I wrote a short book summarizing this site. Check out the reviews on Amazon. I track all of my investments with Personal Capital. It's free and creates a one stop shop for checking your portfolio.
I used to be a big fan of another mobile carrier. They offered a reasonably priced unlimited talk, text, and data plan and had good coverage where I lived in the States. The international plan was also decent, offering 20 cent per minute phone calls, free texts, and 3G data in 140+ countries.
Now, Google Fi blows T-Mobile’s international coverage out of the water. Google Fi is at least 4G and usually 4G LTE everywhere I go in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The coverage in the States is also great.
If you sign up through my link, you’ll receive $20 towards your bill and I’ll receive $20 as well.
Fi has a simple pricing structure: $20 for unlimited talk and text for the first person, then $15 more for every other person you add to your plan. Data is $10/GB but “bill protection” kicks in at $100 for 2 users and $60 for 1 subscriber. So for 2 people on a plan every GB after 10GB is free. For 1 subscriber every GB after 6GB is free.
For example, if you and your spouse use 11GB in a month, your total bill will be $135, assuming you didn’t have additional charges. If you are the only one on the plan, the max you’ll pay for talk, text, and data is $80/month ($60/data + $20 talk and text). Taxes and regulatory fees add another $6-7 per month for my account.
For international fees, Fi offers free texting and data is still only $10/GB, just like in the States. If you place phone calls, the fee is 20 cents per minute. Additionally if you are calling a number outside the USA there may be additional international dialing fees, but I have never seen these on my bill.
Google’s Project Fi is Perfect for OCONUS TDY
The greatest thing about Google Fi is every time I travel to a different country I never really have to worry about cell phone coverage, outrageous international fees (looking at you Verizon and AT&T), or data coverage.
I usually try to buy a local SIM card if I’m going to be in the country for a while, sometimes this is expensive or too difficult to do based on my location. That’s when Google Fi really shines.
Just in the past month I’ve been to six countries on three continents. Each time after I landed it took Google Fi less than a minute to find a signal, connect, and get me re-connected with my friends and family. Most importantly, I’m never lost when I travel now because I always have Google Maps to help me get around and find the best local food.
If you’ve ever been TDY/TCS/TAD to a foreign land and hunting desperately for a Wi-Fi signal, you need to get Google Fi. Trust me, the coverage is great, the service is fast, and if you travel internationally frequently you will wonder how you lived without it before. Make the switch today.
The Best Website I Found to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.