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Are you using Google Fi yet?
The best cell phone plan for frequent travelers

Posted by Hasin from burdie.co

March 19, 2019

Did you know that Google has its own cell phone service plan? It’s true and the best part is that it works in 200+ countries. It even works in China. Its global versatility makes Google Fi a top choice for frequent travelers. So if you’re looking for a sign to switch your mobile plan, here it is. Google initially launched the service back in early 2015 on an invitation-only basis for its Nexus 6 users only. Back then the service was called Project Fi and the service worked only on specific Google phones, such as the Nexus, Pixel, and a handful of non-Google Android devices. Fast forward to 2019, Google has rebranded the service to Google Fi and has opened it up to people outside of the Android ecosystem. This means all of you iPhone users can also use Google Fi. Please note that all prices on this page are quoted in USD as Google Fi is currently only open to those with US phone numbers.

My relationship with Google Fi

I started using Google Fi in December of 2018, when I was able to take advantage of Google’s Black Friday deals and get the Moto G6 for just $99! I actually wasn’t planning on getting a new phone at the time, but I just couldn’t pass on such a great offer. Rather unexpectedly, I went on a 3-week long trip across Asia and the Pacific during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Right then, I knew that this would be a the perfect opportunity to test out Google Fi’s advertised capabilities. During this trip, I visited Hong Kong, Dhaka, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, and Honolulu. I was able to use Google Fi in all of these places without any issues whatsoever. Google Fi constantly maintained 4G speed and rarely put me on a 3G network.

Network setup is seamless in new countries

The best part of Google Fi is that you don’t have to go through any kind of setup process once you land in a new country. Just turn on your phone and the Google Fi app on your phone will notify you that your network settings are being configured. It has never taken me longer than five minutes to complete this step. It has always been seamless—no more switching out SIM cards on shaky tray table while the plane prepares to land.

This was a game changer for me since I really hate buying local SIMs, especially for shorter trips. For example, I was in Singapore and Malaysia for just about 24 hours and there was no point in me to buying a local SIM for such a short trip. Whenever possible, I’d rather rely on public wifi, which is becoming more and more available around the world.

What about using Fi back at home?

I live in NYC at the moment, where I no longer spend a lot of money on mobile data. In fact, on average, I spend only about $5 a month on data since I am always connected to the wifi whether on the subway, at the office, or at home. Therefore, my total bill always hovers around $25 – $35, even after I pay Uncle Sam. #taxes

My Google Fi Bill for Feb 6 to Mar 6

Call/Text
Data
Tax
Total
$ 20.00
$   0.49
$   6.40
$ 26.89

Google Fi is the cheapest and best option out there for people that travel often. Whether you are a backpacker or doing business internationally, Google Fi should fit your needs, because, besides the general $20 call/text plan, data is pay-per-use.

With Google Fi, the price of data is $1 per 100mbs. That means $10 will get you 1GB worth of data and the price remains the same no matter where in the world you use the service. Furthermore, the price of data is capped at $60. Once you’ve used up 6GB of data, you don’t have to spend any more money on data. As you can see on my bill breakdown, I spent only 49 cents (!) on data last month, because I was mostly using wifi.

Essentially, Google Fi enables you to pay a maximum of $80 a month to use your cell phone almost anywhere in the world. This prices remains as long as you avoid making international voice calls on the network and use data-based platforms like WhatsApp or Messenger for calls.

Get on Google Fi TODAY

You can order your Google Fi SIM directly from Google here. Full disclosure, this is a referral link and if you make a purchase using this link, you and I will both receive $20 bill credit once you activate the service.

Do you have any questions or doubts about switching to Google Fi? Let me know in the comments below. This post is not sponsored by Google (I wish…), I just really appreciate Google Fi and am happy to help others make the switch.

Hasin is the co-founder of Burdie.co, a seasoned traveler, and a professional people-watcher. Follow his adventures @iaminbrooklyn.

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