Google Fi Now Available On iPhones & More Androids (Plus Great Deals If You Switch Today)

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for purchases made through some of the below links. These are products and services we use ourselves, and are the best offers we know of. Check out our Advertising Policy for further details. Thanks for your support!

If you don’t have Google Fi, you can get a $20 Fi credit (in addition to the phone deals below) by using our link, or one in the comments. We receive a credit as well, and appreciate the support!

Well this is exciting news!

As of today, my favorite phone plan for international travelers is now officially available on iPhones and additional Android devices. And there are some great rebates available if you make the move today.

The following Apple devices are now supported (All phones must run iOS 11.0 or higher):

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus
  • iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone SE

And there are an assortment of Samsung, LG, Motorola, and other models now supported as well, provided they meet certain requirements.

Google Fi has informally functioned on most of these phones for awhile anyway, but sometimes it’s nice to go legit 😉 . Prior to switching to my beloved Pixel 2 I was using an unsupported Android phone on Fi, and it worked fine 95% of the time, but of course the 5% of the time that I had minor issues it would have been nice to be able to utilize Fi’s tech support.

How is Google Fi different?

Traditional phone plans are really complicated — this has gotten better in the past few years, but I know we all remember the days of convoluted rules about mobile-to-mobile minutes after 7PM on Thursdays counting differently and so forth. I think my mom still has a plan like that through Verizon.

Google Fi is simple — you pay $20 per month for the first line (and $15 for each additional line), and that includes unlimited calls and texts. Data is $10 for each GB, up to 6GB for individuals, after which it’s free but at slightly reduced speeds. You can opt out of the free-but-with-reduced-speeds if you want, and if you have more people on your plan, that base number goes up.

So you get a flexible plan, but one that is also pretty consistent. You only pay for what you use, and at a flat rate for coverage that works pretty much everywhere.

Months when I have more domestic travel I’ll somewhat ironically use more data than when traveling internationally (Wifi at U.S. airports is often abysmal, so I’ll end up tethering, plus Americans are incapable of loading a 737 in under 40 minutes, so there’s often a lot of time between boarding and pushback), but my bill is typically in the same general range.

More importantly, it just works. The most aggressive troubleshooting I’ve had to do involved rebooting my phone while sitting on the tarmac in Beijing because I just couldn’t get it to connect.

Prior to Fi I happily purchased multiple SIM cards in multiple countries, and traveled with a mobile hotspot. I still take the hotspot as a backup (or when I’m traveling with a group), but I can’t tell you how much of a difference it’s made in my life to not have to mess with all that, and just have a fast, easy connection wherever I am.

TODAY ONLY — Big rebates for switching to Fi or upgrading your phone

Through 11:59 PM Pacific time on Wednesday 11/28/18, Google is offering some pretty significant savings for switching to Fi.

If you want to buy a designed-for-Fi phone

When you purchase a qualifying device on fi.google.com, you get a travel gift card in the amount you paid for the device, excluding taxes. This includes everything from the ~$249 Android One Moto x4 (which my husband has, and has been totally happy with), to a maxed-out Pixel 3 XL for ~$999. The travel gift cards are good for your choice of Airbnb, Delta Air Lines, Hotels.com, or Southwest Airlines, so there are a few options.

The full terms are as follows:

To qualify for this promotion, a device must be activated within 15 days of device shipment and remain active for 60 consecutive days within 75 days of device shipment. The device must be activated within the same group plan that was used to purchase the device. Activation must be for full service (i.e., activation does not apply to a data-only SIM).

This offer is available for new Google Fi customers as of 11/28/18 12:00 AM PT and existing, active Google Fi customers. If the customer is new to Google Fi, the customer must transfer (port-in) their current personal number over to Google Fi during sign up. The number being transferred must be currently active and have been active with the previous carrier and the customer since 8/28/18 12:00 AM PT.

