Before you start using Google Voice, one question you'd probably like to ask is: "How much do I have to pay to use it?" Well, like most of Google's services, it isn't that expensive in terms of money. However, know that there are other "costs" associated with it. We'll explain what you need to know in this article.
Is Google Voice free?
Google Voice is mostly free to use. It costs you no money to sign up for an account or to claim a Google Voice number. Also, calls made through Google Voice to numbers in the United States and Canada are free, with a few exceptions. Calls made through Google Voice to anywhere else will cost money.
In addition, remember that Google makes most of the money off its services not through fees and subscriptions, but through "big data" advertising – and Google Voice is no exception. So, all communication information you create through, or add to, Google Voice is collected and processed by Google for their business operations. We just want to make sure that you're aware of this.
Google Voice prices
- Calls to certain remote locations in Canada and the United States cost 1₵ U.S. per minute.
- Calls to other countries have varying per-minute rates that are subject to change.
You can check this web page to see Google Voice's current rates. Simply click in the box labelled "Enter Country You Want to Call" and type in the name of the country in which you want to contact someone to see its rate. Or, click Show All Rates to see alphabetically-organized tables of countries and their calling rates; click one of the letters at the top-right of any table to skip to countries whose names start with that letter. You can also click the drop-down menus labelled "Currency" and "Billing Country" to change these, if you're going to be calling from a specific country and/or paying in a specific currency.
What other costs for Google Voice should I be aware of?
There are a few other things that you may want to keep in mind when using Google Voice so that you can avoid being surprised by a larger-than-normal telecom bill.
- Calls don't use an Internet or data connection. This means that they still count towards your allotted monthly airtime minutes for the mobile device that you use to verify your account.
- You may incur long-distance charges if your call is routed through a number not in your area code.
- If you use Google Voice while outside the U.S. or Canada, you will be charged international rates, and your telecom provider may also charge you roaming fees.
- Text messages use a data connection, so they can be sent or received via a Wi-Fi Internet connection or your mobile device's data plan (if you have one) at no extra cost. However, depending on your telecom carrier, you may be charged for incoming text messages.
How to buy credit for Google Voice
In order to make paid international calls with Google Voice, you need to have credit stored in your account. You can have up to $70 U.S. on your account at once. If you need to buy more, here's how to do it.
1. Using a web browser, access your Google Voice account.
Open Google Voice by navigating to www.google.com/voice in your web browser of choice and logging into your Google account.
2. Open the Google Voice main menu.
Click the Main Menu button (the three vertical lines) in the top-left corner of the page.
3. Manage your Google Voice account credit.
When the main menu pane opens, click Credit.
4. Click "Add Credit," and then choose how much credit you wish to add to your account.
You will be taken to the "Payments" section of the "Settings" menu. From here, click Add Credit. A box will pop up; click the denomination of credit that you wish to purchase, and then click the Add Credit that appears within the box.
5. Select or add a payment method, and then confirm your credit purchase.
On the next page, you will have to select how you are going to pay for your credit purchase. If you don't have a credit card or debit card on your Google account, you will have to add one here.
Click in each of the fields highlighted in the screenshot above and type in:
- your credit card number
- the month and year that your credit card expires
- your credit card verification code
- your name, as it appears on your credit card
- your billing address
When you've entered all of your information, click Buy.
There! Now you know how much you might have to pay for Google Voice, and how to buy credit for doing so. Next, we'll give you a full review of Google Voice, outlining the pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you really want to use it.