Is Google Fi Worth It?: My Experience As a Customer (Reliability, Coverage & Pricing)

Jarrod Suda


Byron Mühlberg


Feb 22, 2024
Advertiser disclosure

I switched over to Google Fi in 2021 to take advantage of its international data service while living abroad much of the year. I transferred my American number over to Google Fi, which I loved because it meant keeping my old number. There were no issues accessing call, text, and data while in the US, and I had reliable data connectivity while living abroad in Switzerland and Spain, and travelling across 7+ countries throughout Europe.

Sadly, customer support contacted me to stop my service because I was using data over their limit of 90 consecutive days outside of the United States. I had to transfer my number back over to my previous carrier (which was a bit of a hassle) and say goodbye to Google Fi.

In this Google Fi review, I'll share some insight as a customer abroad. We will explore the innovative cell phone service's reliability, costs, international coverage, customer support, and if Google Fi is the right choice for you.

Pros of Google Fi

  • Access data in 200+ countries with the Unlimited Plus plan.
  • The Flexible plan charges you for only the data you use.
  • The Flexible plan has Bill Protection if you reach your data limit.
  • Billing is very transparent and easy to manage in-app.

Cons of Google Fi

  • Only available for U.S. residents.
  • Not allowed to use data abroad over 90 consecutive days.
  • Switching plans only comes into effect at start of next billing cycle.
  • Networks like Verizon typically offer stronger coverage.
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How Does Google Fi Work?

You can either get a new phone number issued to you or transfer your old number to Google Fi. Google Fi will send you a SIM card in the mail with instructions to install it and configure your settings. Alternatively, you can connect to Google Fi with their eSIMs (virtual embedded SIM cards) if you have a Google Pixel phone, or an eSIM-compatible iPhone or Android.

Google Fi SIM card in the mail

What Carrier Does Google Fi Use?

Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that partners with the T-Mobile network to provide its services. It provides telephone calls, SMS, and mobile data across the United States, and includes unlimited international data in its highest tiered plan.

Which Google Fi Plan Is Right For Me?

Here's a straightforward summary to help you pick the right plan:

  • Flexible Plan: Best for 2 people or more, and if you use ~3GB per person or less per month (perhaps you're connected to Wi-Fi at home or at work).
  • Simply Unlimited: Ideal if you don't want the hassle of tracking your data consumption, and if you open 2 or more lines (good for families).
  • Unlimited Plus: A top choice for the frequent solo traveler. Plus, the free year of YouTube Premium and 100 GB of Google One cloud storage are nice perks.

Flexible vs Simply Unlimited vs Unlimited Plus

Google Fi Wireless offers three tiers of phone plans: Flexible, Simply Unlimited, and Unlimited Plus. Let's see how they compare:

Monthly Plan


Simply Unlimited

Unlimited Plus

Price Per Month

$35 for 2 lines + $10/GB + taxes

$80 for 2 lines + taxes

$110 for 2 lines + taxes

Data in US, CA & MX

$10 per GB



Data, Call & Text in US, CA, & MX




Data Slowing

After 15 GB

After 35 GB

After 50 GB

Hotspot Tethering

$10 per GB

5 GB per month


International Data



Calls From the US to Abroad

Free to CA & MX

Free to CA & MX

Free to over 50 destinations

Call & Text From Outside US, CA & MX



Hotspot to Tablets



Smartwatch Compatible




1 Year of YouTube Premium


100 GB Google One Storage


Data quoted: 22 Feb 2024

Flexibility: Switching Plans and Adding Lines

I chose the Flexible plan to take advantage of international data coverage in over 200 countries. I also added a line for one other member through the app's settings, which was very easy. Then, they sent a second physical SIM card in the mail.

One very important detail to know is that Google Fi's Flexible Plan bills $10 per GB for total data used by all members together. If a plan has three members and each uses 1GB, their combined usage of 3GB results in a charge of $30. If you want to switch to the Unlimited Plus plan, then it'll take effect at the start of your next billing cycle (only switching between Simply Unlimited and Unlimited Plus is instant).