After the terms have been satisfied, the customer will receive an email from Google Fi (around 75 – 90 days after device activation) with instructions on how to obtain a gift card from Tango subject to Tango’s terms and conditions. The user can redeem gift card amounts with select travel partners:Airbnb, Delta Air Lines, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines. Gift cards may also be subject to the terms of the travel partners.

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. Limit one per person. This offer is only available for U.S. residents ages 18 and older, and requires Google Payments and Google Fi accounts. Unless otherwise stated, this offer cannot be combined with other offers. Offer and gift card redemption are not transferable, and are not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Void where prohibited.

As much as I love my Pixel 2 (which is a lot!), I have been eyeing the Pixel 3, and the travel rebate might push me to upgrade. Does anyone have a 3 and can compare to the 2?

If you want to bring your own phone to Google Fi

If you have a phone that’s compatible with Fi already (that wasn’t purchased through Google), you can get a $200 credit for porting your service over to Fi. This will likely be the more appealing offer for iPhone aficionados, or those with newer Android devices that want to try Fi without switching phones.

The full terms are as follows:

To qualify for the service credit, activation must be for full service (i.e., activation does not apply to a data-only SIM). Afterwards, a service credit will be applied to the purchaser’s Fi account. Customer will receive an email notifying them of the service credit after all terms and conditions have been satisfied, and the credit will be applied to the customer’s subsequent bills around 45 – 60 days after activation. If the account is paused, credits will only appear once the account is reactivated. Service credits will be applied only toward monthly service costs such as data, calls, texts, and device protection; they cannot be applied device purchase or financing.

New Google Fi users must transfer (port-in) their current personal number over to Google Fi during sign up. The number being transferred must be currently active and have been active with the previous carrier and the user since 8/28/18 12:00 AM PT.

Limit one per person. This offer is only available for U.S. residents ages 18 and older, and requires Google Payments and Google Fi accounts. Unless otherwise stated, offer cannot be combined with other offers. Offer and service credits are not transferable, and are not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Void where prohibited.

Pretty straightforward.

Ben (and some of you) still shouldn’t switch to Google Fi

I love Google Fi, and have been using it for years in various countries with absolutely no issue. I’ve saved thousands of dollars and endless frustration by having a simple and fair phone plan that just works. Truly, I couldn’t be happier with my setup, and recommend it to nearly everyone.

And if it were just Ben (or even Ben and Ford), I would absolutely say that they should switch as well. The faster international data speeds, extra SIM cards for iPads, and the fact that you’re not paying for anything you’re not using all combine to a significant savings.

Look at their statement from last month:

Versus their guesstimated costs on Fi (I just maxed out the data, as the Fi data situation works a bit differently):

But (and this is a major but) they have all their parents on their phone plan. And as someone with both parents and in-laws — well, let’s just say there is a significant and tangible value to being able to send mom and dad to the friendly neighborhood storefront to get their phone issues resolved.

So while they’d save at least a thousand dollars over the course of a year by switching, I’m not sure the associated hassles would be worth it given the lack of physical support. Of course, if the issue is with the phone itself, and you have an Apple device, you can still go to the genius bar with any technical problems.

Other families may also do better on T-Mobile, depending on your usage patterns and the number of people on the plan. But for individuals or couples who travel frequently, Fi is well worth considering, particularly with the phone deals they’re offering today.

Do you plan on switching to Fi now that they’re supporting more devices?

If you don’t have Google Fi, you can get a $20 Fi credit (in addition to the phone deals below) by using our link, or one in the comments. We receive a credit as well, and appreciate the support! If you have Google Fi already, please feel free to share your referral link in the comments as well!

Comments

  1. What makes you think the rebate is not available to existing customers. In the Terms: “This offer is available for new Google Fi customers as of 11/28/18 12:00 AM PT and existing, active Google Fi customers”

  2. As I suspected this offer is only for US residents. I would’ve appreciated this fact in the first paragraph instead of having to search the fine print after reading through the entire article.

