Green Dot Review [2024]: A Prepaid Account With Cash Back

BANKING - SAVINGS & MONEY MARKET ACCOUNTS
The Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card offers cash back and interest on savings. Is it right for you?
Updated April 15, 2024
Fact checked
Green Dot Review

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

The Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card allows you to get rewarded for your spending, earn interest on your savings, and have access to your paycheck up to two days earlier than your normal payday. It's one of Green Dot's many prepaid debit cards and the only one that includes access to a high-yield savings account. It's available without a credit check.

It's also the only Green Dot prepaid card that doesn't offer a way to waive its steep monthly fee of $9.95 (as of December 2023), and your cash back and interest are only available once every 12 months. 

Keep reading this Green Dot review to learn more about how these accounts work.

Featured High Yield Savings Accounts

CloudBank 24/7 Savings - 5.24% APY1

High-yield savings account. $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured. Limited Time Bonus: Earn up to $2,000 when you refer friends and family to Raisin. Visit site to learn more.

Open Account
SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY2 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.3 FDIC Insured.

Open Account
Barclays Online Savings - 4.35% APY4

High-yield savings account. No minimum balance.

Open Account

In this Green Dot review

Green Dot High-Yield Savings Account basics

APY 2.00% (as of Mar. 25, 2024) on balances up to $10,0005
Minimum balance for APY None
Minimum deposit to open account None
Monthly maintenance fees $9.95 for the Cash Back Visa Debit Card required to open the account
ATM access No, you can only access your money by transferring it to your linked Green Dot Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account
Transactions per month Money can be transferred in and out of your account as often as you want. (Note: Green Dot can impose limits on the number of transfers back and forth between your linked accounts at its discretion.)
FDIC insured Yes

What we like about Green Dot

  • Green Dot mobile app: The Green Dot app makes it easy to manage your money on the go. You can pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money from another bank account, and more. The Green Dot app is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can also view your account information on your online Green Dot account.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back: You can earn unlimited 2% cash back for in-person and online purchases or through apps, including with Uber, Instacart, Amazon, and Netflix. Any subscription service, online shopping, or app purchase made can earn you 2% cash back when you use Green Dot as your payment method.
  • High-yield savings account: The Green Dot High-Yield Savings Account comes free with your Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card and it is indeed a high-yield savings account. It earns you an APY of 2.00% (as of Mar. 25, 2024) on balances up to $10,000.
  • Early access to your paycheck: When you set up direct deposit, you may receive your paycheck up to two days earlier than your normal payday. If you receive government benefits, you may receive that money up to four days early.
  • Free in-network ATM access: Green Dot’s network of free ATMs can be found all across the country, including at participating CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stores.
  • Free cash deposits: Many online and mobile banking products lack a way for you to deposit cash. With the Green Dot app, you can conveniently deposit cash and reload your card free of charge at nearly 100,000 participating retailers, including Walmart, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, and more.
  • Mobile check deposits: The ability to deposit paper checks is considered an essential feature for some bank account users. Green Dot allows you to deposit checks right through its mobile app.

What Green Dot could improve

  • Monthly fee: A $9.95 total monthly service fee is steep, especially since there's no way to have it waived. Green Dot's Visa Debit card and GO2bank Visa Debit Card both have options to have their monthly fees waived, and the Pay As You Go Visa Debit Card doesn't have a monthly fee. 
  • Foreign transaction fee: Green Dot charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on each transaction made with merchants outside the U.S. This charge may be in addition to any of Green Dot’s other fees, such as the $3 teller cash withdrawal fee and the $3 out-of-network ATM fee. If you plan to travel, you might want to use one of the best credit cards with foreign transaction fees instead.
  • Limited access to cash back: The unlimited 2% cash back on online and mobile purchases is a nice feature, but you can’t access or spend your cash back until you’ve reached each account anniversary. In other words, you can only access your cashback bonus once a year. Your account also has to be in good standing. If you have a negative balance, you must bring your account to a positive balance before you get your cash back.
  • Interest is deposited only once a year: Although balances in your Green Dot high-yield savings account earn a high APY of 2.00% (as of Mar. 25, 2024), the interest earned is deposited only once a year on your account anniversary.
  • Limited earning potential: You can keep any amount of money in your Green Dot high-yield savings account, but you’ll earn only interest on average daily balances of up to $10,000. If your average daily balance goes over $10,000 for the year, you won’t earn the annual interest. This limits your earning potential.

Green Dot also notes that it can impose additional ATM withdrawal limits at its discretion.

Warning
With the Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit card, you can only access your cash back once per year, and you only have interest earning from your savings account deposited once per year.  The GO2bank Visa Debit Card pays interest quarterly. 

Compare Green Dot vs. traditional savings account

Perhaps one of the most important factors when deciding on a bank account is the APY you’ll earn on your money. The Green Dot High-Yield Savings Account earns you 2.00% (as of Mar. 25, 2024) APY on balances up to $10,000.

