International SIM card types and questions

I have a Nexus 5 and I understand the whole process of updating the phone PRL and what not but I'm going to be going to Canada soon and want to switch the phone to be compatible there. I've looked up micro SIM cards for GSM networks and all the things I see for them are "pay as you go" and "add $30 on the card for service" sort of things. My question is what card would be good for my phone and do you have to buy or load money onto a SIM card for international usage. I don't see the point in doing that as it would basically be paying twice for Ting service or does the card just activate and Ting takes control of it from there? 




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