Solo Traveler? Go With Unlimited Plus

If you are a solo traveler who uses 5GB+ per month (i.e. watching video, streaming, or playing games), then the Unlimited Plus plan would be your most convenient option. If you use less than 5GBs per month, then the Flexible plan should be enough.

2 or More Lines? Try the Flexible Plan

If you open 2 or more lines with Google Fi, then the Flexible plan will usually be the best choice in terms of price, both domestic and abroad. 2GBs of data in a month would probably be enough for one person to browse the web for around 80 minutes a day, or use social media apps for around 40 minutes per day.

Families Staying Stateside? Simply Unlimited

However, if you are looking for a domestic family plan, then the Simply Unlimited plan would be your best bet. It's half the cost of the Unlimited Plus plan, but you still get unlimited data. You just wouldn't get data for your travels outside of the US, Canada, or Mexico.

Google Fi Pricing Compared (Total vs Cost Per Line)

Please note that taxes and government fees are not included in this chart. You will be billed another 10% to 20% (depending on your state).

Monthly Plan


Flexible (If 2GB Used Per Person)

Simply Unlimited

Unlimited Plus

1 Line

$20 + data




2 Lines

$35 + data




3 Lines

$50 + data




4 Lines

$65 + data




5 Lines

$80 + data




6 Lines

$95 + data




Data quoted: 22 Feb 2024

Comparing Google Fi with Competitors

There are so many other carriers to compare with Google Fi, but we will do a side-by-side, keeping in mind the most common types of customers:

Google Fi vs T-Mobile

Since Google Fi uses T-Mobile's infrastructure, many people wonder if its cheaper to simply get an international data plan direct from the source.

T-Mobile' cheapest international data plan is its Essentials Saver plan at $50 per month for 1 phone line. It comes with unlimited 5G & 4G LTE in 215+ countries (and slows down after 50GB). This is a bit cheaper than Google Fi's Unlimited Plus plan at $65 per month per line. Both share near identical features in terms of call, text, and data rates in the US, CA, MX, and worldwide.

  • Bottom Line: T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is cheaper. If you use 3GB per month or less, then stick with Google Fi's Flexible plan.

Google Fi vs Verizon

Verizon Wireless customers may be hesitant to lose access to strong connectivity across such a wide coverage area in the US.

If you want to keep Verizon, but just add a temporary international data plan for your travels, then you will pay heavily. Verizon has an International Monthly Plan for $100 per line. Although you get unlimited data to 210+ countries, you will get throttled after 20GB of data use. Verizon allows 250 minutes of free calls while abroad. Google Fi's Unlimited Plus plan for $65 wins against the big carriers in terms of both price and features.

  • Bottom Line: Avoid international plans from the major carriers (AT&T is even worse at $10 per day). If you want to keep your domestic plan, then we highly recommend you get an eSIM with Airalo when you travel. Airalo offers plans that suit your specific trip, varying by GB size, length, and country.

Family Plan Comparison

Like rent, groceries, internet, and gas, phone plans are among the largest monthly recurring expenses that families need to manage. Let's see if Google Fi will reduce your monthly expenses as a family of four.

Verizon's Unlimited Welcome plan for $30 per line ($120 total) is their budget family plan. It comes with unlimited 5G, talk, and text in the US, Canada, and Mexico. However, the 5G is not premium so it might slow during periods of heavy traffic. No mobile tethering is allowed either. Google FI's Simply Unlimited plan for $20 per line ($80 total) beats the major carrier's budget plan, and by a large margin. Simply Unlimited includes unlimited data, calls, and texts within the US, Canada, and Mexico (with slower data after 35 GB per person) and 5 GB of hotspot tethering.

  • Bottom Line: Google Fi's Simply Unlimited may be a great alternative to you current family plan, especially since you won't have to worry about pay-as-you-go fees for your many devices. Just keep in mind that both of the plans above are not intended for families traveling outside of North America.

Coverage Area

T-Mobile (Google Fi's partner network) operates in all countries around the world except these 19.

