Roam Mobility Alternative for 2024

Unfortunately with the pandemic, we witnessed a lot of great businesses close down, and Roam Mobility was one of them. I used Roam Mobility for a few years and unfortunately in July 2020, Roam Mobility Canada ceased operations and are no longer in business. It was a bit sad and nostalgic to get rid of my Roam Mobility SIM card, and I actually still use their little SIM card holder with the little pin to access the SIM card. I started looking at a Roam Mobility alternative and decided to give Lycamobile amd Airalo a try for a recent trip to the United States.

Roam Mobility

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I liked that with Roam Mobility USA you could pick your area code so it would seem like you were a ‘local’ in the area of the United States that you were traveling to. I also liked that you could talk and text with Roam Mobility. You could also pick up Roam Mobility SIM cards at convenient places, like London Drugs. Roam mobility plans were great and so flexible.

Unfortunately one has to adapt to change. Here are some Roam Mobility alternatives that I considered. Having an alternative helped me feel better about throwing away my Roam Mobility SIM card.

Note that most of these alternatives, you need to have an unlocked phone so that you can switch your SIM card easily. These options that are US SIM cards for Canadian travellers will help you save money on your phone costs while traveling.

Roam MObility Alternative

Telus Easy Roam

It is tempting to keep your own phone number and continue to have your phone operate ‘status quo’ but while in the United States and North America. I can see how this would be important for someone who has a business and needs to operate it or be accessible while they are on vacation, especially if you are used to fast Internet (and like to save money on Telus Internet).

The gist of Telus Easy Roam is that you keep your existing data plan and you have unlimited talk and text while you are in the United States. Telus Easy Roam used to be $8 per day but now it is $14 per day with Telus.

For a two week trip that works out to be $196.

KNOWROAMING

KnowRoaming has plans that are ridiculously dirt cheap and also conveniently they have an eSIM card option now. What is an eSIM? An electronic SIM lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without having a physical SIM card.

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This means you don’t even need to fiddle with your phone and take out your SIM card on the plane with the airplane seat table down, hoping that you don’t drop your tiny SIM card in the recesses of the economy class seat.

For a 30 days package to the United States, it is only about $4.50 CAD for 1GB of data.

This is dirt cheap especially if you don’t use very much data and can use VoIP services to call or text. I have yet to be savvy enough with my phone and technology to set up VoIP comfortably so I didn’t end up going for this package.

Also, my version of the iPhone does not seem compatible with KnowRoaming’s eSIM (it’s too old as a 2018 iPhone). Here’s a list of compatible devices with KnowRoaming’s eSIM. Apple has a special add on to the newer phones (is it a chip?) so that you can use an eSIM. It’s not possible to use an eSIM on older iPhones unfortunately.

KnowRoaming uses AT&T coverage in the United States.

For a two week trip if you can set up free VoIP for phone and texting, it works out to be $4.50 with KnowRoaming.

Airalo

Airalo is a company based in Singapore and was founded in 2019. They are the world’s first eSIM store. After I finally upgraded to an iPhone 13 from an iPhone 8, I was able to use this because it is eSIM compatible.

Airalo is used by over 5,000,000 people worldwide and they provide data for your mobile phone in over 200 countries and regions in the world. Pretty impressive!

I used Airalo for my recent trip to the United States because it had more options in terms of packages and data plans, I needed more than 1GB of data but didn’t need 10GB of data.

Similar to Knowroaming, Airalo also uses VOIP for texting and phone calls, so I downloaded the Talkatone app to get an US phone number.

It is easy to install, you install the app and then they have instructions on how to set up the eSIM. When I got to my destination, I toggled the “Travel” eSIM under Settings>Cellular and was instantly connected to T-Mobile.

I’m going to be going to Dubai soon and plan to use Airalo. It also has good coverage in South America too.

I had a 3GB data plan for 30 days in the United States and it was $8 USD.

You can use the Airalo eSIM promo code MAR15 to if you are a new customers for an additional 15% discount (valid until March 31, 2024).

If you are an existing customer, you can use the code MAR10 for an additional 10% discount on Airalo eSIMs (valid until March 31, 2024).

LycaMobile

Lycamobile was the one that I ended up using as a Roam Mobility alternative for one trip. Other than a few set up glitches, I was very happy with Lycamobile. It provided me fast Internet and dare I saw it was easier to use (after initial set up) than Roam Mobility.

This makes Lycamobile a very similar Roam Mobility alternative for your USA travel needs.

I got my Lycamobile SIM card from Amazon. It was mailed to me but I organized this ahead of time (about a month ahead) to make sure I receive my SIM card before my United States trip.

The thing is to make sure you activate your SIM card at the right time. You can activate it ahead of time while you are in Canada (this is one thing that I really liked about it), but once the 30 days are up your SIM card will need to be reloaded. For example, if you activated your SIM card on February 28, your plan will expire on March 28. If your trip ends on March 31 you are in a bit of trouble.

To activate your Lycamobile SIM card, you can go to the Lycamobile US website to activate your SIM. There are some confusing numbers you will need to enter, like the TAC code, ICCID, and PUK code. Thankfully the online chat function is great and they can walk you through where to find these numbers on your Lycamobile SIM card.

That’s what I did because it was too confusing. The customer service chat representative was very helpful.

Make sure you put in your hotel or Airbnb address so that your number will be a ‘local’ number too. For example, we put our Airbnb’s ZIP code and then got a local area code 808 number for Hawaii.

While in my United States destination (Hawaii and Florida on two different occasions), the Internet was fast, there were no issues. The phone quality and texting was straight forward and there were no issues too. Lycamobile uses T mobile network. Some people say T mobile is not as good as other networks in the United States.