  3. I’ve been using Project Fi for over 2 years, and I’ve been very happy. I signed up using the referral code posted in the comments section of OMAAT by another user. If somebosy wants to use my code, I would be very grateful! You’ll get $20 Fi credit, and I will also get a credit. The code is V493CJ.

  4. Really recommend Fi for traveling. Anyone wanting to switch and support a doctor without borders can use code J7X6PA for referral.

  5. What data LTE provider does Google FI use in particular in the USA? Is it able to jump between say AT&T, TMobile, and and Verizon Wireless to get the best signal in any given area in the US?

    Also one other complicating factor might be if you have a cellular Apple watch, I’m not sure if there would be a way to ditch one of the traditional mobile carriers in order to get the Apple watch activated?

    Great to see Fi on the iPhone though!

  6. I just ordered a new Moto G6 for the wife, whose current Virgin Mobile phone is pretty ancient. Unfortunately I didn’t see the extra $20 because I ordered it before coming here.

  7. @Mika:

    They use T-Mobile and Sprint primarily if you’re on an Android phone with the ability to switch based on network performance. On iPhone you’re stuck with just T-Mobile, though. I’ve had Fi on an iPhone since early 2016 when it was invitation-only and, like Tiffany, I’ve had zero issues in the 30+ countries where I’ve used it. Plus, I can count on one hand the number of times I didn’t have LTE (just 3G) while traveling abroad. It’s been a godsend for me. If you can deal with the nuances of Fi on an iPhone (no group texts with non-iPhones, no visual voicemail, etc.) then it’s poised to be a game changer for ya.

  8. I switched to Google Fi a couple of years ago and I’m not going back to the traditional carriers, that’s for sure! If you guys want you can also use my referral link since apparently we are allowed to post them here 🙂 : https://g.co/fi/r/AJK85U
    @Tiffany: I upgraded to the Pixel 3 and there are a couple of nice new features but they’re mostly gimmicks, and in comparison I was just as happy with my Pixel 2 😉 . Now if you can get the travel gift card of course… that’s a whole different story!

  9. Tiffany you rock! Thanks for posting this. Wanted to switch for a long time and wanted a 3XL and I want those Airbnb and Delta credits ….. and I wanted to put $1000 on my Starwood Amex before 11/30 to get those bonus Starpoints.

    Tiffany you made this a Merry Christmas and it’s still November 😀

  10. You just forgot to say that this is still in Beta and there are features that an iPhone would have in normal carriers that would not work on Google Fi such as visual voice mail and on iPhone it will TMobile only and not switch to Sprint or US Cellular. Also, when I look at Google Fi estimated cost for 3 lines and 12gb of data I get $170. That is what I pay on ATT for unlimited data for 3 phone lines. Yes, ATT does not add international data but still Google Fi is not that cheaper.

  11. I just cancelled my order for a Pixel 3 because I was nervous I wouldn’t get the gift card as an existing customer and I don’t really want to have to wait 90 days to get the gift card. I have a Verizon iPhone as my primary phone and only use Google Fi when traveling abroad or as a backup if I am having service issues with Verizon (which doesn’t happen, but it is piece of mind). One of the awesome things about Fi is you can pause and restart your service at anytime.

  12. Family plan on TMobile is great for me. $140 total/mo and we used 24gb of data last month. Google Fi we’d be looking at $205 plus taxes and fees…not great. Now, if I traveled internationally more it’d be a different story.

  13. @Tiffany

    100%. The pixel 3 is a great phone and it’s free if you value the giftcards at face value. No brainer…

  14. @Tiffany I think the gift card moves the needle in the sense that you WILL spend that amount of money sooner or later with either Delta, Airbnb or whatever else partner they have. So you might as well get a free phone while you’re at it :).
    What I meant with my comment is that yes, the Pixel 3 has some nice enhancements (smaller bezels = bigger screen, some nice camera enhancements etc) but they’re not a huge upgrade from the Pixel 2, which is a great phone already. And they rolled out some of the new camera features to older Pixel models anyway (have you tried the new Night Sight mode?? it’s insane!).

