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If you travel a lot, you know it’s frustrating to be charged expensive international long distance and roaming rates from your mobile phone provider. It can be challenging to stay connected for a reasonable cost!
Canadian Kilometers reports there’s a new option for folks who want a better deal in North America. T-Mobile is adding a “Mobile Without Borders” feature which allows folks to use their phone without voice, text, or data roaming charges in Canada and Mexico.
This could be a terrific deal for folks who travel to Canada and Mexico frequently! I’ll explain how it works.
What’s the Deal?
Plans start at $50 per month for unlimited calls, text, and 1 GB of data in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The price increases for more data, up to $80 per month for an unlimited data plan.
These new features are in addition to the already free data and texts T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans offer in over 120 countries.
Is This a Good Deal for Everyone?
If you don’t travel to Canada and Mexico frequently, you might be better off using a local SIM card when you’re abroad.
And while there’s no contract required for this plan, you’ll have to pay for a full month at a time. So if you’re only traveling for a week, it’s probably cheaper to pay for a SIM card or rely on Wi-Fi hotspots for data.
Some folks complain that T-Mobile’s coverage isn’t as good as other mobile carriers. You can check out their coverage map here.
Note: The terms and conditions for the plan say that you must live in the US and spend most of your time on T-Mobile’s US network.
Not for extended international use; you must reside in the US and primary usage must occur on our US network
They don’t define “extended,” so I’m not sure what this means for folks who spend more than a few weeks away (for example, retirees who spend months in Mexico for the winter, or folks who have summer cottages in Canada).
That said, my friends have used T-Mobile for text and data for 1 to 2 months at a time in Mexico and Europe with no issues.
And last year, my buddy went to Cancun and says T-Mobile free data was useful for maps and email. But there was no data or very spotty service in Isla Mujeres which is just a 20 minute ferry ride away.
If you’re traveling to either country soon, here’s how to get Big Travel with Small Money in Canada this summer. And how to stay at top-rated all-inclusive Hyatt hotels in Mexico using Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
To get more Chase Ultimate Rewards points, remember to pay your T-Mobile bill (or any US cell phone) with your Ink Plus or Ink Cash cards for 5X points (or 5% cash back) per $1 spent. Or use AMEX SimplyCash to earn 5% cash back.
Starting today, July 15, 2015, T-Mobile Simple Choice plan customers can use their phone for calls, text, and data in Canada and Mexico for no extra charge.
The “Mobile Without Borders” feature applies to new and existing Simple Choice plan customers. It’s a great deal for folks who travel to Canada and Mexico frequently, or who have family and friends there.
That said, if you’re an infrequent traveler, you might be better off buying a local SIM card for your visits. Do the math to see what’s cheaper for you!
Will you consider switching mobile to take advantage of this new perk?