Yes, your Tracfone will work in Canada, however it will enter Roaming mode. Roaming occurs when you are outside of your calling network and your cell phone must piggy back on other networks in order to make or receive phone calls.
If you have a GSM Tracfone that connects via the Cingular/AT&T network, there is no additional charge for roaming calls, you will be charged at standard calling rates. In this case the phone will piggy back on the Rogers Canada network.
If you have a CDMA Tracfone that connects via the Verizon network, you will be charged 2x the standard calling rate when roaming. In this case the phone will piggy back on the Bell Canada network.
I think you should wait until you get to Canada and then buy the cheapest pre-paid phone you can find at a local store. It will probably cost about $40, basically the same price as in the U.S.
It all DEPENDS, I have had service in the major Metro area's, but not in the minor cities and towns. For example Victoria and Vancouver BC yes, smaller cities and towns in Vancouver Island, no.
2008 F350SD V10 with an 2012 Arctic Fox 29-5E When someone tells you to buy the same rig they own, listen, they might be right. When they tell you to buy a different rig then they own, really pay attention, they probably know something you don't.
I have had the same experince with Tracphone.
My old phone allowed me to call directly to Canada with the area code and 1. Now I must dial the Long Distance 800 number and then make my call. I am no longer able to txt to Canada as I was able to do with my old phone. It also shows no service when I travel a short distance from the U. S. My experience stretches along the border from New York State to Maine.
I've had Tracfone for about 6 years now. It may vary by location but I've NEVER had a GSM signal in Canada (tried Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal areas). At XMas, I got a CDMA Tracfone and that one does work in Ottawa and I have made a few short calls just to test. That said, Tracfone's official policy is if that they do not offer international roaming and if you do it, they'll disable your account (no idea if they actually do it).
If you are unsure if you have GSM or CDMA, from what I've been told, the easiest way to tell is simply look at the model number - if it ends with a 'C', it's CDMA (e.g. LG 290C). You can also pull out the battery and look for the SIM card - if it has a SIM card, it's a GSM (technically it could be a dual band CDMA/GSM but I don't think Tracfone have any).
For anyone thinking of switching, I should mention that when I went from GSM to CDMA, I lost the ability to send TXT messages to Canada (unless it has changed recently, Tracfone does not offer international texting. Seems like it was enabled on older phones but it's disabled on new phones).
Hi we travel back and forth across the boarder often, the easiest way to call that I have found is a prepaid
phone card which I purchased in the states. You call a 800 number from any phone including pay phones
then you dial the number you want. It tells you what your charges are before every call. The cost to call
in Canada is double what it is in the states per minute but still very reasonable. No extra charges plus
I have cards for over 1 year they do not expire. I believe I got my last ones at Best Buy. Walmart have them
also. Just another alternative without buying a different plan.