  15. @Mika Pyyhkala Google Fi uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular in the US for LTE and seamlessly switches between them. T-Mobile’s LTE network has rapidly expanded in the last couple years, but it’s still worth exploring Fi’s coverage map before taking the leap. That’s particularly true for iPhone users who are totally restricted to T-Mobile’s network only. For me personally, I live in rural Alabama where Verizon’s blazing fast network and comprehensive coverage is still unmatched. I would switch to Fi in a heartbeat if I lived in an area where coverage was comparable though.

  16. I remain astounded by how much data costs in the states. I get 80gigs for my 60 australian dollars, which is needed because public wifi is nonexistent here.

    It puts you in a different mindset, I was travelling around with my dad recently and I had him tether his phone to mine, he kept worrying about using all my data and I had to keep saying that it’s unlimited to all intents and purposes.

    Biggest frustration is that Apple still won’t let you download apps or updates over 150MB, without using wifi, especially when my cell is faster than my home internet.

  17. Is it possible to be roam 100% of the time?

    I am eligible for the plan but don’t currently live in the US but this plan is a lot cheaper than what I pay in Canada for data

  18. @Santastico

    Thanks for the detail about iPhone being limited to T-Mobile’s network only. This offer looked pretty tempting at first. The secondary carriers’ innovative plan structures are so appealing because of their better value and flexibility, especially for international travel. But my whole family is on iPhones and travel places where T-Mobile is weak. U.S. Cellular’s network would help in rural areas but if that’s not iPhone compatible it’s a moot point.

  19. I’ve looked at our data usage and T-Mobil One is a better deal for us – two lines for $120 a month, unlimited data. We use 9-10Gb of data a month, so Fi will be more expensive. I don’t mind 2G speeds abroad

  20. Don’t forget, if you live or work in a deadzone that has wifi, you can use the wifi calling or texting feature to stay in contact. The autovpn feature will let you access whatever you want without your nosy boss tracking your browsing. But… I’m not saying you should slack off, rather, use my referral:

    https://g.co/fi/r/5WV48U

  21. And because OMAAT writers are brainwashed Cupertino cultists and didn’t bother to list them, here are the compatible Samsung models;

    Galaxy S Series
    S9 & S9+
    S8 & S8+ & S8 Active
    S7 & S7 Edge & S7 Active
    S6 & S6 Edge & S6 Edge+ & S6 Active
    Galaxy Note Series
    Note 9
    Note 8
    Samsung J Series
    J7 (2018 and 2017)
    J3 (2018 and 2017)
    All models must run Android 7.0 and have LTE bands 2 and 4.

  22. @ Kevin — I mean, I don’t and will never have an iPhone, and provided a link to all the other Android phones (do you have something against LG?), but thanks.

  23. What’s the catch? Assume the user will primarily be using this phone in the US. If it were truly this cheap and relatively inexpensive, Google would have taken over the US phone market by now.

  24. I’d like to switch from ATT to Fi. It requires number porting today, but I would still have my ATT service until I receive the Fi sim card in the mail?

  25. @ GW — I think the transfer doesn’t happen until you actually activate the SIM/receive the phone, unless something has changed. You have 15 days to activate and still be eligible for the promotion.

  26. @JParker : correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe only the current batches of iPhone (XS/max/XR) can utilize T-Mobile’s new 600 MHz LTE in Band 71.

  27. For those of us who travel in a lot of far-flung countries and don’t spend much time in USA (where quite frankly 4G/LTE service isn’t very good … there, I’ve said it) well it’s a good deal at $10/GB. When I look back at what SIM cards cost me in various countries this year from South America to South Pacific to Africa to Eastern Europe I suspect I’ll be saving money next year. Especially as this phone was essentially free as I’d be spending this $ on Airbnb and Delta anyhow.

  28. From the google fi support page for iOS users:

    “You won’t be able to make calls or text over WiFi, use visual voicemail, or use data hotspot outside the US.”

    That seems like a really big downside.

