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From what I see on their website, Google Fi is an amazing option for traveling as it provides cheap data in 135 countries around the world. I already have a Nexus phone so I can sign up for their service.

Would it be possible to become a customer of Google Fi as a tourist in the US? If it matters, a friend of mine can receive a package to their US address in case it takes a long time for them to send out a SIM card.

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    From TOS: "The Services are offered only to residents of the United States. The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use." - so the answer is no, it is not legal. Even if you did managed to get accont Google have a means of enforcing it (by checking to which networks you are connected) and it will probably result in ban from Google services (as probably roaming options cost them money and they might run into regulatory trouble in countries people would use them in). Dec 7, 2017 at 1:10
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    @MaciejPiechotka I'm okay with breaking their ToS, as long as it works in practice.
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 7, 2017 at 1:17
  • I'd be very surprised if Google was going to enforce these. I don't think Google makes any money from Project Fi, just like most of their other products. They offer this because they want to showcase what is possible and because they can.
    – nikhil
    Dec 7, 2017 at 1:18
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    I bought Project Fi service while I was living in Canada, though I had a US bank account and cards with a US billing address. I was a frequent US visitor then but in practice they.don't seem to mind if you spend extended periods using the service outside the US as well.
    – user38879
    Dec 7, 2017 at 2:30
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    @MaciejPiechotka , just to be clear, you mention "legal" - there is absolutely no relationship to the "law" here. Google saying you "must" do something, is equivalent to a sign in a McDonalds which states "Stand here to collect your order."
    – Fattie
    Dec 28, 2019 at 18:45

3 Answers 3

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Looks like it's possible, quoting from a similar thread on Reddit -

  1. Have a North American Nexus device (Fi won't work with euro devices, re: network bands, CDMA support)
  2. Have a valid US address and bank account.
  3. Have a US Google account.

I'm not sure if the 2nd requirement is actually a requirement(it is also moot because a sufficiently motivated tourist can open a US Bank Account), here are the acceptable payment methods(both credit and debit) -

  1. Visa
  2. MasterCard
  3. American Express
  4. Discover

However the first point is really important. Project Fi only works with certain devices.

These Nexus and Pixel models are unsupported, be sure to check this if your's isn't a North American model -

  1. Pixel Model G-2PW4200 (Rest of world version)
  2. Pixel XL Model G-2PW2200 (Rest of world version)
  3. Nexus 5X Model LGH791 and LGH791F (Rest of world versions)
  4. Nexus 6P Model H1512 (Rest of world version)
  5. Nexus 6 Model XT1100 (Rest of world version)
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  • Hm, looks like I'd have to buy a Pixel 2 to use Fi, so it's not really an option :/
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 7, 2017 at 1:09
  • You could also get Android One Moto X4 or a Moto X4 - fi.google.com/about/phones Also some people report successfully being able to use Project FI with iPhones - ios.gadgethacks.com/how-to/… Based on my understanding you need a supported phone to activate the SIM and if you wanted to use the ability to change networks based on their strength, on other phones you're limited to the T-Mobile network or whatever T-Mobile would roam on.
    – nikhil
    Dec 7, 2017 at 1:15
  • @JonathanReez As long as you're buying things in the US, you can certainly pick up a gently used Nexus device on eBay. Dec 7, 2017 at 5:18
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A short answer from myself: yes, it is definitely possible if you have a US address which can accept packages. You don't necessarily need a US credit card. And Google Fi now supports all phones, not just Pixels or certain Motorola models as they did before. Although do note that it's better to get a phone with wide band support to ensure maximum speed and coverage.

Overall I highly recommend it if you're looking for a dependable travel SIM card with a lot of data. You can pause it while not traveling, so all you'll pay is $20/month for base service and then $10/gb (almost) anywhere in the world.

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  • It supports all phones now, but if data is important to you, choose your phone carefully based on the radio bands it can talk on. Otherwise you might find yourself in Ulaanbaatar with 3G or worse, no data service... The phones Google advertises generally have the widest radio coverage and will get high speed data virtually anywhere in the world. I've been a happy Google Fi customer for several years now. Dec 28, 2019 at 19:19
  • @MichaelHampton you're absolutely right, even in the US I'm struggling sometimes as my phone doesn't support Band 71. I'll definitely get a phone with more frequencies next time.
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 28, 2019 at 19:22
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Just to add to the existing answers, nowadays one can purchase Google Fi SIM cards in brick-and-mortar stores in the US such as Best Buy, and consequently in practice there's no need to have a US physical address.

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