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Is Google Fi Still a Good Deal in 2024?

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Mint Mobile SIM card.

I’ve been a Google Fi customer for a long time, and I like the service a lot. It’s simple to make plan changes, easy to activate on new phones, generally reliable, and affordable. However, it’s that last point that I’m increasingly unsure about. With so many MVNO options, is Google Fi still worth it?



I first switched to Google Fi in 2018 when it was rebranded from “Project Fi.” Back then, Google only offered a flexible plan that allowed you to pay for the amount of data you used each month. It could also automatically switch between T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Nowadays, it has two “Unlimited” plans to go along with the flexible plan, and only T-Mobile remains.

Since most MVNOs do not offer
discounts for adding multiple lines
, we’ll be comparing prices and features for individual lines. The prices in this guide are from February 2024.



Google Fi Wireless Plans

Let’s start by establishing the baseline. Google Fi operates on the T-Mobile 5G and 4G LTE networks. It offers three plans:

  • Flexible: $20 for unlimited calls and texts, plus $10 per 1GB of data (no charge beyond 6GB), unlimited hotspot tethering, and data-only SIMs.
  • Simply Unlimited: $50 for unlimited calls, texts, and data. 5GB of hotspot tethering, no data-only SIMs.
  • Unlimited Plus: $65 for unlimited calls, texts, data, 100GB of Google One storage, unlimited hotspot tethering, and data-only SIMs.

The impressive thing about Google Fi’s pricing is it has more or less stayed the same since the service launched in 2016. Unlimited plans were added to the service in 2021.

Google Fi is essentially the only MVNO that allows you to only pay for the data you use. Say you only use a couple of GB per month—your bill would only be around $40. You’ll see there are cheaper plans available, but no one else lets you save money on months where you don’t use much data.


Google Fi vs Mint Mobile

Mint

Like Google Fi, Mint Mobile also runs on T-Mobile’s network. The biggest difference between the two is how you pay for plans. Mint requires you to prepay for a minimum of three months in advance. However, you do get discounts the more months you pay for. There are four plans with three term lengths:

5GB

15GB

20GB

Unlimited

3 Months

$25 per month/$75

$35 per month/$105

$45 per month/$135

$40 per month/$120

6 Months

$20 per month/$120

$25 per month/$150

$35 per month/$210

$35 per month/$210

12 Months

$15 per month/$180

$20 per month/$240

$25 per month/$300

$30 per month/$360

*All plans include free hotspot tethering, but the Unlimited plan caps it at 10GB.


It’s simple math to see that Mint Mobile is cheaper than Google Fi. 5GB of data on Google Fi’s Flexible plan would cost around $70 per month, which is almost the total cost of three months on Mint. The Unlimited plans are also cheaper across the board.

Google Fi vs Visible

Visible logo on phone
Visible

You may have noticed a large chunk of MVNOs use T-Mobile’s network, but Visible runs on Verizon. There are only two plans to choose from:

  • Visible: $25 per month for unlimited calls, texts, data, and hotspot tethering.
  • Visible+: $45 per month for unlimited calls, texts, data, and hotspot tethering, plus 50GB of “Premium Data” on 5G Ultra Wideband.

That’s an extremely compelling offering, and easily more affordable than Google Fi. 5G Ultra Wideband isn’t available in many places yet, so the $25 plan would suffice for most people.


Google Fi vs Cricket

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cricket wireless logo on green background
Cricket Wireless

Cricket runs on AT&T’s nework and it has some similarities to Mint Mobile. You can prepay for several months in advance for discounts, or get fixed data and unlimited plans. They’ve got a little of everything, which makes Cricket’s plans the most complex of the bunch.

Multi-Month Plans

  • 3-Month Unlimited Plan: $120/$40 per month for unlimited calls, text, and data. No hotspot tethering.
  • 6-Month Unlimited Plan: $210/$35 per month for unlimited calls, text, and data. No hotspot tethering.
  • 12-Month Unlimited Plan: $360/$30 per month for unlimited calls, text, and data. No hotspot tethering.

Flexible Plans

  • 5GB: $30 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and 5GB of data. No hotspot tethering.
  • 10GB: $40 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and 10GB of data. No hotspot tethering.
  • Unlimited: $55 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and data. Extra $10 for 10GB of hotspot tethering.
  • Unlimited + 15GB Hotspot: $60 per month for unlimited calls, texts, and data, plus 15GB of hotspot tethering.


Again, you can pretty easily find a plan that is cheaper than Google Fi. 5GB of data with Google Fi’s Flexible plan costs $40 more than Cricket’s 5GB plan.

Google Fi vs Tello

Tello Mobile logo.

Tello is another MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s network (though it originally started on Sprint). The cool thing about Tello is you have the ability to customize the amount of data and talk minutes you need. This allows you to save money if you don’t to make many calls. However, there are some premade plans to choose from as well:

  • Economy: $9/month for unlimited talk and text, plus 1GB of data.
  • Value: $10/month for unlimited talk and text, plus 2GB of data.
  • Smart: $14/month for unlimited talk and text, plus 5GB of data.
  • Unlimited: $25/month for unlimited talk, text, and data.


Or you can build your own plan and choose data and talk options (texts are always free).

  • Data: None, 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, or unlimited.
  • Talk: None, 100 minutes, 300 minutes, 500 minutes, or unlimited.

All of Tello’s plans include free unlimited hotspot tethering.

Tello’s pricing is extremely competitive, especially if you don’t need very much data. You can pay a measly $10 for 2GB on Tellom, which would be $40 on Google Fi’s Flexible plan.

Verdict

That’s enough dollar signs thrown in your face, so let’s make some conclusions. Is Google Fi still a compelling option in 2024? Cop out alert: it depends on how you use your phone.

One thing I didn’t mention is traveling internationally with these carriers. This is one area where Google Fi bests most other MVNOs. When traveling outisde of the US, Canada, and Mexico, data rates for the Flexible and Unlimited Plus plans are unchanged, plus you still get free texts, and calls are $0.20 per minute. The Simply Unlimited Plan does not include international calls, texts, or data.


Basically, if you have the Flexible or Unlimited Plus plan on Google Fi, you can expect very similar rates whether you’re home or abroad. That’s not something you see from most MVNOs or even major carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

That being said, if international travel is not a concern of yours, you can pretty easily find a cheaper plan from one of the other MVNOs on this list. Mint Mobile and Tello are great options if you’d like to stick with T-Mobile’s network. You will, however, be giving up a very seamless expirience with Google Fi, but that may be worth the monthly savings.

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