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Why You Should Buy a US SIM Card Instead of Roaming

Updated: Feb 21

Written by: Carlo Lapuz, Digital Marketing Specialist

Let’s face it, wireless providers can charge crazy rates for roaming. If you want to save money on a US cell phone plan, consider getting a prepaid sim card. Jethro Mobile offers short-term and long-term prepaid plans that are much more affordable than roaming plans.

What is the difference between a prepaid plan and a US roaming plan?

Roaming plans are provided by your Canadian carrier with an extra fee for using their services in the States. They can be built into your existing plan or added on. These are charged by the usage. For example, most carriers will charge $10-12 per day to use their service in the States. Now that may be expensive but the benefit is you still get to use the same plan you have in Canada in the States. On the other hand, with prepaid plans you pay for service ahead of time. For example, you can get a Jethro Mobile SIM card for 7 days with unlimited talk and text and 7GB of high-speed data for only $40.

Now that we know what roaming and prepaid plans are, let’s compare them in terms of price.

As you can see, based on a roaming rate of $10/day, you would save so much more by getting a prepaid sim card.

Comparing US Roaming with Jethro Mobile Travel SIM Cards

Pros and Cons of using either

There are advantages and disadvantages to using either a prepaid sim card or your US roaming plan.

US Roaming


  • Keep the same service. In general, roaming plans allow you to use your current plan outside your network. This is a great option if you want to use your Canadian phone number and service while visiting the States.

  • Convenient. Another advantage of using your carrier’s roaming plan is that there really isn’t much work required other than taking your device to the States. Depending on your plan you may need to let your Canadian carrier you plan to use their roaming services. The phone will automatically switch to roaming.


  • Price. Beware roaming rates can get quite expensive FAST! Use these for trips less than a week as most carriers charge $10-12 per day for roaming services. For trips longer than a week, you might want to consider getting a prepaid option.

Prepaid Plans


  • Better Budget Control. When you purchase a prepaid cell phone plan like Jethro Mobile, you are paying for a fixed service ahead of time. For example, when you purchase our 7-day US SIM card, you are paying for exactly 7 days of service with 7GB of data. After seven days the service will be terminated or if you have used all 7GB the data will stop. There are no overcharges, no hidden or activation fees. This allows you to have better control over your budget.

  • More Affordable. Prepaid plans are usually more affordable because you are getting service directly from an American Carrier.

  • No Contracts. The great thing about prepaid plans is there are no contracts or any commitments. You can cancel anytime.


  • Limited. Since you are paying for a fixed plan for a certain amount of time/usage you will need to know how much you will need prior to your trip. With Jethro Mobile, you can reload if you need more minutes or data for an additional cost.

  • Risk. Purchasing a prepaid plan also involves using a new carrier. There are many things to consider before purchasing a prepaid plan such as phone compatibility, network coverage and activation steps. Read our post for “US Cell Phone Plan Tips for Canadian Snowbirds” on this topic.

What makes Jethro Mobile Different from other brands? With Jethro Mobile, we take the complications out of getting a SIM Card and make this process a lot more simple and convenient for you.

  1. Unlike other carriers, you do not need to activate ahead of time which reduces the stress. You can use the service within minutes of activation.

  2. Above and beyond live customer support. Our live agents are ready to assist to make sure you get the help you need.

  3. You can reuse the same sim card. You can keep the same number for future trips. As long as it doesn’t go past 60 days of inactivity.

  4. More flexibility. We have more options available than other competitors. Whether you need short-term plans for a few days or long term plans for a year, we got it. Whether you need data or not we have those too.

Read our blog “How Jethro Mobile Plans Work” for more detailed information. Check out our US Travel Plans to find the right plan for your trip.

Got Questions?

Call us- 1.888.509.6199

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