Canadian wireless providers need to step up their game and offer some more enticing Black Friday deals.
While we’re not super deep into the holiday shopping season yet, so far, carriers and wireless providers haven’t offered many deals on plans that are worth getting excited about, especially compared to last year. There are some interesting smartphone deals (looking at you, free Pixel 7), but that’s all.
As a refresher, last year, several providers offered a $45/mo 50GB plan with 4G LTE data. There were also in-store offers like $35/20GB, though those didn’t arrive until closer to Black Friday proper. That $45/50GB plan was actually a $65/mo plan with a $20/mo bill credit that lasts 24 months — in other words, if you got that deal last year, you’ve still got a year to go.
This year, on the other hand, isn’t quite as good. Moreover, providers haven’t really converged on a single good offer like they did last year. At least, they haven’t yet — there’s still time for them to turn things around. But here’s a quick comparison with current offers, starting with the flanker brands since they’re the most direct comparison to last year. Moreover, the comparisons will be limited to bring-your-own-phone (BYOP) offers since providers limit plan options when you get a smartphone.
- $45/40GB 4G LTE ($40/mo with automatic payments).
- $44/20GB 4G LTE ($39/mo with automatic payments).
If you do automatic payments, Fido’s $40/40GB plan is a reasonable option compared to last year’s $45/50GB. I think most people probably would welcome the $5/mo discount and not miss that 10GB of data. Still, it feels like a downgrade, and that’s not even getting into the fact Fido inflates its monthly rates to push people into automatic payments.
View Fido’s plans here.
- $40/40GB 4G LTE
- $55/50GB 5G
- $39/20GB 4G LTE
- $65/60GB 5G
The $40/40GB isn’t terrible compared to last year’s $45/50GB for the same reasons mentioned above.
On the other hand, the $55/50GB 5G plan is just a $10/mo increase for the benefits of 5G, which, in Canada at least, remains slim to none (especially with providers arbitrarily limiting data speeds to make higher-cost plans seem more appealing).
View Koodo’s plans here.
- $55/mo 60GB 5G after $10/mo bill credit for 24 months (regular $65/mo)
- $40/40GB 4G LTE
- $39/20GB 4G LTE
The highlight here is Virgin’s $55/60GB, which gives you more data for the same cost as Koodo’s 50GB 5G plan. Still, I’m not calling up friends and family to recommend this lukewarm deal.
View Virgin’s plans here.
The Big Three
For the most part, Rogers, Bell, and Telus have the same offers listed that they’ve had for months. In most cases, you’re looking at $70/mo+ costs for plans with huge buckets of 5G data and, in some cases, Canada/U.S. or Canada/U.S./Mexico usage. Many of the best deals with these carriers are tied to getting internet or other home services too.
That said, Bell and Rogers both currently have a $55/mo 60GB 5G plan (after a $10/mo discount for 24 months), which isn’t bad overall. Telus, at the time of writing, had a $65/mo 60GB 5G plan but no $10/mo discount.
- $34/mo 20GB 5G
- $40/mo 40GB 5G
- $45/mo 50GB 5G with Canada/U.S.
- $55/mo 60GB with Canada/U.S./Mexico
It’s worth noting that Freedom’s plans all include $5/mo or $10/mo credits if you BYOP, which are included in the above prices.
If you live in an area with Freedom coverage, the provider’s new 5G network is actually pretty good, especially for the price. I mean, where else can you get a Canada/U.S. for under $50/mo? Again, these deals aren’t exactly new, but they’re pretty good overall, in my opinion.
To wrap up, there are a few honourable mentions I want to throw out to some providers who may not have gotten much attention last year, but I think have some good offers now. There’s Telus-owned Public Mobile, which in the last year has added 5G and has some similar offers to Freedom, namely the $34/20GB 5G plan. It also has a $40/40GB 4G plan.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the lead-up to Black Friday. I’m holding out hope that someone will offer something better than last year’s $45/50GB, but as it stands, I’m likely to jump to Freedom and scoop up the $45/50GB Canada/U.S. plan.