexico do not want to hear this math. It’s just too much trouble to get set up with a SIM card here and just not worth it. 99CAD buys a lot of tacos, y’all! 🤷


2 thoughts on “Using Your Canadian SIM Card with a Roaming Plan vs. Getting a SIM Card in Mexico

  1. I suppose the reason was that for a long time our phones were locked to TELUS so for any of us roaming past the magic border were screwed because we couldn’t swap out the offending sim. But now it is easier to do that because the phones are unattached now.
    When I went to Europe sometime back, I thought hell it would be cheaper to buy a phone over there and get another sim for the occasion. Honestly the phone was cr@p and half the time I didn’t know if it was connecting or not! I gave the phone away in the end. I should have just used my old iPhone and have swallowed the $100 bill. That’s what I did on last Mexican get away. Next time it will be different though..

    • I was of the last generation that had to pay to unlock my phone. It cost me about $75. It saved me SO MUCH money over the years — I could always use my own familiar phone and pay fair local rates wherever I was — Canada, the US, Mexico, Bulgaria, Serbia, Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK.

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