If you’ve got a family that needs cell service in Canada, getting everyone connected can be confusing. Thankfully, several Canadian carriers offer some level of family discount or multi-line perk. As such, we’ve broken down how it works with most Canadian carriers so you can find the best solution for your family.
Toronto-based national carrier Rogers offers a ‘Family Discount’ on its Infinite plans when activating multiple lines. Plus, adding extra lines comes with a few other perks as well.
To start, Rogers lets customers add up to nine lines to a single account and share data between them. When you add a second line, Rogers provides a $10 discount off the second line. For each extra line customers add to the total, customers save an additional $10 per month. Rogers applies the discount as a bill credit every month as long as the customer remains eligible.
Plus, Rogers lets customers pool data together. Using the base Infinite plan Rogers offers ($75/10GB), three lines would get a total of 30GB of data at high speed, followed by unlimited usage at a throttled speed of up to 512Kbps. Customers can use Rogers’ Data Manager app to monitor each line’s data usage, pause data for some lines and more.
Bell also offers a family discount, but things are a little more complicated. With the Montreal-based national carrier, customers must have a primary subscriber with a ‘Connect Everything’ plan, as well as at least one subscriber with shareable data on the account, to be eligible for family data sharing and discounts.
Bell’s Connect Everything plans start at $85 per month for unlimited Canada-wide calling and texting with 10GB of shareable data. Prices range depending on the amount of data (customers can get up to 50GB per line) or device that customers want to get. Connect Everything plans do have data overages, so if you use up your shared data, you’ll have to pay a steep price of $10 per 100MB of overage up to 800MB, followed by $0.15 per MB thereafter.
For each line added after the primary line, Bell provides a $10 per month discount. So, a family plan with four members would receive a $30 discount on the monthly bill. It’s worth noting that Bell’s website lists this family discount as available for a limited time, but it’s been around for quite a while. It’s not clear if or when the discount will go away.
It’s also worth noting that Bell currently does not offer a discount for its Unlimited plans, nor can customers share the data from Unlimited plans. In other words, you can have multiple Unlimited lines on your account but each counts as an individual line and gain no benefit from being together. However, Bell’s Unlimited plans all start at $10 cheaper than the Connect Everything equivalents, so it should work out to about the same cost however you choose to do it.
Telus has a Family Discount program as well and it covers a variety of the Vancouver-based national carrier’s plans. When browsing plans, keep an eye out for ones that say “Family Discount eligible.” This includes Telus’ Peace of Mind and Peace of Mind Connect unlimited data plans, as well as its Simple Share plans.
Telus’ Family Discount lets you save more money when you add more lines to your account. If you add two lines, Family Discount gives you $5 off per line ($10 total). Three lines give you $10 off per line ($30 total). Four or more lines gives you $15 off per line (up to nine lines total, which is $135 off your total monthly bill).
While we’d recommend going with Telus’ $75/10GB Peace of Mind plan — $15 off per month means you get 10GB for $60 per month, and with four people that’s $240 per month — you can’t share data with any of the Peace of Mind or Peace of Mind Connect plans. Those interested in sharing data among all lines will have to go for Simple Share plans, which start at $85 per month for 10GB of shareable data and data overages.
You can learn more about Family Discount on Telus’ website.
Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile
All three flanker brands in Canada don’t offer data sharing or family discount benefits like the Big Three. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be a good option for your family.
Whether you go with Fido, Koodo or Virgin, you can add multiple lines to one account, and since the three of them offer plans that tend to be lower in cost when compared to the Big Three, you could still save. For example, if not every member of your family needs a high-end data plan, you could choose lower-cost plans with less data. While plans and prices differ between carriers, it’s worth doing the math to see which carrier saves you the most. That said, Fido, Koodo and Virgin are all targeted at individuals, so from a value perspective, the Big Three and their family discounts are probably better in the long run.
Also, it’s worth noting that the flanker brands do offer some other perks. For example, Koodo’s ‘Refer a Friend’ program can get you and your friend a $5 monthly credit for five months (that’s a $25 discount for a referral). Fido also offers its Xtra program and Virgin offers its Member Benefits, which both provide subscribers with deals, discounts and other perks.
Freedom Mobile doesn’t offer data sharing or family discounts either. In fact, the Shaw-owned regional carrier recently put an end to its Better Together savings program.
That said, there are still some benefits to having multiple lines with Freedom. Primarily, Freedom offers much higher data amounts for lower costs than the Big Three. For example, getting four 10GB BYOP lines from Freedom, with the company’s available discounts at the time of writing, would cost $50 per line per month for the first year. While the price would go up after a year, that initial discount is definitely something worth considering.
You can browse Freedom’s plans here.
Eastlink offers a data sharing option as well. According to the carrier’s website, customers can pick a data plan that is shared between everyone on the account. Then, they can add up to 10 lines to that plan starting at $35 per month for each line.
For example, a two-line plan with unlimited minutes and 5GB of shareable data would cost $90 per month total or about $45 per line.
You can learn more on Eastlink’s website.
Saskatchewan-based regional carrier SaskTel offers data sharing as well through its ShareMore plans. Customers have to pick a base ShareMore plan with data, and can then add more lines for $60 per month.
For example, a base $90 ShareMore plan includes 10GB of data shareable to all additional lines. With three extra lines, that’s a total of $270 per month.
SaskTel’s ShareMore plans are fairly flexible as well, letting you opt for a more expensive Canada and U.S. line or cheaper data-only line. When adding those lines, Canada/U.S. additional lines cost $80 per month and data-only lines cost $10 per month.
Base ShareMore plan data options range from 1GB to 50GB of shareable data.
You can learn more on SaskTel’s website.