Green Dot Bank reviews 2021: Is Green Dot Bank the best choice for you

Panna Kemenes
05.17.21
6 minute read

Green Dot is an online bank that started doing business in 1999. Green Dot Bank offers both an unlimited cash back account and a high-yield savings account.

There is also the option to get your hands on a secured credit card through Green Dot bank.

Online-only banks can be a great fit for anyone looking to bank exclusively online or via mobile. If you do a lot of online shopping, you could benefit from the Green Dot cash back and cash deposits in retail stores.

In this article, you’ll find a detailed overview of everything Green Dot has to offer, from its cash back account to the platinum visa credit card, so you can decide if it’s the right bank for you.

You can also find out how to avoid the 3% fee that Green Dot charges on international transactions by using Wise.

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📝 Table of contents

Green Dot Bank review: Green Dot Bank accounts and cards

Green Dot Bank belongs to the Green Dot Corporation, which is a fintech company with its headquarters in Pasadena, California.

It’s a well-established online bank that has been in operation for more than 20 years. Green Dot has several accounts to offer customers along with a credit card.

These Green Dot Bank reviews will focus on the unlimited cash back account, the savings account, and the platinum visa credit card.

Green Dot unlimited cash back account

Top features
  • $7.95 monthly fee, which is waived if you spend $1,000 or more with your card in the previous month.
  • With a positive balance and good account status, customers qualify for unlimited 2% cash back on select online purchases.
  • No minimum balance
  • Receive your direct deposit from an employer two days earlier than the average
  • No overdraft fees
  • Includes Visa debit card

Green Dot’s checking account was made primarily with the online shopper in mind. It offers unlimited 2% cash back on certain online purchases, provided your account is in good standing, and the balance is positive.

There is a $7.95 monthly fee for the Green Dot account, but it can be waived if you spend more than $1,000 on your card in the previous month.¹

This is one of the caveats with this account; if you don’t waive the fee, or make more money in rewards than $7.95, then you won’t gain anything.

Compared to a bank like Discover Bank which offers 1% cashback without any monthly fees with its checking account, you’ll have to determine whether the extra cashback is worth it.²

There is no minimum balance required to set up the unlimited cash back account. There also no overdraft or bounced-check fees.

With the unlimited cash back account, you will also receive a Visa debit card.

Green Dot savings account

Top features
  • Earn up to 2% APY with account balances up to the value of $10,000
  • No maximum balance limit
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • FDIC insured

Green Dot’s savings account is available to customers who have already opened a spending account. The account offers up to 2% APY on balances up to $10,000, which is an impressive rate.

To gain the interest, you will have to wait 12 months though.

The money you put into this savings account is FDIC insured up to the value of $250,000 and there are no monthly fees to worry about.³

Green Dot platinum visa credit card

Top features
  • No credit check
  • Several payment options
  • $39 annual fee
  • Secured credit card
  • Minimum deposit to start using the card is $200
  • 19.99% fixed regular APR

Since Green Dot doesn’t do a credit check when you apply for its platinum visa credit card, it’s an excellent option for rebuilding your credit.

As a secured credit card, this card requires a cash deposit as collateral so that you have funds to fall back on if you can’t make a payment. You won’t be able to upgrade the card to an unsecured card, which is worth bearing in mind.

There is a $39 annual fee for the credit card. This could be a deal-breaker, as many secured cards are completely free, like the Capital One Mastercard.⁴ There is also a minimum deposit of $200 to activate the card.

With this card, you can make payments via ACH from your bank account, use an online debit card or a check.

Alternatively, you can pay with cash at one of the company’s partnered retail stores or use Green Dot’s MoneyPak card if you’re willing to pay a fee.⁵

Green Dot customer service

If you have any concerns or questions you can contact the bank directly. This is reassuring for those worried about the lack of in-person customer service.

You can get in touch with Green Dot Bank through several mediums, such as mail and phone, or support chat directly from the website.

It’s worth noting that some reviews on Trustpilot (a consumer review website) state that the customer service can be slow.

The bank has a Trustpilot rating of 1.2 out of 5 stars, and it seems the customer service when trying to resolve disputes is the main pain point of Green Dot Bank.⁶ This is quite a low score compared to Varo Bank, who score 4.4 overall.⁷

Green Dot accessibility

Accessibility is a key factor, especially these days when almost everyone owns a mobile and many people do all of their banking online or via mobile app.

With Green Dot, you can access the bank’s services 24/7, so you’ll never have the issue of rushing to a brick-and-mortar store before closing hours.

You can access your bank account via mobile, too, with the Green Dot Bank app, so you can keep tabs on your finances wherever you are.

Green Dot pros and cons

While the unlimited cash back is handy for online shoppers, what else does Green Dot have to offer its customers, and where does it fall short?

Pros

  • You can earn up to 2% cash back on select online purchases
  • There are no overdraft fees
  • There’s no minimum balance requirement
  • The platinum credit card doesn’t require a credit check
  • High APY savings account

Cons

  • The monthly fee is significant if you are unable to waive it
  • Cash-back rewards aren’t available for all transaction types
  • There are no joint accounts
  • There’s a $3 out-of-network ATM fee

Green Dot Bank comparison

As an online-only bank, Green Dot is comparable to the likes of Axos and Varo. In this table, you can find out how the savings accounts of the three banks fare against each other.

BankFees and minimum balanceAPY and top features
Green Dot Bank
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance⁸
  • 2%
  • High APY rate available after 12 months up to a maximum balance of $10,000
Axos Bank
  • No monthly fees
  • $250 minimum balance to open an account⁹
  • 0.61%
  • Daily compounded interest and free ATM card upon request
Varo Bank
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance¹⁰
  • 0.20-3%
  • APY starts low but can reach a higher-than-average 3% when certain criteria are met

Who is Green Dot best for?

Green Dot can be a good choice for online shoppers, especially those who can spend enough to mitigate the $7.95 monthly account fee.

The savings account offers a competitively high APY rate of 2%, which is higher than Axos Bank’s rate of 0.61%, but you’ll have to wait 12 months before it enters your account.¹¹

🤓 Not the one for you? Here are some more reviews you’ll love

Avoid monthly fees and save on international transfers with Wise

If you want to do away with monthly fees and save money on international transfer fees, then check out Wise.

Green Dot charges $7.95 a month to maintain its cash back account, and 3% of the US dollar amount for each international transaction.¹²

Wise provides an account that allows you to make international transfers according to the real exchange rate, with no hidden fees.

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Sources:

  1. Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account Help & FAQs
  2. Discover Bank - Online Checking Account
  3. Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account Help & FAQs
  4. Capital One Mastercard
  5. Platinum Secured Credit Card Help & FAQs
  6. Trustpilot - Green Dot
  7. Varo Bank Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews
  8. Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account Help & FAQs
  9. Axos - Savings Accounts | Open a High-Yield Account Online
  10. Varo - Online Savings Account
  11. Axos - Savings Accounts | Open a High-Yield Account Online
  12. List of All Fees for the Green Dot® Special Edition Prepaid Mastercard® or Visa® Card

All sources checked 17 May 2021.

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