Canada is the second-largest country in the world.
While it does not have the best weather throughout the years, although it had insane wildfires in 2023, it is a stunning country.
You can do a lot in the country, from Banff Park to Niagara Falls, or skiing to camping.
Unlike the United States, Canada's large cities are far away from each other, resulting in long commutes.
As a result, it is essential to stay connected while on the road – especially in deserted areas.
That is why I tested seven travel eSIMs from various eSIM providers, such as Airalo's Americanmex (North America) eSIM, and three Canadian SIM cards to find out which one is the best.
As a result, I spent over 250 USD on my Canada SIM card and travel eSIM review series.
But I do not say that as a flex… Canadian SIM cards and plans are costly.
I paid 119 CAD (about 89 USD) for one SIM card because I was charged 50 CAD in activation/service fees 😒.
I highly recommend that those visiting Canada use a travel eSIM because they are significantly cheaper.
Some even perform better than prepaid users on the same network because they are not restricted 🗿.
So, let's see if the Airalo North America eSIM is worth your money.
Original publication: 2nd of February 2024. Last updated: 29th of February 2024.
Table of Contents
Airalo's List of Compatible eSIM-Supported Phones
Before I even focus on Airalo's Americanmex (North America) eSIM, does your phone support Airalo eSIMs?
If you have an eSIM-compatible smartphone, it is almost guaranteed that you can use an Airalo eSIM.
While Airalo had to certify phones in the past, almost all are supported nowadays.
As of December 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Airalo eSIMs:
Now we can actually focus on the Americanmex eSIM (in Canada).
Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM Prices
You can get the Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM for between 6.50 USD (1 GB for 7 days) and 46 USD (10 GB for 30 days).
Below is an overview of how much each Airalo Americanmex eSIM costs:
- North America/Americanmex 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 6.50 USD
- North America/Americanmex 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 12 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- North America/Americanmex 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 17 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- North America/Americanmex 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 25.50 USD
- North America/Americanmex 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 46 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only).
In general, purchasing an Airalo Americanmex eSIM does not make sense if you plan to visit only one country (only Canada, for example).
Mostly because of price differences (Americanmex's 10 GB eSIM costs 46 USD, while Tuque Mobile's (Canada – review) costs only 35 USD).
Regardless of the currency used in your country, Airalo will always charge you in USD (US Dollar).
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.
Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).
I have saved THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.
What if you buy the 10 GB Americanmex eSIM, as I did, and realize you need another 5 GB of data close to exhausting your data allowance?
Would you need to purchase a new eSIM? Not at all.
You can top up your Airalo Americanmex eSIM for the same amount of data and prices as listed earlier.
The 5 GB top-up would still cost 25.50 USD as if you bought the 5 GB eSIM from the start.
And you can purchase as many top-ups as you wish/need.
That way, you will never run out of data.
A handful of Airalo eSIMs do not allow for top-ups. But that does not apply to the Americanmex eSIM – so worry not.
You can top-up on the Airalo website or its apps.
And if you buy a top-up before you have fully exhausted your data allowance, Airalo will not use your top-up yet.
As a result, the validity of the top-up will not start until you start using the top-up data (which is not the case with all travel eSIMs).
My Airalo Americanmex eSIM in Canada Experience
I used my Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM only in Toronto (and Niagara Falls).
Travel eSIMs, including the Canada eSIM, roam on the networks of local mobile operators.
Airalo is not a mobile (network) operator (MNO), so it partners with various MNOs, which roam on local MNOs' networks.
Okay, that may sound a bit confusing – all you need to know is that you will be treated as a guest on one of the Canadian mobile networks while using another network to make this system work.
Airalo's North America eSIM uses Rogers Wireless, Telus (with 5G NR) & Bell Mobility (with 5G NR) networks while being powered by Webbing/Orange France (so your phone, some apps, or sites you visit may claim you are on Webbing instead of Airalo – that is correct).
The thing is… I had no 5G NR access with the Americanmex eSIM on either Telus or Bell, even though I should have.
And I had the same issue in the United States (I visited it after Canada), even though Airalo claimed I should have access to 5G NR on the supported networks.
So either it still had to be enabled (the eSIM was released in the month of me visiting North America (July 2023)), or it was an incorrect claim.
Although my contact at Airalo informed me they would investigate the issue, no follow-up was ever given 😔.
