Google Fi Launching Unlimited Plans

Google Fi recently announced the launch of Unlimited Plans, potentially providing a better-priced alternative to their existing flexible plans.

If you already have their service (perhaps after signing up during last year’s amazing deal) or have been considering their service, it’s worth checking out their pricing to see if you’ll be better off compared to your current plan.

Google Fi Unlimited Plans

Here’s a link to compare Google Fi’s existing plans with their unlimited plans. A screenshot of the cost for four lines can be seen above. At first glance, the flexible plan looks much cheaper seeing as it costs $65 for four people versus $180 for unlimited. However, the flexible plan charges an additional $10 per GB of data used. That means if you’d use 12 GB or more across all four lines, you’d be better off with the unlimited plan.

My wife and I both signed up last year under separate plans so that we could each get the ~$800 in free gift cards. If we combined our plans, we’d need to use 9 GB of data or more combined to be better off under the unlimited plan.

Google Fi Unlimited Plans for 2 people

9 GB per month is about how much we currently use, but that’s because we try to limit our data usage so that we can reduce how much we pay for it under their flexible plan. It’s therefore tempting to convert to an unlimited plan so that we don’t have to worry about regulating our data usage. Being able to watch videos or stream Spotify when not on Wi-Fi without having to worry about paying more would be wonderful.

The complicating factor is whether we could get a better plan elsewhere. I’d already been considering moving back to T-Mobile once my Google Fi referral credits are used up to go on one of their unlimited plans. At $120 for two people on their (unlimited) Magenta plan, our cost would be virtually identical to Google Fi. The only difference is that T-Mobile includes taxes and fees whereas Fi adds those on separately. Both T-Mobile and Google Fi offer free data and texting overseas, so they’re matched there too. (Edit: As per Becky’s comment below, Google Fi offers better speeds overseas than T-Mobile, so that tips that part in their favor).

It’s the other perks that T-Mobile offers that makes switching back to them more enticing. For example, their Magenta plan provides a free Netflix subscription, so that would save us $13 per month. T-Mobile Tuesdays can sometimes have decent deals that, while I wouldn’t necessarily pay for them separately, are nice perks to have. For example, they’ll often provide $2 promo cards for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, 10-25c off per gallon at Shell, etc. With no additional taxes and fees, a free Netflix subscription and T-Mobile Tuesdays perks, we’d be getting $20-$30 of extra value per month if switching from Google Fi to T-Mobile.

That said, a Google Fi unlimited plan is still tempting for superior coverage nationwide. Not only do they use T-Mobile’s towers, but Sprint’s and US Cellular’s as well. (Edit: As per Charlie’s comment below, only Google phones have access to Sprint and US Cellular towers). We move somewhere new every week, so increasing our chance of having good coverage wherever we are is a real benefit to us, especially when hiking in more remote areas. Whether that better coverage is worth $20-30 in savings/value is harder to decide.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

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Charlie
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Charlie

One thing, Stephen, only Google phones have access to Sprint and US cellular towers due to their hybrid technology. Other phones, like the iPhones, only have T-Mobile.

Bevky
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Bevky

Another advantage to Fi is faster data abroad. They often have LTE while T-Mobile throttles speeds.

Kevin
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Kevin

Probably worth mentioning they already have Bill Protection so your $10/gb data fee is capped. At 2 people you’re capped at paying for 10GB so $135 total bill. Unlimited is $120, so it’s a $15 swing.

Sounds like your usage is high enough where it may make sense to switch. I’m often on wifi (and make a point to be so) so I think my low usage months will outweigh the $15 savings I have by not switching to unlimited.

Note: They throttle after 15GB on the per-GB plan versus 22GB on the Unlimited Plan. If that’s of relevance to you.

YoniPDX
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YoniPDX

We have T-Mo ONE for the family and our teenagers – routinely use 50-60 GB we use about half that – that said even tho T-Mo can throttle – it’s never been an issue that has been notice, and I’ve asked my girls – one use her phone as a hotspot for her laptop she’s 19 and in college. It is is nice that we no longer are dancing with going over with Xfinity HSI 1 TB cap.

I do wonder if data is unlimted with FI Int’l and how that works with a Data only sim which is mainly all we use Fi. For when we are out of the country ( backing up photos and wife’s social media.

Kyle
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Kyle

International LTE coverage with Fi is much better than the 3G or worse that comes with traditional plans. Unlimited Fi also includes free calling to/from several countries (which was conveniently cropped out of the images above).

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[…] Google Fi Launches Unlimited Plans:  Many of us have phone service through Google Fi since it offers International data as well.  Regarding the price, it makes sense for some of us, yet it does have its limitations. Maybe these new Unlimited plans can sway you into joining or keeping your service with them? […]

Paul
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Paul

I thought fi used to charge a base of $15 + data for each additional line. I do not use much data due to downloading steaming music service songs for offline listening since I fly quite a bit. Another good thing about fi is getting a free data only sim to use in my iPad. I also use it in additional phone for my car with android play. Since I use google voice, I can leave it in my car and carry my better phone with me.

Nate K
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Nate K

For those who have a multi-network capable phone (Pixels, etc.) I highly recommend downloading the Signal Spy app (or any of the other similar ones on Google Play store). This app not only shows you what network you’re connected on but also lets you switch networks if the one you are on is bad.

For example, the Sprint network won’t let you use voice and data at the same time (annoying if you’re using Waze to dodge the cops and pot holes but also trying to make a phone call).

I’ve also heard that if you repeatedly “manually” switch to say the T-Mobile network in a specific area, it’s more likely you’ll connect to the T-Mobile network again when in that area. Apparently, the manual changing helps train the “algorithm” that’s used to pick the best tower. From personal experience, I’d say this appears true but my sample size is small.

For all the hassles, issues, etc. with Google Fi, I love it. I travel a lot for work and personal and it just works (except in Aruba…when you’re so used to not having to do anything when you travel, it is a shock when you land in a country and Google says Fi is not available…doh!).