  29. Same question as GW. It says you must “port-in” the number today. I obviously don’t want to lose access to my phone until the new one is shipped. Also, does anyone know if you qualify for as an example, Pixel 3 costs $799. If I choose the installment plan, do you still receive the full $799 gift card? Or must you pay up front to receive the full gift card amount?

  30. If both my wife and I want to bring our own iPhones, are we eligible for $400 total, or is that only applied to one device?

  31. Seems like a good offer – for some.

    My roomate has Samsung Galaxy S8.
    I have iPhone 6s.
    but according to Google’ site, both our phones will ONLY use T-Mobile network (not sprint or AT&T), and there’s a list of items that won’t work. Although most are limited on iPhone vs. Samsung:

    Samsung models compatible with Fi:
    You’ll have calls, texts, and data on T-Mobile’s network as well as international roaming. You won’t be able to make calls WiFi. To make texts over WiFi, download Messages and make it your default text message app.

    For iPhone:
    You’ll have calls, texts, and data on T-Mobile’s network as well as international roaming. You won’t be able to make calls or text over WiFi, use visual voicemail, or use data hotspot outside the US.
    Texting will work with some additional setup, but iMessage works right away.

    Considering we’re already on T-Mobile One Plus Promo, it’s not a good deal for google Fi, since it’ll basically be less than we already get.

    For $100/month we get:
    2 lines
    5 GB of tethering @ 4G LTE
    “unlimited” 4G LTE data (I forget the data cap that it starts slowing, but it’s well over the 6 GB)
    Taxes and fees included (which in NY is quite hefty)
    Mexico and Canada included with 5GB 4G LTE
    and, if we stay under 2 GB of data/month, the bill drops to $90/month all in.

    We don’t get Netflix included (if we switch, we lose the Promo plan and it rate climbs to like $130/month or something). Nor can we add on that new International Plus plan or whatever (without bumping us off the Promo Plan). At best, can add the $5 pass, but I don’t think it has any reasonable amount of 4G LTE data, IMO.

    But if one is wanting a Google Pixle, I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.

  32. Any ideas if you get the $200 credits for every person in a family plan that switches over, or is it capped at $200 total?

  33. If you’re taking advantage of the deal to buy a new phone, check your AMEX Offers on business cards to see if you have a $100 off $500 for advertising. My order from Google triggered the offer, so I was able to get a Pixel 3 XL for $999+tax, less a $100 statement credit and the $999 gift card!

    If you’re a new user, here’s my referral link: https://g.co/fi/r/70NC18

  34. All the people posting their referral links here should be embarrassed. One of the most cringeworthy things I’ve seen in the comments here.

  35. @bryan t:

    “You won’t be able to make calls or text over WiFi, use visual voicemail, or use data hotspot outside the US.”

    With unlimited international data and low international calling rates – and, really, how many people talk on the phone these days, though – it hasn’t been an issue for me. Plus, I’ve rarely had less than LTE everywhere I’ve gone so I haven’t needed to rely on wifi if there was no cellular signal. YMMV, though.

    I’ve also found that I don’t miss visual voicemail really. Plus I don’t get that many calls in general. Having to call into a number that I have saved in my favorites isn’t too onerous for the 4-5 VMs I get per month.

    For the data hotspot, you can get a data-only SIM and pop it into a different phone and use that as a hotspot. I had to buy a used Nexus 6 when I first got Fi in 2016 to register my SIM and I just use that as a hotspot since I use my iPhone for everything else. Fi on iPhones is not flawless, no, but with the service from Fi and the ability to stay in the Apple ecosystem, I’m willing to overlook these quirks. I’m hoping it’s all sorted out in the near future now that iPhones are officially supported.

  36. @Lucky Did you see that Tmobile now offers flat-rate global monthly international roaming? I was pushing them hard for that as my last debacle in Germany was beyond frustrating (you’ve experienced the same). But now it’s a monthly add on and like Verizon, it will just work. Includes tethering as well. Work a check out there

  37. Yeah…. no.

    Visual VoiceMail still doesn’t work.
    WiFi call/text still doesn’t work.