What is interesting is that the Airalo Tuque Mobile (Canada) eSIM (review) was also powered by Orange France and it did have NR access on both Telus and Bell (and the same applied to the Airalo United States (Change – that is its name) eSIM).
So it is not that the Canadian (or American) mobile operators were having issues – it was Americanmex specific.🤷🏿♂️
I have no plans to revisit these countries in 2024. Although I will go to Mexico in May 2024, the eSIM cannot use 5G NR yet… in fact, I do not think it exists in the country at this time. So, I cannot confirm if this issue is fixed anytime soon 😔.
Anyway, in my case, the eSIM used Telus by default, but you can change it to Rogers or Bell in your phone's settings.
So, how do these Canadian mobile operators perform? Which one is the best?
The Big Three (Rogers, Telus & Bell) cover practically all populated areas of Canada, with an availability of 99% or more.
5G NR availability is not as extensive, ranging between 11% (Telus) and 12.1% (Rogers).
But you should be aware that Rogers did not allow any eSIM to use its 5G NR network.
Heck, even my prepaid Rogers SIM card could not use 5G NR 🥲.
Let's talk about speeds – they are surprisingly fast in Canada.
That is… if your flanker brand or Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) does not throttle your speed (common in Canada).
Bell Mobility was the fastest mobile operator in Q4 of 2023, with a median download speed of 121.33 Mbps, according to Speedtest/Ookla.
It was followed by Telus (115.02 Mbps) and Rogers (105.87 Mbps).
The ranking does not change when we focus on 5G NR: 194.23 Mbps, 174.45 Mbps & 136.39 Mbps, respectively.
Let's focus on upload speeds – they are not that impressive but still okay.
Median upload speeds range from 11.80 Mbps (Bell) to 15.10 Mbps (Rogers).
In short, you do not have to worry about slow speeds in Canada (in cities).
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app throughout Toronto (and Niagara Falls).
For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average upload speed of 10 Mbps fast enough.
Why is that? A more than 25 Mbps download speed is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that do live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
I have way higher standards, but not everyone demands a download speed of 500 Mbps 🤪.
In the section below, you will find various colors and formatting.
Results in dark green mean that the result was the fastest download or upload among all SIM cards and travel eSIMs I tested at that location.
Whereas results in light green were the fastest download or upload within the category (among all SIM cards OR all travel eSIMs) but not the fastest when considering the other category.
The same applies to dark red and light orange results – the slowest download or upload among all (dark red) or the slowest within a category (light orange).
All underlined results are on 5G NR, while results in italics are on 3G – results without additional formatting are on 4G/LTE.
That should clear up the colorful speed test results in the next section.
For now, let's see how the Airalo Americanmex eSIM performed in Toronto (and Niagara Falls).
Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM in Niagara Falls & Toronto Speed Test Results
I used my Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM only in Toronto (and a bit in Niagara Falls).
The eSIM could use the networks of the Big Three (Rogers Wireless, Telus & Bell Mobility), with supposed 5G NR access with the latter two.
But as I mentioned in the previous section, 5G NR was unavailable with the eSIM (even though the Airalo Canada eSIM (Tuque Mobile – review) could use it and was powered by the same provider (Orange France)).
Anyway, I was on the Telus network with the Americanmex eSIM.
The Alosim Canada, Nomad Canada & Nomad North America eSIMs were also on the same network.
So, I will mainly compare the Airalo North America eSIM with them.
Below are the results:
Super-fast speeds with the Airalo Americanmex eSIM.
The Americanmex eSIM had its best performance at the A-gates of Terminal 3 Toronto Pearson International Airport – YYZ (307.24 Mbps).
Surprisingly, that was not the fastest speed I got at this location.
The Airalo Tuque Mobile eSIM was slightly faster (310.48 Mbps (5G)), and so was my Bell SIM card (359.81 Mbps (4G)).
Yeah, the Tuque Mobile had 5G NR access on the Bell network, but my Bell prepaid SIM card could not use 5G NR 🗿.
Anyway, there were four locations where the Americanmex eSIM was faster than all others (including SIM cards): Dufferin Mall (117.32 Mbps), Five Guys @ Yonge Street (256.15 Mbps), Spadina Ave at King St West North Side Stop (243.83 Mbps) & Starbucks @ Westoak Trails Boulevard In Oakville (296.86 Mbps).
