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US texting to and from Canada, and other wives tales...

I have seen so many people asking about texting to and from Canada from the US that I thought I would clear this up.

  • If you are a Sprint customer living in the United States, and you have an unlimited texting package, while in the United States, you can send and receive text messages to/from Canada for free.

  • Also, this one kills me.... If you live in the United States and someone calls your cellphone from another country while you are in the United States, you only use your minutes. There ARE NO additional charges.


#1 AndroidMax, Mar 14, 2011
Thought I would bring this thread back to life a little for an update

I have a buddy of mine that has been texting to Canada from his cell phone through GV

So I said to him why are you going through GV for texting if you are in the USA

He said that the Sprint customer service said his unlimited text plan did not include texting to Canada from the USA.

It seems as though they don't even know there own criteria.

So I decided to talk to CS from a Chat window, and asked the same question for the Heck of it, and low a behold, she told me the samething, LOL

See reply below

#2 DonB, Dec 5, 2012
I was told I'd be charged additionally for international texting when I went to Spain, Domican Republic, and Canada. So I just sent them via wifi - no issue, no charge.
#3 Rigmaster, Dec 5, 2012
My wife is flying to Canada tomorrow morning. Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I just got off the phone with Sprint and they gave me the same story: "Canada is considered international and you will be charged".

I even quoted her the following note from this page:

"Note: International text messaging is charged at $0.20/message. However, text messages sent to or received from a Canadian number are charged at the same rate as domestic messages, according to your rate plan or messaging add-on.

She told me I was misunderstood and that note only applies if I have an international plan.

Can we text back and forth while she's there? Can I have her disable her radios and text over WIFI? or should we rely on Skype?

#4 3volut1on, Feb 11, 2013
I have been in Canada, and exchanged text messages with people still in the USA. All of those messages were counted as if they were US domestic messages, with no additional fees. I have a standard Simply Everything plan.

You can leave the cellular radio on, but disable data completely. Data usage is certainly more expensive, once you cross the border. You shouldn't have much trouble finding a WiFi spot, when you need data. My experience is mainly in Vancouver, where they have a Starbucks on every street corner (and sometimes, two on the same corner). They all offer free WiFi, as do many other places.

The voice add-on for $2.99 a month is a good deal. Assuming you use more than seven minutes of voice roaming, it will save you money.

Consider getting Google Voice. As far as text messaging is concerned, it will give you the best of both worlds...messages delivered to your standard SMS app, and also via an Internet-based app. So if you do completely disable the cellular radio, you can still exchange SMS, while connected via WiFi.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the trip!
#5 jasonacg, Feb 12, 2013
You should use Whatsapp and/or Viber.

It uses the data plan and no SMS charged per message.
#6 chong67, Feb 25, 2013
I've used Skype, Tango, and What'sApp. Honestly though, SMS is much more convenient and I don't mind paying the extra $10 for international since I have a great deal of friends overseas spanning from Australia to Jordan especially for the ones who don't have smartphones. I'm trying to convince them to get new phones, but when you have to pay $800 for a decent phone unlocked, that becomes a bit of an issue.
#7 shadowspawn, Apr 3, 2013