    I may migrate my family over to Fi, one phone replacement at a time. But there’s little reason to move over an iPhone, when the first thing the iPhone user will complain to me about is the features that simply don’t work anymore.

  38. I will give this a shot just because everything on my Droid phone works seamlessly with Google products. However, I am not sure that it will work with my Moto Z3 phone, which is being positioned to receive a “mod” that will turn it into the first phone to be compatible with Verizon’s upcoming ‘true’ 5G network.

  39. Get $20 for Referral for new service….and $200(stacks) for starting a new googleFi account – –

    Referral Code: KH4CF4

    Google Fi is offering New Customers: $200 Google Fi Service Credit when you Activate a Compatible Phone (see exclusions below). Thanks

    Note, offer applies to any customer new to Fi who signs up for Google Fi between 11/28/18 8:00 AM PT through 11/28/18 11:59 PM PT, activates their compatible device that was not purchased at fi.google.com or store.google.com by 12/28/18 11:59 PM PT and remains active for 30 consecutive days.

  40. I signed up today, the phone I chose won’t ship until early January. But it was clear the number port won’t occur until I activate the new phone, and my old phone does still work, so no worries there.

  41. Took the plunge. I am with an iPhone.

    I have a pretty good deal with AT&T, which I will be walking away from.
    I will be paying more for Fi if I max out the 6GB vs. what I am paying on AT&T.

    However, if you factor in the fees I pay overseas every time I go and pay for their Passport plan, I will come out ahead.

  42. I bought a GlocalMe G3 on Amazon and buy packages through their website glocalme.com
    It is a portable international wifi device that downloads a cloud sim when you turn it on.
    I buy the package I need (VERY reasonably priced) before I leave home (or as required wherever I am) and have found it works brilliantly when I turn it on at my destination.
    The list of supported countries is on the website.
    Customer support is also very responsive.

    I am just a very satisfied customer and have no financial interest whatsoever in GlocalMe!

  43. For those of you travelling across Asia best option is Star Hub Roaming Sim. 5GB Data for 25 SGD (30 day validity and strong, reliable 4G) works across most of Asia, Australia, NZ, North America and multiple European countries. Well worth it.

  44. I was unable to get the deal due to website crashes keeping me from completing the transaction. One would think Google, of all companies, could keep a website functioning. Although I missed out on the deal, I am thinking I might have dodged a bullet. Google Fi is not cheaper than my T-mobile plan. Plus, Tmob has true(er) unlimited and has real customer service when needed.

  45. I have a google pixel 2.0 and I use T-mobile as my carrier. Regardless of where I am, I typically end up logging onto a hotspot and using the WiFi calling – even at home my phone elects to use the WiFi calling mode since the US cell networks are poor. When I am abroad, the phone automatically switches to WiFi calling using the unlimited data. How would I benefit from Google Fi? I struggle to see the benefit in my case since I have basically got unlimited data, texting and now calling without added charges regardless of where I am in the world (mostly).

  46. @Santastico: “You just forgot to say that this is still in Beta and there are features that an iPhone would have in normal carriers that would not work on Google Fi such as … on iPhone it will TMobile only and not switch to Sprint or US Cellular. ”

    My understanding is that non-Fi-optimized phones won’t dynamically switch networks, not that you are limited to T Mobile. So, if you start out on Sprint when you boot the phone, you’d stay on Sprint. I’ve been on Fi for a while and it is pretty much always on T-mobile, as far as I can tell. Dynamic switching seems to be a myth. Or maybe I just never go to locations where the Sprint signal is strong enough relative to T mobile for my phone to switch.

    The bottom line is that I doubt anyone will notice the absence of dynamic switching, because even with a Fi-optimized phone you don’t actually notice its presence.

  47. Just got an email my Pixel shipped today and arrives next Wednesday

    Hopefully it won’t freeze on that truck…

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