At four locations, the eSIM was faster than other eSIMs only (but slower than one or multiple Canadian SIM cards): Kensington Market BIA (239.06 Mbps), Royal Ontario Museum (47.94 Mbps), the Africa Area at Toronto Zoo (35.74 Mbps) & Walmart Supercentre in Niagara Falls (248.64 Mbps).
There are actually nine other locations where the eSIM got a speed of over 100 Mbps… but I have already been praising the Americanmex eSIM a bit too much already 🗿.
Well… not really – I am just stating the results 🤓.
Although inconsistent, one thing to be aware of is that reception and speeds were not always the best inside an attraction or restaurant.
Such as at the Art Gallery of Ontario (0.58 Mbps), Hockey Hall of Fame (7.75 Mbps) & Hubby's Jamaican Kitchen (1.97 Mbps).
But then you have Alobar, also a restaurant, where I got a result of 155.51 Mbps.
So yeah… inconsistent.
Regarding upload speeds, there is not that much to say.
Most are beyond acceptable (over 10 Mbps) or fast (over 25 Mbps).
While some were suspiciously slow (1 Mbps – 3 Mbps).
Such as 0.01 Mbps at the Art Gallery of Ontario 🗿.
But with an average download speed of 113.77 Mbps, the Airalo Americanmex eSIM had the second-fastest average (even faster than Rogers and Telus).
Its average is slightly behind the Airalo Canada eSIM, 129.36 Mbps, but the latter had 5G NR access on Bell.
Things were looking great for the Americanmex eSIM in terms of upload speeds too – an average of 16.16 Mbps.
The Nomad North America eSIM (product page) I used was also using Telus but had 5G NR access (like my Telus prepaid SIM card).
With the odd exception, the results between the two were quite similar.
Although it never got a speed of over 200 Mbps, the Americanmex eSIM did it six times.
My Telus SIM managed seven times, so it does not look like Telus throttles (prepaid) 5G NR speeds.
I guess Telus' 4G/LTE network is still superior (for now) 😜.
Anyway, the Airalo North America eSIM had a stellar performance in Canada.
My Overall Experience with the Airalo Americanmex (North America) eSIM in Canada – Is It Worth Your Money?
I would recommend the Airalo Americanmex eSIM for Canada (but not if you only visit Canada), and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a North American travel eSIM.
Airalo is one of the few eSIM providers that allow you to install an eSIM directly to your phone (without the need to scan a QR code – Android only), which makes the installation process a piece of cake (hence, I did not spend any time on how to install in this review – it is easy!).
Moreover, you do not have to adjust the APN settings with the Airalo Americanmex eSIM, making it more manageable.
The difference between the Airalo Canada (Tuque Mobile) eSIM (review) and the Americanmex eSIM is minimal for the 1 GB, 2 GB & 3 GB options (but Americanmex is more expensive).
The 5 GB and 10 GB options are more expensive (up to 11 USD).
Technically, there is no difference between the two eSIMs, as they are powered by the same provider (Webbing/Orange France) and have access to the same Canadian networks Rogers Wireless, Telus & Bell Mobility).
The latter two networks allow both eSIMs to use their 5G NR networks, but I could not use 5G NR with the North American eSIM (no issues with the Canada eSIM).
The Nomad North America eSIM (product page) was powered by Drei Austria but could access Telus' 5G NR network (I used Telus with my Americanmex eSIM).
However, the speed difference was not remarkable.
In fact, the 4G/LTE results with the Airalo eSIM were actually better than Nomad's 5G NR ones (average of 113.77 Mbps vs 99.03 Mbps).
And when we compare its results to Telus', which allowed its prepaid customers to use 5G NR too, the Americanmex eSIM was still on top (average of 102.58 Mbps with Telus).
If you are only staying in Canada, I would recommend using the Airalo Tuque Mobile eSIM (over Americanmex) instead to save some $$$.
If you visit the United States and/or Mexico after Canada, stick with the Americanmex eSIM.
Unlike some American and Mexican mobile operators, you do not get a North American data allowance with Rogers, Telus, or Bell, resulting in expensive international roaming charges.
Let alone spending 55 CAD (40+ USD) for only 8/10 GB of data (no higher allowances available).
Overall, the Americanmex eSIM performed well in Canada.