Cost of Google Voice
You can use many of Google Voice’s features for free, including making most calls to the U.S. and Canada. Using some features of Google Voice may impact your phone bill.
Cost of calling
Almost all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free when calling from the U.S. and Canada. A few U.S. and Canadian destinations will cost 1 cent per minute (USD), or the listed rate for your local currency.
If you have a U.S.-based phone number and try to place calls through Google Voice while you are in another country, you will be charged the Google Voice international rates. You may also be subject to additional roaming fees from your carrier.
Paid call announcement
For every international or other paid call, you’ll hear or see a message that says how much the call costs or that the call is being routed through Google Voice.
If you don't hear or see either of these messages, your call isn't being routed through Google Voice, and you may be charged by your mobile carrier. You may want to check that your call settings haven't been changed by a recent app update or another app that's conflicting with Google Voice.
Use of carrier minutes
When you use Google Voice on your mobile phone, domestic and international calls will use the standard minutes from your cell phone plan. Your call will be routed through a U.S.-based direct access number.
How direct access numbers work
When you place a call, Google Voice dials a U.S.-based direct access number. The Google Voice server then forwards your call to the recipient's number you dialed.
Direct access numbers are assigned randomly, and may include numbers that are out of your local calling area, or even out of state. If you don't have a nationwide calling plan, you may be charged long-distance rates by your carrier.
Why Google Voice uses direct access numbers
Using direct access numbers lets us set up calls faster and place calls without a data connection.
Where you can see direct access numbers
A unique direct access phone number is assigned to each person that you call. You may see direct access numbers in your phone's call log or on your phone bill.
The direct access numbers are stored in the Google Voice application, not in your phone's Contacts. They can be removed from your phone at any time by signing out of the Google Voice app.
Use of carrier data & text messages
If you send Google Voice texts on your default text messaging app, text messages are sent using mobile data, whether you're connected to Wi-Fi or your mobile data network. They don't use the text-messaging plan you have with your carrier. You don't need to buy Google Voice credit, and you won't see any text-messaging charges for sending text messages. Depending on your carrier, you may be charged for receiving text messages.
If you use Google Voice using the app or website, messages are sent and received using mobile data, whether you're connected to Wi-Fi or your mobile data network.
You can only send text messages to numbers in the U.S. or Canada. You can't currently send text messages to international numbers.
If you have your mobile phone listed as one of your forwarding phones, texts will come to your default text messaging app. You may get two notifications for the same text message if it is sent to both your default text messaging app and your Google Voice app.
You can stop texts from being forwarded to your mobile phone's default text message app, so that they are only sent to the Google Voice app:
- On a computer, open Google Voice.
- At the top right of the page, click Settings > Settings.
- Open the "Phones" tab.
- Under your mobile phone, uncheck the box next to "Receive text messages on this phone."
- Your changes will automatically save.
Megan is a Google Voice expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.