Google Fi gift cards better than expected

Google Fi has begun sending out emails with travel gift cards from the incredible November promotion (see: [DEAD] WOW! Get a Google Fi phone & travel gift card worth the phone’s price). I received my gift card email earlier this evening, and it turned out to be even better than expected: not only can you mix and match amounts with all of the included partners, but you do not need to redeem all of the gift card money at once. That’s awesome since it means you can redeem little by little as needed for your travels.

The email that came from Google Fi this afternoon, with the subject line, “Redeem Your Travel Gift Card(s) from Google Fi” was clear in explaining that you can redeem a partial amount now and store the balance for later or even share with a friend, emailing the gift card directly to them. Here is the key text:

Again, the good news here is that you can redeem at your own pace. While we previously knew you would be able to mix and match between AirBnB, Delta, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines, I had assumed that we would have to redeem the entire amount in one shot. It turns out you’ll just need to save either the email or URL in order to be able to redeem again in the future. As an example, you could choose to redeem for $300 in Delta gift cards now, a $400 AirBnB gift card next week, and then a $300 Hotels.com gift card in a few months if that’s what fits your needs. If you’re going to hold on to the balance for a while, I’d recommend keeping that URL in a very safe place.

Overall, a promotion that seemed too-good-to-be-true apparently wasn’t. Those who pulled the trigger quickly on this one got one of the best deals of 2018. That said, my experiences with Fi haven’t been overwhelmingly positive (though I should probably consider myself lucky compared to some). I love my Pixel 3 XL and the photos it takes, but I’ve found a number of instances where my T-Mobile phone has had full service and the Fi phone has had no service (and only one or two instances the other way around). That’s too bad as I wanted to love Fi. I’ll give it a shot abroad so as to compare directly with my T-Mobile phone, but I don’t intend to keep Fi long-term despite this terrific promotion (note: the jury is still out as to whether I keep the phone or the gift cards!).

Do remember this key point from the original promotion terms (thanks to reader Alex in the comments for the reminder):

“If Fi service is paused for more than 7 days or cancelled within 120 days of activation, the value of the gift card will be charged to your Google Payments account to match the purchased price of the device.”

So you’ll want to continue Fi service beyond receipt of the gift cards,

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Alex
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Alex

Reminder of the promo terms – “If Fi service is paused for more than 7 days or cancelled within 120 days of activation, the value of the gift card will be charged to your Google Payments account to match the purchased price of the device.”

We still have to stick with Fi until April.

Brian Cogswell
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Brian Cogswell

Heads up for everyone. AirBNB gift cards can only be applied to your account BEFORE you make bookings. For example if you have a booking that is not fully paid, you can not use a new GC for that. If you utilize the pay half up front, pay half later option with AirBNB, you can not use the gift card for the second half of the payment. Yes, this is the equivalent of getting a Nordstroms GC and (after the fact) being told you can’t use it to purchase socks or shoes. Yes, this is ridiculous. Yes, this is true. Trust me I have been round and round with those clowns about this.

Randy
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Randy

Airbnb doesn’t allow you to change your payment method after booking. Period. You can’t pay the deposit with one credit card and the balance with another card or another source.

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[…] tip to Nick at FM to reader […]

not Kim jung un
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not Kim jung un

It’s sorta sad if T-Mobile works and Fi doesn’t . Even with antennas they sent me I can only text from my house reliably. I don’t know how Fi works , network , etc. Maybe someone can fill me in, but I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks other networks are better. However I do love using it in Mexico and the data in hundreds of countries is sufficient to be useful. Sorry for getting off topic. I’m the dumbass who didn’t take advantage of this for the phone. I take solace that I did take advantage of the Cathay first class fare from Hanoi. Thanks for posting that one guys. Im in Saigon and Trump is coming to meet me in Hanoi on the 27th.
I’ll pick up the Cathay flight on the 3rd. I actually think it was worth traveling just to get custom clothes made.
I couldn’t find a custom suit over $300. Got to have something for weddings and funerals.

Points Adventure
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Points Adventure

I have the opposite experience with signal in San Diego. Tmobile signal was good in midwest but terrible at work in San Diego. Switched to Fi and it’s noticeably better.

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[…] tip to Nick at FM to reader […]

Ryan
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Ryan

Enable the “enhanced network” function on your Google Fi enabled phone. It’ll use an always-on VPN to encrypt your data and more seamlessly transition between wireless networks. So you should have better connectivity. Downside: battery life will likely suffer.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Regarding switching back to another carrier. I’ve been mostly happy with GoogleFi coverage, but I’m REALLY impressed with their transparent pricing. Why go back to a carrier like Verizon at twice the price, with its bogus “administrative fees” and upgrade charges?

I try not to patronize businesses whose model includes hiding fees and nickel-&-diming me, like “urban amenity fees” at hotels and BS charges from wireless carriers.

Kevin
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Kevin

FYI for other people reading, after I received my gift cards I merged my account with another Fi subscriber (joined their group plan). This saves $5/month on the plan. Technically I believe this cancels my original account. I chatted with Fi support, asking if now I will be charged for the phone and the rep said as long as I remain in the group plan until the 120 days is up, there will be no charge

andy
Guest
andy

can the redeem amount be used in a single retailer or need to spread out? Your example had “$300 in Delta gift cards now, a $400 AirBnB gift card next week, and then a $300 Hotels.com gift card in a few months”. Can you choose 2X $500 Hotels.com instead? The link option seems to be limited at $500 each. AirBnB/Delta is with incremental options up to $500 whereas Hotels.com and Southwest can enter manually but limit at $500.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Hi Nick,

I signed up and I called the customer service at Google Fi and confirmed with the representative and her manager even double checked and said I qualified for the $999 promotion, so I didn’t cancel my order since my order was right around the cutoff.

I got an email saying I have the $100 statement credit. I don’t know what to do and their chat customer service just apologies but does nothing.

I would have cancelled if they hadn’t lied to me and provided incorrect information, but now I’m stuck with an expensive phone that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise.

Help please… 🙁

Tim
Guest
Tim

My friends and I have not received the travel gift card email that started arriving the past few days; we all “think” we are eligible for the $1000 offer. Any idea as to who has been receiving? Order of phone activation? Is the email arriving after the third statement date? Any insights?

Scott
Guest
Scott

Just wondering, what time did your order get placed?

Tim
Guest
Tim

I ordered 12:19PM, shipped 11/30, activated 12/10.

Aby
Guest
Aby

Me too having same activation date of December 9. Bill from Google Fi bill comes in on 10th of every month.
Recent Statement – Here’s a quick summary of your March 9 statement:
Your total is $29.71
This is how much you’ll be charged. Your total always consists of payment upfront for next month’s calls & texts, plus data charges for this past month.
Auto-payment is scheduled for March 20, 2019.

So getting ready to cancel the service at end of 120 days… as I wait for the bill from April 9th which will come on 10th. So I guess I will go into my Google Account and hit Cancel Service.

Did I get that right ?

pkk 101
Guest
pkk 101

I’m going to sign my wife up for fi on an upcoming trip. Nick, would you post your referral link? I’m a fan of your articles. Thanks.