Phone calls and texts to Canada were free too, it was nice to call family back home without issues and drop in phone quality. I also had to call Westjet to contact them about missing baggage and the phone quality was great.

You can keep your SIM card and just reload the plan that you want before your trip through the Lycamobile website.

For a two week trip to the United States, this SIM card cost about $25 CAD.

Mint Mobile

Another option is Mint Mobile. The exciting thing is that the owner of this company is Ryan Reynolds, a Vancouverite! He recently sold Mint Mobile in March 2023.

Their plans cap off at $15 a month and this includes unlimited talk and text and nationwide coverage with 5G or 4G LTE (whichever is strongest).

The only downside is that the minimum purchase is 3 months AND you have to have a US address to register. Ryan Reynolds was working on Mint Mobile for Canada but he needs your help to write to members fo the Parliament. You can visit Mint Mobile Canada here to help out.

This would be a good plan for Canadian snowbirds who stay down in warmer areas of the United States for 3-6 months at a time. There’s also free calling to Mexico and Canada with these plans.

This price also includes the SIM card. And there’s free activation for customers age 55 and up too.

You can even hot spot it and save money on Internet if wifi is not available where you are traveling to.

So for a two week trip to the United States, this would be $45 (because the minimum is for 3 months).

Still better than using something like Easy Roam for Telus.

As you can see there are a variety of price points depending really on how tech savvy you are and how attached to using voice and text on your phone you are.

If you want ultimate convenience and want to keep your phone number the same, your cellular service provider should have a roaming type package that you could just set up.

If have a newer phone and you are comfortable using VoIP (calling numbers on your phone without having a carrier provided phone number) then KnowRoaming is probably your best deal.

If you are staying longer or close to three months in the United States like many Snowbirds usually do, Mint Mobile sounds like the best US SIM card for Canadian Snowbirds.

Related: Best Travel Credit Cards for Seniors in Canada

If you are a non-tech savvy individual like me and like having a phone number and want as close of a Roam Mobility alternative as you can get, Lycamobile is quite similar and I was happy with my experience and will likely use them again.

Of course there are even more alternatives to a Roam Mobility SIM Card, such as buying a T-mobile SIM card ahead of time or even when you arrive at your United States destination (if you are a relaxed traveler, I am not one of those).

Roam Mobility Sim Card (GoodBye)

Hopefully these tips will help you will help you tuck away your Roam SIM card and lay it to rest. There are new and improved Roam Mobility options out there. Definitely when I get another iPhone (I think I am going on year 5 right now) I will use something like KnowRoaming where you use an eSIM.

Travel is opening up again and there are many great credit cards to take advantage of that offer welcome bonuses to offset your travel costs, such as the Westjet World Elite Mastercard, the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite, and the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite.

You may also be interested in:

Have you found a Roam Mobility alternative that you’re happy with? Please share!

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17 thoughts on “Roam Mobility Alternative for 2024”

  1. Very nice list. I used Airalo in my recent Caribbean trip. It is an eSIM too and they have different packages

    I doubt anyone around the PF community uses VoIP except myself! Actually I don’t even have a real number. VoIP has been my main number for more than 5 years now. It has been great especially when traveling.

    Reply
    • @Mr. Dreamer- Ha, I thought it was just technologically impaired me! Cool, I will check out Airalo, thanks! It’s amazing they can do eSIM now, makes it so much more convenient.

      Reply
      • We used Airalo but we’re only able to get data. So unless we have WhatsApp or something similar no phone calls or texts. This is a problem with contacting our 80+ year old parents with only their old fashioned landlines.
        Also in California we didn’t get great cell coverage for data but T Mobile is pretty famous for that.
        Airalo is priced well for a 15 day trip. We bought one month of data.
        I really really miss Roam Mobility Canada.

        Reply
  2. I have used a travel sim from Jethro Mobile. SIM cards can be purchased at Best Buy and Online. Very easy to use, plans and prices are good and great coverage in the US. You can easily chat with a customer service representative for help. Best of all, it’s from a company based out of Vancouver.

    Reply
    • @Rob- Great thanks for sharing! The website looks easy to use and navigate and simple. I looked at the website it says they started in 2019 in the United States though? But nonetheless looks like another great Roam Mobility alternative with comparable prices to Lycamobile.

      Reply
  3. I always make my first stop in a new country a phone store and get a local pay as you go sim. ATT in US, Vodafone in UK or Europe. But your options above are very interesting too.

    Reply
  4. Mint looks awesome but I can’t pay for it because my billing address is Canadian and they only have states available even on the app where it only asks for a ZIP you can’t put in a postal code. I’ve spent hours trying to sort this out with no luck. It’s soooo frustrating. Maybe someone has a solution.

    Reply
    • We use a friend’s address living in the US. If that is not possible, try the address of the resort and ask them to re-ship the SIM cards to your Canadian address.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for posting this. I have a phone that doesn’t work with an esim but I discovered that through research like this post. I bought a jethro sim card off Amazon and will try it in Chicago this week. My issue I miss with roam is pay per day and not per week or month. No one is like roam in that yet.

    Reply
  6. My wife and I are snowbirds, so the 3-month plans from Mint have worked very well for us for the past two years (we stay for 3 months). Just this month they have increased their data limits while the cost remained the same. For approximately $100 US we each had full coverage for 3 months (my wife had 10 GB/month and I had 4GB – these plans have increased to 15 and 5 GB respectively this month). Note that Ryan Reynolds has sold his shares in Mint in March 2023. We were also Roam Mobility customers for a few years and do miss them, but Mint is actually cheaper, but without the unlimited data offered by Roam.

    Reply
    • @Paul- Wow great to hear about Mint Mobile and good idea to use a US address. Yes I heard about Ryan Reynolds selling, I’ll update the post thanks for the reminder.

      Reply

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