Home Tips & Tricks Do Canadian Cell Phones Work in the United States?

Do Canadian Cell Phones Work in the United States?


You can make calls, send text messages and surf the internet from your mobile device while you are visiting the United States from Canada. However, roaming charges do apply when making phone calls from the US; fees for text messages are based on the plan you purchased. You will also be charged an extra fee billable per minute of usage when you access the internet via your mobile device.

International Dialing

You can make international calls from any cell phone. No special, additional equipment is required for you to place international calls while you travel outside of Canada. Just as you would dial on a land line to make an international call, dial the number 1, followed by the country code, followed by the phone number for the person you want to call.

International Calling Plans

Plans and fees are based on the individual or bundle services you signed up for when you purchased your cell phone. If your plan includes international calling, basic international fees are already included on your bill. Otherwise, you will be charged per call you make, which is calculated based on the length of your call and the country you called. Some carriers also provide you with a separate cell phone for your use in the United States, if you plan on making numerous calls within the US. These phones only work while you are in the US.


When you travel outside of Canada, your cell phone automatically goes into roaming. Roaming fees are calculated based on used airtime minutes and are added to your phone bill on a per usage basis. Exact fees and charges will differ with plan and cell phone carrier.

Internet Usage

Internet usage is generally charged per minute. These charges are added to your monthly internet usage fee for the plan you purchased. Files–including ringtones–downloaded from the internet to your phone may also incur an additional data charge.

Text Messaging

Even if you purchased your cell phone and plan in Canada, you can send and receive text messages while in the United States. Fees will vary by cell phone providers, as some will charge per message sent only. Others will charge per message sent and received, separately.