90-Day International Roaming Limit

While Google Fi technically gives you unlimited data in over 200 countries, you are only allowed to use data abroad 90 consecutive days at a time. I was unaware of this detail when I signed up, so I kept using the data while living in and traveling Europe throughout the year. Customer support eventually notified me of the rule and required me to stop my plan.

As a result of my experience, I'd only recommend Google Fi to U.S. residents who are also frequent short-term travelers. It's not suited for expats, digital nomads, retirees abroad, and others who spend much of the year outside of the US.

If you do spend a majority of your year overseas, then e-SIM services like Airalo will be your best alternative. They offer a 365-day global plan for $69 for 20GB across 126 countries. That price tag is for the whole year, not a monthly recurring fee, making it an excellent deal. If you run out of the 20GB, they have various top-up packages for your needs. Airalo is also available to customers around the world, not just U.S. residents.

Service Reliability and Speeds

Google Fi provides high-speed 5G coverage throughout the US, fast data globally, and video streaming at 480p. If you reach your plan's data limit, your speed will reduce.

google fi app interface data usage and limit tracker

About Google Fi's Data Limits

This happened to us once when we hit our Bill Protection limit on the Flexible plan. We were still able to access web browsers and Google Maps, but it took several minutes to download just one page. The speed reduction will likely be noticeable, but this isn't a knock on Google Fi as it is standard across the industry.

If you are on the Unlimited plan, then you shouldn't worry too much. Google Fi says that fewer than 1% of their customers ever reach the 35GB threshold (you'd have to download the director's cut of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy plus bonus content in 1080p to achieve that). If you want to maintain high-speed data after the limit, you have the option to pay $10 per GB until your billing cycle ends.

Google Fi Wireless Customer Support

Google Fi offers customer support through in-app chat, phone calls, and a customer forum. In my personal experience, I've only had to interact with customer support once via the in-app chat. The response was quick, although it's worth noting this was initiated by them, not me. For the purposes of this review, we tested their responsiveness and received a call back from Google Fi in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, which is quite good.

Customer Support Quality and Customer Satisfaction

However, customer feedback on various app stores presents a mixed picture. Although Google Fi boasts a rating of 4.5 stars on both the App Store and Google Play, a significant amount of one-star reviews contribute to lowering the overall scores.

There are no major complains with wait times. Rather, support representatives tend not to be helpful, lacking solutions or answers to customers problems and requests.

Who Should Consider Google Fi

The best part about Google Fi is the access to unlimited data around the world, in my opinion. So while you would enjoy good coverage within the United States, you'd get the most out of the service as a frequent traveler. If you have family or do business in Canada or Mexico, then Google Fi could also be a convenient and economical option for you.

Potential Deal-Breakers

As mentioned earlier, the service is only intended for 90 consecutive days of travel outside the U.S or less. If you are an expat or someone who lives abroad much of the year, then you won't be able to use Google Fi.

If you fit this description or are not ready to switch from your current carrier, then Airalo might be a viable alternative for your international travel needs. Airalo provides instant eSIM for your travels, whether it's for a week or an entire year. They offer plans tailored to your data needs, ensuring flexibility and no restrictions.

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Read our hands-on test of Airalo to learn more.

Final Thoughts on Choosing Google Fi

Google Fi stands out as a great phone service for frequent flyers, offering clear pricing, a user-friendly app interface, and simplicity in switching plans, adding lines, and managing your phone plan.

If you are a Verizon or AT&T customer, then it might be a good idea to check T-Mobile's coverage strength in your area of the U.S. before making the switch. If you have a compatible eSIM phone, then you can try Google Fi for free for seven days with their eSIM.

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We think Airalo is the best e-SIM provider for international travel.

Use code MONITO15 to get 15% off as a new Airalo customer. If you are an existing customer, use MONITO10 for 10% off!

References Used In This Guide

Plan Details. T-Mobile. Accessed 22 February 2024.
Pay Per Use Rates. AT&T. Accessed 22 February 2024.
Unlimited Plans. Verizon Wireless. Accessed 22 February 2024.
International Roaming Services. T-Mobile. Accessed 22 February 2024.
Google Fi Wireless. App Store. Accessed 22 February 2024.
Google Fi. Google Play. Accessed 22 February 2024.

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