To further illustrate the power of an online savings account like Green Dot’s, let’s compare a hypothetical high-yield savings account with a traditional savings account. We’ll look at how much a person would earn after one year, three years, and 10 years, assuming a $5,000 initial deposit.

Traditional savings account with 0.47% APY Example savings account with 3.00% APY
Initial balance $5,000 $5,000
After 1 year $5,023.50 $5,150
After 3 years $5,070.83 $5,463.64
After 10 years $5,240.03 $6,719.58

As you can see, there’s no comparison between stashing your money in a high-yield savings account versus a traditional brick-and-mortar savings account. Knowing how to choose the best savings account is a little easier when it pays this high of an interest rate.

How to open a Green Dot account

You can open a Green Dot Cash Back Visa Debit Card account by visiting a retail location that sells the card.  

Once you purchase the card, you’ll be required to visit GreenDot.com/activate or call 1-866-795-7605 and provide personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email, as well as your date of birth and Social Security number for verification purposes. Green Dot uses two-factor authentication, so if you’re not applying on your phone, you’ll still need to have your mobile phone handy to receive a verification code.

Once your account is open, you’ll have the option to add money to it either by bank transfer or direct deposit. At this point, you can also begin depositing money into your high-yield savings account. You'll also receive a personalized card in the mail. 

How to deposit cash into a Green Dot bank account

Green Dot gives you five ways to deposit money onto your card: direct deposit, bank transfer, mobile check deposit, PayPal, and free cash deposit with Green Dot app.

Unlike most online and mobile banking services, it’s possible to deposit actual cash into a Green Dot account. Not only that, depositing cash into your Green Dot account is convenient, given the variety of participating locations.

With the Green Dot app, you can deposit cash free of charge at nearly 100,000 participating retailers nationwide. To do this, log into your Green Dot app, generate a deposit code, and present the code and your cash to the cashier.

Here are a few popular retail stores where you can deposit cash into your Green Dot account:

  • 7-Eleven
  • ACE Cash Express
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Dollar General
  • Family Dollar
  • Kmart
  • Kroger
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart

How to withdraw money from a Green Dot account

You can withdraw money from your Green Dot account in several ways. If you want to withdraw cash, you have access to a network of thousands of fee-free ATMs that can be found in a variety of participating locations, such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stores.

There are no Green Dot bank locations, but you can withdraw cash directly from a participating bank for a $3 fee. Keep in mind that each bank may also have its own fee for teller cash withdrawals.

If you want to send money to someone else, you can do so by writing a check or by transferring money through the Green Dot app. Most online bank accounts don’t issue paper checks, so the fact that Green Dot has this feature is a huge bonus.

Other Green Dot Cash Back Visa fees

Overdraft fee $15 for each transaction that is greater than $5 and overdraws your account by more than $10, up to a maximum of 10 overdraft fees per monthly period. 
ACH transfers None
Paper check fee $5.95 for a pack of 12 checks
Incoming wire Service not available
Replacement card fee $5.00 for a replacement card that isn't expedited (generally received within 7-10 business days)

$15 for an expedited replacement card (generally received within 3 business days)
Teller cash withdrawal fee $3.00 per transaction
In-network ATM balance inquiry None
Out-of-network ATM balance inquiry $0.50

Green Dot customer service

Green Dot customer support can be contacted either by phone at 866-795-7597, through its email form, or by mail. It also has live chat available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific.

The Green Dot mailing address is:

Green Dot Corporation
P.O. Box 5100
Pasadena, CA 91117

FAQs about Green Dot

Is Green Dot trustworthy?

Yes, Green Dot Bank is a real bank and is FDIC-insured. Green Dot operates under three other registered trade names as well: GoBank, GO2bank, and Bonneville Bank.

How much money can you deposit on a Green Dot card?

How much money you can deposit into your Green Dot prepaid Visa depends on the method you are using. Bank transfers are limited up to $100 per day and $500 per month, and you can deposit up to $3,000 in cash per day in total. Otherwise, Green Dot has no other stated limits to how much you can deposit. If you deposit cash at a participating retailer, the individual retailer might have its own minimum and maximum deposit limits.

What ATMs can I use with Green Dot?

Green Dot allows you to make fee-free withdrawals at in-network ATMs across the country, such as those found at participating CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stores. You can use out-of-network ATMs, but withdrawals will incur a $3 fee per transaction.

Is Green Dot a credit or debit card?

Green Dot offers credit and debit cards. Most of its products are debit cards, but Green Dot also offers a separate secured credit card that allows you to potentially build up your credit score. 

Bottom line

In addition to Green Dot, you may want to consider the best checking accounts available for your banking needs. While you're at it, you might want to check out our list of the best savings accounts.

GO2bank Benefits

  • Up to $200 in overdraft protection
  • Up to 7% cash back on eGift Cards from popular merchants
  • A fully-mobile banking app with free ATMs nationwide
  • Pay bills directly from your phone

Author Details

Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt